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Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Tells District To Brace For Impact

A man in a suit sits in a blue and yellow play house surrounded by young children.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho visiting Glassell Park Early Education Center on April 7, 2022.
(Mariana Dale
/
LAist)
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Ninety-nine percent of teaching jobs in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be filled by the time the academic year starts next week, the superintendent said Monday.

Fewer than 200 classrooms across LAUSD have yet to be staffed with a credentialed teacher, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said — a better mark than in pre-pandemic years, he added.

The LAUSD leader's comments followed his first ever back-to-school address to district administrators, in which he also warned of tough times ahead. Carvalho noted that many students enter the year behind in their classes.

Officials also confirmed that the district’s rosters are smaller this year than last, meaning LAUSD’s trend of enrollment decline will continue.

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That enrollment decline jeopardizes LAUSD’s state funding — and while huge infusions of federal emergency pandemic aid are keeping the district flush with cash in the near-term, the deadline for spending that money is less than two years away.

“We are looking at a much different, potentially darker future as it relates to investment in public education,” Carvalho told the assembled administrators.

He also promised bold actions this year to address looming financial and academic challenges. He outlined a series of actions aimed at closing academic gaps, finding students who are missing from school, and investing in improved facilities.

“We must overcome the gravitational pull of the status quo because it’s no longer sufficient, if it ever was,” Carvalho said in his speech, which he delivered without a lectern from the stage of L.A. Live’s Microsoft Theater downtown, with the aid of a sleek multimedia presentation meant to drive home his message.

Both in his speech and his update to reporters afterward, Carvalho also said he hopes to move quickly to reach a contract agreement with United Teachers Los Angeles, the district’s teachers union, whose last contract expired at the end of June. While he declined to give a timetable for reaching an agreement, he also noted that he’d like to avoid a protracted negotiation.

What questions do you have about K-12 education in Southern California?
Kyle Stokes reports on the public education system — and the societal forces, parental choices and political decisions that determine which students get access to a “good” school (and how we define a “good school”).