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LA Unified schools may get leeway in how to spend cash for Common Core

Grant Slater/KPCC

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Los Angeles Unified may give principals leeway in how to spend more than a quarter of the $113 million the district will receive from the state to transition to new standards called the Common Core. The board is set to vote on the budget at Tuesday afternoon's meeting.

Under the current proposal, schools would get $70 per student — but principals can only spend the cash on technology, professional development and new materials.

To pay for that flexibility, the plan does away with parent training and some proposed administrative positions that were in an earlier budget. And the district will not pay for substitutes while teachers are in professional development, by and large. The district had originally proposed spending $26.4 million for that purpose. The current budget calls for $4 million instead.

That's the opposite of what the teacher's union wanted. United Teachers Los Angeles had asked the district to spend more money to send teachers to training during school hours.

Principals could use some of their flexible cash for that purpose.

L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy said changes were made based on feedback from the board.

At $40 million, flexible cash for schools makes up the largest chunk of his proposed Common Core budget. Money for teacher coaches is a close second. Deasy proposes to hire 122 instructors to teach school teachers the new standards - at a cost of $24 million over two years. 

The spending will start soon. If the board approves the budget Tuesday, officials said it will go into effect the next day.