The free market is in free working condition. School districts across the South Bay are struggling to maintain their enrollment in the wake of shrinking budgets, exploding class sizes, and beleaguered teachers willing to take a golden handshake instead of staying on board for one more frustrating year.
Despite the growth and strength of school districts and the public monopoly education, the parents and students in impoverished communities are voting with their feet and enrolling in charter schools, institutions with fewer hurdles, more accountability, and better reputations.
No matter how much money Inglewood Unified takes out on loan from the Bank of Canada, the necessary cuts and changes required to focus the core values of the district are still conspicuously lacking. A new school on La Tijera will not guarantee a necessary uptick in enrollment. In fact, another prettified campus in the middle of waste and loss only highlights the misplaced priorities and lacking diligence which has distanced surrounding communities from investing in public education.
New exercise bikes, new buildings, but the same culture of disrespect mired by bureaucratic hassles and lawsuit threats both prevent the necessary changes that will ensure returning enrollment: a limited focus on educating the student with skills, greater authority for teachers and administrators and teachers to discipline and expel unruly and dangerous students, and an open budgeting process informing taxpayers how their forced donations are being spent.