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Local News in Brief : Vote on Cost Cutting in Schools Put Off

The Los Angeles school board postponed until March 27 a vote on a series of motions to cut district administrative costs, including eliminating the superintendent’s $90,000-a-year chauffeur-bodyguard. The motions by Westside board member Alan Gershman are aimed at “clearing the decks” of issues that he says have impeded teacher contract negotiations.

The motions seek to cut central office administration 10%, make any budget cuts the board deems necessary to meet its wage offer to teachers by March 30, eliminate board members’ field representatives and do away with the position of Supt. Leonard Britton’s driver-bodyguard. In several months of tense contract negotiations, teachers have voiced outrage over what they regard as the district’s bloated and overpaid administration.

United Teachers-Los Angeles, the union to which 22,000 of the district’s 32,000 teachers belong, contends that the school district has enough money in its $3.5-billion budget to meet teachers’ demands for a 21% pay raise over two years. The district is offering a 20%-24% increase over three years.

The union’s members are scheduled to vote in their schools today on whether to accept the district’s offer.

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