Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cue the history music please, maestro.

4LAKids: Sunday, April 12, 2009 - Happy Eastover
In This Issue:
BUDGET CUTS: The unintended effect of “keeping cuts away from the classroom”.
HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
EVENTS: Coming up next week/Save the date, etc.
What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
Coalition of LAUSD Unions & H.O.P.E Parent Coalition Talking Points
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: an investment we can't afford to cut! - The Education Coalition Website
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.
Long ago at this season, our people set out on a journey.

HELEN BERNSTEIN, the leader who made UTLA what it is today – or perhaps was yesterday – died twelve years ago this week, hit by a car as she crossed a street on the way to make a speech about the future of Los Angeles. Her NY Times obit said she was known for her forceful style and dogged support of higher standards for students and a decentralized administration. Bernstein had been a teacher at John Marshall High School – a breeding ground for independent thinking, a commodity encouraged among identified gifted students and discouraged among the adults in LAUSD.

Her mantra was "They just don't 'get' it!" And as a teacher she felt professionally bound that they do.

Prior to and during Ms. Bernstein's UTLA presidency Los Angeles schools were under public, media and political scrutiny for low student test scores, scarce funding, and a perception that the teachers union was part of the problem. Ms. Bernstein's tenure as president of the UTLA from 1990 to 1996 was marked by a pay cut for teachers and the decentralization of administrative control in what is the nation's second-largest school district.

In 1989, as union vice president, Ms. Bernstein helped negotiate a settlement ending a nine-day strike that gave teachers a 24 percent raise over three years. The increase was cut a few years later during her presidency as the district neared fiscal collapse.

Ms. Bernstein became the Mayor Riordan's first education advisor six months before her death. Day Higuchi, who succeeded her at UTLA, credited her with persuading the Mayor to support a school bond issue to modernize and upgrade LAUSD schools. That was Prop BB — initiating the largest school building program in the history of public education.

Riordan got it. A Riordan supported reform school board majority would force Ruben Zacaharias out as Superintendent and installed Ramon Cortines to clean house as interim supe. Cortines realigned the District into mini-districts, wrote his plan for the future, and left. During the interregnum both School Board President Caprice Young (a Riordan protégé) and David Tokofsky (unequivocally not) – urged Cortines to stay. But Ray wasn't interested.

Riordan & Co. eventually brought ROY ROMER to the District. Romer led the District for six years – the longest serving superintendent in LA County or any big city district in the nation. He drove the building program, passing construction bonds and pushing education reform. Test scores went up in Elementary with the advent of Open Court, reading and math coaches (teachers who coach teachers), and setting aside huge blocks of time to reading instruction. Test scores didn't improve so quickly in Secondary. Romer's prescription for reform relied on strong leadership and support directed from the central office and building new schools and classrooms …and schools take time to build.

Romer too 'got' it. Roy was not (and is not) averse to blowing his own horn: The District was "On the Move" and progress was sometimes impressive — but never fast enough for Roy or his critics.

Riordan left the scene and Mayor Hahn took over in city hall, content to run the city of LA and leave LAUSD to Romer & Co. Leadership changed at UTLA; folks who had questioned Bernstein's decision on pay cuts took the helm. New UTLA-friendly school board members broke up the Riordan bloc. Fiscal and union pressure – and popular opinion – reduced the Cortines' initiated local districts from eleven to eight – centralizing the district further as support staff moved downtown.

LAUSD's building program, employing thousands and paying out billions looked like a political plum. Its educational performance measured against other less challenged districts was improving but continued to lag; its graduation rate was poor. Cash rich, it was in business jargon a takeover target.

The mayor's race of 2005 made LAUSD's poor performance (as defined by the candidates) the issue even if the mayor had no say in the District.

Antonio Villaraigosa beat Mayor Hahn on the issue and quickly claimed that 'other big city mayors' in New York, Chicago and Boston run their schools. Never mind that those mayors also have real executive authority in their cities, that those school districts perform just about the same as LAUSD ….and the Boston mayor also 'ran' the catastrophic "Big Dig". The mayor got legislation passed in Sacramento to take over LAUSD. Romer fought him tooth and claw in Sacramento and lost a squeaker – and fought him and won in the courts. It's unconstitutional for mayors to run school districts in California. Antonio returned to doing it the tried-and-true way; getting a school board elected with his and UTLA's funding and support.

Romer bowed out gracefully at the top of his game and was replaced by the lame duck board by Admiral Brewer. Doomed from the outset Brewer was victim of intrigue as Cortines was brought back by Villaraigosa & Co. as a pilot …and then forced out.

THE IRONY IS THIS: Romer and Bernstein were successful leaders in this school district; they made a positive difference. Evidence of their initiative and leadership abound. The UTLA Teacher Training Program and facility at UTLA HQ is named for Bernstein.

Both have new schools named for them – honoring their achievements and vision. But the current leadership in both LAUSD and UTLA seem intent on undoing their legacies.

Romer's insistence on strong central leadership and support implementing and directing reform -- approved by a succession of school boards and district policies – which rejected without repudiating Cortines 1999 plan – is about to be undone. Cortines is determined to dust off his 1999 plan and run with it like the past decade and all that work and progress never happened.

And Bernstein's enlightened strategy to consider furloughs and salary reductions over reductions-in-force and mass layoffs – and the resultant bumping and loss of bright new teachers during a time of fiscal crisis- is being repudiated by current UTLA leadership. I hope and personally believe they're right— it's not the time for that yet. But the superintendent and board of ed appear to believe otherwise. We all need to consider and discuss the very real possibility. Look in the mirror, objects are closer than they appear.

I am not just talking about preserving the status quo here; I am most unfond of the SQ. We are talking about getting into the old time-traveling DeLorean (or maybe LaSalle) and starting over again in 1999 …or earlier. It's like Bobby steps out of that shower in Dallas and says the first decade of the twenty-first century never happened in LAUSD.

And the stimulus money? The pot that's to save and create jobs? We'll spend it to facilitate right-sizing.

Cue Prince: Let's party like it's 1999.

Onward? – smf


On Tuesday, April 14th:

▼The School District will announce the operating plans and name the principal for Central High School #10 – The High School for the Arts at 450 North Grand – due to open in September. This is LAUSD's flagship new school, the jewel in the crown, the most significant project in the BB, K, R, Y and ultimately Q bonds. Will it be given over to a charter?

▼The superintendent will present and the board is supposed to approve a budget for School Year '09-10 – with projections for'10-11 and '11-12.
• Because the federal stimulus package is not a completely known quantity – though it becomes clearer from day to day;
• Because the state budget is an unknown that becomes more unknowable every day;
• Because all rely, more-or-less, on the May 19th election outcome
…NOT ENOUGH IS KNOWN TO DO A REAL BUDGET AT THIS TIME. (By a "real" budget I mean one that anyone from a CPA with an MBA to a parent with a kindergartener to a teacher with a roll book can have any faith in; one worthy of basing the futures of 700,000 kids and 84,000 district employees on.)

No one has yet discussed what the impact of this rightsizing, reduction in force and budget cuts will have on innovations and initiatives that came after Cortines 1999 Plan: The A-G Initiative, Small Schools, Small Learning Communities, Personalized Learning Environments, Full day Kindergarten? Are these to be eliminated as unaffordable like the Dropout Prevention Program, Arts and Music Programs, School Greening and scheduled maintenance? Unintended collateral damage from reform?

The superintendent must set aside his 100 day plan and his preconceived misconceptions about rightsizing and come up with a plan and a budget that addresses the 2009-12 needs of the District AND addresses the realities of the moment – not as a my-way-or-the-highway/approve-it-or-I'm-outta-here ultimatum but as flexible, accountable, transparent strategic plan. To abuse the metaphors of the Cold War we must give up our bunker mentality and come out of our silos.

Today's Sermon: Faith, Hope and Charity are virtues not unique to Christianity; they were also 2nd century saints. On Tuesday they must be our muses. We can and must have Faith that we all will weather these times. While the stimulus is not exactly Charity it comes close. And we must create and nature Hope.

"And now abideth Faith, Hope, Charity, these three."

All the rest of the budget process is filing paperwork with the county. – smf

And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both women and men will be strong
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the earth
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.
—Judy Chicago

Coalition of LAUSD Unions & H.O.P.E Parent Coalition Talking Points

"We write as members of the Los Angeles Delegation pf the U.S. House of Representatives to encourage you to delay any action that would result in Layoffs among LAUSD personnel at this time.

“We are hopeful that you will examine the possibilities of reducing your budget shortfall with resources provided by this economic recovery package, and we offer you our assistance in doing so.”

“We should not jeopardize the education of our children by laying off dedicated and experienced personnel without considering every possible alternative."

The complete letter, signed by Members of Congress Waters, Watson. Sanchez, Waxman, Schift. Roybal-Allard, Richardson, Berman & Becerra

• Stimulus money earmarked for California school districts won't be reallocated to balance the state's budget, according to a letter to the state's congressional delegation.

By Seema Mehta | LA Times

April 7, 2009 --Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has assured members of California's congressional delegation that the state will not use federal economic stimulus money earmarked for education to backfill the state's looming budget gap, according to a letter released this week.

"Let me assure you it is the intent of the governor that [these] funds allocated to the state will be dispersed quickly to local educational agencies . . . and will be spent quickly according to local needs," Schwarzenegger's education secretary, Glen W. Thomas, wrote in the letter. "It is the hope that these funds will immediately help prevent teacher layoffs."

But some educators fear that the declarations may go by the wayside if the state's finances decline further. The state is already projected to be $8 billion in the red next year, and if several funding propositions on the May ballot aren't approved by voters, that figure could nearly double.

"Our concern is with the state of California's budget, the May election and the June [budget] revise, they're going to come back behind the federal dollars and cut state spending on education, and the net [result] is we're going to lose out," said Matt Hill, an official with the Los Angeles Unified School District. The district is weighing layoffs of more than 8,500 employees to cut nearly $600 million from next year's budget.

"The federal government has stepped up and invested in education," Hill said. "California's government needs to do the same thing."

Educators pointed out that in the mid-1990s, the federal government increased special education funding, and California distributed the money to districts but then reduced the state's contribution to such programs. Their fears were compounded last month when the state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office suggested doing something similar to deal with next year's budget shortfall.

California is not alone. Federal officials have grown increasingly concerned in recent weeks that several states facing budget shortfalls would circumvent the intent of the more than $100-billion education package, with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan warning that he would "come down like a ton of bricks" on any state that defied him.

"We're holding back literally billions of dollars for the second round of funding," he said when he released the first installment, of $44 billion, last week. "States that aren't doing the right thing will basically eliminate themselves from competition."

Some state officials were pleased by Thomas' comments, which appeared in a letter to members of the California congressional delegation who had expressed concern about the fate of the funding.

"Those assurances are really good news for districts and for schools," said Hilary McLean, spokeswoman for state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. "Supt. O'Connell does appreciate the governor clarifying that from his perspective, these funds go out to schools quickly and for their intent and purpose."

But lingering uncertainty has led some districts not to include the federal money in their budgets for the next school year.

"When I have the check, I'll count it, but not until then," said Ron Lebs, a deputy superintendent of the 51,000-student Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County.

…these offices have also secured money for the district, created innovative teaching programs and tracked their progress.

By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Newspaper Group/Daily News

04/08/2009 -- Just when Los Angeles Unified officials need their advice the most, the men and women who help the district secure funding from Sacramento and Washington, D.C., are being laid off to cut costs.

LAUSD's Government Relations Office - staffers with expert knowledge on government funding for schools - is being cut to three people from 11.

The office has been busy reading through federal documents ensuring that district staff understands how much federal stimulus money they should be receiving, how they can properly distribute it, and how they can compete for future pots of cash.

"We don't like the cuts," said LAUSD's director of government relations, Santiago Jackson, who will be retiring this year.

"But the decision has been made... Now we have to figure out where we go from here."

Since the 1960s, the Government Relations Office has lobbied Sacramento to get money for special programs - like magnet schools, busing and year-round schools - and helped pass laws favoring the district.

The cuts are among the more than 1,200 jobs that are set to be eliminated at district headquarters. Other departments that could be shaved by as much as 90 percent include the offices of instruction and research and planning.

For decades these offices have also secured money for the district, created innovative teaching programs and tracked their progress.

District Superintendent Ramon Cortines said the reductions are part of a plan to "right-size" the nation's second-largest school district.

"What's gotten us into trouble is having declining enrollment and resources while continuing to add personnel," Cortines said.

The district has been under pressure to reduce its bureaucracy in the face of a $718 million deficit that is expected to grow.

Parent advocates have been among those rallying for a leaner district but they wonder if cutting departments like government relations is short-sighted.

"Yes, the government relations office is far from the classroom, but it routinely brings in millions," said Scott Folsom, a longtime parent advocate. "It's a return on a investment."

Cortines said he will hire a new government relations director and wants to partner with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office to strengthen the district's presence in Washington.

Legislative office worker Peggy Barber said for now the office is preparing a how-to guide on the stimulus money for the district staff who won't be able to come to them with questions after July 1.


declining enrollment + increased federal funding for IDEA under ARRA = right sizing special ed?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

By Miriam Hernandez | KABC News

VAN NUYS, Calif. (KABC) -- A school that has been providing for the special needs of children for more than four decades could be shut down at the end of the school year. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) blames declining enrollment.

They call her a miracle: Kawehana Mooney was adopted as a baby, brain-damaged by drugs.

"Doctor said she would not walk, talk, eat, and that she was failure to thrive," said Kahea Mooney, Kawehana's foster mother. "That she was most likely not going to make it within the year."

Kawehana's health improved, but social skills ... "Tantruming and screaming and yelling, clawing and yelling," said Kahea.

She was kicked out of kindergarten after attacking her teacher. A program at West Valley Special Education Center turned around that violent behavior.

Now, just as the Mooneys and other parents see so much progress in their students, West Valley may close. The school district needs to save millions of dollars during this budget crisis. Special-education teachers will be spared, but they say they will be hampered if they have to move to a different facility. The team they have built over decades would be disbursed.

"They would be breaking us up as a staff," said lead teacher Roberta Mann. "The whole staff would not be consolidating to another school."

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said: "I have not made a decision. I am reviewing recommendations regarding keeping the school open, consolidation or closing the school, but there is no final decision."

Max Rosen has multiple disabilities.

"Our greatest fear is of course that our child won't have the future that he deserves," said Victoria Rosen, Max's mother. "That he won't get the services, he won't get the assistance, he won't get the life that he deserves."

Even if the superintendent does decide to shut down the school, the parents say they will not give up. They will lobby the school board and rally the community. They say student progress must not be compromised.

Watch Video

BUDGET CUTS: The unintended effect of “keeping cuts away from the classroom”.
The following is from the California School Employees Association (CSEA) website . It is special interest advocacy for non-teaching school workers – ‘Classified Employees’ threatened byright-sizing and reductions-in-force – made by their bargaining unit on their behalf.

But read further and understand that “away from the classroom” important stuff for kids happens; eliminating non-classroom programs and reducing-in-force non-classroom employees has disastrous unintended consequences.

* School bus drivers do important stuff.
* Cafeteria staff (the ubiquitous ‘lunch ladies’) do important stuff.
* And School Librarians do very, very important stuff. The Library is the most important classroom in any school – it is there that independent study and independent thinking …and learning for the just-plain-fun-of-it happens.

We should all be so specially interested. —smf


Every year, it seems like school districts throughout California are forced to cut more and more services traditionally provided to help our students succeed. Everything from home-to-school transportation to nutritional services, to counseling and after-school programs has been reduced or eliminated because of funding shortages.

How important are these services? How does providing support services outside of the classroom really impact what happens in the classroom?

In this series, we examine some of the programs that school districts have conventionally provided to help California’s students achieve. Most of these services—generally provided by classified school employees—are in danger of vanishing because districts are continually being asked to tighten their belts by a state government that repeatedly fails to provide enough funds to keep these services alive

Part 1: The big yellow school bus eliminated by budget cuts

Everyday, 940,000 of California’s public school students hop on the big yellow bus that delivers them to their educational sanctuary. Most people would agree that safety is a top reason why school buses are indispensable, but despite the positive aspects of school buses, some districts are reducing school transportation or eliminating the service altogether...[More]

Part 2: Districts strive to provide nutritious meals despite cutbacks

When students are in school, it’s guaranteed that they are safe and will undoubtedly learn something new. If students eat a school breakfast or lunch, it’s guaranteed that the meals they receive are nutritious. Even though the state is tightening standards on what schools can serve, districts have to deal with the financial impact of having to serve better meals with less money...[More]

Part 3: How budget cuts are forcing school districts to cut library services

School libraries are sanctuaries where students can dig through large volumes of information. They are the only places in schools where all students have equal access to all of the books, media equipment and periodicals. Unfortunately, because of the cuts schools have to make to maintain balanced budgets in the face of less state funding, school libraries are suffering...[More]


HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
Friday, April 10, 2009 5:09 PM
by Jay Mathews | Washington Post Education Columnist April 10, 2009 — Hard battles lost long ago leave a mark. (The worst for me was the 1973 Super Bowl.) University of California at Berkeley professor W. Norton Grubb, for instance, still replays the 1971 Serrano v. Priest decision by the California Supreme Court. It threw out the state’s education financing system based on property taxes.

Friday, April 10, 2009 4:56 PM
Education By EMILY ALPERT | VOICE OF SAN DIEGO Monday, April 6, 2009 | As money from the federal stimulus bill trickles out to schools in San Diego County, districts are being urged to devise new and innovative reforms -- a sticky prospect for schools that have been squarely focused on the dismal business of simply staying intact. "If the money is used to plug in the holes, then once

Friday, April 10, 2009 4:41 PM
Measure 1A -- Support. This measure creates a rainy day fund, temporarily extends tax increases, and provides a funding mechanism for Proposition 1B, which will repay $9 billion to schools. Measure 1B -- Support. This measure repays schools approximately $9 billion in Proposition 98 funding, beginning in 2011-12. Measure 1C -- Support. This measure generates $5 billion in revenues

Friday, April 10, 2009 4:31 PM
The latest on California politics and government April 10, 2009 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at an event today to throw his support behind the package of measures on the May 19 special election ballot. Villaraigosa, a Democrat and potential candidate for governor in 2010, said the package would help "to bring stability back to California's budget

Friday, April 10, 2009 10:47 AM

Friday, April 10, 2009 10:44 AM
Seven Years After Their First Visit, the Morning Show Returns to Showcase ICEF as a National Model for Reform ICEF Press Release Los Angeles, CA – ICEF Public Schools was featured this morning on Good Morning America, showcasing a charter school organization that has grown from one school in 2002, to a network of 13 high-performing charter schools that is changing South Los Angeles by sending

Friday, April 10, 2009 6:36 AM
New York Times Editorial April 9, 2009 -- The $100 billion in federal stimulus money that Congress has set aside for education could get the nation’s flagging school reform effort — and its schools — back on the right track. For that to happen, Education Secretary Arne Duncan will need to tighten the preliminary eligibility guidelines he issued last week. The purpose of a $49 billion

RULES ALLOWING EXTENDED TIME ON GRADUATION: Advocates Debate Effects of Change in Regulations
Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:33 PM
Published Online: March 31, 2009 Published in Print: April 1, 2009 By Catherine Gewertz | Ed Week Federal regulations have opened a door that allows schools to get credit under the No Child Left Behind Act for students who take longer than four years to earn a high school diploma. But that option worries some education advocates, who fear it could relieve valuable pressure on high

Thursday, April 09, 2009 7:55 PM
Sac Bee | The latest on California politics and government April 9, 2009 The California Teachers Association has deposited another $2.2 million into the campaign to pass Propositions 1A and 1B, bringing the group's total spending to nearly $5 million. The union also donated $350,000 to the umbrella campaign for all six measures on the May 19 special election ballot. Proposition 1B would

Thursday, April 09, 2009 6:50 PM
from the California Dropout Research Project report on Los Angeles — bearing in mind the the Superintendent proposes to eliminate LAUSD’s dropout prevention program: “Even if half of the city’s dropouts eventually complete high school, the remaining half will cost the Los Angeles community $2.1 billion over their lifetimes. “Reducing the number of dropouts by

THE BUZZ: Foes of Props. 1D and 1E on the May 19 ballot are joining forces to thwart the two measures.
Thursday, April 09, 2009 4:11 PM
This story is taken from Sacbee / Capitol and California / State Politics Published Thursday, Apr. 09, 2009 Prop. 1D would divert tobacco tax money from early childhood programs to the state's general fund. Prop. 1E would siphon revenues from a surcharge on wealthy taxpayers used for mental health programs and put it in the general fund. "Campaigning together makes perfect sense,"

Thursday, April 09, 2009 4:03 PM
By Associated Press | Last modified Thursday, April 9, 2009 2:10 PM PDT SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking the federal government for nearly $5 billion in economic stimulus money for California schools. The governor signed the state's application Thursday. Schwarzenegger says he hopes the money will avoid further teacher layoffs and help schools that are struggling to absorb

SCHOOLS CHIEF: FEDERAL EDUCATION BUCKS ARE ON THE WAY: “to help save jobs, to help better prepare students.”
Thursday, April 09, 2009 3:55 PM
SACRAMENTO BEE | CAPITOL ALERT April 6, 2009 -- California's financially battered schools will get a $1.2-billion transfusion of federal stimulus funds next month, state schools chief Jack O'Connell said today, the first part of what could amount to $12.7 billion in education aid over the next two years. But, O'Connell warned in a conference call with other education officials and reporters,

LA CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO LAUSD SCHOOL BOARD: NOT SO FAST: “We are hopeful that you will examine the possibilities of reducing your budget shortfall with resources provided by this economic recovery package, and we offer you our assistance in doing so.”
Thursday, April 09, 2009 3:41 PM
9 to 7: “We should not jeopardize the education of our children by laying off dedicated and experienced personnel without considering every possible alternative.”

Thursday, April 09, 2009 7:58 AM
Governor's office press release The Governor’s California Recovery Task Force today asked the legislature for expedited budget authority to quickly pass $1.2 billion in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding on to schools. “I am committed to spending Recovery Act dollars efficiently and effectively, and to passing these dollars onto schools as quickly as possible to

Thursday, April 09, 2009 7:57 AM
Stimulus money earmarked for California school districts won't be reallocated to balance the state's budget, according to a letter to the state's congressional delegation. By Seema Mehta | LA Times April 7, 2009 --Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has assured members of California's congressional delegation that the state will not use federal economic stimulus money earmarked for education

Thursday, April 09, 2009 7:56 AM
declining enrollment + increased federal funding for IDEA under ARRA = right sizing special ed? Wednesday, April 08, 2009 watch video By Miriam Hernandez VAN NUYS, Calif. (KABC) -- A school that has been providing for the special needs of children for more than four decades could be shut down at the end of the school year. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) blames declining

Senator Reid Urges Obama to Create White House Office Focused on Improving the Lives of America's Children
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 4:17 PM
For Immediate Release Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 CONTACT: Jim Manley, Reid, (202) 224-2939 REID URGES OBAMA TO CREATE WHITE HOUSE OFFICE FOCUSED ON IMPROVING THE LIVES OF AMERICA’S CHILDREN Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid send the following letter to President Obama, calling on him to establish a White House office headed by a central coordinator“dedicated to

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 4:18 PM
…these offices have also secured money for the district, created innovative teaching programs and tracked their progress. By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Newspaper Group/Daily News 04/08/2009 -- Just when Los Angeles Unified officials need their advice the most, the men and women who help the district secure funding from Sacramento and Washington, D.C., are being laid off to cut costs.

RECENT STUDIES/UPCOMING FORUM: Comparing US to G-8 Education Outcomes, Two Studies on Charter Schools, Dropout Forum
Wednesday, April 08, 2009 3:59 PM
from Researching Education Outcomes -- Comparative Indicators of Education in the United States and Other G-8 Countries: 2009 How does the U.S. education system compare with other countries? According to this new National Center for Education Statistics report, we lag way behind in the share of 3- and 4-year-olds in preschool and have one of the lowest

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 10:44 AM
From the April Issue of Urban Educator, the publication of the Council of Great City Schools. New York’s Buffalo Public Schools will receive $37 million from the federal stimulus bill that was signed by President Obama in February Buffalo Schools Superintendent James Williams recently announced that the district will use the money it is scheduled to receive to extend the school day and school

WHO WOULDA THUNK IT?: BOOMERS ARE RETIRING! NYT:Report Envisions Shortage of Teachers as Retirements Escalate + USAToday: A 'tsunami' of Boomer teacher retirements is on the horizon
Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:36 AM
Report Envisions Shortage of Teachers as Retirements Escalate By SAM DILLON | New York Times April 7, 2009 -- Over the next four years, more than a third of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers could retire, depriving classrooms of experienced instructors and straining taxpayer-financed retirement systems, according to a new report. The problem is aggravated by high attrition among rookie

4/7 - Today’s headlines: PLAYING THE UNION CARDS
Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:34 AM
LAUSD, unions to discuss options Los Angeles Daily News - ‎6 hours ago‎ Los Angeles Unified School District staff and union officials have until next Tuesday to find alternatives for the 8500 proposed layoffs. ... LAUSD, UTLA continue negotiations - ‎11 hours ago‎ DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Formal negotiations continued Monday afternoon between United Teachers Los Angeles and

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:30 AM
By Jonathan Dobrer | OpEd in the Daily News 04/07/2009 — The mission of the Los Angeles Unified School District is to educate our children. It's a hard job with so many people, languages and cultures. It's even harder when the money dries up and new teachers are pink-slipped, which is what has happened this spring. Now LAUSD faces a brain drain of enthusiastic new teachers and is creating a

LINKS TO: The News that Doesn't fit for April 12th

EVENTS: Coming up next week/Save the date, etc.
Monday, April 13, 2009 - 6:30pm
Bring+Voice your Questions & Concerns!
Dearborn Elem. Auditorium, 9240 Wish Ave., Northridge 91325
(1 Bk. north of Nordhoff, 2 blks east of Louise)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 1pm
333 S. Beaudry Ave, Los Angeles 90017

SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2009 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m
Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Free Parking (enter on Cherry Avenue)

JANET AND WALTER JACKSON - "Changing Attitudes to Change Outcomes"

A workshop to help parents read and understand their teen’s behavioral style and gain tools to effectively communicate for cooperation without nagging, lecturing, and putting them on guilt trips. Parents will find this workshop especially helpful to eliminate conflicts and supporting their child to become self-motivated.

Session I - 10:05 - 11:05 a.m. - Room 504

DINA GARCIA - "People Matter"

An inspirational workshop on how to survive and thrive with a disability. Dina began her speaking career at the age of three when she was chosen as the poster child for United Cerebral Palsy. Since then, Dina's graduated from Cal State Northridge, married, and had a son. Come hear a remarkable young woman tell her own story.

Session II - 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Room 503

DAVID WYLES - "Parent's Guide to the IEP -- Tips on How to Make Yours More Successful"

David Wyles is a writer and the father of a teenage son with autism. David is also Co-Chair of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Los Angeles Unified School District, an organization which represents the interests of parents of the over 82,000 children with special needs in the District.

He's here today to pass along information about how to have a more successful IEP for parents of children with special needs.

Session III - 2:30 - 3:30 p.m - Room 504

KEVIN MOTTUS - "Strategies to Address Emotional Issues for Students
with Learning Problems"

Kevin Mottus, LCSW, is the founder of the Learning Differences Training Program, School Mental Health Program, Los Angeles Unified School District. He has been presenting full time to parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators on topics related to learning differences/ADHD across LAUSD for 4 years. He is proud to be an individual with Dyslexia and ADHD himself.

This is an interactive, three-session workshop for parents of children with learning differences and/or ADHD.

Sessions I, II, and III - 10:05-11:05, 11:15-12:15, and 2:30-3:30 -
Room 518

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Meets Wednesday April 15, 10AM
333 S. Beaudry Ave, Los Angeles 90017
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 leader in LAUSD. He is immediate past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA as Vice-chair on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He is a Community Concerns Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and has served a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools.
• 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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