June 21, 2018, San Francisco Chronicle: Oakland schools in new mess over financial practices https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-schools-in-new-mess-over-financial-13012105.php The Oakland school district ignored standard accounting practices and inappropriately manipulated taxpayer funds, actions that in some cases amounted to the misuse of state or federal funding, according to a report by an independent state agency that provides fiscal oversight and support to schools. The report by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, or FCMAT, comes as the Oakland Unified School District faces mounting financial woes, which include $5.8 million in imminent budget cuts as well as an estimated $20 million shortfall next year and $60 million the year after that. The analysis found that not only does the district have an unsustainable spending problem, it has significant work to do to clean up the problematic accounting practices. Examples of the inappropriate use of funds included the use of its self-insurance fund to pay for parking and legal fees as well as the use of cafeteria accounts to make state loan payments…. The district has spent more than it has received for the last three years, shortfalls caused primarily by declining enrollment — which translates to a loss of state funding — and skyrocketing special education and pension costs. The district still pays about $6 million annually on the $100 million state bailout loan from 2003. About $35 million in that debt remains.
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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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