Wednesday, December 09, 2009

THE SKY HAS FALLEN: Next Year's Budget – 0r - Chicken Little served up by Colonel Sanders

by smf with newsfeeds from google news

…OK, it's not that bad. This is the preliminary first-cut at a very ugly budget for very ugly times – a pro-forma as required by law. And the second play in a game of brinkmanship by the District in union contract negotiations – the first being securing agreement to furlough days from small unions that have have no bargaining chips.

In business school (and real life) you learn to never allow budget talks and union contract negotiations to overlap. But the number of business school graduates on the 24th floor of Beaudry (that aren't outside consultants) is improbably zero.

As UTLA president A.J. Duffy put it: "Today contract negotiations began."  On a sour note in the key of F.

ON ANOTHER FRONT  US Education Secretary Arne Duncan summoned Superintendent Cortines and President Duffy – and seven other pairs of urban superintendents and teachers union presidents -  to D.C. on Monday for a little confab, heart-to-heart and "come-to-Arne".  Hearing from those folks must've been an eye-opener for Duncan – he hears a little too much from the Bill Gate's, Steve Barr's and Eli Broad's of this world. While both said the meeting was good, they came away with no promises and certainly no assurances of more federal money for public education in LA.

And perhaps more telling, they traveled separately and and had no contact outside the Dept. of Education.


AS PART OF THE COST SAVINGS Superintendent Cortines has proposed closing, eliminating or consolidating all schools of less than 400 students – even while acknowledging that may of these schools have some of the highest  APIs – formerly the Great Indicator of Success.

Apparently the Bottom Line is now the GIOS.

This means that schools like Ivanhoe ES (354 students, 917 API), Mount Washington ES  (345 students, 898 API), Fairburn Ave. ES (388 students, 957 API),  and Valley View ES (218 students, 827 API) are on the chopping block.

Ann Street School (146 students, 97% economically disadvantaged,754 API) , a gem that serves kids in an isolated housing project surrounded by industrial warehouses north of Chinatown  is do0med.

Remember the Small Schools Resolution?  So do I.

A 2006 research review of relevant studies of school size found:

  • On average, research indicates that an effective size for an elementary school is in the range of 300-400 students.
  • Academic Achievement - Student achievement in small schools is at least equal, and often superior, to student achievement in large schools.
    Student Attitudes
  • Student attitudes toward school in general and toward particular subjects are better in small schools compared to large ones.
    Student Behavior
  • Small schools have lower incidences of negative social behavior than do large schools.
  • Effects on Minority and Low-Income Students - The effects of small schools on the academic achievement of ethnic minority students and students from low-income families are especially positive. In other words, large schools have a more negative impact on minority and low-income students than on students in general.
  • School size has a particularly strong influence on student attitudes about school among low-income and minority students.
  • The social behavior of ethnic minority and low-income students is even more positively impacted by small schools than that of other students.



School Board Calls for 5000 Layoffs

NBC Los Angeles - Bill French - ‎4 hours ago‎

A showdown between the Los Angeles Unified School District Board and the teachers union was pushed to the limit Tuesday, with passage of a budget plan ...

The End of Education

Huffington Post (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎

... fellow teachers outside Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters near downtown LA late this afternoon. Inside the LAUSD Board was debating, ...

LAUSD approves budget that would cut over 5000 jobs

Contra Costa Times - Connie Llanos - ‎9 hours ago‎

A somber Los Angeles Unified school board approved a budget plan Tuesday that calls for the elimination of more than 5000 ...

LA schools OK 5000 job cuts in last resort budget

San Jose Mercury News - Christina Hoag - ‎10 hours ago‎

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles school board on Tuesday approved a plan to close a $470 million budget gap in the next academic year ...

LA schools approve plan to cut 5000 jobs

The Associated Press - ‎13 hours ago‎

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second largest, laid off some 2000 teachers this academic year. About 300 teachers and supporters ...

Urban Education Reform, LA Style

Huffington Post (blog) - ‎15 hours ago‎

When policy wonks pick interesting examples of urban education reform, Los Angeles Unified School District is not among them. It should be. ...

Teachers Demonstrate As LA District Considers Dropping 1400 Of Them

LA Weekly - Dennis Romero - ‎17 hours ago‎

​Teachers were demonstrating outside Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters ...

LA schools consider 5000 job cuts over 2 years

Modesto Bee - ‎19 hours ago‎

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second largest, laid off some 2000 teachers this academic year.

LAUSD facing 5000-plus job cuts

Contra Costa Times - Connie Llanos - ‎Dec 8, 2009‎

The Los Angeles Unified school board is expected to vote on a two-year budget plan today that calls for the elimination of ...

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