School district layoffs likely despite Governor's budget protections

Governor Jerry Brown has proposed protecting the state’s kindergarten-through-high school budget for the next fiscal year. L.A. Unified School District are moving forward with layoffs.

The governor wants to protect state funding to public schools by passing a June ballot measure that would extend three statewide taxes. L.A. Unified Superintendent Ramon Cortines e-mailed district employees on Thursday that the district is preparing a best-case scenario budget in case the measure passes - and a worst-case scenario budget with up to $440 million in cuts if the measure fails.

"More than likely it will mean layoffs. Independent of what the governor is trying to do to save education, LAUSD has its own budget challenges to resolve," said LA. Unified spokeswoman Lydia Ramos.

The challenges include the loss of federal economic stimulus money, Ramos said. Lots of other school districts are in the same situation, according to Rick Pratt of the California School Boards Association. "Having to make next year’s budget decisions by March 15th, just on the side of caution and prudence that districts hope for the best but be prepared for the worst," he said.

Because school districts are required to inform teachers of layoffs by March 15th, Pratt says, that could mean districts could send thousands of layoff notices throughout the state.

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