California’s Educational Crisis

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California’s Educational Crisis

Photo Courtesy of Sandpaper Staff

Photo Courtesy of Sandpaper Staff

Photo Courtesy of Sandpaper Staff

Brandon Villarreal, Sandpaper Staff Writer

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An education is crucial to the well being of a child. However, the Californian Government seems to think otherwise. All throughout California schools are underfunded, teachers are underpaid, yet the classrooms keep getting overfilled. Some schools lack basic necessities such as nurses, librarians, and some even janitors. As a result, some teachers have become sick of the government’s negligence to not only them but to the students and decided to do something about it. The United Teachers Los Angeles Union decided to stand up and go on strike for the first time in thirty years. Their demands were simple; smaller class sizes, reductions in standardized testing, a 6.5 percent increase in their salary and an increase in support staff. With the education of half a million students in one of the most impoverished school districts in California, a lot was at stake.

Neither the teachers union or the district seemed as if they were going to pull out, but after six long days of negotiating a deal was finally made and it played out in the teachers favor. That is six days of half a million students going without a proper education.
The strike was a major victory to not only the students and teachers of the LAUSD but also to every other school district across California.

Several other school districts are still facing the same problems that the LAUSD faced. Around December of 2018, the Sacramento Unified School District stated that they will run out of money by November of 2019. Then by the end of January, they filed for bankruptcy in order to cover the pension of several teachers set to retire. They have been receiving less and less money from the state every year due to the mass expansion of charter schools across the city. In 2003 Sacramento closed its oldest high school in order to turn it into a charter school.

The LAUSD was facing the same problem with charter schools. They were losing students due to the mass expansion of charter schools. Charter schools kept expanding and luring students in, promising them a better education than that of public schools. This is why the LAUSD was being underfunded. With every student they lose, they also lose money.

Charter schools are only part of the problem but they sure aren’t helping. The major problem public schools are facing is that they are underfunded. Teachers aren’t being paid enough and they are sick of it and are finally acting upon it. The teachers of the Oakland Unified School District have already begun to protest due to low wages and multi-million budget cuts. The cuts will eventually lead to firing 150 faculty employees. They aren’t doing it for themselves, they’re doing it for the students, who deserve better than what the government is giving them because an education is crucial to the well being of a child.