Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CURIOUSER+CURIOUSER: On television this morning Superintendent Cortines seemed to say he would resign if the Board of Ed didn’t agree to his budget and staff reduction proposals. They didn’t… but don’t expect that resignation just yet.

Video from KNBC:TV  Cortines: “I am tired of this District being run by hundreds of e-mails.

“If they (the Board of Ed)  have lost  confidence in me then its time for me to go. After a year of putting this budget in place, it’s not just a difficult decision – it’s the only decision.”

follow the timeline:

LA school board to cut $730 million

Los Angeles Times – 9:59 AM | March 31, 2009 

Groups representing parents, employees and other interest groups are expected to pack the district headquarters of the Los Angeles Unified School District ...

LA school board puts off vote on huge layoff

San Diego Union Tribune - 4:42 p.m. March 31, 2009

The board previously approved sending notices of impending layoffs to nearly 9000 employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District but has not ...

LA school board delays vote to layoff 8500

San Francisco Chronicle – 6:11 PM| March 31, 2009

By CHRISTINA HOAG, The Associated Press

4:42 p.m. March 31, 2009

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Board of Education has put off a vote on whether to lay off thousands of teachers and other workers because of a huge budget deficit in the nation's second-largest school district.

Crowds of teachers and support workers packed the board room Tuesday and demonstrated loudly outside.

The board previously approved sending notices of impending layoffs to nearly 9,000 employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District but has not implemented them.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines says the district will go bankrupt without the layoffs. But when a board member indicated the decision might be put off for a month, he asked that it only be delayed to April 14. Cortines said he will meet with all the district's unions to discuss alternatives including salary cuts and furloughs.

The district faces a $718 million budget shortfall.


LA Unified cuts $140.6 million from budget

Los Angeles Times | By Howard Blume
6:44 PM PDT, March 31, 2009

The Board of Education postponed a decision on cuts for next year's budget, which could cost thousands of jobs. They'll revisit the issue April 14.

Los Angeles Unified School District officials Tuesday approved $140.6 million in budget cuts, but postponed a more difficult decision that could have cost thousands of jobs. At a packed meeting marked by demonstrations and impassioned speeches, the Board of Education acted on only one of two measures recommended by Supt. Ramon C. Cortines.
The one that passed without dissent balances the books for L.A. Unified's current school year, in part by using new legal flexibility to transfer money originally set aside for other purposes. The school system will also rent fewer buildings, among other measures, to fill holes in the nearly $6-billion budget.

But the board and Cortines postponed a decision on $596.1 million in additional cuts for next year that Cortines had previously described as essential to act upon quickly. Employee groups and parents have been pressuring board members over more than 8,500 potential job losses as well as the larger class sizes and reduced services that would result.

Facing a reluctant school board, Cortines offered more time to explore alternative solutions, which probably would mean unpaid days off or outright pay cuts, he said. Such measures would require concessions from employee unions. Some unions are ready to discuss furloughs to save jobs, but not the teachers union, whose leaders said that new, one-time federal stimulus funds and other actions could cure the deficit.

meanwhile, back at the beach….

Venice parents rally against expanding principal's role

10:31 AM | March 31, 2009

Several dozen parents were protesting this morning what they said was a proposal to make the principal a part-time administrator at Broadway Elementary School in Venice.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is proposing that the school’s principal oversee several schools in the area, according to the parents.

“We need a full-time principal because our school is a full-time school,” said Rocio Hernandez, a mother of three boys who attend the school in Venice’s Oakwood neighborhood.

Cars passed along Lincoln Boulevard honking their horns in support as a parent beat a drum and others waved placards that read: “No 1/2 Time Principals,” and “A Whole School Needs a Whole Principal.”

LAUSD officials have said they face difficult choices in cutting the budget to deal with a fiscal crisis facing the district.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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