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LAUSD Delays Budget Cut Vote, Seeks Alternatives

LAUSD's board of directors has asked Superintendent John Deasy to provide alternatives to a $557 million budget cut proposal that would have eliminated the district's elementary arts program.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has delayed a vote on a $557 million budget reduction plan, requesting instead that Superintendent John Deasy return with alternatives that save jobs and prevent program cuts, The Los Angeles Times is reporting. 

From the Los Angeles Times

... the board directed Supt. John Deasy to work with his staff and teacher unions to develop a proposal that avoids eliminating these and other programs.

The extra time will allow the parties to consider new state budget information, said board member Steve Zimmer, who proposed the delay.

As previously reported on Patch, the board was prepared to consider three potential "budget balancing" options. Option A would have called for the board to make no cuts, and bank on receiving $557 million in proposed state and local revenue initiatives. In the second option, the board would have made $194 million in cuts, while using $362 million in new revenue sources to address the district's ongoing structural deficit.

Through the the third option, in which the district would receive no new revenue sources, the board would haved needed to make $557 million in cuts, including the $18 million elementary arts program.

The elimination of the arts program would result in the layoffs of 203 full time employees.

Other cuts would have resulted in increased class sizes, reductions in funding for gifted and talented programs, adult education programs and after school youth services programs, among others.

Next Steps

The board has called on Deasy to prepare a revenue generating parcel tax referendum, which would need to be voted on before being placed on upcoming June, November, or March 2013 ballots, the Times reports. 

The board also gave Deasy the go-ahead to prepare layoff notices for non tenured early education teachers and support staff, a required precaution should cuts need to be made before the coming school year.

Parent Impact

In the weeks leading up the vote, the county-based arts advocacy group Arts for L.A. urged parents to contact LAUSD's board of directors to protest the proposed budget cuts.

On Wednesday, Arts for L.A. was asking parents to thank them for the action they had taken.

From Arts for L.A.

Congratulations, advocates.  The LAUSD School Board has amended their budget proposal and requested alternatives to the elimination of arts education.  This is step one in a budget process that will take several months.

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