LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted Tuesday night to slash the school police budget by $25 million, or 35%.
L.A. School Police Department (LASPD) officers will also be required to give up their uniforms and patrol off campus, the Los Angeles Times reports. The cuts will also lead to the layoffs of 65 officers.
It’s unclear if officers will be required to be unarmed.
The $25 million will be diverted to other school programs to better support students, especially students of color, according to officials.
LASPD is one of the largest independent law enforcement agencies for a school district in the nation. It has 410 sworn police officers, 101 non-sworn safety officers and 35 support staff.
The amendment to the district’s budget passed 4-3 with President Monica Garcia, Vice President Nick Melvoin and board members Jackie Goldberg and Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez voting in favor. Board members George McKenna, Scott Schmerelson and Richard Vladovic voted against the item.
The reduction was included in the board’s approval of the district’s overall $8.9 billion budget, which Superintendent Austin Beutner addressed in a statement.
“This budget reflects our commitment to do all we can to help students continue to learn while dealing with the impact of the pandemic,” he said. “We expect this interim budget will need to be revised when the state provides updated school budget information later this year.”
Last week, the board voted against a proposal that would have cut the budget by 90%. Community groups who opposed it at the time raised safety concerns about school shooting threats, campus violence, thefts and other crimes.
Also last week, the union which represents LAUSD teachers voted in favor of completely eliminating LASPD.
— L.A. Unified (@LASchools) July 1, 2020
LAUSD officials said they expect to make adjustments to the adopted budget as the level of state and federal funding for California’s largest school district can expect becomes clearer.