School for Scandal
Feb 18, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 22 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes released a report about the financial mismanagement of the Los Angeles Unified School District last week. No one expects the LAUSD—the second-largest school district in the country—would be a font of prudent financial decisions, but stealing kids’ lunch money is pretty low. From the report:
Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey tracked down the LAUSD press release from the grandstanding press conference mentioned above, and it only gets more appalling. The school district warned that without more money, “We may eventually be forced to replace fresh fruits and vegetables.” It’s one thing to run out of money, but given that liberal educators seem more excited about school gardens than, say, literacy, we’re surprised that the LAUSD isn’t running a spinach and zucchini surplus.
This is the same school district that in 2010 opened the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, built on the site of the Ambassador Hotel where RFK was shot. It’s an unintentionally fitting edifice to the Kennedy vision of government—the K-12 complex, to serve 4,200 students, cost a mere $578 million. This came on the heels of the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which opened in 2008, and the $232 million Visual and Performing Arts High School that opened in 2009.
Want some more depressing numbers? In 2010, LA Weekly produced a doozy of an investigative report on the district:
So to recap, the Los Angeles Unified School District wasted $158 million it was given to feed needy children, blew through well over a billion dollars in taxpayer money, and has only managed to fire 4 out of 33,000 teachers for poor performance over the course of a -decade, despite spending millions in legal fees. It’s one thing for -public schools to fail to teach the kids they are charged with. But this level of incompetence suggests that they -actually have contempt for them.
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