Friday, May 30, 2008

Education Deprivation

A new report from the United Way of Greater Los Angeles finds that too often when we talk about education reform, we focus on early education (the primary years) and high school (preparing kids for college), while ignoring the middle school years, which are critical. Kids who struggle in middle school tend to drop out once they hit high school, or even before. Statistically, these kids are more likely to continue struggling throughout their lives, since without an education they are much less likely to make a living wage. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger* is proposing to cut LAUSD funding by $350 million, due to the state budget deficit. Talk about kicking you when you’re down. Check out these statistics:

100% of L.A. County middle schools spend less on each student than the national average.

At least 20% of teachers in L.A. County middle schools lack full teaching credentials.

Half of middle schools in L.A. County meet the state’s definition of an overcrowded school, and within the LAUSD this proportion jumps to 75%.

70% of schools that serve high levels of low-income students are categorized as Program Improvement schools – meaning they have not improved their academic outcomes for two years in a row. Half of these have seen no improvement for 4 or 5 consecutive years.
If you feel up to it, the Summary Report and the Full Report are available for free download at United Way Los Angeles.

* By the way, the Schwarzenegger household will be unaffected by the budget cuts. I hear that his children attend a private school that charges over $25,000 a year in tuition.

No comments: