Today LAUSD (and possibly other districts) announced that summer school sessions are cancelled for this year because of the budget crisis. Last week the Governor demanded another huge hack to the education budget and the Superintendent, along with the School Board, are quickly running out of places to cut. Summer school, though crucial, apparently seems like a “nice to have” at this point – especially when you consider the massive deficit we’re up against just to fund the next school year. I’m not excusing LAUSD, or trying to minimize the impact of this, but things have reached a pretty dire point and until our State government puts education on the top of the priority list, instead of at the bottom, things are not going to get measurably better for our kids.
For many families across the district, cancelling summer school is a catastrophe. They rely on summer school to help their struggling children prepare for the next school year. Others rely on it to keep their kids out of trouble during the long summer months. Hell, my mother sent my sister and me to summer school just to get us out of the house. Parents who work fulltime and can’t afford camp or other summer childcare programs are in a real bind now. I believe that the free education gravy train is grinding to a halt thanks to a history of bad, self-serving decisions at the district level and in our Legislature.
MOMS UNITE has always been about fighting to make sure that budget cuts don’t impact the classroom and we’ll continue that fight, but you have to know that the battle is getting tougher. The reality is that there is NO MONEY. And our “education” Governor keeps taking more away from education. For some reason he seems to think that the school system is the State’s ATM.
If you’re angry about the state of public education, and we all should be, contact your State representative. Contact the Governor’s office. Write, call, and email your concerns. Insist that education be made a priority in this State. It’s an embarrassment California has been allowed to come to this. Nothing is going to change if we don’t force it. And now is the time.
If you’re not angry, you should be. If you think that because your kids go to private school, or they’re grown and out of school, or you don’t have kids, and this doesn’t affect you – think again. If you own property, this affects you. If you want to live in a State that attracts cutting edge industry and development, this affects you. And if you don’t want to live in a city filled with angry, functionally illiterate people who would love good jobs, but can’t get them, then this affects you. If we can’t educate our children, we’re not only doing them a horrible, inexcusable disservice, we’re doing ourselves a disservice.