With passage of the new state budget by the legislature last night, per pupil spending in California will exceed $16,000 in the next fiscal year:
That’s great news. But not all of that money will reach classrooms, mostly because more and more is being diverted to pay pensions and other retirement costs. The greatest diversion is taking place in school districts such as Los Angeles that, on top of pensions, provide generous lifetime health coverage to retired employees. That translates into an extra obligation of more than $20,000 per LA student, the cost of which grows every year.
No law requires LAUSD’s board to provide lifetime health care coverage. In doing so they are choosing to divert money from children to adults.
Taxpayers are providing record revenues to public schools. School boards should work to get more of that revenue into the classroom.