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Los Angeles Unified Approves Budget That Addresses Current Realities and Ensures Future Sustainability (06-25-24)




News Release




June 25, 2024


Los Angeles Unified Approves Budget That Addresses Current Realities and Ensures Future Sustainability


Los Angeles, CA (June 25, 2024) – The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education today approved the 2024-25 budget after months of deliberation, planning and preparation. The budget is informed by engagement with Los Angeles Unified stakeholders through the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) development process and empowers student achievement, budgeting with equity and urgency.


This budget:


  • Aligns funds to implement Strategic Plan Priorities and Strategies in order to reach the District Goals – postsecondary success, literacy, numeracy and social-emotional wellness.
  • Empowers student achievement by addressing the immediate requirements in schools and monitoring progress to pivot strategies as necessary.
  • Ensures an equitable distribution of resources.
  • Maintains staffing levels necessary to support students across the District and targeting interventions for our highest-need students.
  • Does NOT reduce School Equity Needs Index (SENI) or Black Student Achievement Plan (BSAP), reduce arts funding, lay off employees, reduce English Learner supports, reduce Community Schools investments, reduce mental health supports, reduce Adult Education investments, or increase health and welfare costs for employees, their dependents, or retirees.


“We are at an inflection point and the decisions we make now will ripple across generations of Los Angeles students,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “It is imperative that we are wise and scrupulous as we financially plan for the next several years. I believe we are in a better position than other school districts across California and the nation, and I believe in the bright future of Los Angeles Unified.”


Through prudent planning and deliberate decision-making, Los Angeles Unified has withstood the stark reality many other school districts are facing. The District has avoided layoffs to this point and is optimistic about financial stability – as was recently reaffirmed by improved ratings from Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and KBRA. But the challenges before the District are serious and formidable: the sunsetting of federal pandemic relief funding, declining enrollment, challenging and growing economic conditions worsened by a significant state deficit and declining investments in public education.


In the upcoming budget, the District is investing heavily in staff with increases in compensation for employees, maintaining health and welfare costs and continuing to offer an incomparable benefits package. The District is also setting aside $87.5 million over the next three years in a School Staff Stabilization Fund to address any reduction in hours for our school-based classified employees. Los Angeles Unified is also establishing a Workforce Protection Fund, allocating dollars equivalent to a 1.07% compensation increase for employees with pending labor agreements in 2024-25. All of this is to maintain a world-class workforce and ensure students continue receiving a top-tier education. Los Angeles Unified is committed to enacting plans with the best interest of our school communities at the forefront of decision making.


“With the COVID-19 funds ending and the budget crunch here in California, there is no denying that this is a challenging time in education,” Board President Jackie Goldberg said. “But we are determined to weather this storm with as little impact on our students and employees as possible.”


“While I have expressed my frustration these last few months over questions I had about the budget, I believe we are getting closer to a better path,” Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson said. “We have been in constant conversations regarding classified staff, carryover allocations, and Prop. 28 Arts Funding, which have been productive. I reluctantly voted to approve the budget. However, I also demanded that conversations for next year’s budget talks begin much earlier and with more transparency.”


“Although the District continues to face budget challenges, I believe the 2024-25 budget is the best allocation of resources for student achievement, as we continue to strive for more revenue,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said.


“Amidst a challenging economic landscape, this budget reflects a process that has been heard from so many voices,” Board Member Dr. Rocío Rivas said. “There’s always room to do better with transparency and urgency. But this budget rightly protects the District's lowest wage earners, evades layoffs, and invests in the continued growth of our students and public schools.”


"In a difficult financial year, I am glad to see the District balance student support, stability for our employees, and responsible budgetary decisions,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “I appreciate the dedication to vital programs, like early education, smaller class sizes, arts and enrichment, greening, and resources for our highest need school communities. At the same time, I will continue to advocate for more investments in paraprofessionals, dual language programs, and special education—as well as a more public and transparent budget process that truly engages all stakeholders and puts kids first.”


“With the state’s budget crisis and the ending of COVID relief dollars, we are facing serious challenges in meeting the needs of our students, families and schools,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “Our budget effectively grapples with these issues, while maintaining core priorities such as equitable funding and ensuring we provide a high-quality public education for every student.”


“I’m proud to approve a budget that is centered on academic excellence, holistic support, and equity for all students in the country’s second-largest district, even as we are losing billions of federal recovery dollars and facing a structural deficit,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “Over the next year, I look forward to more students being prepared for college, career and life as a result of our intentional investments in the Student Equity Needs Index (SENI), mental health and wellness, Black Student Achievement (BSAP), multilingual education, staff raises and stability, and the arts. Additionally, as a result of my recent resolution, ‘Modern Budget Transparent for Student Achievement,’ we will have an even deeper understanding of how our budget and plans are yielding the results our students deserve.”


For the most up-to-date information, please follow Los Angeles Unified on Twitter/X at @laschools and @lausdsup, Instagram at @laschools and @lausdsup and Facebook at @laschools and @AlbertoMCarvalho1.