Keep Kids, School Work Connected With Workshops for Parents

In light of the district's decision to cancel summer courses at middle and elementary schools, unionized Los Angeles Unified School District teachers will hold workshops for parents to help them keep their children connected with their school work, union officials said Friday.

"The cut in summer school is really going to be felt," teacher Joshua Pechthalt said at a news conference at United Teachers Los Angeles headquarters. "I think what's going to happen is that kids are going to be locked in their homes."

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines announced last week he was eliminating the summer school programs due to declining revenues and the state's budget deficit. The move is expected to affect more than 225,000 students and save about $34 million, according to the district.

At the high school level, the district will offer summer school and intersession at the high school level for "credit recovery," meaning graduation requirements, core classes and A-G classes only. The Extended School Year Program for students with disabilities will also be offered.

UTLA teachers said they want to work with parents on math, reading and literacy exercises that will help keep children connected to their school work and avoid a summer drop-off in learning.

"One of the things we want to do is to step up and try to maintain more stability," teacher Betty Forester said.

UTLA President A.J. Duffy said the cuts being made by the district to reduce a multimillion-dollar deficit are going to have a large impact on students.

"I don't think that we have even begun to see the depth of the devastation that these cuts are going to have," he said.

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