LA Unified chief: If district doesn't get finances in order it will 'be another Detroit'

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LOS ANGELES — LA Unified interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines is warning that if the district doesn't get its finances in order it will be "another Detroit."

At the school board meeting Tuesday, district officials painted a stark picture: Years of relying on one-time pots of money coupled with declining enrollment have led to a near $160 million deficit projected for the next school year. The decline in enrollment has been driven by changing demographics and rising charter school enrollment.

A plan presented Tuesday would make cuts to certain academic programs and redesign others.

The board also voted Tuesday to approve layoff warnings for more than 600 teachers, counselors and social workers.

LA Unified is currently in ongoing but stalled negotiations with United Teachers Los Angeles. The union called the layoff notices "unconscionable."

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