Nearly 500 plumbers, electricians and other skilled craftsmen will get pink slips next month from Los Angeles Unified, a cost-cutting move that officials say will make it harder to maintain the school district's aging facilities.
The loss of one-fourth of the LAUSD's Maintenance and Operations workers is the most significant in decades, the result of an unfortunate convergence of the state budget crisis and the winding down of the district's $19.5 billion construction bond program.
"This reduction affects virtually all of the units we work with - management, supervisors, tradesmen and, to