“. . . the school district is going to go bust within five years.”


from Dr. Gary North’s “We Have Passed the Tipping Point for American Liberalism” via Lew Rockwell

Every once in a while, I come across something that I find almost impossible to believe. Somebody sends me a document or a link to an article, and I am stunned.

I have just learned of an official study in the Los Angeles school district that says that, by 2020, the school district is going to be in a fiscal crisis of monumental proportions. Already, Chicago’s schools are also facing this.

Here is what a November report by the Independent Financial Review Panel reveals:

If the District desires to continue as a growing concern beyond [Fiscal Year] 2019-20, capable of improving the lives of students and their families, then a combination of difficult, substantial and immediate decisions will be required. Failure to do so could lead to the insolvency of the LAUSD, and the loss of local governance authority that comes from state takeover.

Exactly what is going wrong? Just about everything.

There is a declining enrollment in the public schools. The primary reasons are these. First, there is a declining birth rate within the city schools’ jurisdiction. Second, there is an exodus into charter schools.

Tax money pays for the charter schools, but the charter schools have considerable independence from the unions and from the school board. Parents exercise more control over the charter schools than they do over the regular public schools. The charter schools are funded by taxes, but they don’t have to take any student who comes in the door. They can be selective. So, they keep out the hoodlums. Parents who want their children educated in an environment in which the hoodlums are kept out enroll their kids in the charter schools.

This has always been why the labor unions and the school districts have hated the charter schools. They say the charter schools “skim off the cream.” They are correct. The theory of democracy dies whenever a parent says, “I want my kids in a good school filled with students who want to learn.” Public school teachers don’t want competition. But the public in Los Angeles is getting its collective way, and the exodus is massive. Something in the range of 100,000 students are now in the charter schools instead of the public schools. This is enormous. I had no idea that it was on this scale.

Furthermore, there are about 17% fewer students inside Los Angeles County today, compared to the number in the year 2000. This is a demographic problem, and the school district cannot do anything about it.

But the spending hasn’t stopped. The students have left the school district, but costs do not go down. Over half of the teachers and administrators in the school district make $75,000 a year or more. The union members are happy, but the school district is going to go bust within five years.

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