- Written by Andrew Gumbel
05 Oct 2012
CLASSROOM CLOSINGS ALERT - California’s public education system, once the finest in the nation, is on the edge of the abyss.
If the state’s voters don’t approve a package of emergency tax increases at the ballot box in November, the system – already pushed to the brink by decades of budgets cuts, swelling class sizes, skyrocketing inner-city dropout rates, shrinking libraries and disappearing arts and music programs – will start to shut down altogether.
That’s the dire scenario laid out by John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in the state, who says he won’t be able to afford to keep his schools open beyond
April unless voters approve a new injection of cash.
“The school year will have to end … about a month and a half early,” Deasy told a group of district students recently. “We won’t have enough days for seniors to graduate. The year will end before APs [Advanced Placement exams], before graduation … And things will get progressively worse each year from now on.” (The rest of Andrew Gumbel’s column … including the arguments on how to keep LA’s schools open.)
(Andrew Gumbel is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the author, most recently, of Oklahoma City: What The Investigation Missed -- And Why It Still Matters [HarperCollins] This article was posted first at Salon.com)
Vol 10 Issue 80
Pub: Oct 5, 2012