Someone forwarded to me a great article in the LA Weekly on the realities of school lunch programs in LAUSD. It points out the obvious–namely of the $2.49 the district is compensated per meal, only 77 cents can go for food. I’ve said before, but I’m sure pet food costs more. The logistics of rushing 4000 kids through a few lines is another issue, and trying to deal with the likes and dislikes of food is another. LAUSD has done a good job of making favorites more healthy (baked chicken nuggets and whole wheat pizza crusts and lowfat cheese) but without advertising that, people assume the worst. My kids have never really bought lunch, and this just confirms the reality that a cheap, healthy lunch from home is better than anything the cafeteria can come up with.

And finally LAUSD has secured another $1 million donation and if you read the article, they’re buying more downtown positions with it. Does it bother anyone else that they’re still filling slots at Beaudry with bodies rather than using the money to do anything that could marginally benefit the kids? Just once, I want to hear that some LA billionaire donates a check with several extra zeroes and it’s going to create a pilot school with a different schedule, or different emphasis, or SOMETHING, rather than create a few salaries and be gone in a couple of years. The quote that’s especially frustrating is “The Wasserman Foundation donation exemplifies the support and action we need to redefine public participation in our school system,” Deasy said. “Today, I call on a new generation of leaders and philanthropists like Casey Wasserman to join us in our effort to engage all Californians in the education of our children.” Really? The public already participates–mainly by donating many, many hours to their children’s schools, by writing checks for things schools long ago used to provide (driver’s ed, music, art, PE, among others), and by leaving LAUSD schools for charters, private schools or other districts. If I had money to donate, it would be going directly to my daughter’s school, where I’d have some control on how it’s spent, where I’d have some ability to see the results, and the money would actually go to the kids.

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