True to form, politicians are once again going after the most vulnerable members of society when it comes to shorting them on funding and services. Two weeks ago voters rejected an attempt to move money out of a fund to provide mental health services by voting down a ballot initiative that would have done just that. But that didn’t stop the politicians.
This week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed cutting health care for low-income children under the Healthy Families program.
And in a further effort to address the fiscal incompetence that is sui generis to California politics, Los Angeles Unified School District announced it will cancel most summer school classes this year. After all, kids don’t (and can’t) vote.
In addition to putting working parents in the position of having to find day care for younger children (as well as paying for it), an article about the cuts in today’s LA Times points out the greater toll to society. According to state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell,
“For kids who want to take challenging courses, for kids who need basic courses in order to graduate, these choices will contribute toward the dropout rate and we will have a less competent workforce.”
The article also states that LA Community Colleges have canceled their second summer session this year.
LA Daily News reports that Los Angeles Schools Chief Ramon Cortines announced that the Los Angeles Unified School District will not be laying off any teachers throughout the end of the school year.
Huzzah! Right? Right?
Not so fast:
But Cortines said he does not want to make the cuts now because state lawmakers have not yet crafted a deal to address the state budget deficit, and he doesn’t want to disrupt classrooms halfway through the school year. He also noted a high number of district teachers have expressed interest in early retirement.
In a written statement to teachers, faculty, staff and the community, Cortines warned that this decision only delays the inevitable need for layoffs down the line.
“To guide us in our difficult decision making, we will have a plan to present to the Board of Education and community by the end of February 2009,” Cortines wrote. “I want to be clear that this plan will not be comfortable and will result in layoffs at every level of the district.”
Bummer. Thankfully my brother just got out of the LAUSD, but it’s a sad state of affairs when we’re laying off teachers. Any of you a teacher in the LAUSD? Any have less than two years worth of experience? (That’s who the layoffs are targetting.
From the Daily News:
Los Angeles Unified school board members voted 4-2 Tuesday to authorize sending layoff notices to about 2,300 teachers, although the district superintendent said the notices might not necessarily be sent.
“It is strictly precautionary mainly, because I am trying to put pressure on Sacramento,” Superintendent Ramon Cortines said.
He vowed not to send any notices before the board’s next scheduled meeting in two weeks, adding the notices would be sent only if there were no other options to save the jobs.
The president of the teachers union condemned the vote, saying it was more than a bluff.
“It’s more than pressure,” said United Teachers Los Angeles President AJ Duffy. “No matter what Cortines said the reality is with Megan Reilly, the district chief financial officer, who has a budget based on laying off 2,200 teachers.”
Cutting education is no way to solve a budget crisis. Who is running this joint, and why haven’t they been fired?
Yup, LAUSD is doing it to the teachers again. Budget cuts, threats of teacher lay offs, state funding dilemmas the works all falling on their backs. LAUSD Teachers are busting their butts for our kids and the district rather than find ways to keep the teachers we have is recruiting out-of-state.
Our own Spencer Cross already named LAUSD Supt Brewer as a Grinch of the Year, but this tidbit fell through the cracks. Nice job Brewer, what else are you going to toss at the teachers? I do believe Spencer was onto more than he gave in the nomination.
Hat tip to Aaron Proctor of the Philly Metblogs for sharing that Craig’s list recruiting item. Just in case the post mysteriously disappears from Craig’s List, I have a pdf available on request of the page. Dawgs.