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CA Budget Surplus Shrinks LAUSD Furlough Days To 6

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Thanks to an unexpected revenue windfall from Sacramento, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Thursday district employees would be asked to take only six furlough days during the coming school year instead of 12.

“Since the state is poised to pay up on part of its promised IOUs in the amount of $150 million, we should utilize this to directly return employees to service who have agreed to taking furlough days and also use this money instead of borrowing from the surplus account,” Deasy said.

About 5,000 layoff notices were sent to district employees in March as the LAUSD tries to cut into an estimated $408 million deficit for the coming school year. District officials have said the layoffs are a last-resort measure, and they were working to make cuts elsewhere to help save jobs.

Deasy unveiled a proposal last month that would provide a one-year budget fix and save the jobs of many of the employees targeted for layoff. The plan, however, called for employees and their unions to agree to 12 unpaid furlough days.

So far, five of the district’s employee unions agreed to the proposal, the latest being the Service Employees International Union Local 99, representing instructional aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and others.

Deasy said if all of the district’s employee unions agree to the furlough days — now reduced to six — the district would save about $90 million and eliminate the need to layoff about 80 percent of the school based employees who received notices earlier this year.

Those layoffs are scheduled to take effect June 30.

But Deasy is facing an uphill battle in negotiations with United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing the district’s teachers. UTLA officials have called for the district to eliminate all layoffs and furloughs.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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