The Los Angeles Unified School District has laid off nearly 3,000 teachers in the last two years, faces a $640 million annual shortfall, and runs some of the country’s worst-performing classrooms.
However, in the last three years, it has opened three luxurious “Taj Mahal” schools costing $1.1 billion, including the $578 million, amenity-rich, architecturally grand Robert F. Kennedy school, opening in September.
“New buildings are nice,” said one California Board of Education member, but not “when they’re run by the same people who’ve given us a 50 percent dropout rate.”
Included in these elegant palaces are a state-of-the-art swimming pool, manicured public park, a restaurant-quality kitchen, modernistic towers, a cushioned dance floor — and of course lavish offices for teachers and administrators.
An Indian in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia lives completely isolated from humans — the last survivor of his never-contacted tribe.
However, the government has taken the unprecedented step of protecting 31 square miles of his habitat, monitored against trespass by technology including heat-sensitive flyovers — even though developers point out that 31 square miles of farming could produce food for many more Brazilians than “one.”
The man was spotted 15 years ago, appearing to be about 30 years old (and leaving one of the spotters with an arrow in the chest), but has left only clues since then, and three years ago, the government stopped looking for him.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)