The Empty Desks of a Failing School System

Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) blocked a busy L.A. Street this week with 375 school desks to protest the failure of the local school system in improving many of the district’s struggling schools.

The 375 desks represent each of the 375 students who drop out of the district weekly, during the school year. Blocking the street in front of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) offices, CLASS hopes to draw attention to what they feel is a mis-allocation of funds in the nation’s second largest school district. Education program officer Elmer Roldan with the United Way, told the L.A. times “We’re glad the drivers are upset, because we’re upset about students dropping out,” adding “The most vulnerable students should benefit from the budget.”

As of 04/10/14 an LAUSD spokesperson  told Fusion News that “the district is not issuing a statement [on the matter] at this time. The absence of any direct response to CLASS’s demonstration comes as a surprise, especially in light of the unimpressive 66 percent graduation rate over the course of the last four years, ending in 2011/2012. The demonstration hopes to amend and bring light to the fact that over the course of those same four years, roughly 73 percent of the student population was Latino.

As a summation of local community organizations, CLASS is also urging the LAUSD to consider each school’s population of foster care youth, English-Language learners, low income students, as wells as measuring neighborhood conditions such as  exposure to violence, access to youth programs, early care, prior education level and potential health issues all be considered when allocating budget funds.

“It’s about concentrating resources to schools that need it the most instead of sprinkling it around.” Said Nancy Meza, a member of CLASS and Innercity Struggle,  to Fusion Media Network, earlier this week.

The disparities and struggle of districts when allocating funds is not a new issue but with any luck the proper attention will be paid in the future when distributing those same funds within a district that is failing to help it’s students reach their potential.

Article | Dane Edward Johnson

Images courtesy of Google Images

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