Open Forum (4/23- )

By Dave Fratello | April 23rd, 2009
Whose schools are being bailed out by whom?

School finance in California is about as complex as you can get, except for all the other methods.

In MB, it's actually a little bit simpler than in some other parts of LA, or the state.

We get the standard allocations, but not much extra. Private nonprofits (i.e., parents) pay for a lot.

And now the city is in on the deal, big-time.

It was somewhat necessary last year. A few hundred k in direct assistance from the city to the school district.

This year: $1.3 million, direct from city coffers, er, reserves. (See the Daily Breeze story.)

Can MB afford it? Actually the city will now run a $5m deficit, which is supposed to be of little concern because we've got those reserves. (For some more detail, see MBC's story from 2 months ago, "What the City Expects.")

But you can see where this is going.

Absent a return to the go-go days in the economy, to keep our schools at the level where we are accustomed to having them operate, parents, the city coffers and all residents are going to be asked for more.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. A wealthy community probably should step up and help the schools however it can.

So how are Whittier, San Pedro, Lawndale, and the wild mix of other communities in L.A. dealing with similar shortfalls for their schools?


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