By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Daily News
18 May 2010 -- A Los Angeles Unified School district official hopes to block further layoffs at local schools based only on seniority and is expected to introduce plans today that would launch negotiations with labor organization to end the state-mandated and union contract required practice.
The move follows an injunction issued last week that blocked further layoffs at three South Los Angeles middle schools during the 2010-11 school year, this after civil rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit in February against the district and the state of California over job cuts at these campuses. The groups said that the high numbers of less experienced teachers working at these inner-city schools would result in high turn-over that would deprive students at the campuses to their right to an equal education.
LAUSD board member Yolie Flores is expected to introduce a motion at today's school board meeting that would require district officials to launch negotiations with the local teacher's and administrators union to change firing policies in their contracts so that other measures besides seniority can be used to determine which workers must be laid off during budget cuts.
Flores also asks district officials to support legislation proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that seeks to change the state's education laws that mandate end the use of seniority when laying off teachers and administrators and urges LAUSD staff to explore other avenues around the seniority rules that could prevent further disruptions at schools.
While district officials have maintained that they have no control over how they fire teachers, because of union contract rules and state laws, Flores said she feels the time to "change the rules" has come.
"This is not beyond our control, we have to take control," she said.
The school board is not expected to vote or discuss the motion until a board meeting later this month.