With the state proposing to shift more revenue to schools, leaders of Los Angeles Unified's teachers union are demanding the district drop its plans for furlough days and layoffs next year.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy on Thursday proposed cutting the number of furlough days he's requesting from all employees in half, to six next year.
Los Angeles Unified district officials have approved eliminating more than 5,000 educator jobs, and thousands of support staff, like campus aides and officer workers to balance the 2011-12 budget.
Originally officials said 80 percent of all proposed job cuts could be restored if all employees agreed to taking 12 furlough days, although that number has been reduced by Deasy.
This deal could still save some 3,300 teachers,nurses, counselors and librarians.
But United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents teachers, nurses, librarians, and counselors, said Thursday that increased state revenues and additional cost-cutting measures means he could go even further, keeping all staff targeted for layoffs and not requiring any furloughs.
"We need to be convinced at this point of why there needs to be any furlough days at all," said UTLA President A.J. Duffy.
"At this point we want all positions brought back and all class sizes and case loads maintained.
In a statement to members, the union said the state's recently reported $3 billion increase in revenue could bring at least $300 million to LAUSD, which is projecting a $408 million deficit in 2011-12.
The union also believes that the district could realize some $180 million in additional savings by cutting more bureaucratic offices, consultants contracts and some reform programs.
However, Deasy said he was not prepared to plan for a windfall of revenue. State officials have cautioned that the additional revenue depends on a series of tax extensions proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown that must be approved by legislators and then approved by voters in November.
"The district's problems are nowhere near over," Deasy said.
Deasy said after studying the state's new budget plan he has decided to count on the state re-paying $150 million in IOUs that it has previously failed to make good on.
He said the district will also use a combination of budget reserves and unused worker's compensation funds to cover another $60 million, which leaves the district with a deficit of just under $200 million.
But he killed the plan that would have borrowed about $130 million from the district's health and welfare benefits accounts.
Six furlough days would bring the district some $85 million in savings, bringing the gap down to about $115 million.
Deasy said some of that gap, though, would have to be covered with employee lay-offs because it was related to the district's continued decline in enrollment and the expiration of some federal stimulus funds.
"This is a one-year tourniquet used to stabilize the upcoming school year for youth while adults can continue to demand a more sustainable model from Sacramento," Deasy said.
"Right now the economic outlook for the 2012-2013 school year still continues to look bleak and we cannot keep patching with one-time fixes when the basic underlying fact is that we are grossly under-funding our children's education and this must stop."
Deasy also stressed his concern with the state's chronic under-funding of schools.
"I am painfully reminded that California spends on average a little over $7,000 per student a year to educate our youth while we spend on average $58,000 a year to incarcerate a prisoner," Deasy said.
"There is something fundamentally wrong with this math."