Public school enrollment in Los Angeles expected to drop 30% in the next decade, after Governor Newsom plans to give more than $100 billion to California public schools.
The predicted steep drop, outlined Tuesday in a presentation to the Board of Education, comes as school officials contemplate the future of Los Angeles Unified School District on several crucial fronts — including academic programs, campus closures, jobs, employee benefits and contract negotiations with the teachers union, which is seeking a 20% raise over the next two years.
District leaders are also trying to plan for the best use of high education funding that some experts warn is likely to be short-lived. “There are a number of unsustainable trends,” said Supt. Alberto Carvalho, referring to declining enrollment and unstable funding. “The perfect storm is brewing. “Los Angeles Unified is facing an alarming convergence and acceleration of enrollment decline and the expiration of one-time state and federal dollars, as well as ongoing and increasing financial liabilities.”
Governor Gavin Newsom‘s announcement last week of the largest budget surplus in state history, expected to balloon to $97.5-billion by next summer, is expected to lend 40% of funding, by law, to grade schools and community colleges. The surplus estimate vastly exceeds previous projections, looking to actually range $300.6-billion in budget.
When including both state and federal sources, California would spend $22,850 per student in the upcoming academic year, an amount that seemed beyond any expectations not long ago. Districts are looking to utilize this budget by improving school infrastructures, particularly with schools closing due to staff shortages.