LAUSD budget cuts leave us NO choice

axeJust when I thought the LAUSD and the California Legislature couldn’t possibly make me any angrier, our school parents’ group publishes an online poll today that goes something like this:

In order to face the upcoming deep LAUSD budget cuts, we need to make some hard choices.

Which of the following services do you believe we can afford to lose the least? Please mark these in order of priority – 1=most important, 7=least important:

  • Academic coaches
  • Technology/computer program
  • School library
  • Physical education
  • Kindergarten aides
  • Teacher training to match instruction to student skill levels.

Here’s the pathetic part – these are all services funded BY US BECAUSE LAUSD DOESN’T PAY FOR THEM. Our school community had to raise $150,000 last year just to keep the three (vital) academic coaches. Now we have to try raising more than $320,000 to keep them AND all the other stuff.

Dozens of parents have been laid off from their jobs their district, and it’s plain that we’re not going to hit our mark.

And we’re in Silver Lake, in one of L.A.’s most affluent school districts – I can only imagine the horrible choices being faced at more-average schools in L.A. where people can’t afford to backfill the gaps left by a stingy, short-sighted and horribly mismanaged state educational policy.

For years now, the Legislature has been underfunding education across the state and in Los Angeles in particular, and the Los Angeles Unified School District has been squandering what little money we have on a bloated bureaucracy and wishy-washy, half-assed improvement initiatives without ever attempting the bold innovation or real top-down reforms.

<Everyone in power – from the district leadership to the teachers’ union> – seems to be doing what it takes to maintain the status quo and cover their little slice without considering what all this is doing to the people who will be working in and running Los Angeles 10, 20 years from now.

As a result, California ranks almost dead-last in education among the United States.

And what’s the solution to the basic bottom-line debacle that all this adds up to? Pull seasoned teachers out of the classroom and replace them with Beaudry Street bureaucrats who haven’t held a piece of chalk in years.

Yes, I’m ranting.

But that’s because it’s plain to me that this situation no longer deserves simple pitchforks-and-torches-to-Sacramento anger. We’ve tried that.

This warrants prosecution because it is a fucking crime.

3 Replies to “LAUSD budget cuts leave us NO choice”

  1. I pissed too, we are losing a school and 35-40 teachers. WE are a town of less than 40K so our budget was tight to start with and the millions lost we can’t recoup or hope to recoup.

    The money isn’t there we are told, but I’m sure we could find it if we just started weeding out the pork and special interest projects. Maybe make it illegal for communities to form pacs using public money would be a good start (Gold Line Extension Authority) is the perfect example of perfectly good public money going to feed developers interests. RANT.

  2. It’s a complicated issue, but isn’t Prop. 13 at least partly to blame? Is this in part a case of people wanting to have it both ways — cut our property taxes but give us the same amount of school spending and services?

  3. Yeah, I’ve ranted long and loud in the past about Prop.13 being the culprit. /The problem is you can’t get voters to understand the connection between dwindling vital public services and their unwillingness to pay for them. Ever.

    It’s easier to blame bloat and mismanagement – while those are clear culprits for part of the shortfall, it still comes down to California having hamstrung its ability to keep up with inflation. Period. Though I’m sure some will disagree with me on this count – as they have in the past.

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