Somebody Answer: What’s in It for Kids?

George LaaseBreaking News, NewsLeave a Comment

Second of two parts


Re “Student Learning Not Based on Teachers’ Earnings

Is spending local tax money for increasing salaries of teachers in Culver City a good use for local parcel tax revenue?

Back in 2011-12, at the start of the Teachers Union’s first 5-year plan, we ranked 44th — out of 47 districts — in average teacher salary.

We were about $6570 below the county’s median step.

The Teachers Union’s 5-year salary plan cost the School District over $17M. If you look at the average Culver City salary for teachers in 2015-16, it moved up only three steps, to 41st in the County, out of the now 48 districts.

Today, the District is even further from the union’s newly proposed goal of being in the top tier, by about $7,750.

How many more millions of dollars will these proposed salary increases cost local homeowners/taxpayers to make up for years of  poor spending decisions by this School Board.

A Hole in This Bucket

Over the last four years our District has been deficit spending to help pay for these District-wide raises and predicts it will continue to do so into the next decade.

This school year, alone, 2017-18, the School District projects that it will be deficit spending $5.2M more than it takes in.

That is 7.5 percent beyond what it receives. No wonder the District wants to float a new parcel tax.

What Happened to Respect?

We know how much the adults in the District benefited financially from their past 5-year plan.

The real question needing an answer is: “How much did our children benefit from it?”

Isn’t it supposed to be “all about the kids?”

Over the past five years, the School District’s average SAT scores have gone up 2 percent — from 1500 to 1532. That still is below the 1550 benchmark set by the College Board.

Students who take the SATs are among the District’s brightest, most self-motivated high achievers among their peers.

These students see themselves as college material. They are in the top 40 percent of their class.

Our School District exists to teach our children, not just to insure that teachers are among the highest paid in L.A. County.

With this new, seemingly shameless, proposal, it is beginning to look like union reps are testing the politically progressive waters in Culver City.

It seems they are over-reaching, seeking a salary well beyond the achieved respect and competitiveness they sought for members five years ago.

More Never Enough

With help from sympathetic School Board members — and don’t forget that new, constantly-growing parcel tax they will ask us to pay – Teachers Union members see our District as a big cash cow. The cow is just waiting to be milked for all union members can get.

Finally, I again ask what should be the most important question needing answered in this discussion:

What’s in it for the kids?

Local taxpayers and parents should not forget: What our children learn is not based on what their teachers earn.


Mr. Laase may be contacted at

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