Jason Song in LA Times/LANow | http://lat.ms/fO95jL
February 11, 2011 | 6:35 pm - Los Angeles school officials unveiled a plan Friday to send preliminary layoff notices to more than 5,000 teachers and other staff members to help close a projected budget gap. This is the first time that the nation's second-largest district will protect some campuses that previously had been hit hard by layoffs.
The district is facing a nearly $400-million budget shortfall and is required by law to warn employees that they could lose their jobs by March 15. The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the matter Tuesday and must approve sending final notices to employees by mid-summer.
If approved, the notices would go to nearly about 4,500 teachers and 600 support staff, including social workers, nurses and counselors. The notices are issued strictly on seniority.
Forty-five campuses will be exempted from the layoff notices because of a recent court ruling that found some low-performing urban schools had been unfairly affected by large numbers of layoffs. Notices that would have gone to instructors at those campuses will be spread out at other schools.
The court ruling only named three campuses that would be shielded by layoffs. The rest were chosen by Los Angeles Unified School District officials.
Teachers union president A.J. Duffy criticized the move Friday and urged district officials to find other ways to balance the budget.
"This large number of proposed layoffs shows that LAUSD has clearly abandoned its all-too-frequent, and hollow, promise to 'keep cuts away from the classroom,' " he said in a statement.