The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles Schools:
Staff Shortage Is Getting Worse

Jun 17, 2024

The State of California announced that it is fining the Los Angeles Unified School District 8.1 million dollars, because an audit found that the LAUSD violated class-size and staffing requirements in transitional kindergarten (TK). California law requires that TK classes, which include four-year-olds, have no more than 24 students; and that each TK classroom have at least one adult for every 12 students (a teacher and a teacher’s assistant for a class of 24 kids, for example).

The first years of school are the most important in a child’s development, greatly affecting a person’s entire future. So the more individual attention a kid can get in TK, the better—and yet LAUSD, the country’s second biggest school district, doesn’t even meet the state’s minimum requirements to provide what a child needs.

Not only that, but LAUSD officials are planning to cut back even more. Teacher’s assistants report that school officials have been threatening them with even more cuts in hours and health care benefits. And as L.A. teachers and other school workers pointed out at a protest in early May, this is a school district that is sitting on a cash reserve of over 6 billion dollars!

If schools in Los Angeles are short-staffed and overcrowded, it’s because of the choices school officials make. And their priorities do not include providing a good education to the district’s students—especially students in working-class neighborhoods, where class size rules have always been violated.