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Arbitrator rules LA Unified can impose 5 furlough days; school ends early

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An arbitrator has ruled that L.A. Unified can impose up to five furlough days on teachers this school year to save the district $75 million in payroll costs, according to UTLA.

L.A. Unified spokesman Thomas Waldman said the district will impose four furlough days: one will be a pupil free day and three will be taken in June to end the school year earlier, on June 19, for a traditional single-track school schedule. The early start calendar would end May 29, Waldman said. The district will be sending out a letter to parents today informing them of the ruling and schedule changes, he said.

United Teachers Los Angeles said in its statement posted online Thursday that it had requested the arbitration because it believed the district had received adequate state funding and didn't need to impose the furlough days.

UTLA said it is "demanding to meet immediately with LAUSD regarding the decision" and wants the district to reverse 875 preliminary pink slip notices it has sent out with the money the furlough days would bring.

L.A. Unified sent out 9,500 preliminary pink slip notices to teachers and other health and human service professionals in March; hearings for these notices are ongoing.

The district faces a $390 million budget shortfall and has put forward several budget scenarios depending on union concessions such as this arbitration agreement.

District officials said in March that winning the arbitration would free up about $60 million that would allow for a partial recovery of adult education courses and schools to serve roughly 100,000 people.

An additional 45,000 (of the current 53,000) people seeking to recover high school credit or gain some basic job training would also be served.

Waldman could not immediately confirm how much money this arbitration decision will free up or how that money will be used.

This story has been updated.

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

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