L.A. Unified debates $408 million budget cut

File photo: LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
File photo: LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
David McNew/Getty Images

The seven members of L.A. Unified’s board of education debated Tuesday budget cuts that include preliminary layoff notices to about 7,000 district educators. Superintendent Ramon Cortines told the board he’s worried these cuts will affect district-wide academic improvements.

"Over the past two years we have reduced our budget by $1.5 billion. We have done everything in our power to minimize the impact on our students. However, with this additional $408 million deficit our students will definitely be impacted through increases in class size and the loss of essential services and programs," Cortines said.

The board is forced to adopt these preliminary cuts to meet a layoff notification deadline. There are a lot of moving parts at play. The district in talks with its labor unions about concessions and Gov. Jerry Brown has pledged a statewide vote on extending some taxes to help out public schools.

A final school district budget and layoffs is expected sometime this summer.