Maybe LAUSD Has Money To Burn? Did You Ever Consider That?

We asked teachers to send us examples of what agitates them about LAUSD. My inbox exploded violently minutes later. It seems that with proposed layoffs, furlough days and cuts cuts cuts, what you guys hate seeing most is -- drum roll please --  money being wasted. So the real question is: Does LAUSD waste money or are teachers just cheap? Kidding.

An elementary school teacher writes:
"Talk about managing money and resources very poorly!
Here's a few examples from the front lines at the LAUSD elementary school where I work:
1. Waste - Our school has the external lights above the walkways turned on 24/7.
    Answer- An automatic shut off/turn on timer would  save money and
    precious resources.=minimal cost/ maximum $ saving
2. Waste- During the 3 week vacation the air-conditioning was going,too.
    Answer- Turn it off for 3 weeks.=no cost
3. Waste- When all of Los Angeles is experiencing a drought the sprinklers go off  
    EVERY DAY (not 3X /week like the rest of us.)
    Answer- Adjust the timer=no cost
4. Waste- The dry erase markers that we are able to order through our school are
either too gooey/oily and smear incredibly or they are very pastel and
translucent-almost clear and void of color. This is the case 95% of the time. Our
supply person said that when she reported it to those who order the mass quantitie for our district she was informed that they were aware of the problem but they were not going to order any more until the shipment they have is depleted. So we get to use markers that DO NOT WRITE ON THE BOARDS WE TEACH WITH. Do they care? They do not. Do they send back the faulty markers to the manufacturer? Apparently not. It's a one-way street.
   Answer- Be responsible and request that the company replace the markers with good ones or CHANGE COMPANIES. This requiures effort/time/brains of someone who orders supplies for LAUSD. This person is on a salary so no additional cost should be incured.

Do the markers come with some sort of  blacklight? Another teacher says:
"The budget cuts have hit all our schools hard. During these incredibly difficult times programs, teachers, staff and students are all struggling. Necessary supplies, staff and materials are not provided, not likely to be provided, and as usual, the burden has been shifted to teachers. Teachers are working harder - larger classes, stressed-out students, reduced support staff - and having to fight for every pen & paper they need to do their jobs. And to add insult to injury, we are being bullied by our superintendant to take a pay cut! Haven't we already done this by working harder & longer, & spending more of our own money for classroom supplies, all on the same salary?

My school - Downtown Magnets HS - has been accepted for preliminary consideration for the IB (International Baccalaureate) program. This has been a long process, and a rather costly one. Although I believe that it is a valuable program, I seriously question the wisdom of dedicating so many of our scarce resources to pursuing this ambitious goal. I believe it should be tabled until we recover somewhat financially. I do not know the details for the costs & funding, but I have personally participated in 2 days of training sessions, along with at least 7 other teachers.... and I know there have been more. The costs for sub coverage are SIGNIFICANT. We also have an IB coordinator, who is out of the classroom for 2 periods to do the work associated with this process. Also, there has been a consultant at our school on numerous occasions.

My question is this - why are we spending so much money on this, if we must cut staff & expenses? This is NOT a necessity, it is NOT a basic, it is an enhancement. Perhaps a good one, perhaps one that would benefit our students and school in many ways..... but we are struggling to survive, in so many ways. I know for certain that the district is putting money into this, as well as our school site & those others under consideration for the program... again, I am not sure how many schools are involved, but know it is more than just ours.

One more for the road from a school with wandering employees:
"This Middle School has 2 assistant principals that do absolutely nothing!
Get rid of them, and we will save their exorbitant salaries. I am sure that
every school has at least 2 "do-nothing" Administrators. Let¹s get rid of
them, and save millions of dollars  each year.

-This Middle School has 4 out-of-classroom Resource "teachers" who do
absolutely nothing! They go to lunch for hours, they wander around, they
hang out. They are supposed to be in the classrooms, helping the
mainstreamed resource students, but I have not had 1 in my classroom in over
5 years. This is despite having a minimum of 20 Resource kids in my classes
every year. They recycle the same, tired IEP's, year after year, and
complain about how hard they have it. Lets get rid of them  (plus those at
all of our other schools), and save millions/year.

-Periodic Assessments and Learning Teams! How much money is the District
paying for these complete wastes of time? Let¹s get rid of them, and save

Are two Vice Principals are better than one right? Let me know!

Keep the mail coming people!

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01 2010

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