The Los Angeles Unified School Board voted 4-3 to cut $25 million from the Los Angeles School Police Department’s budget. Made up of nearly 400 officers, the department is responsible for patrolling schools across the city. As a result, officers will be recalled from campuses until further notice and the department will downsize by about 65 officers.
The approved budget cut falls short of Mónica García’s initial proposal to cut the budget by 50%. However, she was able to come to a compromise with Jackie Goldberg, who initially said that she couldn’t support a cut of that size. After downsizing the budget cut, Goldberg ended up being the board’s deciding vote.
Big win tonight
-35% reduction ($25MM)
-Direct $ to Black students.
-Immediate end to cops on schools#PoliceFreeSchools
— Alberto Retana (@aretana) July 1, 2020
“Let’s divest from school police and invest in the things that our children actually need like nurses, librarians, school social workers and smaller class sizes,” Melina Abdullah of Los Angeles Black Lives Matter said.
“We’re walking right into this without knowing where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there,” Los Angeles Unified School Board member Richard Vladovic said in opposition to the cuts.
The board’s cut will also close 39 vacant positions and eliminate the force’s overtime budget,. Furthermore, officers will move from a 24/7 schedule to a weekday schedule. In return, community organizers hope those funds will be shifted towards hiring counselors, nurses and other educational resources.