Thursday, June 18, 2009


 a cheap shot from smf/4LAkids: 32 bullets, right through the heart of public education


from the PowerPoint presentation from senior staff to the Board of Education @ today’s meeting

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) pays its bills almost entirely with money from the State.  As a result, California’s deepening budget crisis has required severe budget reductions.

An overview of California’s financial crisis.

  • Worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has created massive unemployment and budget deficits for governments across the country.
  • More than 706,000 Californians have lost their jobs in the past 12 months.
  • Huge drop in corporate, sales, personal income, property, and other taxes has impacted Sacramento.
  • Voters rejected the bailout measures on the May 19 ballot.

Public education is suffering because of this crisis.

  • “California schools are grossly underfunded. California’s public schools ranked 47th among states in per pupil funding and at the bottom quartile in spending as a percentage of per capita personal income – and that was before losing over $5 billion in ongoing, core instructional funding.
  • “California ranks last among the states in the number of school staff per student. California would need to hire 96,000 additional teachers, 9,000 administrators, 42,000 librarians, counselors, nurses, instructional aides and 66,000 janitors, bus drivers and security guards to reach the NATIONAL AVERAGE in student to staff ratios.”

Source: Education Management Group, a coalition of school districts, county offices and statewide associations

this just in:

Ramon Cortines gets emotional over LAUSD cuts

3:20 PM | June 18, 2009

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines fought for composure twice this morning when discussing upcoming budget cuts.

The district must cut about $132 million from this year's budget before July because of reduced state funding due to the economic crisis and L.A. Unified's declining enrollment. The district has already chopped almost $560 million this year and has issued about 2,500 preliminary layoff notices, mainly to elementary school teachers, and virtually eliminated programs like summer school.

The school board is scheduled to vote on the cuts, which will mainly come from further program reductions, next Tuesday.

"I want you to know that some of the recommendations I have made ... go against my core beliefs and values," Cortines said as he appeared to tear up.

He had to pause to regain his composure later in the meeting as well.

Union officials have vigorously protested the cuts and urged the district to use more federal stimulus money to save jobs and protect class size. Teachers union leaders held a demonstration several weeks ago to protest the budget and sat in the street in front of district headquarters, resulting in almost 40 union members being arrested.

A small splinter group of teachers has also been conducting a water-only fast in protest.

-- Jason Song at LAUSD headquarters LA Times blog



The Entire PowerPoint

Budget Presentation 061809 FINALv4


We have taken multiple cuts from Sacramento.

Our ratio of employees to students has also contributed to our challenge.

In addition, we have not changed our workforce calendar to 10 months to match the decline in schools that operate year round.

Finally, we support our employees, but we need to acknowledge the tradeoffs that we are making.

  • Even as revenues have declined, through the Health Benefits Committee, the District followed the unions’ lead to prioritize improving LAUSD’s health benefits package. Over the course of three years, the District’s concessions will have added $216 million in benefits costs to the operating budget (all funds).

Our goal has always been to protect the classroom.

Our Approach

  1. Leverage new revenues – Stimulus Funding
  2. One time items (delayed textbook purchases)
  3. Non-labor reductions (consultants, travel, etc.)
  4. Hiring freeze
  5. Right Size Central Office & Local District
  6. Program Reductions
  7. Borrowing (Certificate of Participation, Worker’s Compensation fund)
  8. Priority is to minimize the impacts on the classroom

Federal Stimulus Breakdown


$312.1 Million - Title I (Economically Disadvantaged) funds are split 50/50 between fiscal years. Funds must be used for Title I purposes only. LAUSD must share a portion of the overall funds (or services) with local private or charter schools because money is allocated by the number of poor children that live in the area, not only the number that attend LAUSD schools.

$151.6 Million - IDEA (Special Education) funds are split 50/50 between fiscal years; a portion will go to general fund.

$513.2 Million - Fiscal Stabilization—Money is to be used for programs such as Title I-Economically Disadvantaged, Title II-Teachers, Title III-English Learners, and other federal education purposes or reforms.

Of the 60% we are allowed to use to reduce the deficit we have been able to prevent 6,500 job losses.

To balance the 2009-10 budget, we tried to spare the classroom by reducing consultants, delaying purchasing and freezing discretionary expenditures

  • Reduced outside contractors and consultants = $38 million
  • Delayed purchasing new math ($29.5 million) and English Language Arts ($70 million) textbooks
  • Used savings from Workers’ Compensation fund
  • Used ending balances and flexibilities from frozen programs
  • Froze all travel costs
  • Froze facility rental expenses

Since March 15th we have been proactively able to save 6,326 jobs.

  • We have been able to accomplish this through early retirement, school repurchases, Title I stimulus, decentralized programs, and resignations.

94% of our certificated workforce will have jobs next year.

91% of our classified workforce will have jobs next year.

Budget deficit solutions for 2009-10: $143.3M

  • Cancellation of elementary and middle summer school and intersession, and limited high school classes = $33 M
  • Transportation cuts across the board = up to $16 M
  • Central office streamlining = $17.3 M
  • Moving some non-school staff to a 10 month calendar= $12 M
  • Deferred maintenance = $25 M
  • Categorical program reductions = $40 M

How else can unions help?

  • Work together to educate the community about the need for a parcel tax
  • Jointly advocate in Sacramento for legislative changes & no more cuts to education
  • Promote higher employee attendance rates
  • Freeze step and column (automatic raises)
  • Most Central and Local District office employees switch from year-round work schedule to B-Basis (10.75 months) work pay schedule = ~$21 million (As a result of fewer year-round schools.)
  • Unpaid non-work days, also known as furlough days. One day = ~$15 million
  • Salary reductions 1% = ~$40M

What can parents, guardians, and communities do to help?

  • Learn about why LAUSD needs a parcel tax
  • Lobby state and federal elected officials personally and in writing
  • Encourage perfect attendance for students and teachers
  • Volunteer to work in our schools
  • Contribute to LAUSD’s non-profit Educational Foundation to support individual schools or programs

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