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LAUSD Leader: Budget Cuts ‘Just As Real A Threat’ To K-12 Students As Virus

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LAUSD Supt. Austin Beutner discussed budget projections in the wake of the defeat of Measure EE during a press briefing on June 6, 2019. (Kyle Stokes)
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The leader of California’s largest school district issued a stark warning on Monday: proposed state budget cuts could be disastrous for public education.

“The harm children are facing is just as real a threat to them as is the coronavirus,” Austin Beutner, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, said in a video address on Monday:

Cuts to funding at schools will forever impact the lives of children … Why aren’t we able to provide the funding to prevent this from happening? Is it because the harm is silent and unseen unlike the images of overrun hospitals? Is it because children don’t have a voice? Or is it because so many of the families we serve are living in poverty and don’t have access to the corridors of power in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.?

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that a sharp drop in state revenues could force the state to slash funding for K-12 education by roughly 10% — comparable to the hit schools took in the Great Recession — unless the federal government steps in with aid immediately.
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Beutner did not say how badly this cut would hit LAUSD’s bottom line, but he promised details “in the coming days and weeks.” Tomorrow, the L.A. Unified School Board is scheduled to hold its first open meeting in more than two months — and an update on the district’s budget is on the agenda.

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