Los Angeles school board cuts $25 million from school police budget

Los Angeles school board cuts $25 million from school police budget

LOS ANGELES — In a move reflected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as the latest Black Lives Matter movement, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board slashed the school police budget by $25 million, diverting the money to pay for social and learning programs for at-risk students during a vote Tuesday.

The cut is about 35% of the school police's overall budget, KCBS reported. The money will be diverted and used to fund learning programs and mental health support for students.

“There will be a need for more mental health support for (students) in schools as they deal with the trauma in their lives,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said in a statement about the $8.9 billion budget. “This budget reflects our commitment to do all we can to help students continue to learn while dealing with the impact of the pandemic. We expect this interim budget will need to be revised when the state provides updated school budget information later this year.”

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District officials believe it could cost at least $250 million to reduce the risk of the virus spread at schools and continue online learning.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles supporters protest outside the Unified School District headquarters calling on the board of education to defund school police on June 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The demonstrators want the funds currently spent on campus police to be reallocated to other student-serving priorities. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles supporters protest outside the Unified School District headquarters calling on the board of education to defund school police on June 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The demonstrators want the funds currently spent on campus police to be reallocated to other student-serving priorities. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) (Mario Tama/Getty Images)