Teachers, School Workers and Parents Applaud Rep. Waters for Her Efforts to Prevent LAUSD Job Cuts
California Chronicle Congressional Desk | The Congressional Desk provides information, news, and announcements obtained from governmental and communications offices.
April 02, 2009 — Los Angeles – Teachers and other school workers as well as parents of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) thanked Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) for her leadership in efforts to prevent job cuts proposed in the district´s budget for next year. Congresswoman Waters initiated a letter to members of the LAUSD Board of Education seeking a delay in any move towards layoffs, and eight of her colleagues who represent other Congressional districts where LAUSD students and employees live signed on to express their support.
When the letter was read at the school board meeting this week, a crowd including teachers, other school workers and parents of students rose to give it a standing ovation. They breathed a sigh of relief after Superintendent Ramon Cortines and the board postponed a decision on job cuts for next year.
"Students are our future leaders, and we must be committed to providing them the best education possible," said Congresswoman Waters. "Laying off teachers would result in more crowded classrooms, and eliminating the jobs of cafeteria workers, clerical workers and custodians would have a negative impact on the learning environment of our students. I am pleased that the school board heard our call and decided not to enact harmful job cuts now, especially at a time when unemployment in California has already soared to its highest level in more than 25 years."
Congresswoman Waters and her colleagues pointed out that in the recently enacted economic recovery package, Congress provided significant funding to help school districts like LAUSD struggling to meet budget shortfalls. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) established a $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund which can be used to restore state education cuts, prevent teacher layoffs, prevent other education cutbacks, and renovate public schools, among other purposes. LAUSD will likely receive some of this funding once the state of California determines how to distribute its portion of ARRA funds.