Even as the Los Angeles Unified School District is in the midst of a historic building boom that includes the massive and still-rising campus at the site of the Ambassador Hotel in Koreatown, Superintendent Ramon Cortines announced Monday that school hiring is being put in a deep freeze.

He made the decision in light of the district's $60 million deficit this year and a possible $480 million shortfall for the next school year. More than anything else Cortines blamed the state's dismal budget situation (he cited a $21 billion deficit for next year) and decreasing tax money flowing to local districts.

Cortines said: “I am placing a freeze on the hiring and filling of vacancies; travel, conference and convention attendance; procurement of contracted professional development services; the rental of non-district facilities and the purchase of catering or refreshments to be served at employee meetings.''

The super said the freeze does not apply to classroom teachers, principals, and school police and other key positions.

That building boom? Likely to continue … for now.

LA Weekly