Is Los Angeles Unified too big to fail?

LAUSD and other K-12 districts have recently seen a 50 percent increase in per-pupil financing from taxpayers, much more flexibility to spend special-purpose money, and extra aid to raise academic achievement of poor and/or English-learner students.

However, the district’s enrollment is declining, mandatory payments into employee pension systems are rising sharply to shore up their shaky finances, and LA Unified habitually overspends revenues by caving in to union demands for hefty salary increases.

As Calefati pointed out, “Board members may talk about future calamity, but they just approved a raise for 30,000 bus drivers, cafeteria workers and classroom aides. And as Los Angeles teachers watch their peers across the state win pay hikes, they feel increasingly sure that they’ll get one too.”

. . . It underscores an important point often forgotten in the hyper-political battles over finances – LA Unified is also failing its half-million students, who exhibit shamefully low levels of academic achievement.

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