Los Angeles School Year Shortened in Teachers Deal

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Unions representing Los Angeles teachers and administrators reached a deal Saturday with the L.A. Unified School District that would shorten the school year by at least five days, as officials cope with a $640 million budget deficit.

Under the agreement, teachers would take five unpaid furlough during the 2010-11 school year and seven next year, saving the nation's largest school district $180 million, United Teachers Los Angeles spokeswoman Marla Eby said.

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines and union officials said the deal would allow schools to maintain class sizes and save over 2,000 jobs, including those of 284 librarians, nurses and counselors threatened with layoffs this summer.

The school district will restore more than 100 school-based administrators positions slated to be eliminated next fall.

In return for the combined 12 furlough days by UTLA members, class size increases planned for next year will not take place, and the students to teacher ratio will be maintained at the current levels.

"Despite the LAUSD's enormous budget deficit caused by California's bleak economic situation, we believe that we have arrived at a reasonable settlement," said Judith Perez, president of the administrators' union.

The tentative agreement must be ratified by United Teachers Los Angeles and Associated Administrators of Los Angeles. Teachers will vote at their schools April 7-9, UTLA said.

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