By Barbara Jones, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/GAhddg
10/2/13, 4:14 PM PDT | Updated: 5:22 PM :: San Fernando Valley residents can weigh in next week on Los Angeles Unified’s budget for next year, as the district opens a series of five public hearings on how it should spend an influx of revenue expected from a voter-approved sales-tax hike.
The hearing, from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Daniel Pearl High School in Lake Balboa, will be the first chance for parents to outline their spending priorities for the nation’s second-largest school district. The input will be used as the administration and school board hammer out a budget for 2014-15.
Although a preliminary spending plan isn’t due until December, a rift has already developed between Superintendent John Deasy and some on the school board.
Deasy has outlined a three-year plan to use money from Proposition 30, and a new state funding formula, to give raises to all employees, fund programs for poor students and English learners and pay down a structural deficit estimated at nearly $350 million.
The school board passed a resolution in June setting a list of more than a dozen priorities. They include a return to pre-recession staffing ratios for teachers, administrators, counselors and other workers, along with beefed-up preschool and Adult Education programs and raises of up to 6 percent for all workers.
Officials have estimated it would cost as much as $1.4 billion — money the district doesn’t have — to pay for all of the board’s initiatives.
Similar evening sessions are scheduled for Oct. 9 at King-Drew Medical Magnet in South L.A.; Oct. 10 at the district’s East Educational Service Center; Oct. 15 at Burroughs Middle School in Hancock Park; and Oct. 16 at Dymally High School, 8800 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles.