Teachers, parents and supporters rally as the Los Angeles Unified School District board meets to consider budget cuts and layoffs.
The L.A. Unified school board will vote Tuesday on removing the parcel tax from the November ballot after Superintendent John Deasy requested the district postpone its fund-raising effort until after the election, a district spokesman said today.
The board approved placing the parcel tax on the ballot in March. It was supposed to help the district close its budget shortfall and provide reliable education funding in light of the constant state cuts. But over the last few months the November ballot has grown crowded with initiatives asking voters to raise taxes.
Last week Deasy expressed worry that this would jeopardize approval of Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative.
"We run a risk of having too many measures before the public," Deasy said in a statement
He said it is important for voters to focus on Brown's initiative, which will increase sales tax and income tax on higher earners. If Brown's measure does not pass, education will face a roughly $6 billion cut under the governor's proposed budget.
LAUSD school board member Steve Zimmer
On Tuesday, while a judge is due to issue a final ruling on whether the LAUSD is abiding by a state law requiring the use of student performance as a factor in teacher evaluations, a few miles away at L.A. Unified headquarters, school board member Steve Zimmer will introduce a resolution to reject the use of academic growth over time as a system for measuring such progress.
"Academic Growth over Time" is a measurement system developed by the district using state test scores that forms the basis of its current pilot program involving 700 teachers, who have volunteered to try having student progress included as a measurement in their evaluations.
The district's attorneys used the roll-out of the AGT system as an example of how it is working to abide by the 40-year-old Stull Act, which requires student performance be part of teacher evaluations, in the case Doe vs. Deasy.
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Hundreds of protesters gathered outside L.A. Unified headquarters downtown as the board met inside to discuss the district's dire budget picture. (March 2012)
L.A. Unified's classified workers have voted to approve an agreement on 10 furlough days for the 2012-13 school year to save about 6,000 union jobs and $40 million in district spending, a union official said today.
"They did accept to take the 10 furlough days next school year. That will move forward," said SEIU Local 99 spokeswoman Blanca Gallegos. "In terms of any additional cuts that will be impacted by the governor's initiative" to raise taxes on the November ballot.
"So there was a really strong commitment to take part in that election, because a lot hinges on that," Gallegos said. She said the votes were tallied Saturday. The L.A. Unified school board will vote on this agreement and a tentative agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles for 10 furlough days at its board meeting Tuesday.
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Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy
A judge tentatively ruled today that the Los Angeles Unified School District is not abiding by a 41-year-old state law that requires student progress be included as a measure in teacher evaluations.
Both parties will be in court Tuesday to make their arguments in Doe vs. Deasy before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant. Chalfant will then issue a final ruling.
“The District does not currently comply with the Stull Act's requirement that teachers and principals be evaluated by the progress of students toward District standards, however measured, and by the progress of students toward State standards as measured by the CSTs. The District must do so, and a writ will issue compelling this task," Chalfant writes in his ruling.
The suit was filed in November by the Sacramento-based nonprofit EdVoice on behalf of seven unnamed parents.
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School psychologists (L-R) Jimena Delpozo, Lynn Elias and Diana Socier take part in an education budget cuts rally and protest at Pershing Square on May 13, 2011 in downtown Los Angeles, California.
The Los Angeles Unified School District and teachers' union have reached an agreement to have teachers take 10 unpaid days off in 2012-13 for a savings of more than $100 million, district officials said late Friday.
The agreement still needs to be approved by the school board Tuesday and United Teachers Los Angeles in the coming week, said John Bowes, assistant chief human resources officer.
"If the UTLA membership ratifies the agreement it will allow us to bring back over 4,000 teaching jobs," Bowes said. "...So this is a good solution for both sides. It allows the district to help solve a critical fiscal challenge and puts more teachers back in classrooms with students."
A union spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the agreement, teachers would lose five days of instruction, one of their two pupil free days used for professional development, and four paid non-work days, Bowes said.