After costly iPad, MiSiS, and now the latest healthcare scandals, one might reasonable ask, "Are those running LAUSD really trying to push the district into bankruptcy in the not too distant future?"
And if you did ask this question, regrettably the answer would have to be yes.
In 1992 during salary and benefits negotiations with UTLA on behalf of teachers, LAUSD signed a contract with UTLA to maintain teachers lifetime health benefits in lieu of a pay raise. And then for the next 23 years LAUSD did absolutely nothing to fund these healthcare benefits in a timely manner.
Instead of setting aside a reasonable sum every year to fund this obligation, which would have been very doable, LAUSD is now faced with well over $10 billion in unfunded heathcare obligations it cannot possibly pay.
So now by the year 2020 fifty cents of every healthcare dollar spent at LAUSD will have to go to fund this disengenuous promise to just already retired teachers...unless LAUSD predictably reneges. (See Fully funding healthcare cost.)
Doesn't this offer a rather plausible justification as to why LAUSD has continued to target teachers at the top of the salary scale or about to vest in lifetime health benefits, that they clearly cannot afford do to their own incompetence in failing to fund them in a timely manner.
Is it unreasonable in retrospect to think that LAUSD never really had any intention of fullfilling this contractual promise it made in 1992?
In addition, when one looks at the other huge amounts of debt LAUSD has accumulated over the last quarter century and before in all budgetary areas, one realizes that forcing the district into bankruptcy might just have been the goal all along. Just a clever and calculated way for running LAUSD into the ground to start the feeding frenzy of LAUSD vendors of goods and services all over again with a clean slate sanitized by a bankruptcy that leaves the district's lifetime healthcare recipient teachers holding an empty bag.
Literally, the only justification for the existence of an unruly behemoth like LAUSD is the economics of scale. This is the notion that the ability of the second largest school district in this country is based on its theoretical ability to get a much better price for the goods and services that LAUSD consumes, because it buy in such large quantities.
In reality, not only has LAUSD not gotten a better price on virtually anything it buys in terms of goods or services, it actually spends more, because of the longstanding incestuous relationship it has developed over the years with "agreed" vendors of these goods and services that never seem to give either the best price or service given the exorbitant prices it continues to charge LAUSD for virtually everything.
It is now about three months since the FBI came into LAUSD and took 20 boxes of documents related to the iPad scandal. At this point one must wonder if like John Gotti, LAUSD is truly teflon when it comes to being held responsible for its own special brand of incompetence and old fashion corruption.
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