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L.A. Unified OKs deal to shorten school year

Pact to shorten school year by five days will reduce district layoffs and prevent some campus closures, officials say.

April 20, 2010|By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Administrators have overwhelmingly approved a deal that would shorten the school year this year and next, officials announced Tuesday.

The pact will reduce the number of employee layoffs in the Los Angeles Unified School District and, with other measures, forestall some class-size increases. Administrators will forego two days of pay next year when students are not in school.

The agreement will shorten the school year from 180 to 175 days.

Negotiations with L.A. Unified also resulted in the preservation of eight small elementary schools that would have been closed, said Judith Perez, president of Associated Administrators of Los Angeles

In addition, the district backed down from mandating part-time principals at 34 elementary schools with fewer than 300 students, she said.

"This is the best agreement we possibly could have reached given the economic situation faced by California and the school district," Perez said.

Perez said she was especially pleased by the district's reversing course on closing schools and sharing principals among schools.

Among One of the schools spared was Clifford Elementary in Echo Park, which is among the higher-rated schools in California, based on test scores. Clifford has consistently enrolled fewer than 200 students in recent years.

Three small schools were not spared, said Perez: Bellevue Primary Center in Silver Lake, the Kindergarten Learning Academy in Van Nuys and West Valley Special Education Center in Lake Balboa.

West Valley's anticipated closure has sparked an outcry among parents of disabled students.

howard.blume@latimes.com

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