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Pensions, Administrative Bloat, and the Success of Charter Schools Are Driving the Los Angeles Public School System Towards Insolvency

The Los Angeles Unifed School District has lost more than 245,000 students in the past 15 years—so many that, if you gathered them all together, they would be one of the 10 largest school districts in the United States.
Where are they all going? Many to the city’s charter schools, which have exploded in both popularity and effectiveness. But the migration to better alternatives has left taxpayers paying ever higher amounts to an education system that is educating fewer and fewer students. On the current tragectory, the school district will face a $422 million shortfall by 2020, driven in large part by its $15 billion in unfunded health care benefit liabilities for current workers and retirees.
The district has been happy to blame the charter school exodus for its ongoing financial problems, but a report released Wednesday by the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes this blog) examines the district’s structural deficit,

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