Earlier this month, Tamar Galatzan spoke to the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council and repeated her familiar refrain of the schools in her district having to hold fundraisers to buy toilet paper. She says that the reason that they have to do this is that the Board increased the threshold that a school needs to meet in order to receive Title I funding. She also maintained that “a lot of that has to do with the fact that the LAUSD has not paid much attention to middle class, non-Title I schools.”
The fact is that it is not only non-Title I schools who have to rely on fundraisers to supplement the money that they receive from the district. The solution to these shortfalls lies not in pitting schools serving different economic classes against each other but in expanding the funding pie that is available. Reviewing the headlines from last week provides many examples where mismanagement at the district level has robbed from the funding available for our local schools:
LAUSD: Price tag to fix MiSiS could reach $98 million Los Angeles Daily News
Just In: LAUSD settles Miramonte civil cases for $139 million L.A. School Report
Cortines approves next phase of LAUSD iPad program L.A. School Report
The last headline references the resurrection of Deasy’s plan to purchase an iPad for every student, teacher and administrator at a cost to the taxpayers of $1.3 billion. It is also in addition to the $22 million mentioned in the earlier headline. That amount of money would buy a lot of toilet paper.