LAUSD PARCEL TAX...TO REWARD ENDEMIC LAUSD MISMANAGEMENT?

LAUSD Board.jpgWhy would any Los Angeles property taxpayer in their right mind vote on June 4th of this year to pay an average increase of $450 on their property tax bill to subsidize a still purposefully mismanaged LAUSD that has remained on the verge of bankruptcy for years?

This is an LAUSD that has steadfastly refused to submit to an independent audit of LAUSD's- dare I say- openly fraudulent financial practices and expenditures. Would you be able to ask for a bank loan or a mortgage without submitting to a truly independent audit of your finances? So why has LAUSD been allowed to run amok for generations without any external check on their fraud and mismanagement?

Add to this the fact that 65 years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision that establish the priniciple that, "Separate but equal...is inherently unequal," LAUSD remains de facto segregated with a 90% Latino and Black population and less than 10% White and Asian. So now White property owners who already have a burdensome property tax bill are supposed to vote to increase their own taxes for a public education system at LAUSD that they have not and will not use? And don't forget that this proposed property tax for a public education system they don't use would be added to the $20-30 thousand a year they already pay to a private or parochial school to keep their kids away from bad LAUSD public non-education.

In theory, the only reason why LAUSD, the second largest school district in the country exists as a single entity is what is called the economics of scale, where LAUSD should get the best price for the goods and services it buys, due to its size. In reality, LAUSD has and continues to pay the highest prices for these goods and services as witnessed by clearly documented conflicts of interest and overcharging in the hundreds of millions of dollars on the Ipad contract under John Deasy and at the Belmont Learning Center fiasco and RFK Learning Center scandal at the old Ambassador Hotel site on Wilshire. All this because LAUSD remains a captive of its "agreed corporate vendors," who remain free to charge LAUSD the highest prices without truly competitive bids for goods and services or without the ability of LAUSD to buy these goods and services from much less expensive sources. Simply stated, LAUSD spends the vast majority of its money on everything other than educating students.

And even though 83% of charters do the same or worse than LAUSD with their student bodies, charters have been allowed to pilfer students from LAUSD and occupy classroom space at LAUSD, which only serves to exacerbate the negative impact on LAUSD's ability to amoritize its fixed costs over fewer and fewer students.

In a disingenuous attempt to justify raisng the property tax bill, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia spoke on the Larry Mantle KPCC Air Talk radio show about "more graduation at LAUSD." What she failed to mention is that there is literally no substance to the credit recovery courses. Students are allowed to go through the motions and copy their way through without addressing any of the missed prior grade-level standards mastery they were allowed to graduate and receive a high school diploma without. Predictably, 70% of these students subsequently can't pass a community college entrance exam that is based of the mastery of prior grade-level standards these students were given diplomas by LAUSD without.

And finally, even a cursory examination of LAUSD student attendance shows that literally hundreds of millions of dollars are lost every year by LAUSD due to truancy, which stops the District from receiving this Average Daily Attendance (ADA) money from the State of California. Students are truant, because after being socially promoted without mastery of prior grade-level standards, they predictably find school humiliating, when they are asked questions they cannot possibly answer, due to their social promotion without this prerequisite knowledge. Ending social promotion would stop this humiliation and predictable truancy, which would more that compensate the District financially with added ADA money from the State of California.

2 Comments

It seems like no matter how much money is spent on education, very very little money ends up making an effective impact.

LAUSD should not be rewarded for repeating
its now-decades-old habits of promoting students to avoid confronting the truth about learning rather than aging with education.

By confronting the truth about whether or not students are learning or at their actual level of mastering skills (should they skip a grade level or repeat any), we will see wonderful long term advantages of a society in which tax payers are more responsible productive contributing members of society.

So many issues including climate change and homelessness need to be addressed as LA becomes another San Francisco tent city. Education is where it all begins and sadly we aren't living up to our potential as the world's 5th largest economy.

Shouldn't the lottery have funded enough money for tutoring and after school programs by now?!

If our city's population has grown larger, shouldn't government services be available for longer hours to employ part time staff that don't siphon further into our state's crises-ridden pension funds?

Things aren't making sense, people!

The author of this article, Lenny Isenberg, should be in televised commercials with the likes of Jesse Ventura, funded by a non-profit organization that purely seeks to inform people why they should be concerned about where all the money goes.

We can only increase taxes so high as we drive out more people to other states. Raising taxes comes with responsibility. Vote NO, June 4th!

Letter to the Per Daily Editor:

Why should we the “property owners” residing within the LAUSD gerrymandered ZIP CODE areas, be taxed to give LAUSD more dollars to waste on Administration, via now a proposed Parcel Tax ballot measure, never to be used for the benefit of students who do not even come to school daily, dubbed ignored habitual truants, students not in schools in excess of three times in the year unexcused ?

A better approach than a parcel tax for LAUSD to fund good public education, while avoiding looming bankruptcy, where teachers and others would lose their jobs, would be for LAUSD to stop ignoring the massive unaddressed student truancy of 50%, that amounted to over 300,000 students last year; while LAUSD has continued to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in Average Daily Attendance money from the State.

If the student truancy issue would instead be addressed at LAUSD and by the County of Los Angeles in 2019 ; focusing on why Schools and Government have failed to become into compliance with the California Education Code, as promised “we the people”, when we voted to already tax ourselves since 2012, via Proposition 30, a now Parcel Tax at LAUSD would not be unnecessary.

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

Leave a comment