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Subsidiarity Waste Not Sexy for Taxpayers

Monday January 30th, 2017   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:42am PST   •  

wasteblackboardThis just in: Sacramento City Unified School District has actually fired an administrator, but as Loretta Kalb notes in the Sacramento Bee, this rare dismissal is not an example of accountability. The administrator, Felisberto Cedros, is embroiled in a sexual harassment case against African American school worker Delecia Sydnor, whom he had threatened to “whip” if she reported him. That was in 2014 and the district paid $175,000 to settle Sydnor’s lawsuit, but in the interim “Cedros has received full pay of between $110,000 and $139,000 in newly created jobs in the district office.”

In the summer of 2015 Cedros was placed on paid administrative leave, then moved to the district office and “designated principal on special projects,” with the same $139,303 salary. In July 2016, the district demoted Cedros to “assistant principal on special assignment” at a salary of $109,886. As a local union official told Kalb, the district created “a no-show job for a proven sexual harasser.” And the district paid the settlement, not Cedros himself. All those taxpayer dollars won’t be used to teach kids, and more of that is going on down in Los Angeles.

As the Bee’s Dan Walters reports, the massive Los Angeles Unified School District has been improperly spending nearly $500 million designated for “English learner” students. That’s what the state Department of Education wanted, but state superintendent Tom Torlakson (D-CTA) allowed the district to spend the money on higher salaries for teachers. When advocacy groups complained, the LAUSD conducted a “realignment exercise” by categorizing previous expenditures as qualifying for the Local Control Funding Formula grants, claiming that this turned a potential $1.5 billion deficit into a surplus of $280 million in 2017-18 and a $252 million surplus in 1018-19.

Longtime observer Walters is not fooled: “Nothing changed, in other words, except some computer codes. And L.A. Unified still has an immense achievement gap” This is what governor Jerry Brown (D-CTA) calls “subsidiarity,” but taxpayers might view it as a payoff to teacher unions for helping with his political campaign. That’s what Brown had in mind when he authorized government employee unions in his first go-round as governor.

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January 2017