Reporting Juan Fernandez
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Unified School District board approved a budget-balancing plan Tuesday that would save the majority of school programs if furlough and salary agreements can be reached with labor unions and if voters support a $298 parcel tax.
“Our class sizes, our counselors, our nurses, it provides a portion of adult ed., it provides a portion of early childhood, it provides also support for our police,” said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.
The plan would save for the time being adult education classes, early childhood classes and would mean no increase in class size for grades 6, 7 and 8.
Superintendent Deasy said that more could be saved if the teacher’s union agrees to a pay cut in the form of furloughs of up to four days per teacher.
“We have been taking furloughs and it’s leaving the children without someone to teach them that day,” said teacher Rachel Vasquez
“It is not fair to assume that the first solution for any problem is to go to the employees and have them make sacrifices,” said Warren Fletcher, UTLA President.
The superintendent said even more could be saved if L.A. voters approve a $298 parcel tax come November — an idea that voters have said no to before.
“Everything is a hard sell in California; no one actually wants to fund public education. And that’s why we’re going to produce a revenue stream that Sacramento cannot cut,” Deasy said.
One thing Deasy would like to cut is the number of district layoffs.
Already 11,000 layoff slips have gone out, but that number could be slashed if state funding is finalized.
Those numbers would come from the governor’s office by May.
Deasy said that the finalized plan is just a bandage over a wound and that if more money is not brought in, the 2013-14 school year could also be in jeopardy.