By Matthew Harang
The California budget crisis is being felt throughout the state in all sectors of government. The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to layoff over 7,000 faculty members in local schools, the L.A. Times reported. Other school districts across the state are being forced to make cuts, as well. These cuts will inevitably result in larger class sizes, less one-on-one interaction between students and teachers, and a decrease in the overall level of education in the public school system.
Realizing the potential impact of these cuts, students from several local schools participated in planned walk-outs on Friday, March 18, 2011. According to KTLA News, pupils from Manual Arts High School in South L.A., Hamilton High School in West L.A., and Belvedere Middle School in East L.A. were among those who walked out of classes to show support for the teachers and faculty that have committed their professional careers to teaching and mentoring schoolchildren in the name of education.
LAUSD is facing a budget deficit of $408 million for the 2011-12 year, so cuts are inevitable. Sources report that all of the 7,300 teachers who received pink slips earlier this month are not likely to be let go; the number of faculty members who are laid off, however, is likely to be significant. Some schools are sending around petitions to try to limit the number of cuts made.
According to the district, all of the protests Friday were peaceful. It seems that students just want to explore every avenue possible to preserve the jobs of the educators seeking to enlighten the youth of L.A. In the midst of the budget crisis, it is important for decision-makers to find ways to make budget cuts that will have a limited impact on the quality of our education system.