LAUSD: BANKRUPTCY REORGANIZATION A BETTER SOLUTION THAN PROP EE

LAUSD Board.jpgThe problem with passing a Proposition EE to once again bailout the longstanding dysfunctional Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is that it does nothing to address the underlying LAUSD endemic corruption and dysfunction that has continued now over decades to put administrative and LAUSD "agreed corporate vendors" interests and profit above those of what should be LAUSD's primary and fundamental function of educating students with enough fairly compensated teachers.

While there is clearly a justifiable stigma to any entity going into bankruptcy, the ability of bankruptcy to restructure an entity out of the red and into the black by an objective and independent analysis in bankruptcy of that organization's functioning is too often ignored or underestimated.

What bankruptcy can hopefully offer and accomplish, if done correctly and by an entity without a preconceived prior negative subjective agenda, is the reorganization of a presently corrupt LAUSD by a bankruptcy process establishing a hierarchy of function in determining which functions are necessary and essential to the continued- and maybe for the first time- viable functioning of LAUSD, where there is finally a definitive determination as to which functions are not essential and have in fact put the entity into bankruptcy in the first place.

Proposition EE would avoid this positive restructing option by once again financially bailing out presently dyfunctional LAUSD without ever addressing the underlying organizational dysfunction and LAUSD's administrative structure that created LAUSD's prospective bankruptcy in the first place.

In attempting to positively apply bankruptcy remediation remedies and their ability to restructure LAUSD, what immediately becomes evident is that LAUSD administration has put its own conflicted and corporate profit interests above what should have been LAUSD's primary functional interest of teaching students in an atmosphere conducive to learning with first call on enough of the LAUSD budget going to accomplish what should be this fundamental and primary educational task.

The following are just some of the presently entrenched dysfunctional factors at LAUSD that have caused it to continue to fail in what should be its primary function of educating students:

- Career advancement and upward mobility at LAUSD comes from teachers getting out of the classroom and becoming admnistrators, since a teacher tops out on salary at around $80,000 and administrators can start making six figures in a very short period of time. This reality gives good teachers no incentive for staying in teaching and has created a present LAUSD reality where 50% of teachers quit within 3 years of being hired, creating the unnecessary expensive process of constantly having always to replace teachers.

- Can anyone honestly say that administrators work harder than teachers? Think about it: What if teachers were ultimately paid more than administrators? Problem solved.

- What relevant business skills and education do LAUSD administrators have to effectively run the multi-billion-dollar business of public education administration?

- Since upward mobility at LAUSD is into administration, it has created the counterintuitive reality over the last few years of a 20% increase in administrators, while teacher and student populations have continued to drop precipitously.

- Charter schools, that do no better than LAUSD, have taken significant numbers of students and classroom space from LAUSD. But this has done nothing to lower LAUSD class size. Rather, it allowed the counterintuitive building of the unnecessary Belmont school complex on a toxic waste site and a school at the old Ambassador Hotel site for 3 times contract and market value.

- What we now have is a massive centralized, redundant, and dysfunctional LAUSD bureaucracy, instead of a local school centered administration, where parents and teachers acting in concert should be determining the school principal and administration based exclusively on the academic success of the schools student body. The present LAUSD Beaudry bureaucracy should should be drastically reduced and only deal with the few tasks that cannot be handled by local schools run by a congress of teachers, students, and parents. A much reduced LAUSD administration should only monitor and check the functioning and administration of locally run schools by parents, teachers, and students.

- How much of school site maintenance costs could be saved by electively required shop students taking over many of the functions of gardening, trash collection, and fixing of minor school maintence tasks? What better way to teach students the costs of littering and vandalism.

- The present administration of LAUSD certificated and classified unions has more in common with the interests of LAUSD administration than they do with their own rank-and-file. This is proven by the fact that they have done nothing to address the undeclared war LAUSD has been waging to get rid of high seniority more expensive teachers and staff at the top of their respective salary scales.

- It is more expensive to deal with the predictable behavior issues of students who continue to be socially promoted and undereducated. Chronic truancy has caused LAUSD hundreds of millions of dollars in Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding from the State and federal government. This predictably leads to the clearly predictable subsequent and disproportionate and super expensive incarceration of predominantly minority students who "graduate" or drop out of school without the basic educational skills and formation necessary to be gainfully employed. The amount of money that would be saved in prison and other avoidable expenses, if these predominantly minority students were actually educated, is far greater than what LAUSD now seeks under Proposition EE.

Given what I have said here and in recognition of just how pervasive the corruption of public education is, one might ask why Mayor Gil Garcetti, Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Kamala Harris and others are still supporting Proposition EE?

Please feel free to comment about any other factors that make Proposition EE the least likely "solution" to LAUSD's avoidable problems.

31

05 2019

2 Comments

The only reason people advocate bankruptcy for LAUSD is to try to shed its obligation for retiree health benefits. Is that what you'd like to see happen? That was certainly Richard Riordan's vision of the future.

The only reason for bankruptcy is not to shed obligations like retiree health benefits. Rather, it is to have a legal and truly independent entity outside LAUSD restructure LAUSD into a financially viable entity. Given the endemic longstanding corruption of this top-down model that remains captive of its administrators, vendors, and attorneys, just giving them more money would be doomed to failure- you don't buy an alcoholic a case of beer.
However, if the primary function of educating students with fairly compensated professional teachers takes the lion share of any LAUSD budget, it is more than possible to run LAUSD in the black for the first time. This means getting rid of agreed upon vendors that have consistently overcharged LAUSD for all its goods and services- no more Belmont or Ambassador Hotel programmed financial fiascos. There was a time not so long ago when 87% of the public education budget went to salaries of certificated and classified employees. Corporate interests are working for a model where 35% of the $1.3 trillion annual public education budget goes into their pockets in the form of pure profit. Charter schools are a step in this direction, because although they are non-profit public schools, they are owned controlled and operated by for-profit corporations, whose last concern is actually educating students. As a matter of fact, corporation seek an uneducated electorate and citizenry, so they can continue their sole raison d'etre of making profit at any cost to the true public interest.

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