LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Board of Education has approved a $7.8-billion budget that brings to mind Charles Dickens’ well-known passage: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

It’s a good time for teachers: The budget provides the first salary hikes in nearly a decade. That includes a 10 percent raise for teachers and administrators over the next 18 months.

The budget adopted Tuesday reflects an $850-million increase from last year.

But it also delivered a blow to instructors, announcing plans to layoff hundreds of staff members. Adult education was hardest hit and is scheduled to lose 261 teacher positions.

And another 94 teachers positions will be cut  in elementary and secondary schools.

School Superintendent Ramon Cortines says he hopes additional state funds might become available and allow the district to rehire many employees.

Meanwhile, Cortines has announced that he’ll be stepping down in six months, saying he’s done everything he needs to do.

The 82-year-old is a veteran district leader, who’s served the board twice before, took over this time after Superintendent John Deasy was pressured to step down.

A district spokesperson said the news came as a surprise.

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