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LAUSD to sue state over 'trigger cuts' to budget

December 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The Los Angeles Unified School District will sue the state after Governor Jerry Brown announced new funding cuts Tuesday that will dramatically affect home-to-school transportation.

Chanting "no bus, no future," students walked out of Bravo Medical Magnet High School toward a LAUSD school board meeting.

The district says due to a $38-million mid-year cut by the state, the school busing program will shut down in the spring. That could leave 35,000 students, including 13,000 kids with special needs, without a ride.

District leaders do not agree with the cuts. They say they're constitutionally required to provide transportation to desegregate schools.

"The superintendent and the Board of Education tomorrow will immediately file a lawsuit that supports our students in schools and act aggressively to halt the devastating cuts," said LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy.

Those cuts are automatically triggered because state leaders' original budget projections came in about a billion dollars short, causing so-called "trigger cuts."

"You can't provide money you don't have. And that's really the point here: You either cut or you tax, there's no third way," said Gov. Jerry Brown.

Community college students will likely see their tuition increase $10 a unit.

About $100 million will be cut from the University of California and California State University systems.

Republicans insist tax increases aren't the solution.

"We have proven yet again and again that those tax increases were not needed to balance the budget," said Assembly Budget Vice-Chairman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber).

"It's affecting us deeply and our kids are the ones who suffer," said Belmont High SAGE Academy Principal Felipe Caceres.

"If we don't educate them properly and get them the right information that they need, the correct information, and the outlets that they need, what's going to happen to our society?" said B.J. Gillis, a teaching assistant at Belmont High School.

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