- Posted May 9, 2014 by
Porter Ranch, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
An "Us Versus Them" Mentality
Instead of focusing on fiscal mismanagement, Tamar Galatzan blames the problems facing our schools on poor people.
By Carl Petersen
“Schools shouldn’t have to have a bake sale to buy toilet paper”
- Tamar Galatzan
Last week, Galatzan declined to comment on Monica Garcia’s proposal before the LAUSD board to use a “Need Index” in distributing funds. (1) Yesterday, however, before her own constituents at her town hall meeting about the proposed budget, she had plenty to say. With a vigor that I wish she would display while listening to parents at Board meetings, she complained that schools in her district were not getting the money that they need because funds were going to Title I schools. The sitting Board member then went on to say that there are a lot of parents in non-Title I schools and she hopes that these “parents get fed up.”
Under the proposed budget, some schools are facing cuts next year at the same time that the district is receiving additional funding from the state. This is an unacceptable situation that needs to be remedied. However, the solution is not to remove support from the less-advantaged. Instead we should be more responsible with the money that we do have.
Earlier this year, Galzan went against the advice of the Board Oversight Committee and voted to continue purchasing iPads for the district using construction bond funds. (2) Making this breach of the public trust even worse is the fact that it is not being driven by the needs of our students but by the technical requirements of yet another standardized test. These funds are being spent while our schools go without librarians, school nurses and, according to Galatzan, toilet paper.
While the bond funds are outside the budget process, the district needs to stop treating bonds as if they are the source of free money. During the meeting, Matt Hill, the district’s Chief Strategy Officer, came out against the Governor’s policy of buying down debt by saying the district “can continue to get money from Wall Street.” That money is not a grant; it is a loan that has to be paid back, with interest, by the property owners in the district.
All the parents of the district should be fed up. However, pitting one group against the other is not going to fix the problems facing the district. Neither is blaming Sacramento or Washington. I do agree with Galatzan when she states that “the district is to blame for a lot of stuff.” It is time to put someone on the Board who will stop making excuses and actually start implementing solutions.
I am running for the District 3 seat on the LAUSD School Board.
You can follow my campaign at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChangeTheLAUSD/ or on https://twitter.com/ChangeTheLAUSD.
I welcome your personal correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org.