That would virtually eliminate librarians and school nurses, increase class sizes in fourth through eighth grade to a potential high of 44 students in middle school, and boost counselor loads to 1,000 students each.
The layoff notices were recommended by LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who said that while he hoped to negotiate with employee unions to reduce the number of layoffs he was forced to plan for the worst-case scenario to keep the district solvent.
“To deny children access to librarians goes against everything education stands for. One thing is to keep the LAUSD solvent. It is another story to cut librarians as if they were a frill. The level of literacy keeps dropping while school basics are being cut. There is no budget to buy books while the level of reading keeps getting worse. At Lincoln High School's Library, there are no Spanish authors in the Latin American Literature section. It is time we as a community stand for our children and defend the most honorable professions”
Gregg Solkovits, secondary vice president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said that while union officials understand the district's desperate financial situation, they also want to make sure the district has not spent money wastefully or on inappropriate priorities.
"We recognize that LAUSD's funding has been severely cut, but we also know that this district has a long history of misplaced priorities and wasteful spending," Solkovits said.
Davina Ferreira is calling upon the private and public sectors to join forces to save libraries in Los Angeles Public schools.
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