L.A. school superintendent Ray Cortines only climbed down a few hundred today from his original recommendation of cutting nearly 8900 teacher and support staff jobs to close a massive budget hole. (For 2009-10: $596.1 million; for the remainder of this year: $140 million.) The roughly 8,400 layoffs he's proposing will take place in June and will probably be authorized by the L.A. Unified School District Board next week. The decision occurred against a backdrop of nearly continuous protest by the United Teachers Los Angeles union, which demonstrated today outside the board's meeting -- on the same day a tentative contract agreement had been announced between UTLA and LAUSD.
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Nearly two months ago Cortines had, under great pressure from UTLA and parents, put off making mid-term cuts, which would have telescoped the teacher-student classroom ratio. Now, even with $1 billion in stimulus bullion heading his way, Cortines says he must still pull the plug. The school district claims it has, since June of last year, made $427 million in budget cuts. According to the Daily Breeze and other sources, 4,700 teachers will be laid off under Cortines' plan.