Dozens protest against LAUSD mass layoffs

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES Dozens of members from the United Teachers of Los Angeles joined concerned parents and teachers on Tuesday evening at the district headquarters in downtown /*Los Angeles*/ to protest the layoffs.

The district will be letting go of 680 classified workers including office technicians, secretaries, cafeteria workers and custodians.

Nearly 3,700 more workers will be bumped to other positions or have their salaries cut. Many will be moved from one school campus to another mid-semester.

The protesters said the layoffs will result in a negative impact on schools and students.

"We think that this is a bad move for the schools. It really hurts the continuity at the school sites. Schools will not be kept as clean. We're losing the people who actually make the schools run properly with teachers," said Joshua Pechthalt of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Rachel Cuestes, a library aide, is concerned about students because library hours are being cut.

"It's very detrimental to the students. They don't have the whole day to go in," said Cuestes.

Protesters are demanding that the district use money from the federal jobs bill to save these positions.

Superintendent Ramon Cortines said last week that the $103 million the district was awarded by the federal jobs bill was set to save more than 2,000 jobs next year and using it now would be irresponsible.

The district is dealing with a $142 million deficit.

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