With all the talk of a budget deficit by the new governor, it is easy to see that California dropped the ball big time when it came to spending its money.
I live in LA county and only see a minute detail of its mess but it is a big mess and one that needs to be fixed. Some cuts are obvious but I question if they are obvious to the new governor and those in charge. I was extremely close to the school politics for a while. There can be some quick fixes in that system as opposed to cutting 25 percent of LAUSD’s budget which is what is being done.
For one, I would give the PTSA more power in school politics in exchange for a fund that is shared with all the school’s in the area. I know that some people will say the last thing some school PTSA’s need is more power(specifically a school that I worked at and that area as a whole would question this thought) but the reality is that even if they share 5% of a school’s PTA wealth, another school in the are would be that much better off. I only proposed that the PTA gets more power because I couldn’t think of anything else. More power could come in the form of choosing school’s principal’s, giving them a seat at board meetings, etc.
Second, I would force a bunch of teachers into retirement. I am sorry but it has to be said. For every great teacher that I worked with that was old, their was ten more just showing up for the next few years so they could collect the retirement checks. It is extremely awful at some schools. There are teachers in their 40s that have taught for 15 years just showing up and it is obvious that their heart is not in it. Now I am not saying that you should give them a full retirement package but give them something. (Yes, I am talking about you Mrs. Rodriguez. It was obvious that you hated your job and were getting by on school politics. I would can your ass first without severance.)
Third make it easier for young teachers to get in. They get paid cheaply and are hungry. If you think that they cannot handle it, give them a strong aide like myself who has 5 years on any teacher and can teach k and first grade on my own to cover their ass. It is a huge atrocity how veteran teachers bully their way into who gets picked to teach. Those teachers should be the ones being bullied. I get that they are union but aside from the union leaders at the school, they don’t deserv any power (with the exception of them being unhappy with their union leader). I am not even saying this to give aides like myself power. Seriously, overturn 40% of the veterans jobs and replace them with newbies. With a teacher shortage at its worst, this will open up numerous new jobs. What you could be paying a 1000 teachers, you could easily pay 3500 newbies. This will also help classroom sizes.
Get rid of special ed altogether. LAUSD has this great program where extreme cases get sent to private school on their dime. Study if this will be cheaper option. The big problem with special ed is that general ed teachers just hate special ed kids and refuse to work with them. However most of those teachers are the ones that need to be fired to begin with. If teachers also had smaller classrooms which wouldn’t be an issue with younger cheaper teachers then some of the issues of having special ed kids would dye down.
More open enrollment and opportunity transfers. Face it: some people don’t work well with some kids. Give that kid a chance
Stop paying bus drivers to sit on their ass. If you are having a field trip then make it all day. You can either look into a private taxi service or see if their is a way to use the buses to make money while they are sitting their, like having them be a taxi service. Seriously, bus drivers brag about how good they have it. They sit on their ass all day and get paid 15 dollars for what amounts to a 10 hour day sometimes and only work 3 of those. This happens every fucking day.
And lastly, the whole reason why I wrote this fucking rant: why the fuck does LA have two library systems? Merge them. I get that it will kill jobs but it will kill high paying jobs.
I was asked about the teacher shortage. I get that their is a teacher shortage but their is also a lot of good aides like myself who lost their jobs and are in school or looking for jobs. Have the aides go to school to become teacher’s at night. CA can say that they are paying for it but the truth is that grants cover and financial aid cover most of it to begin with. If you made a bunch of aides teachers, their will be a lot of great teachers. The best part is, because most of us are in our 30s it is not like we will ever qualify for retirement so again in the end you will save money.