L.A. school board approves $25 million cut to school police budget in response to student protests

The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved an immediate 35% cut to its school police force, a reduction of $25 million, in response to weeks of protests by student activists and community groups who had called for the elimination of the department.

The board action also calls for officers to give up their uniforms and patrol off campus, and will lead to the layoffs of 65 officers in the 471-employee department. The money saved will be allocated to fund staff to specifically serve the needs of Black students and a task force that will study ways to re-imagine the issue of student and campus safety.

“L.A. Unified has to continue to be a leader in showing what can happen when we believe in self-determination, when we empower communities to help this organization transform itself,” said board member Monica Garcia.

The 4-3 vote was supported by Garcia, Jackie Goldberg, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez. Opposing the move were board President Richard Vladovic, George McKenna and Scott Schmerelson — all retired longtime school administrators who expressed concerns about safety risks.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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