The big spending Los Angeles school system is worried about its possible $480 million deficit for the 2010-11 school year.
Superintendent Ramon Cortines ordered an immediate hiring freeze Monday.
Cortines says it's for "the students."
"We owe it to our students to provide them with the best instruction and support possible no matter the obstacles. Students are the core of our existence and we will not be distracted from our mission."
But a closer look reveals... it's really about "the unions."
The only exceptions to the hiring freeze will be for classroom teachers, principals, assistant principals, cafeteria managers, school police officers, bus drivers, teachers' assistants, education aides, special education assistants and plant managers.