San Jose Mercury News – 21 April
AP LOS ANGELES—Administrators have overwhelming approved an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District that would shorten the school year this ...
LA Times LA Now blog
April 21, 2010 -Administrators have overwhelmingly approved a deal that would shorten the school year this year and next, officials announced Tuesday.
The pact will reduce the number of employee layoffs in the Los Angeles Unified School District and, with other measures, will forestall some class-size increases.
About 55% of eligible administrators cast ballots and 91% voted to accept a school year reduced from 180 to 175 days, said Judith Perez, president of Associated Administrators of Los Angeles. Administrators will also forgo two paid days next year when students are not at school.
Negotiations with L.A. Unified also resulted in the preservation of eight small elementary schools that would have closed, Perez added. In addition, the district backed down from mandating part-time principals at 34 elementary schools with fewer than 300 students, she said.
“This is the best agreement we possibly could have reached given the economic situation faced by California and the school district.” Perez said.
For each surrendered day, administrators lose about half a percent of their annual pay, said district spokeswoman Lydia Ramos.
Earlier, district teachers had approved a similar pact, resulting in a combined $140 million in savings toward projected budget deficits of $640 million for next year and $243 million the year after.
Despite the wage concessions, hundreds of employees still face losing jobs.
LA Times LA Now blog
21 April -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday threw his weight behind legislation that proposes to give school administrators the ability to assign or fire teachers based on their effectiveness and to streamline the educator dismissal process.
Schwarzenegger made similar suggestions during a speech in January. State Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) sponsored the bill, which is scheduled to be introduced to the Legislature on Wednesday.
At a news conference Tuesday at Markham Middle School in Watts, Schwarzenegger said that California's schools need to operate more like private companies that can make personnel decisions based on merit rather than seniority, which is currently the only measure public school administrators can consider during layoffs.
That "means the best and most committed...teachers are getting laid off while ineffective teachers are allowed to keep their jobs," he said.
Because of California's budget woes, districts throughout the state have issued preliminary layoff notices to thousands of younger, less experienced instructors.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in February on behalf of students at three of Los Angeles' worst-performing middle schools, including Markham, which were forced to lay off dozens of teachers last year. The suit claims those students were denied their legal rights to an education and aims to prevent the Los Angeles Unified School District from laying off more teachers there.
Teachers unions officials have vowed to fight the bill, saying that it amounts to an attack on teacher tenure and would hurt the state's ability to recruit and retain educators.
-- Jason Song
Photo: "Sweet" Alice Harris, left, gets the crowd to react as Markham Middle School teacher Nicholas Melvoin addresses a news conference following Schwarzenegger's introduction of SB 955. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Daily Sundial - Alexandra Brell - 21 April
The focus of the project is to address the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) lack of qualified special education teachers who serve in schools ...
Imperial Valley News - 21 April
... against the Los Angeles Unified School District's (LAUSD) teacher layoff practices that are disproportionally hurting low-income and minority schools; ...
San Francisco Chronicle - Christina Hoag - 21 April
The schools are the subject of a lawsuit by the ACLU of Southern California, which claims the Los Angeles school district is violating students' ...