Friday, November 14, 2008

A Special Comment

( With apologies to Keith for my lack of writing skills)

As I sat dealing with several important topics of the day, I was not able to find relief from the frustration of the complete absurdity of LAUSD.

The bureaucracy and management of LAUSD has completely failed the students, their parents, and all of us taxpayers who are mandated to continue to support that failed entity.

On November 4, 2008, the majority of voters voting on Measure Q rewarded LAUSD with a SEVEN BILLION DOLLAR bond measure that may take over 32 years to repay.

As we read in today's newspaper, LAUSD is now proposing hiring freezes, spending freezes, and the closing of schools. All this while they still continue on a march to build more schools.

What is it going to take for residents in the Harbor Area to demonstrate to LAUSD that the camel's back is now completely broken and the straw is strewn all over the area?

Perhaps parents might want to take an extra week off after Christmas and have their kids stay home from school for an extra week, thus having LAUSD lose even more money coming from the State by way of Average Daily Attendance.

The idea that next month, a $102 Million Dollar campus may be approved of along Alma Street while a school may be considered for closing on Kerchoff, is completely absurd, irrational, and just plain stupid!

We, the taxpayers must rest control of LAUSD from the bureaucracy and continual bungling that goes on day in and day out.

If we find that we need to use the recall petitions, then so be it. If we need to have the phones ringing off the hook at many offices within LAUSD, then that should be done, also.

This is an extremely tough economic period that will get worse before it gets any better and we must demand that only the best reasoning, decisions, and management be used. But we have witnessed the current management of LAUSD and I would find it hard-pressed to find anyone in that management group that is capable of handling the crisis LAUSD is currently facing.

Since 'We the people' should govern what will happen with the bond money, we need to have the laws and regulations changed immediately to ensure that;

All new construction of schools be placed on hold with a moratorium until the financial situation changes to allow for new construction to again go forward.

Use the bond money voters approved to ensure that schools do not close and the freezes on spending and hiring do not happen.

Use the bond money to fix existing schools and use less expensive means to improve campuses that may seem over crowded.

If necessary, seek Federal Government intervention or the threat of it to impart upon the Board and management within LAUSD that no one is kidding and they had better get their priorities in line with what the students, parents, faculty, staff, and taxpayers want and need.

The Facilities Division, its managers and staff be put on notice that they are not an all-powerful bureaucracy that can dictate to us what will be done.

We will not wait past this weekend to become more involved with our schools than we have been.

We will demand from other elected representatives that they take a new look at LAUSD and deal forcefully with those who are not doing what is best for our students, faculty, staff, and taxpayers challenged with keeping a failed system going.

We will state very clearly to the Governor that if he continually states that "education is the most important thing" then we hold him to that statement with the option of telling him that he may not get re-elected.

We will no longer be silent and go unheard because so many of our schools are such a long distance away from LAUSD headquarters. We are tired of having to realize that since we are on the peninsula, far away from downtown L.A., our priorities and needs have, for too long, been ignored.

I know a person who owns a "Don't Mess With Pedro" shirt. Perhaps it should be made in great numbers and provided to residents who are fed up enough with LAUSD to take more and stronger actions.

Actions need to be taken and LAUSD needs to learn more lessons from our residents.

Stop the plans to build an 'annex' campus to the existing high school and keep all of the existing schools open in the San Pedro and Harbor areas.

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