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Superintendent of Schools Ramon Cortines and other members of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education meet to discuss a proposal to eliminate thousands of jobs in hopes of closing a $718 million budget gap April 14, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Budget woes still continue to challenge the district.
The Los Angeles Unified School District barely made it through the 2009 – 2010 school year without having to undergo major teacher layoffs and cutbacks—thanks largely in part to over $100 million in federal stimulus money, the district was able to hold onto 12,000 jobs over the past two years. And still 4,700 employees will have been laid off, with a future that seems bleaker and more uncertain. Staring down a projected state budget deficit of $28 billion and out of federal stimulus funds, the LAUSD superintendent is warning of furlough days, spending cuts and more layoffs. The district is still facing an ongoing deficit of $142 million, making budget cuts through some means all but inevitable. Teachers unions are gearing up to push back against these cuts and 2011 threatens to be a very contentious year. How can L.A.’s public schools thrive under these difficult circumstances?
Ramon Cortines, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District