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Furloughs Are Better Than Pink Slips Say Some LAUSD Teachers

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Will it be "pencils down" for days, or for good for some LAUSD teachers? (Photo by Norma*Iriz* via Flickr)
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Under pressure from United Teachers Los Angeles, the union representing educators working in the LAUSD, the Board of Education agreed on Tuesday during their regular meeting to postpone voting on proposed layoffs. The Board, in a gesture meant to show alignment with Superintendent Ramon Cortines, decided to pursue meetings and discussions of alternatives with bargaining units, and will bring the motion to the table once more on April 14th.Teachers, who have been engaged in numerous protests at the local district and district-wide level, are optimistic that these upcoming conversations can illuminate solutions to the district's crippling budget crisis that will not cost jobs. One such solution is offering furloughs--unpaid days off--instead of pink slips. While some teachers would be willing to make the sacrifice, this puts them at odds with their union, whose stance is that furloughs violate the teachers' contracts.

Although engaging in talks may be buoying some hopes, the Board cautioned those in attendance at Tuesday's meeting that the decision to postpone the vote on layoffs did not signal layoffs were not going to happen, but that further exploratory conversations needed to take place. "We should absolutely think about alternatives to just eliminating jobs," said Board President Monica Garcia in a televised interview with Fox11 this morning.