Sunday, December 21, 2008

LAUSD Statement on State Freeze on Funds for Public Works Projects

For Immediate Release	
Contact: Shannon Haber Dec. 19, 2008
(213) 241-4575


Los Angeles (Dec. 19, 2008)- Sacramento is betraying the children of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) by freezing state funds that have already been approved for projects ranging from construction of new schools to upgrades of the oldest campuses.

The District had planned to get $833 million in state funds for projects that have already been approved and construction started. Without the promised funds, the District could be required to stop work on projects currently underway and the ability to go forward with the $1.5 billion in construction
contracts planned for 2009 would be in jeopardy.

"We absolutely need these funds, because turning off the spigot would paralyze the District's ability to complete these urgent projects," said Superintendent David L. Brewer III.

Based on the dire nature of this threat, the District is beingpro-active and making plans to try to sell more local bonds earlier than expected to avoid these catastrophic issues. This will only work if there are buyers, given
the nation's financial crisis. The District will not know the answer to this until late January.

"Delaying our children's ability to get back the education they deserve in two semester neighborhood schools is unacceptable and we need to take action," said Guy Mehula, head of the District's facilities program.

"These economic times are not the time to eliminate jobs," said LAUSD Superintendent-elect Ray Cortines. "We should be encouraging our legislature to find other solutions for the students of the Los Angeles Unified School District and continue to infuse the local economy with jobs."

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Contributed by Facilities News

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