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Should LA's Schools Provide Healthcare? New Super Says Yes.

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By Kevin Mathews/Special to LAist

The public school system is tasked with educating children, but should it also be responsible for its students’ healthcare? John Deasy, the newly appointed superintendent of Los Angeles schools, believes so. Though he does not take over the schools’ top position until April, Deasy is already making big plans, including a goal of providing all uninsured elementary students with medical, dental, and vision coverage.

While answering questions at Loyola Marymount University last night, KPCC quoted Deasy declaring that healthcare is an “essential component to the way a city treats youth.” While providing this insurance will undoubtedly be an expensive undertaking, Deasy hopes the school district can align with outside organizations to assist in funding health coverage for many of the district’s 700,000 students.

In addition to furnishing healthcare, improving teacher performance is another one of Deasy’s top priorities. Though he prefers to invest in struggling teachers to better their teaching practices, Deasy acknowledges that those who continue to under-perform “should be dismissed from the system.”