The last few months have seen a barrage of announcements on education budget cuts in states and school districts teetering under the recession. Now comes news that the nation’s second-largest school district, Los Angeles, could be laying off as many as 2,300 teachers.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the state deficit has created a shortfall of at least $250 million in the school district’s nearly $6 billion budget, prompting officials to propose sending layoff notices to 1,690 elementary school teachers and 600 math and English teachers in middle and high schools.
Teachers most likely to lose their jobs would be those with less than two years of service, even as tenured teachers are spared. The cuts would save the district $60 million.
Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines told reporters Tuesday that he hoped to limit the number of layoffs that might be required. But, he added, “we will be bankrupt if I do not do this.”
The United Teachers Los Angeles, which has already been on the warpath in recent months over proposed cuts in health care for district employees, has promised to fight the cuts, and will hold a meeting to discuss them Jan. 13.
Stay tuned for more.
Meanwhile, has anyone heard this one? Fayette County in Georgia is asking teachers to voluntarily give up their recent pay raises to cut costs and possibly avoid layoffs.
Talk about creativity under stress.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.