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Facing Budget Deficit, LAUSD To Consider Layoffs For 609 Employees

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles Unified School District Board, facing a nearly $160 million budget deficit, will consider authorizing layoff warning notices for 609 teachers, counselors and social workers at its board meeting Tuesday.

Included on the proposed list are more than 260 adult education teachers, 59 counselors, dozens of foreign-language teachers and 63 psychiatric social workers.

The board will also consider authorizing notices to "certificated administrators, confidential employees and supervisory employees," along with "all certificated and classified contract management employees with expiring contracts."

State law requires the district to send warning notices to employees by March 15 that they may be laid off or reassigned. Receiving such a notice does not always translate to the employee being laid off. The final number will be determined as budget discussions continue.

"Failure to appropriately notify certificated administrators, confidential employees, supervisory employees, certificated and classified contract management employees in accordance with Education Code provisions and laws, may require the district to continue paying these employees' salaries and benefits at their current rate and classifications," according to a district staff report. "Additionally, the district would be limited in its ability to implement layoff proceedings as required due to budgetary uncertainties."

The district is facing a roughly $158.3 million deficit heading into the 2015-16 school year, according to a staff report.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines has been warning that layoffs are possible in the district, which is in the midst of contract talks with the teachers' union, United Teachers Los Angeles.

UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl blasted the proposed layoff notices the board will be considering tomorrow.

"There's a national civil rights movement to curb the school-to-prison pipeline," Caputo-Pearl said. "Yet, LAUSD is cutting counselors and social workers. There's huge income inequality and a tremendous need for job training for adults. Yet, LAUSD is cutting Adult Education. There's 3,000 classes in the city with over 45 students. Yet, LAUSD is cutting educators to raise class size. LAUSD is simply out of step with the needs at schools."

UTLA has been pushing for a roughly 8.5 percent salary increase for teachers, but the district has offered 5 percent. The union declared an impasse in negotiations last month. Caputo-Pearl has said the district is using a layoff threat as a "scare tactic."

District officials, however, said they have repeatedly asked the union to identify sources of funding that it claims will be available to finance teacher salary increases. It has also offered an independent review of the district's books.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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