Federal Stimulus Helps LA School Close $140 Mil Budget Cuts

Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , ,

Los Angeles Unified officials said they can make up for a recent $140 million cut in state funding by using federal stimulus money - but they'll feel the pinch next year.

The $140 million cut, the equivalent of closing seven high schools, follows Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's weekend veto of a bill that would have temporarily retained special funding for school districts that serve low-performing students.
Those funds, totalling $400 million statewide, were initially taken away in July by lawmakers who argued the school districts could use stimulus money to make up the difference.

While LAUSD plans to use stimulus money this year to cover the $140 million cut, officials say they might have to accelerate cuts that are not budgeted to hit for another two years.

"This is a crisis averted but delayed," said Megan Reilly, LAUSD's chief financial officer.

"It creates a bigger hole for us next year."

The cut could mean that the elimination of full-day kindergarten and arts and music classes - or further increasing class sizes across the board - could come as early as next year rather than in the 2011-12 school year.

In justifying his veto of Senate Bill 84, designed to delay the $400 million in cuts to low-performing school districts, Schwarzenegger said districts could use some $355 million in accelerated stimulus money to cover virtually the entire shortfall.


Post a Comment