The Los Angeles Board of Education late Tuesday approved a record $20-billion budget for the upcoming academic year — a massive influx of funding made possible by two unprecedented occurrences: pandemic relief money and record state tax revenues.
How specifically that money is spent on a school level will play out in months ahead, but the budget will include the projected hiring of thousands of new employees in a school system where students have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, with their grades dropping and their mental health suffering.
The budget has been boosted by about $5.5 billion in state and federal pandemic relief plus rising ongoing revenues, although that funding will be spread out over multiple years.
Details of the recovery plan were presented in a previous meeting, where officials laid out a strategy to hire 930 psychologists and psychiatric social workers, an increase of more than 80%; 2,190 teachers, an increase of 8%; and 770 custodial workers, a 25% increase. And these numbers don’t include additional hiring expected to take place in after-school and summer enrichment programs.
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