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News Update

LA Unified school board approves record budget for 2021-22 school year

Late Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified school board approved a $20 billion budget for the 2021-22 school year after months of discussion regarding a pandemic recovery plan for the nation’s second-largest school district. The district’s operating budget was approved at $13.8 billion.

Key points include:

  • $166 million will be used to hire teachers at elementary and middle schools;
  • $91 million will be used to hire additional custodial staff;
  • $151 million will go toward hiring more mental health counselors;
  • $80 million will be used to hire reading and math teachers in elementary schools.

During previous board meetings, the board listened to suggestions regarding the exact number of counselors, teachers, and staff the district could hire with the influx of funding. The final number of hires, however, may ultimately differ from current predictions.

Notably, the approved budget did not include an amendment that sought an additional decrease of $4 million in school police funding. The school board last year voted to decrease the school budget by $25 million. Coalitions of students and families have called for months to include the amendment in the final budget, and on Tuesday rallied outside school district headquarters while calling into the school board meeting to provide public comment. The amendment was defeated by a 4-2 vote with one abstention.

The increase in funding for the upcoming school year includes pandemic relief money and state tax revenues.