Students skip school to protest planned teacher layoffs

Several hundred L.A. Unified students skipped class this morning and marched to school district headquarters in downtown L.A. to protest planned teacher layoffs. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Most of the protestors were from Santee High School south of downtown. Chanting and waving homemade signs they marched two miles and circled the 29-story L.A. Unified building.

The school board has voted to lay off thousands of instructors, many of them new teachers. New hires represent a large portion of Santee High's teachers, and ninth grader Maria Del Angel says it's unfair cuts will affect her campus more than others.

Maria Del Angel: I want to be a nurse and a doctor. And we don't have enough education for us right now. That's why we're trying to keep our teachers with us because we really need them, and we cannot let them go like that.

Guzman-Lopez: Schools officials said students should voice their opinions, but shouldn't skip school to do so. Superintendent Ramon Cortines met with student leaders and engaged in a spirited debate about budget cuts. In spite of this and other much larger protests, the school district's likely to move ahead with teacher layoffs and other cuts in the next few weeks.

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