Cortines flashes the knife
Duffy, fulminous; photo by moi.
Sacto going this long without a budget makes for great School Board theater. New LAUSD Supe Ramon Cortines came out smiling with a dagger behind his back. The smile was seen throughout his presentation of a hundred-day plan that he calls "practicality." It emphasized doing good and the American way.
Board prez Monica Garcia asked if his plan was "bold" enough and was quickly forgotten, as the district's chief financial officer Megan Reilley then drove the dagger into teachers and property owners alike, calling her fiscal plan for coping with Sacto "flexibility."
With Office of Government Affairs wonk Santiago Jackson in tow, Ms. Reilley especially vilified Sacto Republicans as she presented a one-and-a-half year plan that calls for assessing parcel taxes, getting the State Legislature to lower the bar for passing such taxes to 55%, and makes provisions for laying off hundreds and even thousands of non-tenured positions. Also on tap are raising classroom size from 20 to 25 on K-5 students.
Naturally UTLA union prez AJ Duffy blew a gasket to a dozen media outside, asking why it's always the teachers, the firemen, etc., rather than the administrators that are on the chopping block. Even while Jackson put the "flexibility" plan's chances for passing at 75%, it didn't seem like anyone in the room was happy with it; and wait until everyone hears about another parcel tax on another Angeleno pol's wish list.
UPDATE: George Sanchez of the Daily News stuck around long enough for the 4-2 board vote to authorize Cortines' 2,300 teacher layoffs if need arises. There's your "flexibility": the right of the district to lay off as many teachers as it needs to make budget by June 30.