LOS ANGELES (Nov. 12, 2012) –The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously today to approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to rescind furlough days for nearly 60,000 employees, and for the first time since 2007-08, to implement a full, 180-day, academic calendar for more than 660,000 K-12 students.
Five instructional days will be restored during the second semester of the 2012-13 school year, which had been shortened because of budget cuts. Details will be announced before schools close for the week of Thanksgiving.
The action was made possible by voter approval of Proposition 30, the statewide initiative on last week’s ballot that raises the sales tax by one-quarter percent for four years, and increases personal income taxes on annual earnings of $250,000 and above to provide more funds for public education.
“We heard loud and clear from voters that people do not want more cuts to education,” said Board President Mónica García. “Restoring the academic year and rescinding furlough days are an important step to recovery from our financial crisis. Working together, we are always powerful, and by working together we can win and children benefit. Adelante!”
“Last week, the voters spoke,” said Board Vice President Tamar Galatzan. “We asked the public to pass Proposition 30 and prioritize public education, and they did so. Today, we moved to fulfill our end of the bargain. We voted to reinvest that money in our schools, for our children. As an elected official, it is rare – and satisfying – to be able to move immediately to get taxpayers what they asked for, and our children what they deserve.”
“Our employees are happy and eager to serve our students for the full academic calendar year,” said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. “This valuable time is needed to prepare our students for a bright future. The restoration of instructional time for our kids makes them the true winners!”
Board Member Nury Martinez added: “By restoring the full academic calendar, we are helping working families who rely on LAUSD for a steady pay check or cannot afford to pay for tutoring that would have compensated for their child’s lost classroom time. This is just the beginning of more ways we can leverage Proposition 30 funds to invest in our local schools and create more learning opportunities for our children.”
“The passage of Proposition 30 will bring a significant amount of money to LAUSD for this and the next seven years; consequently, I want more than a simple return to 180 school days,” said Board Member Bennett Kayser. “I ask that the Superintendent and his team come back with a revised budget that puts LAUSD students first, one that among other things reduces class size, restores summer school, provides the counselors needed to support the new A-G graduation requirements, and a lengthening of the school year beyond 180 days.”
Board Member Steve Zimmer said simply, “It’s about time.”
“I am delighted that students throughout our District will benefit from the restoration of instructional time,” said Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. “In this difficult economy, I am also pleased that our employees will not lose as much money as originally projected. This is good news, especially as we approach the holiday season.”
In his remarks to the Board, Superintendent John Deasy said the resolution, which he introduced, honors our employees,” while enabling students to attend classes for a full year.”
Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766