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‘No One Left To Lay Off': LAUSD ‘Doomsday’ Scenario Looms

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District on Wednesday warned of more layoffs and a shortened school year if voters reject the proposed tax increases on Election Day.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports that while school staff is prohibited by law from arguing for or against ballot measures, that hasn’t stopped them from describing a so-called “doomsday” scenario for the district.

In a carefully worded briefing to the school board’s Budget Committee on Tuesday, Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly predicted major layoffs and program cuts without the much-needed cash infusion from Propositions 30 or 38.

Prop. 30 would raise the state sales tax by a quarter percent over the next four years, while also increasing taxes on earners making $250,000 or more over the next seven years. Prop. 38 would raise taxes on those making at least $7,300 beginning in 2013-14 and could generate up to $10 billion in revenue.

Reilly warned the state education system is currently “running on fumes” and “either the state has to get more revenue or there have to be cuts…one of the other has to give.”

Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated that if the tax measures fail to pass there would be immediate education cuts of $6 billion and districts would have to shorten the school year by 15 days – effectively ending the school calendar in April.

That would cut the school year from 175 days to 160 days and could mean $255 million less – or $439 per student – for LAUSD.

Standing outside district headquarters, Superintendent John Deasy said a defeat at the ballot could render the LAUSD unrecognizable one year from now.

“Fifty-two percent of the people in this building are gone; 10,000 people have lost their jobs in the last couple of years,” Deasy said. “There’s no one left to lay off.”

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