Kids’ pocket change to pay for their education

change.jpgHere’s what’s wrong with LAUSD:

This is $12.12 of my son’s own savings.

He’s taking it in this morning to donate it to his own elementary school .

Budget cuts handed down by Gov. Schwarzenegger and poorly managed by LAUSD have forced our school community to go begging for $180,000 from parents and family members to continue paying the salaries of three vital staffers in charge of computer training, curriculum development and gifted education.

Public education is failing because we’re letting our leaders get away with misspending our taxes on other crap.

I guess education just doesn’t matter.

18 thoughts on “Kids’ pocket change to pay for their education”

  1. Possibly LAUSD should stop building schools since the population of school age children is dropping, but of course that would take money away from their very, very rich friends.

    As I go around LA I have seen no less than four schools being built in the Hollywood and downtown area, what kind of sense does that make?

    You cut out the gifted program, the arts, the computer programs to build schools that are going to be empty since people who have kids can’t afford to live here anymore and who is going to teach in them. LA is getting more and more like NY everyday. How can you afford to live in downtown LA and teach in downtown LA, as a single person maybe doable, but what if teachers want to get married and have a family?

    Anyways we’re doomed. People are way more concerned about taco trucks, dance parties, and dog crap than they are about the future generations of Los Angeles.

    Thank god I don’t have kids, what a horrible city this is to have children in unless you’re filthy rich.

    People seem more concerned about dogs than they area about little humans, pretty much everything is more important than little humans. Real estate, the river, the ocean, random birds, street fairs, unless we can sell the little humans something we just don’t seem to care.

    Maybe we should put up missing education posters? Maybe that’s the problem maybe we need more guerilla marketing on behalf of children, make it cool and hip to care about kids.


  2. All great points Browne. The problem has been where is the money going to come from?

    The lottery was supposed to be the great savior some 20 years ago. Nothing got better. Would adding a a bit to the state sales tax to fund education help? Maybe if we could be promised it would go to education not the general fund.

    I think more care than most know about. The non-profit I put a lot of time into helps fund art education. We (MAFA) fund the MUSD Village After School Art Program and that gives 10% of the kids in town an art education they would not have had otherwise.

    My youngest’s elementary school got a new principal. I worked with Stacye Ayers and knew she would do wonders at the school. Last year the PTA raised enough money to almost pay for an art teacher for the full year. MAFA granted them the rest so they could have the teacher for the full year. Now MAFA is working with them on fundraisers to pay for the teacher next year.

    It is sad that the state can’t fund the schools the way we’d like. I see a lot of grass root initiatives trying to make up the difference. It is sad we have to do it but at least there are people who care.

  3. I totally disagree repealing prop 13. I would lose my home, as would millions of others if they did that. Prop 13 came about as CA had run away property taxes that was hitting homeowners too hard. It would be a difficult if not impossible measure to repeal as it offered too many protections to homeowners.

  4. Wow. That sucks.

    Education is the key to EVERYTHING else. What happened to our sense of outrage? Why aren’t we marching on statehouses demanding better? We get no more than we demand and refuse to settle for less than — that’s just the way government works.

  5. To me caring is going to take us willing to take a bit of hit financially. We can write long passages on all kinds of things unless we are willing to do one of these two things:

    1. Pay higher taxes
    2. March in massive numbers and to a work stoppage, stop everything. Stores, traffic, city services.

    Then we really don’t care do we? It’s easy to say you care, but unless you’re willing to do one of those two things how much do you really care, possibly it’s just sort annoying to you.

    Me personally I would rather every child in the state have a decent education than to have me own a house. And what about business properties they got a nice little discount on prop 13.

    Can we at least go to the streets to get that part taken off?


  6. Browne, scroll back a bit I’d be willing to add in a 1% sales tax to fund the schools. We can write the measure to ensure it goes to schools only. That way everyone pays the same rate and is a lot easier for people to accept.

    The affect on business if we rolled it back on them I fear would result in a lot of businesses moving out due to the added expense.

  7. Frazgo, so you know I’m just talking in general terms not you specifically, but you’re here.

    I don’t believe 1% sales tax is going to do much. How much is 1% sales tax going to hurt you? If the answer is not much, well that’s probably going to be how much it will help the schools.

    You need lots and lots of money to run a school, 1% sales tax is a drop in the bucket compared to what schools were getting. We need our schools do be funded they were they were pre prop 13.

    We also need to hold the school district accountable, not just the teachers, but the people at the top who do the vast majority of the f*cking up.


  8. Thanks for this posting Mack. I hope it will open a much needed dialog on this Metblogs
    I can only speak about LAUSD in greater Silver Lake and the LAUSD Local District 4 (Silver Lake, Hollywood, Echo Park Pico Union, Fairfax and the like)

    A few points I would like to make to Browne’s post:

    Marshall High and King Middle school are still on year round and over crowed. The current building of new schools will not help these two schools. There is a plan to make the feeder grade schools k- 6th grade (the way it should be) as a way to relieve the over crowding at King. Micheltorena is already k- 6th and Mayberry should be going to 6th grade by next year.

    LAUSD school is in richer communities (like Ivanhoe) are hurt more by not having Title one (kids who are eligible for free or reduced lunch) and English Learner (EL) students. Ivanhoe and Friends of Ivanhoe (a great organization!!) had to raise $100,000.00 last year to pay for Teacher assistances, music and the like. Micheltorena (with about 100 more students) received $279,440.00 because of the large number of Title One (92%) and EL (67%) students. Michelotrena used this money to have an extra upper grade teacher, music teacher, a nurse 4 days a week, 4 teacher assistances a school psychologist, sending teachers to trainings, sending parents to trainings and a community representative. Micheltorena will be getting about $54,000.00 less for 08-09 due to the school shard work of reclassifying EL student (that means more students are now fluent in English)

    My biggest fear with the budget cuts is the cutting of teachers and increase of class size. All one has to do is look at the data (which I do often) to see that the biggest factor in increasing test scores in reducing class size.

    And everyone I know is talking about and taking action on the coming budget cuts, I guess it depends on the company you keep. I belong to two Yahoo groups, LANeighborhoodschools and LAUSDParents. We, the people on these lists, are planning many budget protests in May and June. Most will be in Los Angeles but at least two will be in Sacramento (a buss trip)

  9. The thing that is so depressing about the states is that people only care about the things that impact them.

    The people upset about the schools are people who have children in the schools.

    It shouldn’t be like that. Our human community shouldn’t be so compartmentalized.

    All of us should be upset. All of us should be on that bus to Sacramento, not just the people with kids.

    We should all give a damn about the struggles of our fellow man and woman even if they don’t match our demographic exactly.

    Kid issues shouldn’t be protested only by people who have kids.
    Immigrant issues shouldn’t be protested by only people who are immigrants.
    Woman issues shouldn’t be protested only by people who are women.

    This list goes on and on, we should all help each other and feel that we are one community, but we don’t and we won’t. I don’t know if people in this country will ever wake up and get a clue.

    We don’t have socialized medicine because we have people who would rather have thousands die, because they don’t want to pay more taxes, because who the fu*k cares. They have health insurance and a job. This “I got mine” attitude needs to be stop. It’s barbaric and it’s unlike any other industrialized country in the world.


  10. One reason that some parents in L.A. will not be involved in this issue and you won’t see them protesting, is that they send their kids to private schools, or they contribute deeply to a school that becomes a little a more elite than others, so they could care less about the rest of LAUSD. The class system here creates a bloc of parents who would never send their kids to public schools anyway, or frankly, who would never send their kids to schools where there are too many “brown” kids. I have seen certain parents go to extraordinary lengths to not send their kids to a school a block away from their homes because that school is too brown for their tastes.
    They create a little whispering network among their peer group, (and real estate agents add to it too when a new “elite” type buys in the neighborhood) ( ps. I’m not saying it’s only white people doing this) of trashing a public school without ever setting foot in it. This class of parents lives on another level entirely. So really, Let’s stop hoping that we live in a big community and that everyone can somehow be on the same page with these issues. Some people will never change, and those of us working folk who don’t wield the big clout have got to constantly look out for ourselves, and constantly “fight the powers that be”. I’ve seen too much to be so naive anymore.

  11. You know Satan, it amazes me the people who live in Echo Park to be cool, but won’t send their kids to school there. I mean really how stupid. If you think the school is so bad, why not live somewhere where you can actually live your life instead of just being a freakin’ poseur?

    Though we will never live in a community, I think we should still be reminded that we should live in a community. I think you always have to have that person that says how things could be, because I think if you lose that you lose civilization completely. Also if you don’t believe humans can do a better job, then what’s the point. Why not just kill yourself? Everyone may be an asshole forever, but in order for me to continue on I have to believe that won’t be the case forever, even if that means I’m completely delusional.

    How fun would life be if this was it?

    Of course you’re Satan, so this would be ideal in Satan’s world or am I stereotyping you Satan :)


  12. As a parent of a second grader in a school were some of neighbors embraces the idea of diversity but who don’t want to expose their kids to real diversity, do everything in their power to insure their little darlings never share a classroom or campus with my ½ Mexican ½ Irish all American daughter or any of her (most American born) Mexican, Central American, Pilipino/a, Indonesian, Chinese, European or African classmates, I say let them spend the $20,000 per year or sell homes they love to buy smaller homes in the “good” school district. Who needs them anyway? The school is great the way it is (not perfect, but perfection is never attainable).

  13. “Though we will never live in a community, I think we should still be reminded that we should live in a community. I think you always have to have that person that says how things could be, because I think if you lose that you lose civilization completely. Also if you don’t believe humans can do a better job, then what’s the point. Why not just kill yourself? Everyone may be an asshole forever, but in order for me to continue on I have to believe that won’t be the case forever, even if that means I’m completely delusional.”

    -Hey, I’m glad you can do that. I can actually respect that. I hope you keep on keeping on in that regard.

  14. Web site for anyone interested in finding out more about school budget cuts and what you can do to help prevent them.

    If you don’t do anything to at least try to stop the cuts, they you shouldn’t BITCH and blame “the Man” or the apathy of people of LA when they happen

  15. Hey, dorit, thanks for posting this – it’s good to know there *is* something we can take part in.

    On another note, I’m beginning to think Prop. 13 *does* need to be repealed, but there’s no chance of that until people start demonstrating the cost of the thing in means that can be understood by all – even property owners.

  16. Hi Mack,
    I hope you will be able to make the protest on the 9th (next Friday) a lot of parents (mostly moms) from Silver Lake will be there.
    The prop 13 thing: I am no expert, but there are parts of prop 13 that have noting to do with old people and working class families being able to keep their homes. Like most commercial, both residential and other, properties are covered under prop 13. And when a person dies, the prop 13 tax rate can pass on to their children and grandchildren. That is great when we are talking about a family home, but how about residential rental property (and before any of you jump on me for hating landlords/ landladies, I am related to a few and KNOW how SHITTIE a job it is). Does that sound fair for the people who were not lucky enough to have a parent living in California who was able to buy a house or apartment building in the 1960’s?
    But it is up to the residents of California to force the politicians to fix the problems with prop 13, because they are not going to do it own their own.

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