L.A. to Carry Deficit Rather Than Dismiss Teachers

By Stephen Sawchuk — January 26, 2009 1 min read

According to this story in The Los Angeles Times, the district has decided to keep all its teachers on the payroll for the time being. Earlier this month, it looked like up to 2,300 teachers could lose their jobs mid-year.

But $500 to $600 million will continue to need to be cut from next year’s budget, which means jobs are still going to be on the line. Officials are hoping that 2,000 early retirements will naturally help lower the number of teachers in jeopardy of the pink slip.

The story explores a couple of interesting scenarios that suggest where districts across the country might be headed over the next few years if the financial situation doesn’t improve: Teachers’ union officials, the story says, have considered trying to persuade the district to fully fund schools until the state money runs out. In what would apparently be a game of “chicken” with the state legislature, the union hopes that political pressure might cause the state to step in with additional appropriations. Business leaders, on the other hand, have floated the idea of allowing the district to go bankrupt so as to weaken the power of the union contract.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.