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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Children > Looming budget cuts in LA school district showcase impact difference between “poor” and “rich”

Looming budget cuts in LA school district showcase impact difference between “poor” and “rich”

LatinaLista — While “Main Street” and “Wall Street,” and every “side street,” have taken direct hits during this economic slump, another “street” institution that has not been able to escape budget cuts and downsizing are public schools.
From Ypsilanti to Dallas and Spokane to Great Falls (Montana), public schools are taking a beating.
Course aren’t just being eliminated or class sizes growing larger but teachers are being given pink slips. If there was one institution where seniority counts for something, it’s in the public schools where the rule of thumb during layoffs is that “the last hired are the first fired.”
While it might make sense — less experience, less years vested in a school district and/or campus, less investment from the school district via in-service training — it is proving to be a devastating loss at those schools that are primarily attended by Latinos and African Americans.
Why?
With seniority, teachers usually choose to transfer out of those schools that are “majority-multicultural.” It means leaving behind an old building, in a depressed area of town, with a higher workload and a higher population of at-risk students.
So to fill these vacant spots, first-year teachers pay their dues by putting in time at these schools. But if the last to be hired are the first to be fired — where does that leave the children at these schools most severely impacted by school budget cuts?


In California, the Los Angeles Unified School District has issued more than 8,500 pink slips for this school year. According to the California Education Code and the district’s collective bargaining agreement, teacher seniority will be used as the primary criteria to determine which teachers stay and which go since teachers with one or two years of experience will be the first dismissed.
As in every major urban school district across the country, this is bad news for those schools that primarily employ the teachers with the least experience.
UCLA did an analysis of new teacher distribution in the LAUSD and found some disturbing revelations that could probably be applied to any major city school district.

New teachers are not distributed equally across LAUSD’s schools. Because of this maldistribution, some schools will bear the brunt of the proposed layoffs. Our analysis of data on teacher experience from the California Basic Educational Data System suggests that schools serving primarily low-income students and students of color are the most likely to employ high proportions (more than 20%) of first and second year teachers. These same schools are the least likely to employ low proportions (less than 10%) of first and second year teachers.
For example:
•46% of LAUSD middle schools serving 75% or more low-income students employ a high proportion of new teachers. No middle school with comparable demographics employs a low proportion of new teachers.
•Middle schools serving fewer (less than 50%) low-income students employ fewer new teachers. 67% of such middle schools employ a low proportion of new teachers.
•40% of LAUSD high schools serving 90% or more students of color employ high proportions of new teachers. Only 8% of such high schools employ low proportions of new teachers.
•In contrast, high schools serving fewer (less than 50%) students of color employ fewer new teachers. 67% of such schools have low proportions of new teachers.
The uneven distribution of the proposed layoffs suggests that the budget cuts may do most harm to schools with the greatest needs.

Though, historically, money always speaks the loudest, there is a grassroots movement developing among Los Angeles’ parents and educators concerned about the impact of the upcoming cuts on the most at-risk student populations.
It’s called CutsHurtKids.org. Organizers of the site tell Latina Lista that they have created a GOOGLE map marking those schools in LAUSD which will be most impacted by the budget cuts. People can submit video, pics and info on their schools which are then placed on the map.
A Twitter site for CutsHurtKids keeps everyone in the loop as to the growing resistance taking root.
In fact, on the Twitter feed, teachers are making it known that a planned strike for this Friday, May 15, is still on contrary to an LA Times report that a judge has halted the strike.
If there is but one thing accomplished by this grass roots movement against the LAUSD budget cuts, it is that the nationwide practice of usually placing first-year or least experienced teachers in those schools that are home to a majority of at-risk student populations, needs to stop.
There should be a good balance of experienced and new teachers in every school — not just for the new teachers to learn from the more experienced instructors but that the students have the same advantage as well.

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Comment(20)

  • Avatar
    cookie
    May 13, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Part of the problem is the ever increasing classroom sizes due to so many children illegally in our country and the parents giving birth in our country.

  • Avatar
    hissy
    May 13, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I agree…you can’t keep cramming more and more poor people that don’t even speak the language in school and expect the school to thrive. It is no different than inviting 5 people to dinner to share a pizza and 50 people just invite themselves. There are only so many tax dollars to go around. EVERYBODY suffers in the long run.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    May 13, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Comments (1)
    cookie :
    Part of the problem is the ever increasing classroom sizes due to so many children illegally in our country and the parents giving birth in our country.
    Site your source Cookie.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    May 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    hissy :
    I agree…you can’t keep cramming more and more poor people that don’t even speak the language in school and expect the school to thrive. It is no different than inviting 5 people to dinner to share a pizza and 50 people just invite themselves. There are only so many tax dollars to go around. EVERYBODY suffers in the long run.
    The parents of the children who dont speak English also pay taxes. Why dont we assign blame where it is due. The Bush administration left this country broke. Including the Schools.
    Taxpayer money was used to illegally invade Iraq so Bush and his thugs could line their pockets with silver. In the process Bush and his thugs have killed thousands of innocent Americans and Iraqis.

  • Avatar
    Nikhil
    May 15, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Your comments betray your interest in preserving white supremacist (racist) notions of welfare dependant people of color. If you are not an openly admitting white supremacist, you certainly think like one. What your analysis fails to acknowledge is the systematic lack of opportunities for poor kids of color, and yes families are a part of this, but their entire social net is being destroyed. Looks like you need a history lesson, but you might have attended a crowded classroom where your teachers were constantly being attacked, so I can understand how you might never have learned what’s really going on.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    May 15, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Nik, this isn’t about people of color per se. It is about people and their schoolaged children in this country illegally. I have no problem with people of color who are in this country legally. Race card pulling duly noted.

  • Avatar
    hissy
    May 16, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Those here ILLEGALLY and work off the radar do not pay enough taxes to support anything. The only tax they pay is sales tax. No tax on food. Most of the money for the schools comes from property taxes and federal money paid by AMERICAN tax payers. I used to feel sorry for these people and tried to help but they became lazy and greedy. Don’t know how things are in your area but in mine…never saw so many able bodied men hanging out all day..while their pregnant teen gals get signed up for freebies. What a way to live…to some of them…it is a GREAT life. School means nothing but a free lunch and now we have added free breakfast.

  • Avatar
    hissy
    May 16, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I would also like to add that while AMERICAN troops are away by the THOUSANDS fighting OBAMA’S war (yes-it is his now and he sent many more) the illegals have invaded the U.S. and have impregnated as many American women/girls as they can. The illegal hispanic girls..and I mean girls as young as 13 are having babies here to anchor themselves. The babies get all benefits to be shared by the rest of the clan. Nice scam on the USA..we are stupid to allow it.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    May 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Evelyn said: The parents of the children who dont speak English also pay taxes. Why dont we assign blame where it is due. The Bush administration left this country broke. Including the Schools.
    5% of citizens pay 50 percent of the income taxes that the Treasury nets, after refunds. The middle class pay the rest and the poor receive everything they contribute back and supplemental income in the form of Earned Income Tax Credits. If the poor were allocated social services and health care on the basis of what they paid to the Treasury they’d actually receive none of these things. You really don’t know what you’re talking about, Evelyn. You have a distorted view of life and you are willfully blind to the truth.

  • Avatar
    Tomas
    May 16, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    By evelyn’s way of thinking, we could deport all the rich and middle class and just import millions more poor and the country would just carry on just as before. I doubt whether the taxes they could afford would pay for much of an education, however. If the poor payed their way, we wouldn’t need the middle class or the rich. Once again evelyn fails in the logic department.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    May 17, 2009 at 2:30 am

    hissy :
    Those here ILLEGALLY and work off the radar do not pay enough taxes to support anything. The only tax they pay is sales tax. No tax on food. Most of the money for the schools comes from property taxes and federal money paid by AMERICAN tax payers.
    E
    Show your source hissy!
    Mine says you’re wrong. I have never seen a line at the food store that says Mexicans without legal status here! Unauthorized immigrants pay property taxes wherever they rent or buy a home. These are the facts hissy, to bad you would reather make a fool of yourself and live in denial then accept them!
    Immigrants Pay More in Taxes Than They Use in Services Over Their Lifetimes: Depending on skills and level of education, each immigrant pays, on average, between $20,000 and $80,000 more in taxes than he or she consumes in public benefits.
    Immigrants’ Relative Youth Contributes To Social Security’s Health: Current levels of immigration will provide a net benefit to the Social Security system of nearly $450 billion in taxes paid over benefits received during the 2006-2030 period–and almost $4.4 trillion during the 2006-2080 period. This is because 75 percent of immigrants arrive in the US when they are in their prime working years (age 18 to 65). But the share of native-born citizens in their prime working years now stands at only 60 percent, and will decline rapidly over the coming decades as the Baby Boomers retire.
    Immigrants Educated on Home Country’s Tab: The roughly 26 million immigrants now in the United States who arrived when they were over the age of 18–after their upbringing and basic education were paid for in their home countries–represent a windfall to American taxpayers of roughly $2.8 trillion. The US receives all of the tax payments made by these immigrants, while bearing almost none of the costs of raising and educating them.
    Several recent studies of the economic impact that immigration has at the state level have yielded similar findings:
    http://www.aollatinoblog.com/2008/04/14/do-immigrants-pay-their-fair-share-of-taxes-you-bet-they-do/
    ~
    I used to feel sorry for these people and tried to help but they became lazy and greedy.
    E
    So which is it hissy either they take peoples jobs or they are lazy and greedy. You cant have it both ways! Get your story straight, lest you avoid being called HYPOCRIT!!!
    ~
    Don’t know how things are in your area but in mine…never saw so many able bodied men hanging out all day..while their pregnant teen gals get signed up for freebies. What a way to live…to some of them…it is a GREAT life. School means nothing but a free lunch and now we have added free breakfast.
    E
    They must be the ones that have fully assimilated. That’s what you want isn’t it, for them to assimilate. Oh, and BTW those that you see doing that are American citizens.

  • Avatar
    Karen
    May 17, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Re: “It is about people and their school aged children in this country illegally. I have no problem with people of color who are in this country legally.”
    That is such BS. The government refuses and has refused to adequately fund education for American minorities. Underfunded, overcrowded schools in non-white neighborhoods existed long before the increase in illegal immigration.
    Now that oppression is spreading to everyone, as the Republican Party seeks to totally destroy access to a quality public education in America. Their ideal is a small class of people with Ivy League degrees (regardless of qualifications like Dubya) and a large population of ignorant laborers who think Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are smart.

  • Avatar
    hissy
    May 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Evelyn…we are impressed…you have proven that you know how to copy and paste. Time to go to bed now…school isn’t out yet. I can only talk about what I SEE in my area. I know many illegal people and most of them are very nice. It does not make it OKAY to be here illegally. They put THEMSELVES in a bad spot and THEY are the ones to blame. THEY make the choice to bring kids over here and they are busting the budgets. You can’t make this stuff up. Stop asking for the source…you would have to live under a rock NOT to SEE it.

  • Avatar
    Jcangel
    May 18, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    So, for those of you who say that the illegal immigrants get the white girls pregnant, get your facts straight. Look at the percentage of illegal babies, to the amount of White American high school pregnant young women. Definitely the white young women are the higher percentage. Research please.
    As for the taxes, of course they pay taxes. No taxes on food? Where have you been, unless you are an illegal immigrant who does not pay taxes on , FOOD, please don’t talk about things you don’t know.
    As for the American troops, yes they are fighting for our country, but why are they there?? Thanks to the Bush administration.
    As for ” we are stupid to allow it” no, you are stupid for not knowing enough information before you give you POV.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    May 19, 2009 at 12:24 am

    RE:
    The middle class pay the rest and the poor receive everything they contribute back and supplemental income in the form of Earned Income Tax Credits.
    ~
    Horace it is you who really don’t know what you’re talking about.
    An email purportedly from the spouse of a teacher in California has been circulating for about a year – it is a rant about immigrants and all the ‘subsidies’ they get from good ol’ American taxpayers. Its origin is uncertain as there is no identification of the specific school or teacher.
    But the author got their ‘facts’ all wrong. Here’s an excerpt:
    Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an “earned income credit” of up to $3,200 free.
    He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.
    He qualifies for food stamps.
    He qualifies for free (no deductible, no CO-pay) health care.
    His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.
    He requires bilingual teachers and books.
    He qualifies for relief from (sic) high energy bills.
    If they are or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. Once qualified for SSI the y(sic) can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at (our) taxpayer’s expense.”
    notice there are NO sources cited, no identification of the specific school or teacher. in fact, in two minutes i found out this nonsense has been circulating for months, with no substantiation.
    Among the other ‘inaccuracies’ on this are the following:
    Working illegal aliens do NOT get an earned income tax credit.
    in order to file a tax return the alien must have an SSN which by definition they do not. Instead, any illegal alien who does file uses an ITIN. They do not qualify for section 8 housing. They do not qualify for SSI if they are blind or disabled. They do not get food stamps. They do not get medicaid or medicare. Kids of illegal aliens may qualify for medicaid if they were born in the US (depending on family income and other criteria).
    references
    http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/man…MA_AL19-03.htm
    http://www.urban.org/publications/411425.html

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    May 19, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Tomas :
    By evelyn’s way of thinking, we could deport all the rich and middle class and just import millions more poor and the country would just carry on just as before. I doubt whether the taxes they could afford would pay for much of an education, however. If the poor payed their way, we wouldn’t need the middle class or the rich. Once again evelyn fails in the logic department.
    ~
    The fortune teller you’re using to get information about me is what is failing along with your sence.
    When are you going to learn fortune tellers take your money to tell you wish were true and what you want to hear.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    May 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Evidently, Evelyn, you don’t have a clue as to what Thomas is saying. I’m pretty sure that he is making the point that your 20 million below-the-poverty level illegal immigrants could hardly be said to self supporting when it comes to paying the cost of a decent education. Also by his reasoning, and correctly so, the poor in general are being subsidized by the middle class and the poor. Giving an amnesty to 20 million poor and illiterate and giving them all the rights and benefits of our social support system by doing so makes absolutely no sense to anyone except wackos like you.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    May 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    hissy :
    Evelyn…we are impressed…you have proven that you know how to copy and paste. Time to go to bed now…school isn’t out yet. I can only talk about what I SEE in my area. I know many illegal people and most of them are very nice. It does not make it OKAY to be here illegally. They put THEMSELVES in a bad spot and THEY are the ones to blame. THEY make the choice to bring kids over here and they are busting the budgets. You can’t make this stuff up. Stop asking for the source…you would have to live under a rock NOT to SEE it.
    ~
    Apperantly you are blind, dumb and in denial.
    Of course you dont want me asking for proof because you cant provide any, you are talking out of the side of your a$$ using lies to demonize immigrants!
    Maybe if you picked up a book instead of looking out the window to spy on Hispanic immigrants you would know they come here because the U.S. gov. has stolen the wealth of the immigrants countries, so they are forced to follow it here in order to survive.
    Only ignorant knuckle draggers who spend all day looking out the window spying on immigrants while looking for reasons to blame immigrants for their failures live under rocks.

  • Avatar
    cookie
    May 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Citizens of other countries that are being impoverished by their own governments need to take it up with their own governments. If you are talking NAFTA again both the U.S. and Mexico signed it but you only hold the U.S. responsible. In any event bad policies do not justify an illegal invasion of another country, especially when their citizens object to it. We Americans never got to vote on NAFTA and other political policies that we may disagree on.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    May 23, 2009 at 10:03 am

    “Also by his reasoning, and correctly so, the poor in general are being subsidized by the middle class and the poor.”
    Make that “….. subsidized by the middle class and the rich.”

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