South Whittier schools in `financial distress'

Hours after teachers took to the streets to protest a possible 16-percent pay cut next year, South Whittier School District officials said they are running out of cash, thanks to the state's decision to postpone payments to schools and cut funding in mid-year. "The outlook is much worse than we could have imagined," Superintendent Erich Kwek told ... Full Story
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Mr Estrada

Long Beach, CA

#63 Jun 15, 2009
Steve wrote:
Why does this site not ban Mr. Estrada, seriously a two year old has more to say than him/her/it....
Get a life and let people talk about a serious subject.
So sorry you can't handle how the world really works and needs something in life to be so "passionate" about for a couple weeks because they have no life. Maybe you should go cry about it some more, you see how that helps so much in other situations.:)
Mr Estrada

Long Beach, CA

#64 Jun 15, 2009
Ambrosia wrote:
Let me see if I can help. Every school district must have and audit done by an outside agency every year. Also the county office of education reports back to the school board each year as to the status of their audit. A school district is a public agency and you may see the audit at anytime by asking at the district office. Many school districts are in the same position due to the cash flow problem caused by the state of california not sending funds to the districts on time so bills and salaries can be paid.<quoted text>
Thank you for the help on that, some people (like many on this site) feel that it's always some elses fault, and a scape goat is often needed. People need to understand more how democracy works in America.
Friend of Education

AOL

#65 Jun 15, 2009
What is happening in the South Whittier School District is happening in school districts everywhere across the State of California to one degree or another!

People wake up... The state of California has been underfunding education for years. It is because of the dire economic conditions that currently exist in this state that has exaserbated the situation in public education.

We all believe that are children in this state deserve a fine education. The question remains, "Who is going to pay for it?" "You Mr. Estrada, or perhaps others on this blog site?"

The education of our children is everybody's business. But, until Californians make it their priority and communicate this concern to their elected representatives in Sacramento (state Assemblymembers and state Senators) nothing will be done.

This state is faced with a real dilema, and those concerned should not make light of it... California is facing a $24 billion deficit, and services at the state, county, and local level are ALL BEING IMPACTED!

We are in an ECONOMIC CRISIS, and employees as well as all taxpayers in this state better wake up and smell the coffee!

We will either find solutions together or go down together, either way it will happen to ALL of US if nothing proactive is done... So enough with the wimpering and finger pointing. "IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID ..." As one political pundit has pointed out.

Lets offer something rationale and positive to the discourse and debate. Or, as one writer wrote, "Shut Up!"

It never fails, those who are clueless see the sky falling and have not a clue as to why the sky is falling.

PAY ATTENTION... Learn something, read the papers, find out the facts, and then weigh in with your comments and hopefully thoughtful recommendations on how to solve a far-reaching crisis this state is facing. Otherwise, do not waste people's time with your silly comments & machinations.

(signed)
FRIEND OF EDUCATION
Mr Estrada

Long Beach, CA

#66 Jun 15, 2009
Friend of Education wrote:
What is happening in the South Whittier School District is happening in school districts everywhere across the State of California to one degree or another!
People wake up... The state of California has been underfunding education for years. It is because of the dire economic conditions that currently exist in this state that has exaserbated the situation in public education.
We all believe that are children in this state deserve a fine education. The question remains, "Who is going to pay for it?" "You Mr. Estrada, or perhaps others on this blog site?"
The education of our children is everybody's business. But, until Californians make it their priority and communicate this concern to their elected representatives in Sacramento (state Assemblymembers and state Senators) nothing will be done.
This state is faced with a real dilema, and those concerned should not make light of it... California is facing a $24 billion deficit, and services at the state, county, and local level are ALL BEING IMPACTED!
We are in an ECONOMIC CRISIS, and employees as well as all taxpayers in this state better wake up and smell the coffee!
We will either find solutions together or go down together, either way it will happen to ALL of US if nothing proactive is done... So enough with the wimpering and finger pointing. "IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID ..." As one political pundit has pointed out.
Lets offer something rationale and positive to the discourse and debate. Or, as one writer wrote, "Shut Up!"
It never fails, those who are clueless see the sky falling and have not a clue as to why the sky is falling.
PAY ATTENTION... Learn something, read the papers, find out the facts, and then weigh in with your comments and hopefully thoughtful recommendations on how to solve a far-reaching crisis this state is facing. Otherwise, do not waste people's time with your silly comments & machinations.
(signed)
FRIEND OF EDUCATION
Oh no, I know what you're saying. The public schools suck. Thats why I don't own a house and have my son in a private school instead. I hope there is some reform. I'm trying to get into state politics more to figure out how to imrove it all.
scoolo

Los Angeles, CA

#67 Jun 15, 2009
Friend of Education wrote:
What is happening in the South Whittier School District is happening in school districts everywhere across the State of California to one degree or another!
People wake up... The state of California has been underfunding education for years. It is because of the dire economic conditions that currently exist in this state that has exaserbated the situation in public education.
We all believe that are children in this state deserve a fine education. The question remains, "Who is going to pay for it?" "You Mr. Estrada, or perhaps others on this blog site?"
The education of our children is everybody's business. But, until Californians make it their priority and communicate this concern to their elected representatives in Sacramento (state Assemblymembers and state Senators) nothing will be done.
This state is faced with a real dilema, and those concerned should not make light of it... California is facing a $24 billion deficit, and services at the state, county, and local level are ALL BEING IMPACTED!
We are in an ECONOMIC CRISIS, and employees as well as all taxpayers in this state better wake up and smell the coffee!
We will either find solutions together or go down together, either way it will happen to ALL of US if nothing proactive is done... So enough with the wimpering and finger pointing. "IT IS THE ECONOMY STUPID ..." As one political pundit has pointed out.
Lets offer something rationale and positive to the discourse and debate. Or, as one writer wrote, "Shut Up!"
It never fails, those who are clueless see the sky falling and have not a clue as to why the sky is falling.
PAY ATTENTION... Learn something, read the papers, find out the facts, and then weigh in with your comments and hopefully thoughtful recommendations on how to solve a far-reaching crisis this state is facing. Otherwise, do not waste people's time with your silly comments & machinations.
(signed)
FRIEND OF EDUCATION
What is happening in South Shi$#ier School District is not happening all over the state. What other school districts have said that they cannot pay their teachers or vendors? This is a corrupt district that has hid money for years and years with the old superintendant. They built up his Trump Plaza of a Middle School and funded the school named after him. This was suppose to be a trophey or testament of what a great educator he is but he is charlaton. He was so corrupt. The district had to pay retired administrators to train new lazier administrators to do thier jobs.... that is a huge waste of money.... but the corruption only begins there....but "Friend of Education" you sound like an administor or school board member of this corrupt district. The way you explain the state of affirs like poor poor South Whittier School District...we are just victims of the economy type of thing......BS... this district cannot pay their teachers, vendors, and might HAVE TO HAND IT OVER TO THE STATE. Would you want you kid there? The ratio of teacher to students is going to be much higher than surrounding districts. The new superintendent better compete with the ratio or he will lose students...and test scores will suffer with a higher ratio and he WILL BE TAKEN over any way and lose his job.
scoolo

Los Angeles, CA

#68 Jun 15, 2009
Some teachers are greatful in a way of this fiasco..because the South Whittier School District was forced to let teachers and CTA know they misappropriated funds...for years. This is corruption. This is not every discrict... this is South Whittier that is facing this kind of shortfall.
Javier

Atlanta, GA

#69 Jun 15, 2009
This is not going on everywhere, do your research before you make such an ignorant comment.
Jonestown Guyana

Los Angeles, CA

#70 Jun 15, 2009
Javier wrote:
This is not going on everywhere, do your research before you make such an ignorant comment.
You are absolutely right! Times are tough all around, but I personally know of other districts that are not laying off any teachers and are able to pay their employees. But, you have to understand that many people who write here do so WITHOUT personal knowledge of what we are going through. They are NOT employees of SWSD, so they make judgements without all of the information.
Mr Estrada

Long Beach, CA

#71 Jun 16, 2009
Javier wrote:
This is not going on everywhere, do your research before you make such an ignorant comment.
Not in the richer parts of California.
Lock

Santa Ana, CA

#72 Jun 17, 2009
Mr Estrada wrote:
<quoted text>
Not in the richer parts of California.
Richer parts? Ok how about some districts right next door to South Whittier. The layoff and cuts are not happening there or not to the extent of South Whittier. Neither are the increased ratio of students to teachers. You write stupid things here just to get off on the response. You need a life. "Not in richer parts". This is not a social stratification issue at this point you ignorant jerk. This is about a school district that hid and mispent money for years. "Storm the City Hall" your so stupid....that is your Art of War idea?
Mr Estrada

Long Beach, CA

#73 Jun 17, 2009
The richer parts doesn't mean that it doesn't happen in the more ghetto parts. Learn how logic works moron. Oh, and prove that they hid it, oh, thats right, YOU CAN'T, but I guess people like you need a scapegoat. And people have been storming this and that for years in America, since the late 1700's. Learn your history and stop acting like an autistic child who doesn't know how the world works. :)
Bobby Baird

Washington, DC

#74 Jun 17, 2009
It is a travesty that California's budget troubles are now affecting our youth. I am a proud alumni of the South Whittier School District. I recieved a wonderful education that prepared me for high school and beyond. For three years, until January of this year, I worked in Sacramento as a legislative aide for then-Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez, and most currently Assemblymember Mendoza. When I left the budget picture wasn't pretty. Now it's down right ugly!! I know the school district and the board are doing their best during these tough times. Keep the pressure on them. However, remember they have very little to work with.... God Bless.
concerned citizen

Los Angeles, CA

#75 Jun 22, 2009
I recommend that children attend schools in the East Whittier School District or a different district. They will see that all of the other surrounding schools are more than 200% better than South Whittier!
OMG

Cerritos, CA

#76 Jun 23, 2009
concerned citizen wrote:
I recommend that children attend schools in the East Whittier School District or a different district. They will see that all of the other surrounding schools are more than 200% better than South Whittier!
Hmm now that would be interesting. It would also be interesting to see the scores after.
Jonestown Guyana

Los Angeles, CA

#77 Jul 16, 2009
Pokerbum wrote:
As one of 39 teachers who are being laid off next year, she said she wished the union would have fought harder before layoff notices went out.
If she is well qualified, AND a very good teacher why not teach in a private school? Her problem might be she is part of the dead wood in the system.
A 16% cut in pay? Just lay off 16% of the teachers. Simple! Too bad the Teachers Union will protect the deadwood with seniority and not ability.
Drill here and drill now!
You are excused, because you obviously aren't familiar with education, school districts or the classroom, for that matter.
First of all, if by "deadwood" you mean the older teachers or someone who has been around long and lost the "fire"...you couldn't be more incorrect. By letting people go strictly on hire date, as the district has done--per contract, they have effectively lost all of their newer, younger, energetic teachers,5-10 years out of college.
Second, your solution of cutting 16% of the remaining teachers (after the 39 layoff) to avoid the 16% pay cut, is incredibly ignorant. Do you have any idea what the student-to-teacher ratio (class size) would be if that happened.
No, the district got themselves into this mess...probably, quite a while ago...they need to come up with a RESPONSIBLE way to fix it. And, "sticking it" to the very people who have been loyal, dedicated employees of SWSD...is NOT the way.
(And..BTW, she IS very qualified AND a very good teacher,,,and yes, we should have fought harder even BEFORE those layoff notices went out!!)
Community advocate

Montebello, CA

#78 Jul 23, 2009
Jonestown Guyana wrote:
<quoted text>
You are excused, because you obviously aren't familiar with education, school districts or the classroom, for that matter.
First of all, if by "deadwood" you mean the older teachers or someone who has been around long and lost the "fire"...you couldn't be more incorrect. By letting people go strictly on hire date, as the district has done--per contract, they have effectively lost all of their newer, younger, energetic teachers,5-10 years out of college.
Second, your solution of cutting 16% of the remaining teachers (after the 39 layoff) to avoid the 16% pay cut, is incredibly ignorant. Do you have any idea what the student-to-teacher ratio (class size) would be if that happened.
No, the district got themselves into this mess...probably, quite a while ago...they need to come up with a RESPONSIBLE way to fix it. And, "sticking it" to the very people who have been loyal, dedicated employees of SWSD...is NOT the way.
(And..BTW, she IS very qualified AND a very good teacher,,,and yes, we should have fought harder even BEFORE those layoff notices went out!!)
I don't agree that older teachers have lost their passion for teaching. I found that often, older teachers are actually very valuable because they have taught so many generations of the same families and know the families well. The older teachers also have a lot of experience and know their craft.

Seasoned teachers especially in an area like this have put up with stress for so long and they don't deserve to be laid off after going through all that trauma.

About this whole thing about how we should lay off the teachers who aren't effective--that is highly subjective. The best teacher in the world in my eyes will be considered ineffective to someone else.

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