LAUSD needs to meet now with labor groups to ‘save the district,’ board member says

LA Unified urgently needs a sit-down with union representatives to make sure everyone is on the same page about the budget before the district falls off a fiscal “cliff,” longtime school board member Richard Vladovic said at Tuesday’s board meeting.

“Our labor partners see the budget differently from the way we do, and I would like to see the chief financial officer talk to our labor partners. Because when I talk to labor partners, and they may be right, they say we have more money than we say we have or we don’t spend it correctly,” said Vladovic, who celebrated 50 years in education this year and is serving his third term on the board.

“We are all one family, and if we don’t do this, we will all crash together,” Vladovic said. “This is a way to save the district.”

Acting superintendent Vivian Ekchian agreed to work on getting a meeting arranged for next week.

The call for a meeting came on the eve of protests held Wednesday at more than two dozen schools by United Teachers Los Angeles, according to pictures posted on the UTLA Twitter account with the hashtag #UTLAPicket4Power. Wednesday and Thursday are also bargaining negotiation days, according to the teacher union.

The school board passed a $7.5 billion budget for the 2017-18 school year, but those costs, combined with other long-term expenses like pension contributions, threaten the district’s solvency. By the 2019-20 school year, the district faces a $422 million deficit. Click here to read more: