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New LAUSD superintendent faces $400M deficit, layoffs on 1st day

April 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Major issues are already on John Deasy's plate as he officially steps into the role of Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent Friday.

Deasy faces a $400-million budget deficit and thousands of employee layoffs. Facing these challenges, the new superintendent says he has a plan.

He is proposing a series of steps aimed at saving $304 million in the upcoming school year. This would include requiring district employees to take an average of 12 furlough days each, borrowing approximately $100 million from the health and welfare fund, and borrowing another possible $60 million from various other accounts.

This would put the district in a $700-million budget deficit for the following year, but Deasy said it would also save 80 percent of the jobs currently on the chopping block.

Deasy also talked about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's humorous statements in his State of the City address, in which the mayor referred to Deasy as "Bill Bratton with a ruler."

"It was a humorous statement being Bill Bratton with a ruler. I think it was obviously a compliment. He was an amazing police chief, one who drove the system through the use of data, high expectations and support," said Deasy.

Deasy said that like Bratton, he plans to move LAUSD quickly with the use of data, facts and support for his staff.