On June 21, 2016, the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education passed its 2016-2017 budget in the amount of $7.6 billion dollars. Great news right? Wrong. Your kids will probably not see much of that budget in the classroom. In fact, most of the budget is dedicated to paying teachers. Retired teachers, active teachers and teachers in the so-called “teacher jail” (for teachers who have been “bad.”) And while your kids won’t actually benefit much from the increased budget, some students will benefit from the increased police presence and expanded discipline programs. Yes, those are your tax dollars at work.
If you live in the LAUSD, and you are interested in going through the budget, brace yourself. You might be disgusted to find that LAUSD has allocated nearly $15 million to pay those in teacher jail. A report was published today that shed light on $15 million in the Superintendents budget to pay these teachers while they sit around and wait for their investigations to either clear them or release them. And yes, that is a lot of money, but it is also a lot of teachers. 181 staffers (144 teachers/37 classified employees) are currently held in limbo pending their investigations. The $15 million was questioned by Board Member Ref Rodriguez as he clarified that salaries are paid and substitutes are paid for as well. Thank you Dr. Rodriguez for asking the question.
You may be wondering if this is a common practice among school districts. No, it is not. Most districts place the employee on leave and they are not allowed on district property. LAUSD has a long standing practice of housing these individuals on district property. The district asserts that they are trying to streamline the process and are working with UTLA to do so, but the number of employees that get into trouble grows exponentially and it has become a never-ending cycle of disciplinary dysfunction. To add insult to injury, the district is currently being sued over the practice by a group of employees and will bear a huge liability if they lose the class action led case.
These types of policies continue to hurt the students of LAUSD. Because of this irresponsible and ineffective practice precious dollars that should end up helping your child achieve will instead continue to pay off the “bad apples” and will never see the light of the classroom day. You should be outraged!
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