Board vote not aimed at students

first_imgIn one of its first official acts, the board voted on Resolution 42, introduced by President Monica Garcia, and co-sponsored by Yolie Flores Aguilar and Richard Vladovic with the Orwellian title “Healthy Families, Healthy Students.” The resolution, carefully couched in the terms of being for the benefit of students, mandated that all cafeteria employees in the district work at least a four-hour day and 800 hours per year, ostensibly “to enable the last child in line to have 20 minutes to eat their lunch.” On its face, the resolution seems innocuous; the cafeteria workers will work a little longer, the lines will be a little shorter, and the kids will have at least 20 minutes to eat. Neither the resolution nor the board discussion illuminated how mandating longer hours for all cafeteria employees was necessary for shortening lines from which, presumably, only a few employees would be serving food. But that wasn’t the real purpose of the action – not even close – so why even pretend to make it seem to make sense? The real reason for the resolution was to extend full medical benefits to the cafeteria workers who are members of the Service Employees International Union Local 99 (the same local whose former president pleaded guilty to conspiracy and embezzlement in the Martin Ludlow case). The resolution was not aimed at developing “healthier students,” but rather at generating financial benefits for SEIU’s members. In short, to offer to part-time employees, who have worked an average of three hours a day, that which millions of full-time workers in California and throughout the country don’t have – full health insurance. The vote was couched in terms of being one for “social justice,” a matter of fairness to those unskilled workers who serve our children food, and who would like medical insurance and health benefits. There is no doubt that California’s and the nation’s health-care systems are broken, and that millions of people deserve medical insurance. But fixing that ill of society isn’t the LAUSD’s job. If “social justice” is the criterion for board action, why not give those employees raises, rent subsidies, transportation allowances, etc.? In the real world beyond the Never-Never Land of government, employees who work three hours a day don’t get full medical coverage anywhere. IN the aftermath of Sen. Larry Craig’s bathroom adventure, the word “hypocrisy” has been pretty much worked over by pundits, late-night talk-show hosts and water-cooler conversationalists. The absurdity of a Bible-thumping politician, who has a long record of railing against the gay lifestyle, being caught in flagrante delicto, was so transparent that the easy jokes flew across the political spectrum. But we needn’t look over the Rockies to Minneapolis or north to Idaho to discover political hypocrisy that would be laughable if it weren’t so disappointing and disheartening. This July, a slate of candidates took office at the Los Angeles Board of Education committed to effecting serious change. Committed to making education and kids’ success the primary focus of their attention, they were to be Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s partners in “shaking up the system.” How troubling then that at one of the first meetings of the new board, the same mentality of assuaging and satisfying nonstudent constituencies that has prevailed at the LAUSD for eons seems to be holding sway once again. The faces may have changed, but the dysfunctional practices remain. The president of SEIU Local 99, who came before the board to argue for Resolution 42, intimated that to vote against the resolution would be racist since it benefits primarily “black and brown” workers. As if craven political machinations weren’t enough, the race card was thrown in for good measure. Fiscal responsibility and limited resources weren’t up for discussion. So what did most of the new “reform” slate do? You remember, the one committed to putting kids first, the one committed to husbanding the resources of a school district that is perpetually low on funds, the one that railed about schools with textbook shortages. All but one voted for the resolution and its $37 million annual (at least for now) costs. One of the new members had the chutzpah to comment, when told that the funds weren’t in the budget, “We’ll find the money.” In a multibillion-dollar budget like the LAUSD’s, they probably will find it. But it will probably come at the price of a program such as art and music education (already nearly gutted) that doesn’t have a well-organized union behind it. Or the funds will be looted from a program that only affects kids and their achievement, not one that has organized minions who can promise campaign workers and funds for the next election that board members are inevitably contemplating in an era of term limits. It is a sad commentary that only two board members – Marlene Canter and Tamar Galatzan (one of the newly elected members) – had the backbone to stand up to the tidal wave of demagoguery and political payback that overwhelmed the board. These events suggest that we are back in the same boat that we’ve been in before, with a board majority that cares less about kids than about lots of other things that have very little to do with kids or the quality of their education. There isn’t any humor in our local display of hypocrisy, and it will damage many more lives than a meeting in a Minneapolis restroom. David A. Lehrer and Joe R. Hicks are the president and vice president of Community Advocates Inc. 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At some point the Minnesota Vikings may trade Adr

first_img At some point, the Minnesota Vikings may trade Adrian Peterson.Or they may not.The running back has been the subject of a flurry of rumors lately, with many involving him possibly — or maybe even likely — landing with the Arizona Cardinals.None of that will happen unless the Vikings decide to trade Peterson, though, and Monday ESPN Vikings reporter Ben Goessling said the team really does not want to do that. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Comments Share Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: Larry Fitzgerald Sr.- Minnesota Sports Writer Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo But Tuesday, a new report surfaced.Vikings quietly going about the business of shopping Adrian Peterson.He has requested-I want out! pic.twitter.com/32LFzCSBiE— Larry Fitzgerald Sr. (@FitzBeatSr) March 17, 2015 Larry Fitzgerald Sr. is, of course, the father of of Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and a well-known reporter based in Minnesota. He joined Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday to further discuss the situation.“Adrian has just made up his mind that he doesn’t have the kind of support from the ownership group that he wants,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s put his heart and soul into this team from the time they drafted him and he’s in a position to think the way he wants to think, but that’s how he’s thinking.”Vikings brass has reportedly had multiple meetings with Peterson in an effort to smooth things over with their all-time leading rusher. However, it’s very possible they have been unable to do so, and in that case may decide coming up with a trade is the best option for both parties. And if that’s the case, buckle your seatbelt. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more