A little while ago, I wrote this post about the fiasco of “Norm Day”, wherein LAUSD adheres to these arbitrary ratios of students-to-teachers. I described the ensuing clusterfuck: how students were sardined into classes, how teachers were released of their positions, only to have their positions reinstated thanks to some state monies, and how Norm Day occurs every semester (October and February).
Well, good news! The school board just voted to maintain staffing levels for the remainder of the school year; in other words, there will not be a Norm Day in February. $18 million will be spent to keep teacher positions.
At our school site, we were particularly worried: we had already lost about 10 positions; we have declining enrollment; we were sure to lose more positions. Even though Superintendent Brewer likes to say (and this often, like a recording),”It is my goal to transform the LAUSD into a world-class school district,” I can’t help but feel I’m being forced to provide a third-world-class education down here in my humble South LA school. It bears repeating that Brewer opposed this measure, on the grounds that LAUSD needed to keep a tight budget.
Speaking of tight budgets, are you aware that LAUSD just spent an extra $200,000 to hire image consultants? This is money on top of a $10m communications budget ($1.4m of which goes to staffing).
Instead of fixing the ongoing payroll problem (which LAUSD insists is fixed), they sank money into good PR.
Here’s an idea: Use that money to fix the problem. If the school board is reading this, you owe me $200,000. Plus expenses.
On the bright side, my kids are safe for the remainder of the school year. The struggling students will reap the benefits of smaller classes and receive the personalized attention they need. Oh sure, money is being spent willy-nilly on some PR hack fresh out of the Archdiocese Pedophile scandal, but at least I’m not gonna get fired.