Los Angeles Schools to Face Layoffs Following Budget Cuts
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) approved the budget for the next fiscal year, which includes 114 layoffs and 180 reassignments that could lead to pay cuts.
The school district, which is the second-largest in the country after New York’s, passed a budget of $7.5 billion for the fiscal-year 2018. Under the proposed budget, numerous accounting technicians, clerks, and payroll specialists are expected to be let go.
For now, the job cuts do not include any teaching positions.
In addition to the layoffs, the district will also see dozens of accounting staff, clerks, secretaries, payroll specialists, and others being reassigned to new job titles or new locations. Some of them may be facing a reduction in their salaries or working hours.
The reassignments could come in many forms. In addition to pay cuts and a shorter work year, some employees could face demotions to lower positions. The employees with less seniority than the demoted workers could get bumped further downward, to the point where there may be no vacancies left to fill. This could ultimately result in even more layoffs.
The biggest losers, however, will be the school librarians. As many as 30 librarians will lose their jobs under the new budget. As a result, 43 schools in the district will be left without a librarian, since a number of librarians serve at two campuses concurrently. The librarian job cuts account for roughly nine percent of the librarian workforce in the district.
Franny Parrish, a representative of the local chapter of the California School Employees Association, said that the schools may have decided to use the librarian salary funds elsewhere. Some schools within the district have been directing money toward providing teacher’s aides in classrooms, while others have been saving funds to account for a decline in revenue from falling enrolments.
The school district’s financial troubles are a result of rising costs related to employee pension and lifetime healthcare benefits, as well as declining enrollments at the schools.
The district estimates that its revenue could decline by 1.1% this year compared to the previous year. Its overall spending, however, is expected to rise by 6.7% in the same period, thus forcing the district to spend out of its financial reserves.
“LAUSD layoffs proposed as part of $7.5 billion budget,” Los Angeles Daily News, June 20, 2017.
“More than 120 layoffs proposed in L.A. school district budget,” Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2017.