So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Hundreds of protesters line streets before LA Unified board meeting

protesers LAUSD board

Tami Abdollah / KPCC

Protesters gather outside LAUSD board meeting on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. One mom (left, in red) Katherine Donapetry, was there to support early education for her two daughters, noting that parents had tried raising money. "We don't know what else to do."

Hundreds of protesters lined the street outside L.A. Unified's downtown headquarters today to speak out against proposed budget cuts that would eviscerate the adult and early education programs as well as funding for programs such as Academic Decathlon.

Katherine Donapetry stood outside with other parents from Vanalden Avenue Early Education Center in Reseda to protest cuts that would eliminate such a program. Donapetry has a 5-year-old and 2-year-old daughter.

"My 5-year-old...it's done great things for her. She's ready for kindergarten," Donapetry said. "I want hte same thing for my little girl, and all the children after."

Donapetry said parents have worked to raise funds, volunteer and even help clean the school grounds.

"We don't know what else to do," Donapetry said. "Everytime they cut somebody, another parent walks in to help."

The board meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and Superintendent John Deasy will present details on how the district plans to deal with a $390 million shortfall for its $6 billion budget. The deficit has been adjusted down from $557 million.

Also on the agenda will be a proposed $298 parcel tax to raise revenue for the district and possibly minimize necessary cuts. The fate of thousands of teachers hangs in the balance as preliminary pink notices to more than 11,700 workers have already begun to be sent out, district officials said. Notices must be received by March 15.

In addition to the budget-related items, the board will vote on two resolutions related to the employee discipline process in response to the flurry of reported sex-abuse over the last months.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams). Follow her on Twitter for instant updates.

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