There is good news and bad news from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). On the one hand, it managed to save some early childhood and adult education programs, and to rescind 4,700 lay-off notices. Class sizes will also remain the same instead of being increased. However, the length of the school year was cut by five days.
This is the outcome of an agreement with the LAUSD that was ratified by the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) on Saturday. The savings from a total of 10 furlough days a year makes a huge difference in the district’s dwindling coffers.
There is no question that these savings help to maintain valuable services and resources that were about to be eliminated for all students, no matter their age. And, it is so essential that they avoided laying off teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians.
However, cutting days of the school year leaves a bitter aftertaste to LAUSD’s resolution of its budget crisis.
Yet again, as in previous years, adults protect their jobs at the expense of teaching time for students. This is especially telling given that the academic challenges among LAUSD students are as significant as the economic ones.
We believe there should have been another kind of resolution to the crisis, one that didn’t cut into the time students have learning in the classroom.
It is great that students have been protected from the impact of more cuts in expenses, but the loss of days in the classroom goes against the priority, which should be student learning.