May 22, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

LAUSD students return to school today

 

The nation's second-largest school district commences its 2014-2015 academic year today. (Thinkstock)
The nation’s second-largest school
district commences its 2014-2015 academic year today. (Thinkstock)

Students in the nation’s second-largest school district will return to school today as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) begins its 2014-2015 school year despite lingering labor negotiations with the teachers union.

The school district and United Teachers Los Angeles, the union that represents the district’s teachers, have failed to settle on issues such as salary, staffing and class size reduction, UTLA representatives said after an Aug. 6 bargaining session.

UTLA is requesting a 17.6 percent raise for teachers while the district is offering a 2 percent one-time bonus for the completed 2013-2014 school year and a 2 percent raise for the current school year. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Aug. 21, nine days after classes begin.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy plans to mark the new school year by visiting 11 campuses over the next two days to welcome new principals, greet students and tour school construction sites, according to LAUSD.

School board members Monica Ratliff and Bennett Kayser, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino are also scheduled to visit various schools in the district.

During his annual address to school administrators on Aug. 5, Deasy said improving graduation rates is a top priority this school year, calling on teachers to individually reach out to students in need. Deasy said the district will also focus on graduating students to be college- and career-ready.

As many children begin walking to school this week, the Los Angeles School Police Department is reminding motorists to stay alert around schools and allow for extra travel time as traffic increases around school arrival and dismissal times.

Los Angeles School Police Chief Steven Zipperman said his department will partner with local law enforcement agencies to step up enforcement of school zone speed limits and school bus yielding laws.

The Fix LA coalition is also highlighting student safety, calling on city leaders to restore crossing guard jobs lost during the recession.

According to Fix LA, one-third of elementary school intersections identified by the city as eligible for crossing guards go unguarded. Coalition leaders said that the city currently employs 363 crossing guards compared to 576 guards in 2008.

This year’s enrollment statistics will not be available until the end of the month, school officials said. More than 650,000 students enrolled in LAUSD schools during the 2013-2014 school year.

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