OC Conservative Leader’s Indictment of AUHSD Grab for City Revenue

Robert Loewen, chairman of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, penned this powerful indictment of the proposal by the Anaheim Union High School District to create a permanent claim for Anaheim public schools on city tax revenues. The proposal is the brainchild of AUHSD Al Jabbar, a liberal Democrat and member of the board of directors of the Orange County Employees Association, the government union with which Anaheim city employees are affiliated. Jabbar’s proposal has been placed on tomorrow’s agenda by Mayor Tom Tait.

No City Subsidy For Anaheim High Schools

The Anaheim Union High School District wants Anaheim to part with money from its own budget to supplement the millions the school district already spends. Giving extra money to the bureaucracy that runs public education, however, only entrenches the status quo, which hurts the disadvantaged by forcing them to attend failing schools.

The city should take this opportunity to engage with Anaheim parents, whose children attend failing schools, about ways the city can assist them directly to improve public education for their children.

Of the 21 schools in the Anaheim Union High School District, 14 are failing. All of them are schools having high percentages of students identified as socio-economically disadvantaged.

According to California Policy Center, the AUHSD has one of the highest average compensation packages for its teachers, $115,437 a year in salary and benefits, but its average academic performance index for all schools is a meager 777, below what the state targets as the lowest acceptable limit of 800.

In the past few years, there has been more money for schools, but the people paid to run the schools at AUHSD have not improved things for the students who attend failing schools. In its most recent Local Education Agency Plan for failing schools, published in 2011, the AUHSD listed eight schools as failing. Since that time, the district has received millions in federal funding for programs to meet its specific needs, and it received money that voters were told was needed for education when Proposition 30 was enacted in 2012, and Measure H, a bond measure adopted in 2014, provided infrastructure funding specifically for the AUHSD.

Despite this additional funding, all eight schools listed as failing in the 2011 plan are still failing, and six more schools have been added to the list of failing schools.

Those who are paid to operate the AUHSD are accountable for this chronic failure of the public schools in their district. Yet the resolution presented by the AUHSD to the city blames underfunding, “State funding … continues to lag behind national averages,” and pats the bureaucracy on the back for being “dedicated … and committed.”

If you think about it, people employed by the government often blame problems on underfunding but almost never accept responsibility for the performance of their agencies. This is one reason why the status quo does not change, and public education continues to get worse.

For most who are disadvantaged, the status quo is terrible because they attend failing schools. If the city grants the AUHSD’s request for unrestricted funds, there is no reason to believe that the status quo will improve; by giving money, the city will only confirm the false narrative that underfunding, instead of poor performance, is responsible for failing schools. The city must not betray the disadvantaged students who desperately need a change in the failing schools they attend. Accordingly, the city must say no to the resolution and seek reform directly through the parents and students.

You can read the rest of the column here.

6 comments

  1. Where is Hugh Glenn on this?

  2. But I think AUHSD might qualify. All they have to do is hire a lobbyist and have Murray declare them an “economic engine.” Problem solved.

  3. Hahahahaha. Oh goodness. You’re such a wit.

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