L.A. Unified plans to impose all five furlough days on teachers as allowed by an arbitration ruling earlier this week and is in negotiation with the union for additional furloughs next year, district officials said today.
An arbitrator ruled earlier this week that L.A. Unified can force teachers to take up to five furlough days in order to help offset drastic cuts to state funding and the district's $390 budget shortfall.
UTLA has maintained the district had enough money to make it through the school year without the need for furloughs.
Four furlough days will break down into one pupil free day, with the remainder in instructional days this year; as a result, the school year will end three days earlier on June 19. The district is in negotiation with the union about when the fifth day will be applied and about additional days for the 2012-13 academic year, district officials said.
The four days are equivalent to a $60 million payroll savings to the district, officials said. The additional savings from the fifth furlough day depends on when it will be taken (this year or next) and the number of employees it will therefore apply to, according to the district. Officials could not comment further on the ongoing negotiation.
Superintendent John Deasy wrote a note to parents today informing them that he will shorten the school year by three days so that it ends on June 19. The fourth furlough day will apply to a pupil free day, when teachers typically do non-instructional work such as professional development, parent conferences, planning and other preparation.
Teachers will be taking furlough days for the third year in a row, said UTLA spokesman Marla Eby. Hearings are ongoing regarding the roughly 9,500 preliminary pink slip notices sent out to teachers and other health and human service professionals. Some of these notices may be reversed depending on district savings from the furloughs, Eby said.
Eby said 2012-13 would be the fourth year teachers would be asked to take furloughs in order to save their colleagues' jobs.