Education

LAUSD moves to protect dual-language teachers from layoffs

Demonstrators protest LAUSD's proposed budget cuts at a rally at L.A.'s Pershing Square on Friday, May 13, 2011.
Demonstrators protest LAUSD's proposed budget cuts at a rally at L.A.'s Pershing Square on Friday, May 13, 2011.
Mike Roe/KPCC

The L.A. Unified School District voted Tuesday to protect its dual language program teachers from layoffs.

More than 250 teachers in L.A. Unified conduct dual language classes, mostly in Spanish, across the district.

School board member Yolie Flores says, "Dual language could include Mandarin, it could be Spanish, it could be Korean, it could be Arabic, and then always with English, of course."

Flores says bilingual classes help students excel. To protect that academic achievement, she sponsored a resolution to protect the school district’s specially trained dual-language teachers from the layoff notices called RIFs.

The proposal compels the district to place dual language teachers who’ve been RIFed at the front of the line for rehiring next month. "Post to the school year of '11 to '12, these teachers would be outright skipped, so they would not get a RIF notice."

Flores says she’s hearing more parents demand bilingual classes. So far, she says, about three dozen exist – with nine new classes in the approval process for the fall.