KPCC News In Brief

Cortines defends summer school cancellation due to budget cuts

At an L.A. Unified news conference today Superintendent Ramon Cortines defended his decision to eliminate summer school for more than 200,000 students this year. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has more.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Sacramento funding cuts have already forced the district to slice more than half a billion dollars from its current budget. The red ink keeps flowing. By cancelling summer school, L.A. Unified will save $34 million. The district will still have to cut more than $100 million elsewhere. Superintendent Ramon Cortines doesn’t relish the task.

Ramon Cortines: How would the public deal if it was their own home, that if they got a bill on the latter part of May, that they had to make a payment on July 1 and didn’t have a savings account to do that? And that’s what’s happened to this district.

Guzman-Lopez: Cortines spared a summer school program for about 74,000 high school students short of graduation credits. He said he fears for the safety of some students who won’t have a place to go to this summer. Without offering specific suggestions, Cortines suggested that more taxpayers take action to protect vital services like public schools.

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June 2009

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