LAUSD facing more cuts after statewide election

Public school administrators say California voters' rejection of a school funding ballot measure this week will mean more budget cuts. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: State Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell said he got the message from the ballot box.

Jack O'Connell: I certainly understand the frustration, indeed, anger of the electorate.

Guzman-Lopez: Nearly two-thirds of voters rejected Proposition 1B, the education funding payment plan measure. L.A. Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines said that'll mean $130 million in immediate cuts, on top of more than $300 million in cuts for the next fiscal year budget. Cortines said the school district is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Ramon Cortines: When I talk about the precipice, I talk about being able to make the payroll in this district.

Guzman-Lopez: To balance its budget, L.A. Unified may eliminate summer school this year, cut some after school programs, and ask employees to accept unpaid days off and salary freezes. Teachers' union president A.J. Duffy said he may be okay with those concessions.

A.J. Duffy: We are committed to continue to negotiate and to talk to the district.

Guzman-Lopez: But not before administrators cut their own budgets, he said. Pomona College politics professor David Menefee-Libbey said school districts in the state run lean central offices. He blamed Sacramento for failing to provide for public schools' long-term stability.

David Menefee-Libbey: Under Davis and especially under Schwarzenegger we've borrowed from the future to pay for the current budget, and now we're running out of that option because we can't borrow money anymore. So, we're sort of out of gimmicks, and I think the voters have sort of thrown up their hands.

Guzman-Lopez: Now it's up to superintendents and school boards in California's 1,300 school districts to carry out cuts to their classrooms.

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