LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Hearings are underway Monday before an administrative law judge to determine whether the Los Angeles Unified School District can go forward with laying off more than 600 employees.

LAUSD issued layoff notices to 609 teachers, adult education instructors, counselors and psychiatric social workers last month because of a potential budget deficit.

“The way it works is, even if you don’t know what your budget will ultimately be, you must send layoff notices prior to March 15,” said Justo Avila, the district’s chief human resources officer.

Just last week, the district and teachers union reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that calls for more than 10 percent in raises. School district spokesman Thomas Waldman says they are hoping for more money from the state.

“We are hopeful, that in April and May, as we look at tax revenues and the state, where the economy is doing pretty well, that we will have revenues to be able to boast, implement the agreement with UTLA and – we hope – bring back these teachers who have received the layoff notices,” Waldman said.

Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of UTLA, says he believes the governor’s revised budget will provide the money needed to keep the 609 employees.

“We are calling on LAUSD to rescind these layoffs and do what families need,” he said.

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