This morning a judge has ruled that 30,000 UTLA members can strike on Monday, January 14th, in the event that a deal between LAUSD and teachers is not reached by then. An agreement seems highly unlikely since the district has offered several proposals but none that UTLA found viable.
The divide between the district and UTLA is about $3 Billion dollars wide! UTLA insists that the district should use its reserves to avoid a strike. On the other hand, the bad news came from Los Angeles County of Education (LACOE) just yesterday in the form of an official notice that LACOE will appoint fiscal watchdogs to oversee the struggling district.
Nick Melvoin, LAUSD Board Member tweeted the following message this morning regarding the LACOE decision:
“It’s true that we have almost $2B in reserves, but we’re projected to spend >90% of it in the next 3 yrs. LACOE is right to be concerned; I’m concerned too. I look forward to working w their experts to right our financial ship, not just for the next 3 yrs, but for decades to come”
We also just received notification that LAUSD Board of Education has scheduled yet another 11th hour board meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Friday the 11th.
***UPDATE THIS AFTERNOON (1/10/2019)***
We received some very promising news from the office of the Superintendent at LAUSD. The Governor released his budget for 2019-2020 with some new funding that could help with contract negotiations to avert a strike on Monday. Austin Beutner made comments on social media regarding tomorrow’s offer and though the governor’s budget must first be approved by the legislature, Superintendent Austin Beutner said he is revising LAUSD’s offer to UTLA in hopes of averting a strike. “The state’s giving us a few more nickels,” he said. “We’ll make sure those go right into the classrooms.” Beutner also tweeted the following from his twitter account:
Among the highlights from the Governor’s Proposed Budget is increased per pupil funding. See the budget here:
Feature from the budget:
Largest K-12 Education Per-Pupil Expenditure in History
The funding guarantee for K-12 schools and community colleges in 2019-20 is $80.7 billion — a new all-time high with per-pupil expenditures now nearly $5,000 higher than just 7 years ago. The Budget also funds critical work to build a longitudinal data system to better track student outcomes and increase the alignment of our educational system to the state’s workforce needs.
The Budget also includes $750 million one-time General Fund to address barriers to full-day kindergarten. About one quarter of students enrolled in kindergarten do not have access to a full-day kindergarten program. This investment will put California on a path for all kindergartners to attend full-day kindergarten.
*To address the rising costs of CalSTRS pensions and provide immediate relief to districts, the Budget proposes a $3 billion one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund payment to CalSTRS on behalf of schools (the employers). Overall, this payment is expected to provide immediate relief to school districts and will reduce the out-year contribution rate by half a percentage point.
The Budget reflects $576 million in Proposition 98 General Fund to support expanded special education services in school districts with a high concentration of special education students.
*(This will help school districts all over California)
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