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Layoff-warning notices authorized for 4,000 teachers in Los Angeles

02-16-2011 15:47 BJT

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education on Tuesday authorized layoff-warning notices for more than 5,000 employees, including more than 4,000 teachers.

The move came as result of a worsening budget deficit, which is estimated at 408 million dollars in the coming school year, officials said.

According to the LAUSD, most of the affected employees would receive notices no later than March 15. A separate notice would have to be sent by June 30 to notify employees if they would actually lose their jobs.

Those who will receive the warning letters include 3,109 permanent elementary teachers and 975 secondary/single-subject teachers, along with 456 permanent support-services personnel, including counselors, social workers and nurses, the LAUSD said.

Three district staff attorneys will also receive notices.

The board also authorized sending layoff notices to 10 non-permanent elementary teachers and 391 non-permanent secondary/ single-subject teachers, informing them they will lose their jobs effective June 30.

Similar notices will be sent to 104 non-permanent support-services workers, including social workers, counselors, nurses and school psychologists.

The notices don't necessarily mean all of the employees will lose their jobs for the 2011-12 school year, but the district by law must notify workers that their positions are in jeopardy, Deputy Superintendent John Deasy said.

"We must plan for the worst because it just might happen," Deputy Superintendent John Deasy wrote in a memo to the board and Superintendent Ramon Cortines.

"In planning for the worst-case scenario, we will be noticing many employees that their jobs may not be available next year. The total number of employees that will receive notices is a function of our worst-case scenario planning and other changes affecting our budget, such as declining enrollment and the ending of federal stimulus funding."

The exact number of layoffs will likely depend on whether voters back statewide budget-balancing measures Governor Jerry Brown hopes to put before voters this summer, according to the local daily Beverly Hills Courier.

Negotiations with the various district employee unions could also affect the number of layoffs, the paper said.

On Tuesday, the board also approved a budget-balancing plan that included, in addition to layoffs, deep cuts in programs due to lack of funding from the state government.

A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) -- the union representing LAUSD teachers, urged the board to make cuts in places other than classrooms.

"UTLA is here to speak in favor of our students," he said. "Our children get one shot at a good education. Every time class sizes are raised or caseloads for health and human service professionals are raised you put a dagger in the heart of public education."

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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