Patt Morrison for June 18, 2012

LAUSD’s incredible shrinking school year

James F Clay/Flickr

An empty classroom.

United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) voted Friday in favor of a tentative one-year agreement with LAUSD that reverses 4,700 layoff notices and keeps some programs LAUSD planned to cut, including Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, and SRLDP (School Readiness Language Development Program).

Class sizes will also remain at current levels for the 2012-13 school year, instead of being increased by 25 percent, but all of that is in exchange for furlough days that could potentially lead to 5 fewer school days in the LAUSD academic year. If these new cuts are approved, the number of days cut from the academic year over the last four years could wind up being18 days. The move may save some teacher’s jobs, as well as art classes, but would put extra pressure on parents to juggle childcare and supervision for the days their kids aren’t in school.

WEIGH IN:

And how would academic achievement suffer as a result of a shorter school year? Can teachers condense all the necessary lessons into a shorter year? Where can the district turn for cuts in the already-austere budget?

Guests:

Brandon Martinez, assistant professor, clinical education with USC Rossier School of Education

Scott Folsom, former president, Los Angeles 10th District Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA)

Valerie Davidson, secondary arts teacher, LAUSD’s Peary Middle School, Gardena; she’s taught in LAUSD since 2001 and was pink slipped in March; her positions was not included in UTLA’s agreement Friday

Gillian Russom, history teacher, Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights


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