Nearly 800,000 off on L.A. Unified's furlough day

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Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

L.A. Unified shut down for its first district-wide furlough day. The Fernandez brothers, Kevin, right, Angel, and Victor attend district schools and spent the day skating.

The Los Angeles Unified School District shut down today as part of a budget-cutting agreement with district labor unions.

It was supposed to be a regular school day today for nearly 700,000 students and 70,000 employees at the L.A. Unified School District.

Yvette Fricks lives across the street from Gardena High School. Her son’s in 11th grade there so she knows it wasn't a regular school day.

"He would have been in school today, need to be in school," she said.

She said she’s frustrated with L.A. Unified’s decision to cut school days.

"I don’t see how we’re helping society by educating our kids appropriately," she said.

Her son Jerret said he’d hoped to take it easy.

"It’s just a day off from school, I’ll take it as a vacation," he said.

His mom is making him do work, "if cleaning my room is work, yeah."

A drive up the Harbor Freeway, near Manual Arts High School in the USC area, the Fernandez brothers - seventh grader Angel, ninth grader Kevin, and 11th grader Victor - said they planned to spend the whole day off from school doing ollies, kick flips, and other tricks on their skateboards.

Kevin and Victor couldn’t agree on whether that’s was a good idea. "It’s pretty bad because you can’t get an education," Kevin said. Victor answered, "it’s kind of good, because you get free time and stuff."

They considered heading to Watts and stop along the way near stairs and railings to practice their skateboard gymnastics. "Hours and hours," Kevin said it takes to get to a relative's house.

No matter what time the Fernandez brothers skate back home, L.A. Unified still faces a multi-million dollar deficit.

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