Jan 7, 2019, Los Angeles Times: L.A. schools have bigger problems than a looming teacher's strike https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-noguera-lausd-finances-20190107-story.html The looming possibility of a teacher’s strike is certainly a major challenge facing the Los Angeles Unified School District. But it isn’t the biggest one. LAUSD’s finances are in a perilous state, and, despite repeated warnings, school officials and civic leaders have ignored the situation for far too long. The district, as the teachers’ union has pointed out, does have a reserve fund of close to $2 billion. These funds could definitely help in reaching a settlement with the union. However, the existence of the reserve can’t make up for the fact that LAUSD currently spends about half a billion dollars more each year than it takes in, according to a recent analysis….. The deficit is caused in part by rising pension costs (which shouldn’t have come as a surprise since they have been forecast for at least two decades). Higher special education costs and declining student enrollment due to charter school expansion and demographic shifts have also played a role. … Similar warnings have been issued more recently by both the county and state education departments. …
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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