Sunday, April 23, 2006

4LAKids I � The plan, the strange + strained silence, the firestorm | 4.16.06

4LAKids I: Sunday, April 16, 2006
In This Issue:
 •  UNION WANTS EARLY SAY ON SCHOOL REFORM: A coalition led by the L.A. teachers group will reveal its own plan for revamping the district.
 •  PARENTS WANT SAY ON LAUSD PROPOSAL: Groups protest mayor's actions at City Hall
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
 •  READING TO KIDS: Read to some kids the second Saturday morning each month. Make a difference. Change some lives (including your own!).
 •  The Blueprint for Effective School Reform: MAKING SCHOOLS WORK � Get the Book @!
 •  THE BEST RESOURCE ON CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FUNDING ON THE WEB: The Sacramento Bee's series "Paying for Schools."
 •  FIVE CENTS MAKES SENSE FOR EDUCATION- Target one nickel from every federal tax dollar for Education.
Other things happened in the World last week than the leaking of the Mayor's Plan. You won't read about them here ...they will be in 4LAKidsII � coming later!

It doesn't matter if the draft of mayor's proposal to "Take back our schools" that came out last week was leaked, stolen, floated or 'run up the flagpole to see who salutes'. Even though the second page is on his letterhead, is dated next Tuesday and ends /s/ Antonio R. Villaraigosa � the mayor says it's a rough draft and he hasn't read and certainly hasn't signed it.

Three bits of 4LAKids advice to hizzoner: 1. Read it. 2. Don't sign it. 3. Follow the instructions from the report on how to deal with underperforming teachers and administrators, applying them to the staff members responsible for the report: "Some will exit on their own because they don't want to work in an environment of higher expectations and accountability. Others will have to be counseled out, or, in last resort, terminated."

In fairness, the April 4th (on some pages/April 2nd on others) draft of "TAKING BACK OUR SCHOOLS: Improving Opportunities for the Children and Families of Los Angeles" is much less than a draft. Ten months into an administration intent on mayoral governance of the school district it's a "What would we do if the mayor was Emperor of the World and he could do anything he wants?" wish list of school reform. Some of the 'outside the box' thinking is quite promising, some of it describes progress already made, much departs the box and reality altogether. Parts of it dealing with procurement of supplies and services are flat out 'go to jail' illegal; other parts violate the State Ed Code, the California Constitution, Government Accounting Standards, common sense, Federal Law and/or � ohm' gosh! � the No Child Left Behind Act! Some parts cancel each other out; some parts propose stuff that will be so unpopular as to subject even the Emperor of the World to recall. Nowhere in the plan does it say where the money will come from � other than from savings from eliminating the central office, illegally streamlining procurement and eliminating adult education. Private and public sectors donors will come to the rescue to the tune of $40 million a year on page 37; $40 million is one third of one percent of LAUSD's $11 billion annual budget. And the wishful/wistful: "Los Angeles taxpayers have proven that they are willing to tax themselves if they believe that the money will be well spent" on page 36. Like the sales tax hike for police?

Special Education � one of LAUSD's biggest expenses is dismissed in the plan as "a leftover" on page 40. Like last night's pot roast � along with English language learners, Magnet schools, gifted education and LAUSD's outstanding pension and health care costs.

Thursday on the radio Patt Morrison asked Joel Rubin, the writer of the LA Times article on the plan ["Details Of Schools Takeover Emerge", below] what he was hearing; he said the reaction was "strangely silent." When he said that neither Superintendent Romer nor UTLA President Duffy had yet seen the report, they had only Rubin's article to react to. Following the strange silence there was the hum of copy machines, the squeak of highlighters on warm Xeroxes and the sound of jaws dropping as folks read the 'what if' pipe dreams of not-ready-for-naptime folks who have an office but not a clue.

The draft, such as it is, is a product of the ivory tower that is City Hall. The process that has brought us the draft has taken place without community, parents, school district, teachers or administrators in the room. Until this happens it is all just a pipedream.

The document is online at the link below.. Make up your own mind. Next Tuesday the Mayor is supposed to release the version that doesn�t have "Use [special interest spokesperson] language for intro" here notation. Stay tuned. �smf


The Mayor's Draft Plan


►DETAILS OF SCHOOLS TAKEOVER EMERGE: Villaraigosa's advisors look at extending the academic year and selling the headquarters.

By Joel Rubin and Duke Helfand, LA Times Staff Writers

April 13, 2006 � As Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pursues control of the Los Angeles school system, his advisors are considering wide-ranging changes that could gut the central bureaucracy, sell the district's headquarters, keep students in class until 5 p.m. and extend the academic year to 10 1/2 months.

Those details and dozens of others are contained in a draft district takeover proposal, obtained by The Times, that Villaraigosa's office has circulated to interested parties outside City Hall.

The mayor's chief of staff, Robin Kramer, emphasized that Villaraigosa had not yet reviewed any of several drafts under consideration, which she described as a tentative collection of ideas that would probably change before he unveils a plan in the coming weeks.

Villaraigosa has made a takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District one of his top priorities since becoming mayor in July. He has yet to reveal many details about how he would wrest control from the district's elected school board or run the nation's second-largest public school system, which has 727,000 students.

Next week, Villaraigosa is expected to offer a broad outline of his vision for governing the district during his first State of the City speech.

The mayor's advisors declined to elaborate on the 43-page proposal titled "Taking Back Our Schools � Improving Opportunities for the Children and Families of Los Angeles."

In a meeting with Times editors and reporters Wednesday, Villaraigosa also would not discuss his takeover plans but said he was "undeterred and absolutely committed" to his initiative � one that has provoked the ire of the district's elected school board and teachers union, the mayor's longtime ally.

"It's going to be an absolute war here," he said. "They're going to go nuts when [we] do it. I think we've got a shot at it. I'm going to use my capital."

The proposal outlines an ambitious spate of ideas for running the school district and offers a window on the direction of Villaraigosa's administration, if not the mayor himself.

And it lays out a timeline and strategy for clearing the way for a takeover. State legislation would be introduced as early as next month to help make a takeover possible, with a change in district governance anticipated by July 2007.

Several of the proposals mirror those already undertaken in other cities, including New York City, Chicago and Boston, where the mayors have brought their school districts under city control.

For months, a team fronted by Kramer and two other Villaraigosa aides, Marcus Castain and Tom Saenz, has studied those models in their effort to put together a takeover plan for Los Angeles. Castain worked on education issues for the Broad Foundation; Saenz is a lawyer and member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education.

Among the provocative recommendations is one to sell the school district's large central office building � paring the central staff from 3,100 to 100. The savings would be used to raise teachers' salaries, according to the April 4 draft.

"Nothing will be as symbolic as the move to sell off the downtown headquarters and move into a dramatically smaller facility," the draft said. "Current central staff will be relocated � or downsized."

The draft also cites the need for increased funding to schools and indicates the possible need for a local bond measure that would increase taxes.

Another proposal calls for a $200-million fundraising effort to supplement state and local school funding.

The draft also suggests that teachers' pay be tied not to seniority but to the amount of responsibilities assumed by instructors, a move that would probably be met with resistance from the powerful Los Angeles teachers union.

The draft proposal envisions allowing teachers and administrators at each school to negotiate work rules that govern such things as how teachers are evaluated, another possible point of contention. Currently, those issues are written into the contract negotiated for all teachers by their union.

Union officials are expected to present their own reform package next week in advance of the mayor's speech.

Smaller, autonomous schools of 500 or fewer students would be created on existing campuses as well as those under construction. School sites would enjoy greater authority over budgets, controlling over 90% of district resources, according to the draft document.

It also suggests the extended school day and year, moves that would require many teachers and administrators to work year-round.

The mayor would appoint a chief executive officer to oversee the district � which could be renamed the Los Angeles Department of Education, Youth and Families, the draft said. And a cadre of 70 to 80 local superintendents selected by the chief executive would each oversee 10 to 20 schools.

The proposal also suggests a "painful and controversial" process of reorganizing poorly performing schools that have consistently missed federal testing benchmarks with new staff and potentially even new names. These campuses "have failed their communities," the draft said, "and these communities deserve a fresh start."

Charter schools, independently run but publicly funded, would stand to benefit. Under the draft proposal, a private philanthropy effort would aim to raise $50 million to increase the number of charter campuses in the district to 160 by 2012.

District Supt. Roy Romer said he had not seen the proposal and sent a letter to Villaraigosa on Wednesday asking for details and urging collaboration.

"I think, frankly, the mayor would benefit in his thinking if he sat down with us who run this district and deal with the issues that crop up on a daily basis," he said.

Romer and school board members have grown increasingly frustrated in recent months over what they say are Villaraigosa's inaccurate characterizations that the district is failing and that its officials are unwilling to make reforms.

Kramer, Villaraigosa's top aide, downplayed the significance of the draft, saying it was premature to view it as the mayor's takeover plan. "This is a fragment of the many strategies and ideas that our office has been soliciting," she said, adding that the intent is "to put together a thoughtful, responsible school reform plan that puts kids at the center and learning at the heart. But we are not there yet."

by Naush Boghossian & Rick Orlov, Staff Writers, LA Daily News

April 14, 2006 � A draft outline of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's takeover strategy for the Los Angeles Unified School District touched off a political firestorm Thursday, with educators and analysts saying it lacks substance and could plunge the 727,000-student system into chaos.

The 43-page plan - dated April 2 and circulated among business and community leaders in recent days - lays out a massive restructuring that would break the 700-square-mile LAUSD into 80 mini-districts, limit schools to 500 students each and decentralize the downtown bureaucracy.

It also would demand accountability from the mayor, superintendent, parents and students, and it would extend the school day to 5 p.m. to make time for enrichment classes.

Villaraigosa distanced himself from the plan, saying the draft is not an official proposal but simply a series of suggestions on how the district could be changed.

"What we did was send out some ideas to a variety of stakeholders we've involved in the discussions," Villaraigosa said. "These are things we are putting on the table.

"Should we have Saturday classes? Should schools stay open later? Should we have a longer school year?

"These are all things to study."

Still, as details of "Taking Back Our Schools" surfaced, educators blasted it as an unrealistic hodgepodge of ideas with no cost estimates and few details on how they would be implemented.

"It's a Macedonian salad of ideas that we've seen over the last 15 years," said LAUSD board member David Tokofsky.

"To affect students' lives, ideas have to be more refined and prioritized. I think it's noble that they're collecting all of these ideas. But it will be the superintendent and board in open, public meetings, rather than (in a) back room, privately financed, ... that will assess costs, scarcity of resources and what matters most for students.

"(Villaraigosa) is right that the status quo is not acceptable. But he's not right to declare war."

The mayor bristled at criticism that his ambitious reform effort includes no clear plan of action.

"Where are their ideas? They have nothing new to present," Villaraigosa said. "I am trying to think out of the box and look at what is needed in the schools."

District officials - smarting from being left out of discussions - scrambled to get their hands on copies of the draft. Many said that if the mayor had included them in the process, he'd know that some of the ideas would be impossible to implement.

Superintendent Roy Romer, who complained that he and Villaraigosa had not had a serious conversation about reform for months, said he believed lack of understanding of the district's operation is displayed in the draft.

He cited the suggestion of selling the district's downtown headquarters and eliminating all but 100 administrative workers.

"Sure, you could sell it, make $50 million - but where do you perform the work that needs to be done in a district with 60,000 employees and more than 700,000 students?" Romer said.

"We have our computer system down here, our payroll, our bus system. If we sell this building, where do we put those operations?

"My concern - and that's why I've asked to meet with the mayor to discuss this - is that this shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what we do here. ... We are open to ideas, but we can't lose sight of what our primary goal is in educating these youngsters."

Portions of the plan also sparked a flurry of activity among different groups jockeying to sway public opinion before the mayor's State of the City speech Tuesday, when the school proposal is to be presented.

The district's parent-teacher associations, also outraged at not being consulted, scheduled a news conference for today to explain their vision.

"What I see of that is a combination of interesting and fuzzy thinking, but I don't see any parent input, and I know there hasn't been any parent input," said Scott Folsom, president of the Los Angeles 10th District Parent-Teacher-Student Association.

District PTSAs and PTAs represent tens of thousands of parents.

"We needed to have been at that table, so we're reaching out to him because we need to have that conversation," Folsom said.

Meanwhile, Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, and Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Northridge, scheduled a Monday morning press conference to discuss their legislation to break up the sprawling LAUSD.

United Teachers Los Angeles had hoped to pre-empt the mayor's State of the City speech and had already planned a Monday press conference on its own reform plan.

"We constantly talked about and pushed for collaboration," UTLA President A.J. Duffy said. "It's unfortunate that we have not gotten it, but we are going to continue to push for collaboration."

District officials _ many of whom had not yet seen the draft plan _ accused the mayor of working in secret on a reform proposal.

"I feel that this approach that's being used is very cloak-and-dagger, very secretive," board President Marlene Canter said. "I don't like to have these conversations on important issues via the press. That's not the way to work together.

"This is about politics, not about kids. It's about a power grab, not about collaboration."

In a letter to the mayor, board member Marguerite LaMotte accused Villaraigosa of treating district officials as adversaries.

"The constituents of this community are now fully aware of the takeover plan and the motives which drive this plan," she wrote.

"Community members are also aware that the plan has little to do with what's in the best interest of children. It's all about the control of billions of dollars."

▲SIDEBAR: The draft plan for reforming Los Angeles Unified cites dozens of recommendations, including:
� Legislation would be approved this summer, an election would be held in May 2007, and a change in governance would occur by July 1, 2007.
� The LAUSD board would be reconstituted as an Assembly.
� The mayor would appoint a district chief executive. Other management would include a chief instructional officer and a chief facilities executive.
� Four general managers would each oversee 15-20 local superintendents who, in turn, would each supervise a district with 8,000 to 10,000 students in 10 to 20 schools.
� Many schools would be given new leadership teams, new designs and possibly new names.
� A tax increase would be likely. "Los Angeles taxpayers have proven that they are willing to tax themselves if they believe that the money will be well spent."
� A Los Angeles Educational Fund would have a target of $200 million for its first five years and work to find grants and other new funding sources.
� LAUSD would be "rebranded," possibly with "Los Angeles Department of Education, Youth and Families" as the new name.
� Student uniforms would be required.
� Mandatory curriculum would be developed for kindergarten through 12th grade and include arts, music, physical education, foreign languages and career education.
� The school day could be expanded to 5 p.m. and include enrichment activities.
� Move toward a 10 1/2-month school year.
� Limit a school to 500 students at most, doubling the number of schools to 1,480.
� Add more charter schools and raise $50 million to establish additional seats.
� Require parents to sign contracts describing parent and school responsibilities.
� Schools would develop and manage their own site-based budgets.
� Develop a "career ladder" for teachers.
� Sell LAUSD's headquarters at 333 South Beaudry Ave. Relocate central staff to schools or district offices or downsize.
� Develop a new salary schedule for teachers with major pay raises based on movement into more challenging roles rather than on seniority and degrees earned.
- Source: Daily News

UNION WANTS EARLY SAY ON SCHOOL REFORM: A coalition led by the L.A. teachers group will reveal its own plan for revamping the district.
By Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer

April 15, 2006 � Intent on being a player in the ongoing scrum over the future of Los Angeles schools, the powerful teachers union and a coalition of community organizations will outline Monday their own plan to overhaul the city's public school system.

The move, union officials said, is timed to try to preempt and influence Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is expected to present a broad sketch of his vision for taking control of the Los Angeles Unified School District during his first State of the City address on Tuesday.

"We've wanted to get out first with a set of reforms and not look like we were reacting to the mayor or anyone else," said Joel Jordan, the director of special projects for United Teachers Los Angeles.

That objective grew complicated last week when reports surfaced about a proposal that the mayor's advisors had compiled and quietly circulated outside of City Hall. The draft proposal � which aides to the mayor said would probably change as he finalizes his plan in the coming weeks � suggested dozens of wide-ranging reforms, including gutting the district's central bureaucracy and extending the school day and year.

Similar to the City Hall proposal, the UTLA-led coalition's plan calls for a dramatic decentralization of power in the nation's second-largest school system. According to an outline of the plan provided by the union, school councils would take control of budgets and hire teachers and administrators.

This approach has been tried previously but was never fully successful, and Supt. Roy Romer essentially killed those efforts when he was hired six years ago.

The union would seek state legislation to increase funding in order to lower class sizes.

Union officials are calling for the sprawling system's eight regional districts to be replaced by four or five "support units" that would provide services and be controlled by a slimmed-down central bureaucracy.

But the coalition also wants teachers � "through their union" � to be responsible for faculty training and "developing and assessing curriculum" taught to students.

Foreshadowing what could become a stumbling block during contract negotiations the union and district will open this summer, Romer dismissed the idea of allowing teachers to design courses.

Romer attributes much of the impressive gains elementary-grade students have made on state exams in recent years to his decision to require nearly all elementary schools to use a common curriculum. The standardized lesson plans, he said, have allowed the district to hold schools accountable for progress and to better teach in a lowincome, urban district where families often move students from campus to campus.

"I inherited a district, if you look at the scores, that was just way at the bottom. We have moved it up radically. That movement has been because we raised expectations and put in a rigorous curriculum," Romer said. "Most of this district has got to raise itself up still a lot higher than it is. And � we need to have a central coherence. We can't have our teachers doing things 50 different ways, you can't manage that."

The union plan contrasts sharply with the mayor's push to scale back the authority of the seven-member, elected school board and to assume the power to appoint the district's leaders. The coalition's plan envisions an expanded school board with 11 to 15 full-time members instead of the current part-time positions, UTLA President A.J. Duffy said.

The core of UTLA's leadership, elected last year by the union's 47,000 members, has for years called on the union to address social justice and school reform issues while also negotiating teacher salaries and benefits.

By joining forces with leading community groups, which include the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now and Inner-City Struggle, union leaders said they aim to build a grass-roots movement behind the reform effort that will counter the mayor's bully pulpit.

"Parents and students have not been involved in creating the mayor's plan," said Inner-City's executive director, Luis Sanchez. "It is a top-down approach, in the same way the district deals with schools now."

School board President Marlene Canter said that, while she doesn't agree with all the union's plans, she is encouraged by what she sees as common issues shared by UTLA and the district.

"I've always said unions are the biggest levers for change if we're working together," Canter said. "If we go to the bargaining table with our focus on student achievement instead of only isolating out monetary issues and salary, I welcome that."

The union's one-page outline is considerably less detailed than the 43-page draft circulated by the mayor's team. Duffy acknowledged they would unveil only a "shell of a comprehensive plan" at Monday's news conference. And Jordan and other union officials said the mayor's takeover campaign had forced the union to rush somewhat so as not to be left on the sidelines.

"When we saw he was serious about a takeover," said Jordan, "I said, 'Oh, no, this is going to force us to come out more quickly. We've been wanting to do this for years but haven't been in a position of power."

Some parent groups complained this week that they were being left out of the discussions with the mayor's office, and even Romer sent Villaraigosa a letter this week asking to be included.

Other proposals are also in the works. Charter school operator Steve Barr has unveiled a proposal to restructure the district along the lines of his Green Dot Public Schools � smaller, more personalized campuses. [See Below]

And state Sen. George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) and Assemblyman Keith Richman (R-Northridge) are expected Monday to discuss their legislation calling for L.A. Unified to be broken into several smaller districts.


PARENTS WANT SAY ON LAUSD PROPOSAL: Groups protest mayor's actions at City Hall
by Naush Boghossian & Rick Orlov, Staff Writers, LA Daily News

April 15, 2006 � Several parent groups lashed out Friday at Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposal to take over Los Angeles Unified School District, holding a news conference on the steps of City Hall to complain they weren't consulted.

The Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA joined with representatives of other parents groups in saying the mayor's office had ignored their repeated requests for a meeting.

"Here we are on the steps of City Hall - a bunch of parents - raising our concerns because we, the stakeholders in LAUSD with the biggest investment, are not engaged in the discussion as the city attempts to take over or make over LAUSD," said Scott Folsom, president of the Tenth District PTSA.

"We are not disputing the tentative preliminary draft plan leaked or floated or `run up the flagpole.' We are arguing that whatever passes for planning has got this far without involving the parents of the children whose futures are at stake."

But Villaraigosa said he included parents on an advisory committee created to recommend improvements and he considers their comments sufficient.

"This is just the start of the process and we will be meeting with everyone to get their input," Villaraigosa said.

The parent groups, educators and district officials were among those reacting to a draft proposal for restructuring the district, placing it under mayoral control and breaking it into 80 mini-districts.

School board member Jon Lauritzen said he's disappointed that the mayor not only left parents out of the process, but the district as well.

"I'm particularly disappointed because we're so open in what we do with our public meetings," Lauritzen said. "It makes us feel doubly left out when the process is behind closed doors and looks like special interests are driving things rather than public need and public desire."

Villaraigosa's proposal also touches on the issue of school funding and raises the possibility of asking voters to approve a tax hike.

But Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association, noted that voters have approved three school construction bond issues in recent years and questioned whether they'd support another school-related tax.

"The taxes are going to be a little bit more difficult, because each successive (construction) bond has gotten fewer votes and it's our sense that taxpayers are already overtaxed and his belief that city residents are willing to pay for yet another tax may be too optimistic."

But while the plan lays out dozens of reform ideas, Michael Kirst, professor of education at Stanford University, was surprised it didn't include a greater centralization of authority.

"It's very vague on how the governance system will be changed to enable such a bold reform program. It's mostly about policy change and not how the governance system is going to be reworked to allow such radical change to take place," said Kirst, who has testified before the Joint Commission on LAUSD Governance _ which is working to create its own district reform proposal.

City Councilman Jose Huizar, a former school board member, said he continues to back mayoral control of the district as the only viable means to improve education for the Los Angeles' 727,000 public school students.

"I think the only way we are going to see the school district decentralized, with the decisions being made locally, is with mayoral control," Huizar said. "It's an important first step to changing what is going on over there."

Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles, said he wondered whether it was part of the mayor's political strategy.

"We've seen this before where large ideas are floated and he can retract them later, saying it was never being seriously considered," Regalado said. "I think he is focused on the issues of controlling the schools. Sometimes, the mayor and his people get ahead of themselves."

About a hundred hearty souls - parents and kids, called together at the last minute - stood in the rain at on Friday morning at City Hall and spoke out on the fact that the voice of parents has been ignored to date in the Mayor's push to take over LAUSD. Parents from across the District - parents with something to say - spoke far more eloquently than I of being excluded from the discussion.

Statement by Scott Folsom, President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTA/PTSA: "I am not a believer of negotiation by ambush or that photo ops are hard news stories. I believe that listening is a more important leadership skill than speaking. I believe that reaching a meeting of minds is real hard work.

"However, here we are on the steps of City Hall � a bunch of parents � raising our concerns because we, the stakeholders in LAUSD with the biggest investment, are not engaged in the discussion as the City attempts to Takeover or Makeover LAUSD.

"We are here today on the City Hall steps of because parents � PTA Parents, Parent Collaborative Parents; Elementary and Middle School and High School Parents from across the City and the Cities and communities and neighborhoods and barrios of LA are not being consulted by the Mayor and his City Hall team as they propose to take control of the School District. We are not looking to have a photo op moment with the Mayor � we are asking to be involved in the discussion that is about the future of our children. We want to listen and be listened to.

"We are here representing parents. PTA in LA has well over sixty thousand parent members. The Parent Collaborative represents every parent and parent group within LAUSD. Recently we have been making strides in driving and improving the District's parent policy. Make no mistake: In LAUSD Parents are a special interest group. We have 727,000 special interests.

"We are not disputing the tentative preliminary draft plan leaked or floated or "run up the flagpole" � we are arguing that whatever passes for planning has got this far without involving the parents of the children whose futures are stake. Anyone who knows any of us here this morning knows we are not cheerleaders for the District �we do not accept the status quo � not a one of us celebrates mediocrity. The mayor's spokespeople talk about accountability, but who is accountable to us? Who for that matter, who are we to be accountable to? We hear talk about parent engagement; but no one's talking that talk with us.

"Mr. Mayor - we are on the steps of City Hall; invite us in. Listen as we tell you what we think. Tell us what you think. That's all we ask."

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
►Tuesday Apr 18, 2006
Site Selection Update Meeting
Local District 5
Join us at this meeting where we will review:
* Criteria used to select potential sites
* Sites suggested by community and by LAUSD, and
* We will present and discuss the most suitable site(s) for this new school project!
6:30 p.m.
Malabar Elementary School
3200 E. Malabar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90063

►Tuesday Apr 18, 2006
Presentation of Design Development Drawings
At this meeting we will present the design of Valley Region EEC #1 and discuss the next steps in the construction process.
6:30 p.m.
Chase Elementary School
14041 Chase Street
Panorama City, CA 91402

►Wednesday Apr 19, 2006
Pre-Construction Meeting
6:00 p.m.
Castelar Elementary School
840 Yale Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

►Wednesday Apr 19, 2006
CEQA Scoping Meeting - The purpose of this meeting is to inform and obtain input from the community on the types of issues to be considered in a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). This report evaluates the potential impacts that this project may have on the surrounding environment.Your comments and concerns are very important. Please join us!
6:30 p.m.
Monroe New Elementary School #2
8855 Noble Ave.
North Hills, CA 91343

►Thursday Apr 20, 2006
Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m.
Jefferson New Elementary School #7
1050 E. 52nd Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90011

►Thursday Apr 20, 2006
Site Selection Update Meeting
Local District 8
Join us at this meeting where we will review:
* Criteria used to select potential sites
* Sites suggested by community and by LAUSD, and
* We will present and discuss the most suitable site(s) for this new school project!
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Banning High School � Auditorium
1527 Lakme Avenue
Wilmington, CA 90744

►Thursday Apr 20, 2006
CEQA MND (Mitigated Negative Declaration) Meeting
The purpose of the meeting is to present to the community the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). The Draft MND is an environmental study that was prepared for the project in compliance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines and provides the following information:
* Analysis of potential environmental impacts that could result from the proposed project
* Identification of ways to reduce or eliminate potential environmental impacts
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Coughlin Elementary School - Multipurpose Room
11035 Borden Avenue
Pacoima, CA 91331

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
LAUSD Board Room - 333 S. Beaudry
Phone: 213.633.7493
Phone: 213.633.7616


What can YOU do?
� E-mail, call or write your school board member: � 213-241-6387
[ office vacant ] � 213-241-6180 � 213-241-6388 � 213-241-6382 � 213-241-6385 � 213-241-6386 � 213-241-6383
...or your city councilperson, mayor, assemblyperson, state senator, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think!
Call or e-mail Governor Schwarzenegger: 213-897-0322 e-mail:
� Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
� Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
� Get involved at your neighborhood school. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child.
� Vote.

� GET INVOLVED! Click on the [LINK] below to send a letter to the California legislature encouraging them to fully release Prop 98 funding to the California schools.

"To the Honorable Legislators of the State of California:

"California is in a severe budget crisis. It is the driving force behind the decision to once again suspend Proposition 98. We as concerned citizens of California urge you to not suspend Proposition 98 or defer its obligations to future years. Education already holds a large I.O.U. from the State of California.

"The outcome of suspending and deferring Proposition 98 is that it does not provide California Public Education the proper amount of funding and attention it needs so that our children can be competitive in the future global environment. In addition, as the cost of living in California continues to outpace the national average, it is even more important that California Public Schools offer children a superior level of education in order to continue to attract top talent for California businesses. Without a solid state educational system, top talent, and their families, will seek employment outside of California causing businesses to either relocate or rely on outsourcing to find qualified candidates. Rather than compromising education, we, as concerned citizens ask the Legislatures of the State of California to respect and abide by the entire essence of Proposition 98.

"Thank you for taking the time to consider the issues of inequity and inadequate funding for public education. We are confident that you will do what is necessary to address these needs as you deliberate the use of State revenues in developing a balanced State budget."

Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?

Scott Folsom is a parent and parent leader in LAUSD. He is President of Los Angeles 10th District PTSA and represents PTA as Vice-chair the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and is a PTA officer and/or governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is also the elected Youth & Education boardmember on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.
� In this forum his opinions are his own and your opinions and feedback are invited. Quoted and/or cited content copyright � the original author and/or publisher. All other material copyright � 4LAKids.
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