Friday, February 23, 2024


September 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Last night I posted something about the Ambassador Hotel that was not true: it is not serving Beverly Hills children.  I should have paused and checked facts before posting — but I was seriously pissed off and my emotions wrote the blog post!  Instead, the new school will serve children in Korea Town and Mid Wilshire.  Sure, this is a needy population.  And I am happy that they will get to attend a good, clean building.

What is pissing me off about this is that I question the amount of money allocated to this school site, and also the way the money was raised, through a ballot measure that described the funds as intended for the purpose of “refurbishing school buildings in need of repair.”  And I have to applaud the people who write those measures: they are gifted.  I wonder how many honed their skills working in advertising, because after reading the measure, I had visions of numerous school buildings across California being painted, plumbed, upgraded and cleaned. I never imagined that such an incredibly large sum of money would be allocated to a single school location.  It just seems discriminatory, and unfair, when parents across California are paying…

…and paying, at a time when we are in a crisis situations with our schools.  For example, the situation in my neighborhood school is being duplicated in neighborhoods across the south bay and I presume, across California: last year we had 6 kindergarten classes at our local elementary school.  Each kindergarten class had anywhere from 24 to 29 students, with one teacher (and no aide or parent helper).  Now, while 24 students for kindergarten is just barely in compliance with our national standards for education, 29 is definitely  questionable for kindergarteners. 

Well, this year we lost one of the kindergarten teachers.  She was, in my opinion, the best one the school had: full of passion for teaching, very compassionate, smart and confident.  The one thing she lacked turned out to be her downfall: she was not tenured.  As low man on the totem pole, she lost her job.  Then the school did the shuffle and distributed the students among the remaining 5 teachers.

Let’s do the math: 156 total students in 2009 / 6 teachers = an average of 26 students per class.  BUT 156 students in 2010 / 5 teachers = 31.2 students per class.  The phrase ” herding cats ” comes to mind.  First through sixth grades have a 39:1 ratio.  How does anyone expect any learning to take place?

HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO HELP OUR CHILDREN ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS ACADEMICALLY?  How can a single teacher instruct 31.2 five year olds adequately to prepare them for first grade? 

I find it hard to believe that, in the same year California laid off 600+ teachers, our government decided to spend $578 million in bond money on refurbishing  one school location.

Now, let’s do some more math:  600 teachers at $70,000 each per year (a guess) = $42 million.

Maybe we could have kept the teachers, (and thereby kept classroom ratios lower) and maybe done away with the marble floors, murals, and some of the other decorations at the new school site?

Watch the news story about it here:

Lots of Love,

Linda Shannon


  1. natalie says:

    Wow, this is ludicrous. What I do not understand is whose idea was this school, and who ok’d it? Surely someone in government said this was going to go ahead. I’m in shock. Who is going to be accountable. Did the interviewee say something about Governor Schwarzeneger cutting spending by 12 billion? This whole idea is very confusing to me. When you tally up the amount spent on this school and two others mentioned in the interview recently built in CA,they total well over $1 billion?!!! For THREE SCHOOLS!! What is that about?

  2. Linda says:

    Yes Natalie, It IS ludicrous. I cannot stop shaking my head.

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