This is a depressing, pessimistic post.
Last week, I was talking about recess and the importance of play, but now I’m thinking of crimes and cons, greed and graft.
The problem is, the kind of optimistic, can-do problem-solving approach that we tend to take on this blog appears to have little to nothing to do with how decisions are made regarding our schools.
Here’s the evidence I’ve gathered. You decide if crimes have been committed.
Exhibit #1: Centinela Valley Superintendent Jose Fernandez was paid $663,000 in 2013. Fernandez runs a district made up of four schools and about 6,600 students. It’s mind-boggling to think that he was paid more than John Deasy, who runs LAUSD, not to mention more than President Obama. His ridiculous pay comes from optimizing an odd contract that paid him extra for working more than 215 days per year and reimbursed him for “purchasing” extra years of service to add to his pension.
Exhibit #2: The Daily Breeze reports that TELACU Construction has created a political machine in the Centinela Valley district, donating large amounts of money to campaigns in which almost no one votes, and which they nearly always win, and then getting voters to approve two construction bond measures totaling close to $200 million, which TELACU is now managing.
And, according to the Superintendent, the district intends to try for a third construction bond.
Exhibit #3: A picture from an LA school:
LAUSD teachers are upset about the District’s budget priorities and have launched a Facebook campaign to try to shame the District into fixing what is broken.
Exhibit #4: Omarosa, former “star” of The Apprentice, has entered the LA School Board race. Here is an interesting note: “She didn’t respond to a question about whether she had ever voted in a school board election.”
David Tokofsky, a former LAUSD school board member, had this to say, ““It feels like things are out of control.”
I don’t know whether to throw my hands up, throw rocks, or throw my resume on some desk around here.