LAUSD is talking once again about drastic cuts in an attempt to try and balance their books, books which have otherwise been shaved as bare as possible, and which look to be primed for even more vivisection.
from teh Los Angeles Times:
The Los Angeles Unified School District has developed stark new plans including larger class sizes, layoffs and early retirement incentives to deal with a worsening state budget situation.Yikes!
District officials -- already in the process of identifying $400 million in cuts for next year -- almost certainly will have to reopen this year's budget and find about $200 million to $400 million to meet an anticipated shortfall. The budget-cutting is becoming a painfully familiar routine: Officials had to eliminate 680 jobs just to balance the books last June.
"It was hard enough to do that, so doing it again, in the middle of the school year" could be chaotic, said Megan Reilly, the district's chief financial officer.Ya think, Megan?
The budget included four unpaid furlough days for employees -- to shave off about $55 million -- without negotiating the furloughs with employee unions. Officials hoped for an improved state budget situation that would render the furloughs unnecessary. Instead the opposite has happened. A worsening economy could result in midyear cuts to the district's $8.6-billion budget, even under a proposal -- backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- that would include new taxes.
Statewide, the governor has called for $2.5 billion in midyear cuts to schools; the impact would be doubled, in effect, because the school year would be half over before the cuts could be put in place.
"I have not talked to one superintendent yet who has enough wiggle room to come up with that kind of cut," said Scott Plotkin, executive director of the California School Boards Assn. "I was on the phone with one superintendent who doesn't know how she would do this without closing schools in May rather than June. I've heard others talk about closing on Fridays. This would constitute the first year-to-year reduction in dollars for schools in California since the Great Depression."You can read the rest of the article here.