UTLA STRIKING LAUSD INTO BANKRUPTCY- AND FUNDAMENTAL POSITIVE CHANGE?

LAUSD Board.jpgOur longstanding failed model of yet segregated non-education at LAUSD needs to come to an end and the looming strike by UTLA teachers might just be the best and most efficient way to accomplish this. In the past, the biggest question that loomed over every strike was just how long teachers or other strikers could hold out- without pay and benefits- before they would have had to compromise, give in, and settle?

What is different now is that long financially mismanaged LAUSD is already on the verge of bankruptcy, because of generations of fiscal mismanagement by their corporate controlled administrators, who over the years have become more and more captives of corporate vendors of goods and services sold at obscenely exorbitant and unnecessarily inflated prices on contracts for goods and services rife with conflicts of interest.

So what's different in an LAUSD-UTLA strike today is that it is not just teachers that are under financial pressure to settle a strike, but also an already almost bankrupt LAUSD.

A strike by UTLA with the support of their students' parents and an interim daycare program run by retired LAUSD teachers, to address parents major concern as to the safety of their children during a strike, would give these parents a safe place to send their children, while also cutting off Average Daily Attendance monies paid by the State for actual in-seat-student attendance to an LAUSD already teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. This might just be what is necessary to force LAUSD into bankruptcy, where a reorganization of the district might finally take place that would give power to educators, parents, and students and not the present corporate LAUSD administrative stooges, whose mismanagement has continued to squander the money necessary to correctly run an LAUSD with reasonable class size, pragmatic pedogogy determined by students' actual academic level, and fairly compensated and administratively supported teachers.

The primary function of any school is to educate students. But this cannot take place in classrooms of 40 students or more where the vast majority of students are not- nor never have been- at grade-level and where the predictable disruptive behavior of these students, profoundly behind grade-level, causes constant class disruption that makes it impossible for the teacher to teach.

If you take a line from the 1976 film All The President's Men," about Watergate and the downfall of the Nixon presidency, and you "follow the money" at LAUSD, you find it goes for everything other than lowering class size, teaching students, and fairly compensating teachers, which are clearly the main factors that currently preclude LAUSD from fulfilling its primary mandate of educating the children in its charge.

Ironically, LAUSD of the 1950s and 1960s did exactly what was necessary and spent the vast majority of its budget on the classroom and its primary directive of assuring that few students were allowed to leave school without a fundamental education and the skills necessary to go on with education or a trade with which they could become productive taxpaying members of society. There were no 50% dropout rates or students leaving school without basic literacy, where a disproportionate number of these predominantly minority students would predictably wind up incarcerated.

The main factors leading to the rise in private schools, which can cost as much as $30-40 thousand a year, is that the minority of parents- predominantly White- with the means to do so, are willing to pay this amount of money to get their children away from the failure factories that LAUSD schools have become. And without the social capital of these parents in LAUSD, LAUSD has only further deteriorated in terms of maintaining academic grade-level standards.

Latino and African American students didn't start out as "inferior," but an LAUSD non-education as presently constituted makes it virtually impossible for the vast majority these predominanty minority students to fulfill their superior achieving potential. The LAUSD purposefully failed academic environment literally does nothing to allow these students to recognize and achieve their potential.

In reorganizing a morally bankrupt and soon to be financially bankrupt LAUSD, a private school model that focuses on classroom size and the teaching of critical thinking skills should be the foremost consideration. This can be accomplished where the imposition of these goals is done at the school level by parents, students, and teachers and not by an unaccountable LAUSD self-dealing administration that doesn't have a clue how to democratically implement an effective public education system at a reasonable price. And with the economics of scale, this can be accomplished for far far less than $40,000 a year per student.

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With the California Department of Education reporting, as noted below, that about 73% of the Latino Kids from Los Angeles Unified School District were Chronically Absent, some 55,000 Kids not in schools in excess of 10% of the year, for the year ending June 30, 2018, and about 15% of the African American Kids, some 11,000 also Chronically Absent, most ignored until after they get in trouble or commit a crime. Is this acceptable to you, as to what LAUSD Administration calls implementing the promise for “Accountability”, as promised in 2012 when “we the people” voters passed Proposition 30, now dubbed the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)?

Los Angeles Unified School District Chronic Absenteeism Data year 2017-18
Ethnicity Chronic Chronic Chronic
Absenteeism Absenteeism Absenteeism
Eligible Count % to Totals Rate
Enrollment
Hispanic or Latino 468,848 55,035 72.97% 11.70%
African American 52,490 10,961 14.53% 20.90%
Other 112,160 9,430 12.50% 8.41%
Los Angeles Unified - totals 633,498 75,426 100.00% 11.90%
Los Angeles County 1,519,569 165,861 10.90%
Statewide 6,315,131 702,531 11.10%

Asked differently, if a student is worth up to $15,000 per year in State funding to LAUSD, how accurate are these numbers above; and the ones reported by LAUSD to avoid a bankruptcy for State Attendance Funding, is an added question no one at LAUSD, LACOE or the CDE will answer.

Get the picture? How did a Governor Brown and others in State Government scam us in 2012 into voting for Proposition 30, that if passed promised Accountability, which clearly was never implemented?

Thomas D. Carter, CPA – aka Mr. Flashlight shining his light on the truth

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