Friday, March 21, 2008

Casting about.

In This Issue:
"The delay underscores the low priority that the governor, despite all rhetoric, seems to put on education - except insofar as schools cost money."
DON'T AUTOMATE THE STATE BUDGET - Debate about spending and cuts may be messy, but it's also an essential part of self-government.
CALIFORNIA'S FISCAL CRISIS HITS SCHOOLS: Thousands of Teachers May Be Laid Off if the Proposed Budget Cuts Go Through.
PROPOSAL TAKES AIM AT GUNS NEAR SCHOOLS: L.A. Councilmen Seek Mandatory Jail Time for People Found Carrying Unlicensed Firearms Near Campuses.
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.
"The delay underscores the low priority that the governor, despite all rhetoric, seems to put on education - except insofar as schools cost money."
—Peter Schrag, Sacramento Bee

►"From 1980 to 2000, the state dropped from No. 1 on several indicators – per pupil spending, test scores, and teachers' salaries – to below 47. When boom times came – 1999 taxes on capital gains brought $24 billion to the state treasury – schools spent the windfall immediately to make up for past debt, without saving for rainy days to come.

"The result has been a pattern of teacher shortages, with many of the best teachers fleeing the state seeking stability, better conditions, and higher salaries. This adds to the state's other problems: 25 percent of students are "English learners," who need to be taught in special classes, and the number of schools serving low-income students is well above the national average." —The Christian Science Monitor


While columnists, editorialists and editorial boards up and down the state beat the drum for true education finance reform ("What Education Needs: Sensible Talk, Not Noise") - and the Daily News beats the tired drum of the LAUSD payroll system ("Don't put much hope in LAUSD payroll system") - our Governor is on the trail asking for the power to suspend the law in times of fiscal crisis ("Don't automate the state budget")

At the risk of appearing to overreact: If this is not declaring a state of emergency and ruling by decree, what is?

The governor has proposed a number of reforms in his time in office; most of these have been thwarted by the legislature. He has put a number of initiatives on the ballot - most have been rejected by the electorate. Schwarzenegger's favorability rating - his Neilson Numbers, boxoffice, TVQ - is high. We like Arnold in the role of Governor just like we like Jack Bauer fighting enemies foreign and domestic when terrorism comes in 24 neat weekly hour-long segments.

But we-the-people actually seem to be able to separate the role from the actor; Real from Reality. We wisely just don't want the Governator to govern.

¡Onward/Hasta adelante! …and perhaps 'la vista'. —smf

YOU CAN HELP "FLUNK THE BUDGET". Call, write, email, fax or you visit your assemblyperson and state senator every Friday when they're home.

by Peter Schrag | Sacramento Bee columnist

March 20, 2008 - If you can work your way through the politics and posturing around California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed $4.8 billion school-funding cuts and the pink slips lately delivered to a reported 20,000 teachers, you might be able to get to the bedrock of the state's convoluted and incomprehensible public education system.

Last Friday, four months after it was completed, Schwarzenegger was finally persuaded to release "Students First," the report of his Committee on Education Excellence, which attempts to address the mess. The report is dated November 2007.

The delay underscores the low priority that the governor, despite all rhetoric to the contrary, seems to put on education, except insofar as schools cost money. Even in his remarks at the release of the report he talked more about "budget reform, budget reform, budget reform" than he did about schools.

Most of the media quickly seized on the contrast between the cost of the committee's recommendations - the rough number is $10.5 billion - and the governor's proposed multibillion-dollar whack at school funding this year and next.

Yet, as Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill urged, and as a number of others have proposed, a lot of the political sky-is-falling atmosphere may not be necessary.

Hill and her staff recommend a strategic approach, cutting "poorly structured, duplicative or technically overbudgeted" programs. They would shift funds (as for student busing) from

non-school transportation budgets, eliminate cost-of-living increases for next year, give districts more flexibility in spending categorical funds and use a variety of other budgetary devices to soften the hit. Together, her proposals would reduce by $3.2 billion the amount by which the complex Proposition 98 minimum-school-funding floor would have to be lowered.

There's a similar proposal from Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who warns that suspending the Proposition 98 guarantee a second time in four years would set a dangerous precedent. Simitian's plan is also based on shifting funds - some still owed schools from past years - that would cushion the blow but still save the state budget $3.2 billion.

It's at this point that the politics and posturing come into play and where all sides - the governor, the unions, the Democrats - have a major investment in the crisis atmosphere: the governor because he's always wanted to drive a stake through the heart of crucial parts of the Proposition 98 formula; the unions and the Democrats because they want to increase pressure to raise revenues.

Then there's that $10.5 billion for the committee's new programs. It's a big number, but even if California magically got to do it tomorrow, which would raise the state above the national average in per-pupil spending, we'd still be nowhere close to high-spending (and economically comparable) states such as New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.

But in the context of the rest of the report, the number is at best hypothetical. The core findings and recommendations - California's weak achievement, inflexible categorical programs and perverse incentives that, in the words of committee chairman Ted Mitchell, are "compliance driven, not results driven" - deserve serious attention.

But there are also questions the committee didn't address: Are we measuring the right things or, as a growing number of critics charge, is the accountability process itself excessively narrowing - even dumbing down - the curriculum? Are teachers driven away and students flummoxed in high school because there's too much rote and not enough thinking in elementary school? Has the basics pendulum swung too far?

Committee members keep trying to avoid calling their incentive-driven reward proposals "merit pay," a phrase Mitchell correctly labeled "toxic." But maybe the question turns more on the curricular standards and criteria of student achievement - what kind of teaching and learning is rewarded. And ultimately, of course, it turns on whether the governor gives a damn.

DON'T AUTOMATE THE STATE BUDGET - Debate about spending and cuts may be messy, but it's also an essential part of self-government.
LA Times editorial

March 20, 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is touring California to sell voters on his plan to further automate the state budget, supposedly to guarantee that we never again find ourselves with a shortfall as severe as the one we face today. The argument goes that political heads are too emotional, too volatile, too human, to wisely put aside any "extra" money from good years, even for the laudable goal of ensuring that schools remain open and patients continue getting medical care during years of economic reckoning.

Under Schwarzenegger's budget reform plan, a predicted surplus would trigger robotic savings, keeping the state's money out of legislative hands. Projected shortfalls would launch predetermined program-slashing cuts. There would be none of the sweat or stress associated with political debate.

It's demonstrably true that Republicans, like the governor, do their best to bend unexpected revenue into imprudent tax breaks, and that Democrats work equally hard to use that money for programs. Their fight is known as politics. It is the operating system of democracy. Californians should refuse to give up that messy but essential discussion in favor of machine-like budgeting that eliminates their voice from the most basic function of self-government.

Schwarzenegger argues that 42 states grant their governors some kind of authority to impose midyear spending adjustments when revenue falls short, and that California's governor also once had that power and ought to get it back. His proposal, though, comes out of Arkansas, one of the nation's poorest states, where elected lawmakers leave their day jobs once every other year for 60 days to approve an annual budget that isn't much bigger than California's deficit. Arkansas has little to teach one of the world's largest economies about budgeting.

But Schwarzenegger's plan would go further, adding to the governor's already sweeping power the new authority to suspend laws. Not even the part-time Arkansas Legislature is as marginalized as that move would make California's elected representatives.

The Budget Stabilization Act nearly removes the human element from self-government. It is budgetary Skynet, marketed as a program smarter than the people it supposedly serves but destined to strip from people the benefits, as well as the burdens, of financial decision-making. A better future for California will come when voters and elected officials begin to make tough choices, not when they shrug their shoulders and relinquish their power to a budget machine.

CALIFORNIA'S FISCAL CRISIS HITS SCHOOLS: Thousands of Teachers May Be Laid Off if the Proposed Budget Cuts Go Through.
by Daniel B. Wood | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

March 21, 2008 – Los Angeles – California, home to 1 in 9 American schoolchildren, is on the brink of what may be the biggest public education crisis in state history. Facing a $16 billion state budget shortfall, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed $4.8 billion in school-funding cuts, or 10 percent of education spending.

In the past week, over 20,000 preliminary pink slips were sent by school districts to teachers and administrators state wide, according to the California Teachers Association. The association estimates another 87,000 (of a total 350,000 public school teachers) could come if Governor Schwarzenegger holds to his budget cut request.

Some say the request is a cry of "wolf" intended to draw public attention and force stalemated politicians to reconsider the cuts – or raise taxes. Others say fiscal reality will push the cuts through as presented.

Meanwhile, school districts and parents are in paroxysms over the thousands of teacher layoffs, the projected loss of librarians, nurses, counselors, and arts personnel; and the need to close schools, increase class sizes, and postpone buying new books.

"This is a story that carries important lessons for how American states fund their public education," says Michael Kirst, professor emeritus of education and business administration at Stanford University in Palo Alto. California's Proposition 13 of 1978, which capped property taxes, made districts more dependent on state aid for education. The state, he says "has seen its public schools suffer ever since."

"Most states leave the cushion of allowing local government to raise property taxes when state school revenues don't come through. This is a giant case study that they might want to keep that option or end up like California."

There are other problems with the state's governance that have cost education in budget battles going back decades, Dr. Kirst and others say. State revenues are derived largely from capital-gains taxes and progressive income tax, a combination that causes wild swings in revenue. "[So] when times are good they are very good and when bad they are painful," says Kirst.

And because the state budget requires a two-thirds majority to pass, a handful of politicians can block it. "With the state GOP refusing to approve anything with revenue tied to it and Democrats unwilling to pass education cuts, it's a recipe for this year's stalemate," says Kevin Gordon, president of School Innovations and Advocacy, the state's largest lobbying firm for public schools.

This boom/bust cycle has wreaked havoc on California public education. From 1980 to 2000, the state dropped from No. 1 on several indicators – per pupil spending, test scores, and teachers' salaries – to below 47. When boom times came – 1999 taxes on capital gains brought $24 billion to the state treasury – schools spent the windfall immediately to make up for past debt, without saving for rainy days to come.

The result has been a pattern of teacher shortages, with many of the best teachers fleeing the state seeking stability, better conditions, and higher salaries. This adds to the state's other problems: 25 percent of students are "English learners," who need to be taught in special classes, and the number of schools serving low-income students is well above the national average.

Experts say teacher shortages could occur again in the current situation, even if the proposed budget cuts don't make it through. That's because state law mandates that school districts notify next fall's laid-off teachers by March 15, and by May 15 if such notices are to be rescinded. Because most state budgets here are not signed until August, the teachers who have been laid off may have already left for greener pastures. "By fall, the state may have changed its mind about those teachers it just gave pink slips to, but by then it could be too late," says Scott Plotkin, president of the California School Boards Association.

Whatever happens, it is clear that teachers, district officials, and parents are anxious. San Diego County school districts are slashing $360 million partly by expanding classrooms at the earliest grades of elementary school, usually capped at 20 students. Nurses and librarians will be shared among schools.

Los Angeles Unified, the second-largest district in the US, is also anticipating $460 million in cuts by killing off elective courses, some sports programs, and firing art teachers, counselors, and personnel from cafeterias to gymnasiums.

"Already the bathrooms stink, the roof is leaking, and we never have enough textbooks. Now the school is going to take away key teachers and personnel," says Fidel Garcia, father of two at Manchester Ave. Elementary School in downtown L.A. "This can't be right."

To fight the cuts, the CTA has launched a statewide PR campaign, complete with placard protests and letters, targeting key legislators. Experts say a concerted public outcry is necessary. "If the public doesn't get a sense of what these deep cuts mean – [by seeing that] your favorite teacher won't be at school next year or new textbooks might not be purchased – then there will be no political traction to get this reversed," says Mr. Gordon.

Even so, some damage has already been done. California will need thousands of teachers in the next decade. Says David Sanchez, president of the CTA: "Why would any good teacher want to come here if they have to wonder what each year's budget is going to bring?"

Full HTML version of this story which may include photos, graphics, and related links

PROPOSAL TAKES AIM AT GUNS NEAR SCHOOLS: L.A. Councilmen Seek Mandatory Jail Time for People Found Carrying Unlicensed Firearms Near Campuses.
by Ari B. Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

March 18, 2008 - Suzette Gutierrez knows Aragon Avenue Elementary. It's where she first went to school in the 1980s, where she served as a teachers assistant two decades later and where she now sends her two girls.

Until recently, Gutierrez, 28, would never have thought about moving. But now she's not so sure.

A recent rash of high-profile shootings has her Cypress Park neighborhood on edge and local officials scrambling to ensure that residents feel safe.

"The concept is fear. We haven't felt like this in a long time . . . But how are you supposed to answer when your 6-year-old daughter asks if it's safe to go to school?" Gutierrez said. "I'm embarrassed about the turn our community is taking."

She stood on Aragon's front lawn Monday with council members who proposed stricter punishments for those caught with illegal firearms in a school zone.

The ordinance would require a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail for anyone found with an unlicensed gun within 1,000 feet of a school, including preschools and day-care centers.

"I have a message to gang members: Stay away from our schools," said Councilman Ed Reyes, who co-sponsored the bill with Councilman Jack Weiss. "The one place in this city where children, parents and administrators should feel safe is in their school. The recent shootings, including the one here at Aragon elementary, violated that sense of sanctuary," Reyes said.

The shooting last month occurred during school hours on the edge of Aragon's front lawn.

Police said that Marcos Salas, 36, who was holding his 2-year-old granddaughter, was shot 17 times by Avenues gang members in a drive-by Feb. 21. His granddaughter was not harmed.

Witnesses who knew Salas fired back at the car. Minutes later and about 10 blocks away, a shootout with police left one of the gang members dead and another wounded.

According to current law, it is a crime to possess a gun in a school zone. Although the law is used to make arrests, jail time is not mandatory and left to the discretion of judges.

"The problem is [the current] law doesn't have any teeth in it," Weiss said. "We are going to create an absolute zero-tolerance zone around these schools."

The shooting at Aragon was one of several shootings in and around Los Angeles schools in recent months. On Feb. 27, five students from George Washington Carver Middle School in South Los Angeles were shot while waiting at a bus stop after classes.

There have been more than 305 gunshot victims citywide so far this year, Weiss said. Last year, there were 1,323 shooting victims across the city, according to statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department.

Reyes said he hoped the proposed ordinance, if passed, would send youths a clear message. Veteranos, older gang members, often tell new gang prospects that the punishment for carrying a gun will not be severe and that they won't go to jail, he said.

"They need to know there will be consequences," he said.

Reyes, who grew up near Aragon, said better jobs and business opportunities are also needed to combat the pull of the area's underground drug trade.

Gutierrez said the ordinance was a good "first step" but worried about the fate of her community. She said she never imagined worrying whether her children would be safe at school.

"I'm scared," she said. "There isn't a chapter in any parenting book on this."


▲4LAKids notes: With the irony fully intended, there are no magic bullets - and I share Councilman Reyes very real concerns for our neighborhood.

If you read the above you will note a. possessing a gun in a school zone is already illegal and b. "Witnesses who knew Salas fired back at the car" - ie: there were a lot of folks with guns in the school zone that day - and in this case, a lot of shooting in the zone!

There are all sorts of issues raised by this legislation, beyond the Second Amendment ones The Supremes are wrestling with now in DC - making the law nigh-on unenforceable. There are lots of people, law abiding folks who live within a thousand feet of a school, including preschools and day-care centers - all are entitled to possess guns. The meaning of the word "unlicensed" (we don't license guns, we register them in California) in this context probably means "covered by a concealed weapons permit" - and the nitpickery of the law continues.

This ordinance imposes zero tolerance and forces judges into mandatory sentencing. Judges and law enforcement and school administrators need latitude — following is a true story.

In the golden age of California Public Education I was a student at LeConte Junior High.

A classmate and friend - a fellow borderline troublemaker not unknown to the vice principals office (not an Eagle but nonetheless a Boy Scout) found a handgun in a paper bag on his way to school one day. He brought it to school and took it to the Boys Vice Principal. I'm not saying he immediately brought it it to the Boys VP; it was a real gun, it was "cool" — he probably showed it some friends; he didn't show it to me. He was maybe thirteen or fourteen years old - but he voluntarily brought it to the office.

Even in the unlamented golden age no good deed went unpunished - he was immediately taken into custody and expelled for bringing a gun on campus because of a zero tolerance policy. Eventually cooler heads prevailed (certainly not that Boys Veep's!) and he was readmitted. Lorenzo grew up and became a cop; the last time I heard he was head of security at an international airport.

Ninety mandatory days in Juvie wouldn't have helped his career any. —smf

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
by Mark DeSaulnier, Member - California State Assembly
March 21 - Contra Costa County was home to contrasting press conferences this week. Though both focused on the budget, they were very different events that evidenced very different understandings of the impact of the state’s budget crisis on Californians.
On Monday, Senate President pro Tem Don Perata, Senator Torlakson, Democratic legislators and I joined educators, parents, students and community activists. We discussed what a $4.8 billion dollar cut to education will look like for kids and teachers. The press conference was held on the front lawn of a local school, open to all.
On Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a “discussion” with a hand-selected crowd of mostly business leaders. It largely ignored the pain this budget crisis will inflict on working Californians. (more)

by Suzanne LaBarre • Metropolis Magazine
March 19 - Los Angeles public schools are in a bind. Overcrowding has reached such levels that teachers have had to share their classrooms, cutting the overall academic calendar by up to 17 days while forcing students to sit through school in shifts year-round. One middle school squeezes 2,700 students into a facility designed for 800. The most obvious remedy, building more space, is complicated by a 2003 state health-and-safety law that bans most school construction within 500 feet of a freeway. Los Angeles has 24 freeways, covering 250 miles. That’s like telling Venice not to build by water.
A partial solution is emerging in the least likely place: the freeways themselves. (more)

The Daily News payroll rant o' th' week:
LA Daily News editorial
March 19, 2008 - You would be forgiven for forgetting, what with massive cost overruns and all, that the purpose of the Los Angeles Unified School District's disastrous new payroll system was to save money. Really!
That flawed system - which underpaid and overpaid teachers for two years - has cost taxpayers $40 million so far. And that's on top of the $95million the LAUSD shelled out to buy the accursed thing. But, amazingly, district officials still maintain that, somehow, the people of L.A. will come out on top in this deal. (more)

By Nanette Asimov/San Francisco Chronicle
A hundred garbage cans line the streets of Alameda. Each holds a student, a teacher, a custodian - or another expendable soul from a local school. "If they trash the schools, kids would be trashed too," said Ben Holmes, 7, explaining with a first-grader's clarity why he was standing in a gray trash bin on the corner of Park and Central earlier this week. For drama, it's hard to beat a child in a garbage can. And drama is what educators say they need to show their outrage at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to cut $5.5 billion from schools and colleges. The cuts would wipe out nearly 70 percent of the state's remaining $8 billion budget gap and wipe out school quality as well, they say.

Opinion by Carlos Garcia,Mark Sanchez/San Francisco Chronicle
Carlos Garcia is the superintendent, and Mark Sanchez is board president, of the San Francisco Unified School District.
How is it that we have become so comfortable with the fact that our schools are woefully under-funded? And now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced that California is in a fiscal crisis, and proposed several spending cuts, including $4.8 billion budgeted for public education. All of us who have been in California for some time are veterans of fiscal crises. Although attempts were made in the past to save public schools from sudden crises by the passage of Proposition 98 - a clear statement from voters that they support public education, no matter what the economic state of the state - our legislators seem to be taking the easy way out in the face of hard times.

Staff Report/Marin Independent Journal
GOV. ARNOLD Schwarzenegger says the state budget process is broken and dysfunctional and needs a radical overhaul. He is right. He also is using the $16 billion deficit to make his point, originally calling for a 10 percent across-the-board cut in spending - including for public schools. The outcry has been loud and predictable - and in many ways justified. School districts in Marin and throughout the state have started sending out notices warning teachers and other staff that they may be laid off. State law requires those notices be sent out by March 15 if layoffs are to occur in the fall. It is a depressing process that creates uncertainty and anxiety among teachers, parents and students.

By Sam Dillon/New York Times
When it comes to high school graduation rates, Mississippi keeps two sets of books. One team of statisticians working at the state education headquarters here recently calculated the official graduation rate at a respectable 87 percent, which Mississippi reported to Washington. But in another office piled with computer printouts, a second team of number crunchers came up with a different rate: a more sobering 63 percent. The state schools superintendent, Hank Bounds, says the lower rate is more accurate and uses it in a campaign to combat a dropout crisis.

The education secretary is right to bend, if not break, the law, rather than drop the accountability movement.
Editorial/Los Angeles Times
Once again, Margaret Spellings is doing the right thing for schools by bending, if not actually breaking, the law. The No Child Left Behind Act was so poorly conceived that occasionally the secretary of Education has to disobey it to make it work. In 2006, Spellings allowed some states to measure student growth each year instead of measuring only the number who test as proficient. The law itself gives schools no credit for raising achievement from the basement to the first floor and encourages them to ignore their failing students.

Belmont-Redwood Shores School District may have to lay off employees
By Neil Gonzales/San Mateo County Times
Potential budget cuts could force the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District to lay off all of its librarians But a local education foundation made up of concerned parents is trying to raise enough money to save the six librarians, teachers and other school employees facing layoffs, given the district's projected shortfall of up to $870,000 in the 2008-09 academic year. Tuesday night, parents and other community members aired their budget frustrations during a packed town hall meeting with state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, at Central Elementary. "Education is clearly cut to the bone," parent Patrick Wheeler told Yee during the meeting that drew about 200 people. "Other areas may have more money sloshing around. Maybe they should be cut more."

Commentary by Uma G. Gupta/AsianWeek
For a moment, let’s pretend to be an elementary school teacher. You earn a salary low enough to afford maybe one or two meals at McDonald’s once a month; you have volumes of paperwork to fill out to satisfy your school’s bureaucratic systems and local, state and federal regulations; you have little or no resources, and that includes chalk, pens, pencils and books; you get a barrage of free advice and relentless complaints from parents who are teachers in absentia; and you have a class full of children, many hungry and sleepy. This scenario may not fit the affluent schools, but it aptly fits many schools in this country, especially those in low-income neighborhoods. It is within this context that the debate about too much homework and its detrimental effects rages today.

By Christine DeNardo/Palm Beach Post
ACLU sues PBC over low graduation rates for blacks The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a first-of-its kind lawsuit against the Palm Beach County School District over its low graduation rates for black students. In the past, the ACLU and other organizations have sued school districts for not distributing resources equally but no organization has pursued legal actions for not achieving equal results. While more than 80 percent of white students graduated on time in the county, only about 55 percent of blacks did.

JUMP TO THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT - plus other selections

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
On SUNDAY, MARCH 23, the KTLA public affairs show, "PACESETTERS": will feature LAUSD Chief Facilities Executive Guy Mehula and Director of Contract Relations & Small Business Program Veronica Soto. Guy will speak about the facilities program and its impact on education and the community. Veronica also has the chance to delve into the economic impact the program has on small businesses. As an added bonus, Eric Martinez, a high school senior, gives his personal testimony regarding moving from an overcrowded existing facility to a new school centered on small learning communities. Eric is also involved in the iSee (I'm a Student Exploring Excellence) engineering program run through Veronica's office (

The entire half-hour PROGRAM is devoted to LAUSD's facilities and small business programs.

PACESETTERS, hosted by Ray Gonzales, airs at 6:00 a.m. on KTLA Channel 5. The weekly series IS a forum to discuss community issues and concerns AND has been on the air for 34 years is designed to meet the cultural and informational needs of the community, The format presents topical local and national concerns, debates, political, education, community, government and education issues AND profiles individuals who are pacesetters in their fields of endeavor.

Set your DVRs and VCRs for Channel 5 6:00 a.m. Sunday, March 23.

Monday Mar 24, 2008
South Region Middle School #6: Groundbreaking Ceremony
Ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m.
South Region Middle School #6
1700 W. 46th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90062

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008
Central Region Elementary School #15: Groundbreaking Ceremony
Ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m.
Central Region Elementary School #15
1723 W. Cordova St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008
Central Region Elementary School #22: Preliminary Environmental Assessment
7:00 p.m.
Loyola Village Elementary School
8821 Villanova Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

*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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