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LAUSD Board Approves Teacher Contract, Despite Financial Concerns From County

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved a new labor contract with the teachers' union Tuesday, despite a warning from the county that the agreement "is not sustainable on an ongoing basis."

The county Office of Education, which oversees the finances of local school districts, found that the contract with United Teachers Los Angeles "relies heavily on one-time funding sources and projected revenues'' and would exhaust the district's financial reserves below legal requirements within two years.

"It really concerns me about the policies at LAUSD and whether there is any good faith," said LAUSD parent Ani Pereira-Sekhon.

The agreement included a raise for teachers, lower class sizes and more support staff like nurses.

"We're all going to have to come together in that '20 to '21 time frame," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

School board member Nick Melvoin said in order to keep the funding for schools, cuts need to be made on pensions and health care for future hires. Currently it's lifetime benefits with no premiums. He's suggesting giving new teachers something up front with a modest premium.

"We could do that and actually support our young employees by paying them more," said Melvoin.

The current health care plan was negotiated separately from the labor contract and finalized in January 2018. It's set to expire in 2020 when the county says the district will face a budget shortfall.

"We shouldn't take that away from them," said Pereira-Sekhon. "We should keep it for them and then find sustainable measures to get more funding allocated to these philosophies."

Also on Tuesday, the LAUSD school board approved a motion calling for a state study on the impact of charter schools on public school districts, and asking for an eight-to-10-month moratorium on new charters in the district until the study is completed. The resolution was part of the new contract agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles.

Thousands took part in a protest against the moratorium on charter schools in Los Angeles.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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