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LA school board to consider hiring laid off staff

Steve Zimmer
Steve Zimmer
Christopher Okula/KPCC

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Saying years of staff cuts are affecting overall school conditions, Los Angeles Unified board member Steve Zimmer wants to use new state money to re-hire staff and reduce class sizes in the district.

L.A. Unified is estimated to receive an extra $188 million next year under California's new local control funding formula. The school board is tasked with deciding where to funnel the money - but must justify to the state how the funds will help English-learners, foster kids and low-income students.

Zimmer will pitch the idea at the January board meeting, along with two other labor restoration resolutions.

It's uncertain how the rest of the board will respond. The board is divided politically and the most reliable pro-labor voter, Margarite LaMotte, passed away last month.

Superintendent John Deasy opposes the move. His office put together figures that suggest there is not enough money to go around.

According to the district's budget impact report, bringing kindergarten through fifth grade classes down to the national average of 21 students would cost the district $230 million - a price tag that more than gobbles up the $188 million in new funds.

California Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a template for districts later this month.