Readers React

Blame Sacramento, not LAUSD, for preschool cuts

To the editor: Sandy Banks' article about the woes of the preschool program in the Los Angeles Unified School District never hits on the fundamental reason that the school district is unable to fund it. ("L.A. Unified targets the wrong place to cut: preschool," April 21)

Yes, the LAUSD wasted money on iPads, but that money could never have been spent on the preschool program anyway. It was earmarked for construction and could not have been put into a different budget line.

The problem is California ranks last among all the states in per-pupil educational funding when taking into account regional cost differences, according to Education Week. California spends about $3,000 less per pupil than the national average.

The budgeting statistics should be publicized and the proper demons named: our legislators in Sacramento. That is the story. The Times should start covering it.

Melinda Buterbaugh, Northridge

The writer is a teacher librarian in L.A. Unified.

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To the editor: I agree with Banks that we should not be placing budget woes on the backs of preschoolers. For the thousands of low-income children that benefit, the LAUSD should protect the well-regarded Student Readiness and Language Development Program.

Following recent budget investments that allowed more children to attend preschool, the LAUSD proposal to cut spaces is a step backward. The need remains high, with more than 35,000 4-year-olds in Los Angeles County without access to early education. There is still a lot of work ahead to rebuild from severe cuts made during the Great Recession.

The research is clear: Investments in early education prepare children for success in school and beyond. Not only must we preserve these preschool spaces, we must continue to build on progress made last year and provide access to preschool for every low-income child.

Araceli Sandoval-Gonzalez, Los Angeles

The writer is statewide field director for Early Edge California.

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To the editor: It is unconscionable that the LAUSD's television station, KLCS, still exists. It produces very little original programming, mostly self-serving vanity shows for district administrators. Almost all the rest of the programs are repeats of shows originally seen elsewhere and easily accessible from other sources.

The district could sell its license for the station for millions of dollars. It could also save the millions spent each year to operate it, money that could be put back in the classroom and help save the extremely valuable preschool program.

Robert Greene, Woodland Hills

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