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LAUSD To Sue Calif. Over $38M In Cuts To Its Transportation Program

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to file a lawsuit against the state Wednesday in hopes of blocking $38 million in cuts to its transportation program.

The cuts are part of a new budget plan announced Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown, who says state revenue fell $2.2 billion short of projections.

“They’re not good,” Brown said of the cuts. “It’s not the way we’d like to run California, but we have to live within our means.”

While primary education was mostly spared, Brown announced $248 million in cuts to the state’s school transportation budget, which LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy says is too steep for districts to absorb.

“There’s this consistent disinvestment in public education, but I think what we’ve reached now is a new low, where we’re just simply not going to tolerate not caring about kids any longer,” LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy told CBS2. “The LAUSD cannot withstand further budget cuts without adversely impacting the educational benefits offered to its student.”

The district cannot terminate its school bus program because the majority of the services were mandated under a 1981 court order requiring desegregation programs, including the busing of about 35,000 students. He noted that state and federal law also requires the district to provide transportation to 13,000 other special needs students.

“Due to the combined mandates, the trigger cuts force the district to choose between two illegal and unconstitutional outcomes,” Deasy said. “It must either terminate its transportation services in direct violation of the court order — and state and federal law — or divert precious classroom dollars from its general fund to pay for the required transportation services.”

Roughly $100 million in funding to the California State University and University of California systems will also be slashed.

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