LAUSD likely to shorten school year

The Los Angeles Unified School District and school employee unions agreed to a proposal that would cut five days from the academic calendar this year, according the Los Angeles Times.

The proposal is now awaiting approval by the teachers and administrators unions.

Beyond this year, the proposal would cut seven days from the next school year and force employees to take a temporary pay cut.

The move, proponents argued, is necessary to avoid laying off 2,100 employees in the district. In addition to saving jobs, the proposal, if passed, would reduce spending by $140 million. The district already faces a $640 million deficit.

District officials expect the teachers and administrators unions to approve the plan since it maintains current class sizes and saves jobs.

A.J. Duffy, president of the teachers union, has said that the proposal is palatable in that the pay cuts are only temporary.

“If it’s a fair deal, we’re willing to take furlough days,” Duffy told the Times.

Earlier this month, the district sent layoff notices to nearly 5100 employees.

Duffy, however, remains optimistic that most, if not all, of the teachers would be able to return to the classroom.

LAUSD serves just short of 700,000 students and employs nearly 45,000 teachers and another 38,000 classified employees.