Sunday, January 27, 2008


4LAKids: Sunday, Jan 27, 2008
In This Issue:
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
As usual, the education news for this week is a hodgepodge.

hodge•podge (hjpj) - n.
A mixture of dissimilar ingredients; a jumble.
[Alteration of Middle English hochepot, from Old French, stew; see hotchpot.]
– The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Noun 1. hodgepodge - a motley assortment of things
Noun 2. hodgepodge - a theory or argument made up of miscellaneous or incongruous ideas "the architect has a theory that more is less"; "they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales"

4LAKids has picked and chosen — choosing to lead with 2 articles from Edutopia - the publication of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. 4LAKids & Edutopia share three things: We are committed to quality public education, the publishers are a couple of baby-boomer filmmakers, and the publications are free. One is virtual; the other a slick magazine …George Lucas is a much more successful filmmaker than I! Jim Daly, Edutopia's editor challenges the presidential candidates to focus on public education and commends Eli Broad and Roy Romer's efforts in ED IN'08. Eli and Roy are no strangers to these pages and to us in LA — and they've got this one right! Richard Dreyfus ties up the Hollywood knot (and the Lucas connection - "American Graffiti"…remember?) …a bleeding heart bleeding red, white and true blue.

Following we have 2 from 2 Times: LA+NY. L.A. UNIFIED SCALES BACK BUILDING PLANS is a story that rolls out in headline type a story that has been the very public work of LAUSD for the past couple of years as the District came to grips with cost escalation in school construction, limited resources and declining enrollment. The Board of Education has been trying to downsize campuses in a "smaller-is-better" movement; the dollars are not stretching as far as the costs go up - and there has been a falloff in enrollment. These facts of life have discussed at every Bond Oversight Committee meeting and nearly every Board of Ed meeting for the past two years. However the reporting of facts (no matter how past tense they are) IS the news — and the NY Times piece: BUILDING COSTS DEAL BLOW TO LOCAL BUDGETS puts it into a national if not global perspective.

The current decline in enrollment is a short term demographic anomaly - nothing to do with education but instead reflecting the high cost of living and real estate in Los Angeles and the resultant drop in population. In the foreseeable future we will need more classrooms and seats, but building smaller schools is good thinking and good policy for now and long term. Our schools are too big as evidenced by this oft quoted factoid: Of the fifty largest middle schools in California, fifty of them are in LAUSD. There are other factors in play also - including the "we're all for public education …in someone else's backyard" advocated by the Right Site Coalition - self appointed champions of the Echo Park community who hold their meetings in Glendale.

Policy makers struggle similarly with building new schools near freeways: BOARD ACTS TO LIMIT NEW SCHOOLS NEAR FREEWAYS. LAUSD has many schools next to freeways, in many cases the freeways were built after the schools. The Catch 22's abound: the law says one cannot build new schools near freeways but not vice versa, the rules are never retroactive no matter how inconvenient the truth about air and noise pollution …and can LAUSD realistically set higher standards than the state's for school siting …and then collect state matching funds for the escalation in costs? The answer is certainly no.

Meanwhile the Bush Administration and their allies in Congress do their best to cut health care for kids , cutting Medicaid funding to school districts (LAUSD HEALTH SERVICES FACE CUTS IN FEDERAL FUNDING) and once again sustaining the veto of SCHIP ( HOUSE FAILS AGAIN TO OVERRIDE VETO OF SCHIP) Shame.

And in EdWeek, Randy Ross, the LAUSD Board of Ed's education policy guru poses the question: IS SCHOOL SUCCESS TRANSFERABLE?

HIGH STAKES TESTING: We are going to be awash on our telephones and the airwaves with politicos running for President from now through Feb 5th — next January 20th one of them will actually get the job! Ask them and yourselves what their plans and hopes and dreams for Public Education are. Listen for answers that don’t fall into neat sound bytes (…or bites - the linguists defer/differ).

¡Onward/Hasta adelante! —smf


► L.A. UNIFIED SCALES BACK BUILDING PLANS: Falling enrollment projections mean fewer and smaller schools are needed, district says.

by Evelyn Larrubia | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 23, 2008 — Declining enrollment has prompted the Los Angeles Unified School District to scale back its $20-billion school construction and remodeling program sought to relieve overcrowding and end involuntary busing.

The building program, which is paid for by four bond issues approved by local voters and state funds, is believed to be the largest public works project in the nation. But since the fall, the school system has canceled plans for 19 new schools and additions to existing campuses in South Gate, Bell, Van Nuys, San Fernando, Sun Valley and central Los Angeles, among other areas, citing new enrollment projections.

On Tuesday, the Board of Education downsized five new schools, eliminating more than 1,000 seats, and last year, the district decided against building seven others, also largely because of decreased enrollment.

"This is major," said board member Marguerite LaMotte, who appeared amazed recently when the board voted to shrink a proposed Maywood high school from about 2,000 classroom seats to 1,200. Even overcrowded nearby Bell High School, which the new school will relieve, has benefited from demographic changes.

Overall, the nation's second-largest school system now serves 694,288 students, down 7% from its peak in 2003 of 747,009 students. The drop stems from years of declining birth rates and increasing housing prices that have pushed poor and working-class families out of many gentrified urban Los Angeles neighborhoods.

A similar decline in students is being felt in other districts in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, a product of the sharp increase in housing prices over the last decade. Compton Unified has eliminated one of two planned elementary schools, partly because of decreased enrollment.

In Los Angeles, reducing the number of new classrooms will not, however, mean that the district will have a surplus of bond money, officials said. Construction costs have nearly tripled to $500 per square foot or higher since 2001, causing a shortfall. The district has cut more than $1 billion from school repair, technology and early education programs to make up the difference.

Guy Mehula, the district's chief facilities executive, has assured the board that the 80,000 seats left to be built still appear necessary. He has repeatedly pointed out that 200,000 children will be learning in portable classrooms even after the construction program is completed. The district expects enrollment numbers to begin to rise again in about five years.

But years of declines have provided ammunition to residents seeking to block new campuses. The downturn was cited by Van Nuys residents, who hired a lawyer to fight a new school that would have required tearing down residences. District officials sent a letter last month to property owners around Cedros Avenue, saying they had scrapped the school because "updated enrollment projections" have made it unnecessary.

Demographics were also among the arguments being used by residents of White House Place Primary Center, west of downtown, who are opposed to losing an unusual ecological housing village to a new elementary school. They said seats are empty at two schools that the new campus is slated to relieve and a third will be giving up students to the massive K-12 campus at the site of the former Ambassador Hotel.

Perhaps the costliest fight over declining enrollment is being waged over what the district calls Central Region Elementary School No. 14, in Echo Park, which has been tied up in court for more than two years. The proposed school was promised to voters in 2005, principally to remove chronically jammed Rosemont Elementary School from a four-track year-round schedule.

About 1,500 students then attended the campus, which has relied on a staggered calendar for more than a decade.

But Rosemont, now down to 964 students, switched back to a traditional September-through-June schedule in the fall. School principal Evaristo Barrett even circulated a flier in the neighborhood recruiting pupils to avoid losing teachers.

"Please tell your neighbors, family and friends that we are looking for additional students," he said in Spanish and English.

Christine Peters leads a vocal opposition group, the Right Site Coalition, which has filed court actions seeking to block construction of the $59-million campus. The district has already spent $26 million buying the 49 residences and six commercial lots on the site at Santa Ynes and Alvarado streets, mitigating contamination and designing the new campus.

"They just don't want to say: 'Oops, we're wrong,' so they're going to push this thing through regardless, just to save face," said Peters, a member of the city's neighborhood council for the area. "Their stated goal was to return schools to single track. It's done. All schools are in traditional calendars in Echo Park."

District officials insist the campus will be needed by the time elementary school enrollment picks up again.

"Enrollment in the neighborhood drops off and goes back up. It always recovers," said Tom Calhoun, central region development manager for the district. "We want to make sure that we plan for the long term."

He also said that Rosemont's capacity will ultimately drop to fewer than 800 students because the district plans to remove classrooms crowding the school's playground.

Calhoun said the proposed campus will make an ideal neighborhood school because 450 students live within a four-block radius and 150 more live across Alvarado Street. Those students now cross under the 101 Freeway to attend Rosemont. Hundreds more pupils expected to attend the 875-student campus could come from more than a mile away.

The project has been controversial from its first public meeting in 2004, when officials unveiled three proposed sites. Residents countered with nine alternatives.

"The feedback that we got from individuals was, No. 1, don't take any homes, don't build a school -- or limit the number of homes," said Lily Quiroa, a former district community relations official. The site was picked "because it limited the number of homes that were taken," she added.

Since then, enrollment has plummeted at Rosemont and other area schools, particularly at smaller campuses to the north. Elysian Heights Elementary School, which has lost 53% of its student body since 2001, combined kindergarten and first-grade classes in the fall.

"We never realized large families were going to be moving out," said Quiroa, who no longer works for the district. "Four years ago when we were looking for the site, the numbers were there, the need was there."

Even as enrollment changed, the district said the school was still necessary to relieve crowded campuses outside of Echo Park. Plasencia Elementary, for example, has been dropped from the list of schools the new campus was slated to relieve and has been replaced with Commonwealth Avenue Elementary and Lafayette Park Primary Center, more than a mile away.

The area's newly elected school board member, Yolie Flores Aguilar, said it's clear that gentrification is reducing enrollment but not enough to scrap the school.

Her predecessor, David Tokofsky, remains a stalwart supporter of the project.

"Rosemont is like an intestine. It's twisted and turned," he said. "There is no mother or father that you can think of who wouldn't prefer an elementary school of 400 to 500 kids than an elementary school of 850 to 1,250."

Retired attorney Francisco Torrero, also a member of the neighborhood council, said he can't count on the population dip's being permanent, given redevelopment and construction in the general vicinity.

"Who are me or Christine or anyone to tell the people who move into these places: No, you can't have children?" asked Torrero, a 30-year resident and father of a fifth-grader at Rosemont. "If you're going to wait 20 years when there's no money available with the state or the district to build a school, what will you do then? It's going to put you back on the same boat."


by William Yardley | New York Times

January 26, 2008 — SEATTLE — State and local governments in many parts of the country are struggling to pay for roads, bridges and other building projects because of rising construction costs, adding another burden to budgets already stressed by the troubled housing market.

The problems have come as many governments pursue ambitious projects to improve roads and airports, build schools and upgrade long-neglected water and sewer systems. Many of the projects were conceived when money from property, sales and income taxes was steady and interest rates low, but officials say the ground has shifted beneath their feet.

“Everybody’s scared,” said Uche Udemezue, director of engineering and transportation for San Leandro, Calif., which will soon put out a request for construction bids on a retiree center and a parking garage. “You don’t know what you’re going to find when you go out to bid.”

Costs have jumped for projects as varied as levee construction in New Orleans, Everglades restoration in Florida and huge sewer system upgrades in Atlanta. The reconstruction of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, a $234 million project, has been fast-tracked for completion by December, and state officials say it is too soon to know whether it will come in on budget.

The impact has been felt in different regions at different times, and not every project has been high-profile. In Oregon, high costs have forced the State Department of Transportation to slow the rate at which it upgrades roads and bridges. In Seattle, school building projects were put on a fast track this fall because of fears of cost overruns.

“We escalated our project schedule to get ahead,” said Fred Stephens, director of facilities and construction for Seattle Public Schools.

Nationwide, increasing costs first became a problem for some projects more than two years ago, and in some regions the rate of increase has dropped in the past year. But some regions are tighter than ever, and the pressure from the high costs can be more acute in the context of general revenue declines.

The list of culprits for the increases often depends on the rate of growth and construction in a particular region, with labor costs playing a role along with the rising prices of materials like steel and concrete, and asphalt, fuel and other petroleum-based products.

Experts say high costs are linked to competition from a global development boom, particularly in China and India; the housing boom in the United States; and the rush to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other recent hurricanes that struck Florida and the Southeast. In the Northwest, public projects have competed with downtown construction surges in Seattle and Portland. Just across the Canadian border, hotels and highways are being built to prepare for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The costs have added to what has become an increasingly bleak economic forecast for many states and local governments. At least 25 states expect to have budget deficits in 2009, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which estimates the combined budget shortfall for 17 of the states at $31 billion or more. Many cities, too, see difficult times ahead as revenues wane and costs increase for wages, pensions and health care.

“We’re talking about all levels of government being in some revenue constraints at a time when the service costs aren’t going down,” said Chris Hoene, the director of policy and research for the National League of Cities.

In some places, the news is not all bad. Recent declines in residential construction are beginning to force contractors to be more competitive when they bid for government work. Yet some government officials see that as a dubious silver lining.

In Oregon, low bids for recent bridge projects came in at $18 million, about 10 percent below what the state had projected. That was unimaginable a year ago, but the relief is relative, said Tom Lauer, the major projects manager for the Transportation Department.

“We’ve been getting hit so hard that we’ve been pumping them up the last couple of years,” Mr. Lauer said of the state’s internal cost projections.

“I didn’t get a price break,” he said of the recent bid. “I may just have more predictable pricing. I still can’t afford to do other stuff.”

In Newcastle, a growing Seattle suburb, the situation is emblematic of the struggles confronting towns and school districts across the country. Two main goals prompted the improvements now under way on a main thoroughfare, Coal Creek Parkway. Widening a bottleneck on the road would help relieve congestion on nearby Interstate 405. And doing it with style — using steel on a bridge to evoke an old train trestle and installing landscaped medians between lanes — would send the signal that Newcastle is ready to do business.

Then the bids came back. “Slack-jawed,” said John Starbard, the city manager, when asked his reaction to the bids.

Mr. Starbard said even the project’s engineering consultant, CH2M Hill, was stunned when what they believed was a very conservative $38 million estimate in March 2007 was met with a low bid of more than $44 million for a mile’s worth of road and bridge improvements.

But waiting to build was not an option. The city had already received help from Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and state lawmakers, as well as the State Transportation Improvement Board. It went back to the board and received $2 million more.

“It was a shared sticker shock, but they had seen this with other projects so they were not as surprised,” Mr. Starbard said of the board.

In Newton, Mass., a Boston suburb with a population of more than 80,000, the estimate for the new Newton North High School was $104 million in 2004. Four years later, the foundation is about to be poured and the estimate is now at least $186 million, said Jeremy Solomon, a city spokesman. Mr. Solomon said about $25 million of the increase involved changes to the original plan, for asbestos abatement, adjustments to the heating and air-conditioning system and other factors. Otherwise, he said, the increase resulted from rising building costs.

“We kind of got caught in a period where construction costs grew rapidly,” said Mr. Solomon, citing steel and fuel costs, among others.

The need for public improvements only grows greater. Costs are rising even as engineers across the country say infrastructure is rapidly decaying.

In San Leandro, a city of 78,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Udemezue said the city could not afford to delay work on the parking garage and retiree center.

“We can’t wait,” he said, “because we don’t know if the prices are going to come down or go up.”

In the grading guide known as the Pavement Condition Index, zero is not far from a dirt strip and 100 is a fresh new roadway. When Mr. Udemezue began working for San Leandro 16 years ago, the average road ranking in the city was nearly 70. Now it is closer to 60, despite what Mr. Udemezue said were the city’s efforts to keep up maintenance.

Years ago, there was more money in the city’s general revenue stream that could be diverted to help with basic maintenance, which Mr. Udemezue said required about $5 million a year.

That general revenue now goes to other needs, like public safety, and the roads go wanting, with flat revenue from gas taxes and other declines leaving about $1.2 million to maintain roads each year. The $13 million retiree center and the $8 million parking garage have been affected, too, with the city dropping plans to build commercial space beneath the garage and reducing the space for social programs in the center.

Mr. Udemezue and others say they have heard that things may be stabilizing, but they cannot be sure.

Even in places where the rise of costs has slowed, said Ken Simonson, chief economist with the Associated General Contractors of America, “it’s dormant at best.”



by Lisa Friedman, Washington Bureau | LA Daily News

Article Last Updated: 01/23/2008 08:42:01 PM PST

January 24, 2008 - WASHINGTON - Los Angeles schools could lose up to $20 million - and be forced to close many of the region's school-based health clinics - under a plan by the Bush administration to stop reimbursing districts for certain Medicaid costs.

And Los Angeles Unified School District officials, in Washington this week protesting the new Medicaid rule, are taking the lead in what is shaping up as a national fight.

Local officials said about 150 organizations, including schools, hospitals and disability-rights groups across the country, have already met to protest the changes costing more than $635 million nationally.

Without that money, officials said, children with little or no health insurance would lose clinics their families have come to rely on for everything from tuberculosis tests and immunizations to parenting classes and nutrition guidance.

"There is no better place for children to get information, to get access to their medical needs, than their school," said LAUSD board member Yolie Flores Aguilar.

"It's where the kids are all day, and it's the place that parents trust."

Currently, schools receive Medicaid reimbursement for the cost of transporting disabled children who are unable to ride regular school buses.

They also receive reimbursement for a range of administrative activities such as enrolling students in Medicaid programs.

But for two years the Bush administration has sought to eliminate those payments.

On Dec. 21 - the day members of Congress left town for the holidays - Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt issued his decision that schools' activities are "not necessary for the proper and efficient administration of the Medicaid state plan."

The Los Angeles school system receives between $8million and $20million annually in such reimbursements - a fraction, officials say, of actual spending for the services.

Congress has temporarily blocked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid from cutting, but the reprieve will last only through June.

The ruling comes at a time of deepening deficits and dire budget cuts in California. The LAUSD is facing a loss of about $500million next year under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to reduce spending for public schools by $4.35billion.

LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer III said the combination will be devastating for children in the district, where about 27percent of students are uninsured.

The first major losses, he said, will be the district's 34 health clinics that get about 100,000 visits from students annually.

"The schools are the hub for access to needed care for many of our families," he said.

Bush administration officials said that while they sympathize with the belt-tightening, they do not feel that is a reason to continue federal Medicaid payments.

"Constrained local and state funding for education is not the basis for determining whether a cost is properly claimed under Medicaid," officials jointly wrote in defending the new rule.

Maria Gonzalez of Canoga Park said she can't imagine what raising her three children would have been like without the clinics. While she and her husband both work full time, health insurance used to be out of their financial reach.

So when her son was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 6, it was the staff at Christopher Columbus Middle School's clinic that provided medicine, made a house call to advise her how to cover mattresses and pillows, and taught her ways to prevent future attacks.

Now the parents have health insurance for the kids, but Gonzalez said she finds it comforting to know the clinics are there.

"If I ever had any other need, I could call them, and they'd tell me where to go," she said, adding that she will feel devastated if the clinics close.

Janice Lake, the facility organizer for three San Fernando Valley clinics that serve more than 3,000 kids, said the clinics save taxpayers money by teaching disease prevention and giving uninsured parents alternatives to rushing to hospital emergency rooms.

Mary Kusler, assistant director of government relations for the American Association of School Administrators, said the cuts will be felt nationwide.

"These proposed cuts are going to impact not only L.A. Unified, but small rural districts in Nebraska and suburban districts in New Jersey," she warned.


News Alert from the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) @ George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

January 24, 2008 - Trying again to get a reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) through Congress, the House of Representatives yesterday failed by 15 votes to override President Bush’s veto of a bill that would have added $35 billion to the popular state/federal program over the next five years. This was the second veto, and the second time a veto was sustained, since the original SCHIP authorization expired last year. The 260 to 152 vote, in which all House Democrats and all but 42 of Republicans voted to override the President's veto, left the House 15 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to overcome a veto. Democratic leaders cited a current “sour turn” in the economy as an added reason to support the SCHIP expansion, and they vowed to bring the SCHIP reauthorization up again in this session of Congress. SCHIP is currently funded through March 2009 under emergency legislation passed by Congress last year.


by Evelyn Larrubia, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 23, 2008 - Making broad pronouncements about the need to protect the health of children in their care, the Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday restricted the district's ability to build schools near freeways and other sources of air pollution.

After a string of public speakers supporting the measure and impassioned debate, the board approved a resolution calling for the school system to study airborne pollutants up to half a mile from a potential site, rather than the current quarter mile requirement. It also seeks air quality health-risk assessments for all schools, including charter schools, although officials said it is unclear whether they could force the independently run but publicly-funded schools to do so.

"Basically I'm trying to push the envelope as far as we can," said board member Yolie Flores Aguilar, who co-wrote the resolution with board member Julie Korenstein.

Flores Aguilar took on the issue after The Times reported in September that the district continued to build schools close to freeways, despite a state law discouraging it and recent studies indicating that children living near them showed signs of increased respiratory harm. About 60,000 Los Angeles Unified School District students attend campuses within 500 feet of a freeway.

The board also gave the superintendent a month to produce a list of schools where children are at the highest risk from air pollution and, by late March, to come up with a plan to reduce that exposure.

The board action does not change state law, which allows schools within 500 feet of major roadways despite the risks if the board finds the pollution "unavoidable" and overrides it.

However, Flores Aguilar said her resolution fixes a glitch in state law that did not require school systems to consider the effect of ultra-fine particles -- which researchers now believe carry the most noxious pollutants. Those particles are too small to be filtered by heating and air-conditioning systems.

Board member Tamar Galatzan, the lone dissenting vote, said that with budget cuts looming she couldn't support the proposal without a full financial analysis.

Officials said the district expects to lose $460 million in state funds next year.

But her fiscal argument lost to what board members said they felt was a moral imperative.

One after another, they said that they or a family member suffered from asthma.

"I so understand what it means to not be able to breathe," Flores Aguilar said, tearing up. She was born with a severely narrow trachea, requiring time in oxygen tents as a child.

Marguerite LaMotte said her family gave its life savings -- including LaMotte's college fund -- to a charlatan who promised to cure her mother's severe asthma. He failed. "I can do nothing but support it," she said.

District officials said it will cost practically nothing to extend the distance of air quality analysis. The costs of retooling existing schools to limit exposure are unknown. But the resolution does not require the work to be done, and Flores Aguilar said there may be grants available.

Supt. David L. Brewer, also an asthma sufferer, hinted that the funds could come from future bond measures if the community has the "political will" to protect children's health.


Last week 4LAKids reported (GRADUATING SENIORS: WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE? GET YOUR APPLICATION IN BY FEBRUARY 1ST!) the moving up to Feb 1 for all California State University application deadlines to deal with the anticipated budget crunch.

There has been a bit of flip-floppery - some campuses' deadlines have moved up to Feb 1 (from the original August 1) - some to March 1 - some deadlines have already come and gone!

WHICH CSU HAS WHAT DEADLINE? Visit here for a visual aid!

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
Los Angeles Times
Crenshaw High, south of Leimert Park, and Westchester High, on the Westside, will join the Innovation Division, a new reform initiative of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The results of school elections were obtained early Thursday evening by ... [more]

RedOrbit, TX
By Paul Clinton Parents and teachers at Westchester High School have voted to put themselves in charge of academic reforms in an effort to take the low-performing school where Los Angeles Unified couldn't. Working with Loyola Marymount University under ... [more]

San Jose Mercury News
Leaders of the University of California and California State University systems, as well as the California Teachers Association, are in the "no" camp. [more]

Los Angeles Times
President Bush created the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Education in 2002. On Tuesday, he unveiled the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, which will be co-chaired by investment guru Charles Schwab and Los Angeles-based ... [more]

Charlotte Observer, NC
The poster child of the new hard times is California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suggests cutting (even in the face of rising costs) virtually every state program by 10 percent -- K-12 education, child-care subsidies, public parks and beaches, ... [more]

Link to the news that didn't fit!

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
7:00 AM to 05:00 PM
The second day of the LAUSD Academic Decathlon competition will take place at UCLA
Volunteers are still needed!
Contact Person: Cliff Ker/ 213-241-2901

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-893-6800


What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6383 • 213-241-6387 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6385

...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think! • There are 26 mayors and five county supervisors representing jurisdictions within LAUSD, the mayor of LA can be reached at • 213.978.0600
• 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.
• Register.
• Vote.

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

Scott Folsom is a parent and parent leader in LAUSD. He is immediate past 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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