Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting real/Soaring high.

4LAKids: Sun, May 24, 2009 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
In This Issue:
SCHOOLS PREPARE FOR DEVASTATING LOSSES OF FUNDING: Cortines "worried about the district's ability to remain solvent."
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:
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.
GETTING REAL WITH REALITY: The compendium or articles, essays and reports that is this week's 4LAKids skews towards the Special Election outcomes, the Economy and the Budget Crisis. This is reality as it is - but it creates a situation where Education is the back-story - children as subtext.

That may be the TV and media reality, but it isn't real. It can't be because we must not allow it to be.

The governor, who became governor by forcing a special election has now forsworn them: "If I would do another 'Terminator' movie I would have Terminator travel back in time and tell Arnold not to have a special election." At least two special elections too late, maybe three.

Wednesday morning I called my eighty-seven year old mother to deconstruct the election results. "The truth is," she said, "that we voters don't trust you politicians anymore." There's a rite of passage - she's never called me that before! But if my mother says I am one maybe it's time to make it an honorable calling.

SOARING HIGH: Friday morning I attended an event at Monte Vista Elementary School. Monte Vista - the Highland Park school so well and darkly and incompletely described by Steve Lopez in his March 22nd column: "Reading, writing, and diving to the floor when gunshots are heard are all part of the routine for second-graders"

Friday, we heard:

QUESTION: "What is the most important thing about music?"
540 ANSWERS: "The most important part about music is listening!"

...and saw Monte Vista, like Walt Whitman, sing its songs of itself. Five songs, written and performed with heart and excellence by the kids, helped by the teachers and their parents and the village it takes to raise 540 children; a village that includes anonymous angels and selfless educators and a Japanese corporation. From Monte Vista we heard the music and the facts that their music program is driving math scores up "drastically'.

Drastically! The arts driving core instruction. Imagine: Could the ancients have been right?

And after the children sang we adults bemoaned: "How sad it is that when we run out of money the first thing we cut is The Arts."

Monte Vista's kids have collaboratively written eleven songs, their songs. They have arranged and recorded and produced and published them; mastered the recordings and pressed CD's -- available in the office -- and soon online! The income generated will perpetuate the program.

4LAKids predicts that the song the fifth graders wrote for their own culmination will soon be standard at many graduations to come - move over "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "You Lift Me Up" ..."One More of Everything" is moving up the charts!

And if the H1N1 flu ever catches on, "Germs" could well be its anthem! (Though of course the flu is actually a virus.)

- Onward + Upward/Hasta adelante + al alza! - smf


M E M O R I A L • D A Y • S O N N E T

We're here to honor those who went to war
Who did not wish to die, but did die, grievously,
In eighteen sixty-one and in two-thousand four
Though they were peaceable as you or me.

Young and innocent, they knew nothing of horror---
Singers and athletes, and all in all well-bred.
Their sergeants, mercifully, made them into warriors,
And at the end, they were moving straight ahead.

As we look at these headstones, row on row on row,
Let us see them as they were, laughing and joking,
On that bright irreverent morning long ago.
And once more, let our hearts be broken.

God have mercy on them for their heroic gift.
May we live the good lives they would have lived.
- Garrison Keilor


SCHOOLS PREPARE FOR DEVASTATING LOSSES OF FUNDING: Cortines "worried about the district's ability to remain solvent."

by Seema Mehta and Jason Song from the Los Angeles Times

May 21, 2009 — After voters rejected ballot measures that would have restored state funding for schools, educators across California on Wednesday braced for $5.3 billion in cuts over the next 13 months. State and district officials predicted increased class sizes, additional teacher layoffs, more school closures and fewer arts and music offerings. Some districts could face insolvency.

"When there are such ludicrous amounts of money being cut, I don't know what other choice they are going to give us," said Steve Fish, superintendent of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District in south Orange County, which is already planning to shutter libraries and computer labs, lay off 100 teachers and eliminate nearly half its high school guidance counselors.

Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected five ballot measures intended to shore up the state's finances, leaving legislators to bridge a $21.3-billion budget gap. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting education funding by $1.6 billion for the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and nearly $3.7 billion for next year.


Districts could tap their reserves and federal economic stimulus dollars to lessen the effect of the cuts, said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Schwarzenegger's finance department. He said these reductions will be difficult but noted that schools are bearing 30% of the cuts even though they account for 40% of the state's general fund.

State officials will probably loosen regulations -- such as allowing districts to cut seven days off the school year, delay replacing old textbooks and divert class-size reduction funds to other purposes.

California already has received about $4.3 billion in education funding from the economic stimulus package approved by Congress earlier this year, but there remain billions more that will be dependent on how California uses the first round of money. States that use the money to reform troubled schools will be rewarded.

"Actions speak louder than words," said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who will meet with educators in San Francisco on Friday. "The state is at a fork in the road and they will either decide to have the courage to do the right thing by its children and create the possibility of bringing in literally hundreds of millions of dollars in competitive grants at a time of tremendous financial need, or the state can choose to perpetuate the status quo and leave those resources on the table."

He was particularly dismayed by the proposal to clip seven days off the 180-day school year.

"The school day, the school week and the school year I think are all too short, and particularly hurt children who come from tougher economic backgrounds," he said in an interview.

Educators and state officials -- already reeling from years of state cuts, including $7.4 billion this year -- seemed frustrated yet resigned to the inevitability of new reductions.

Los Angeles Unified School District Supt. Ramon C. Cortines anticipates $131 million in new cuts this year and up to $273 million next year.

The district has already cut almost $560 million from this year's budget and is considering laying off up to 2,500 teachers. The school board is scheduled to vote on a final budget by July, and district officials are generally prohibited by state law from laying off more instructors, so the cuts will have to occur elsewhere. The district may eliminate summer school, reduce after-school programs and switch some employees to a 10-month work year.

Cortines said he was worried about the district's ability to remain solvent.

"Here's where we are, right on the precipice," he said. "I am telling you I cannot balance the budget at this moment for the [next] three years."


Fish, the Saddleback Valley superintendent, said he expects many districts to declare themselves unable to meet their financial obligations, including possibly his own. In the past, such a move would have led to a state loan and intervention.

But Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said he doesn't know how the state will be able to help districts facing bankruptcy. "We don't have any money for a loan," he said.

Higher education will also be affected. The University of California system faces up to a $531-million shortfall next year as a result of the failed measures and other factors. And the California State University system faces a $410-million shortfall for next year.


By Seema Mehta From the Los Angeles Times

May 23, 2009 -- Reporting from San Francisco -- As California schools brace for billions of dollars in budget cuts, the nation's top education official warned Friday that the state's students were in peril, and he challenged politicians and educators to embrace difficult reforms.

"California used to lead the nation in education," said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, speaking to dozens of mayors, superintendents and school board trustees at San Francisco City Hall.

"Honestly, California has lost its way. The long-term consequences of that are very troubling."

Duncan's day-long visit to California was part of a 15-state listening tour intended to help shape the Obama administration's proposal to rework the federal No Child Left Behind reform law. But coming three days after voters rejected ballot measures that would have shored up the state's finances, leaving schools facing $5.3 billion in cuts over the next 13 months, budget concerns dominated the day's discussions.

"Here in the state of California, we're in a real dilemma," said Carlos Garcia, superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District. "We're struggling to stay afloat."

Duncan repeatedly told state leaders and educators that California is at a crossroads, facing a "moment of opportunity and a moment of crisis."

"Despite how tough things are financially, it's often at times of crisis we get the reforms we need," he said.

The U.S. Department of Education is in the midst of administering $100 billion in federal education dollars contained in the economic stimulus package approved by Congress earlier this year. California has received about $4.3 billion of that money but could get billions more, depending on how the state uses the initial funding.

Duncan said that although stopping teacher layoffs and reducing class sizes are important, the money must also be used to drive reform, such as using student achievement data to evaluate teacher effectiveness and turning around the most troubled schools.

"Investing in the status quo is not going to move the ball down the field," Duncan told hundreds of people at a San Francisco School Alliance benefit luncheon.

He also warned that states that use stimulus money to replace state funding -- instead of complementing it -- will disqualify themselves from future funding.

Charles Weis, superintendent of Santa Clara County schools and the president of the Assn. of California School Administrators, raised a gnawing concern among educators around the state: Would Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed $5.3 billion in cuts to schools make the state ineligible for future funding, such as the $4.35 billion in competitive grants in the "Race to the Top" fund?

Duncan demurred, but state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell later said he feared the cuts could jeopardize the state's eligibility.

Duncan challenged state and local leaders to tackle the most difficult reforms, such as reconstituting failing high schools, evaluating teachers based on their students' performance and paying more to teachers who work in challenging communities.

"We have lacked the political courage and we have lacked the will to do the right thing by children," he said. "Our dysfunctional adult relationships have hurt children in far too many places."

Duncan assessed several facets of the state's education policy, praising California standards as more rigorous than those of other states. But he faulted the state for significantly underfunding schools.

Duncan slammed Schwarzenegger's proposal to lop seven days off the school year, saying students need to be spending significantly more time in class to close the achievement gap.

He also said the state's reluctance to use student achievement data to evaluate teachers -- rewarding the best and getting rid of the worst -- was "mind-boggling."

"The data doesn't tell the whole truth, but the data doesn't lie," he said. "This firewall between students and teachers is bad for children and bad for education."

Earlier Friday, Duncan met privately with state officials to discuss the state's data systems.

After years of delays, California is in the initial stage of creating a system capable of tracking student performance over time, which will offer a much more accurate picture of student achievement and failure than currently exists.

Duncan also called for dramatically reforming "drop-out factories," schools that have failed their students for years with little improvement in achievement, and said that more resources are not always the answer.

"More of the same isn't going to make things better," he said. He noted that during his tenure as Chicago's public schools chief, he completely remade two dozen troubled schools -- replacing administrators and teachers -- and saw dramatic improvements. "We have to have courage to start fresh and start over."

Duncan also spoke at UC San Francisco's Mission Bay campus and visited Paul Revere Elementary School, where students peppered him with questions about President Obama and the two men's shared hobby: basketball.(Duncan played for Harvard University, was cut by the Boston Celtics and played professionally in Australia for four years.)

"When you play basketball with the president, who wins?" asked second-grader Jonathan Lopez, 8.

"Everyone asks me that," Duncan replied. "We usually don't play one-on-one. We usually play on the same team. We do pretty good."


::4LAKids adds: Duncan said that to mayors, trustees and superintendents ...not the lawmakers!
Here's what the lawmakers are hearing:


5/23/2009 - As the governor's plan for drastic budget cuts begins stirring revolt, state legislators are told that California might not be able to borrow more than $10 billion as it faces a $24-billion deficit.

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's mammoth budget-cut proposal hardened partisan battle lines and stirred revolt, California officials scrambled Friday to scrape together a plan to keep the state solvent after the White House informed them that federal backing for emergency short-term loans is unlikely.

The rest of the story:,0,939444.story


A report from the Cities Counties and Schools Partnership

"My goal continues to be to have foster youth treated as we would treat our own children." -- Karen Bass, current Speaker of the California Assembly at 2007 CA Foster Youth Education Summit

THE ISSUE: California has the largest number of children and youth in foster care of any state in the nation
with approximately 80,000 children in care in 2007. While 10 percent of the nation's youth live
in California, 20 percent of the children in foster care reside here. Outcomes for youth who
remain in the system until they age out at 18 years old are predominately negative and include
homelessness, unemployment or underemployment, incarceration and failure to graduate from
high school. Half of the children in care are under the age of five and about the same percent have
been in the system more than two years. Domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental illness
are factors that contribute to the removal of children from their homes with 75 percent placed in
care because of neglect.

CONCLUSION: In 2007, the CCS Partnership Conditions of Children Task Force decided to study the topic of emancipating foster youth in order to explore ways that local governments can improve the plight of these young people. As study of the topic progressed, it became obvious, that it is important to address the issues facing foster youth long before emancipation. In order to meet the needs of this very vulnerable population and improve their outcomes, we need to address care within the system itself.

Of course, the most desirable outcome is to prevent youngsters from entering the system at all.

If our focus begins with prevention, then we must educate both the general public and our school children about brain development and the adverse affects of substance abuse on fetal development. Drug and alcohol screening of pregnant women, infants and children at various stages of development are crucial. Then we need to develop a collaborative approach to supporting families through community resource centers that integrate programs and resources in order to provide tools to families so that they are more likely to be successful and stay intact. In this approach, communities are viewed as resources that can help support struggling families. Differentiated Response provides different levels of intervention to families in crisis, which results in the delivery of resources and services to children faster and younger than ever before and a decreased number of children being removed from their homes. If children are removed from their homes, it is important to seek a placement with relatives, before placing a child in foster care. "Family Find Software" is essential to this quest.

Additionally, children in the system benefit from the coordination of services. Barriers between education and social services need to be eliminated to best meet the needs of youth. Legislation is needed to facilitate the sharing of information and the development of a shared data system between agencies.

Furthermore, the California system needs to provide resources appropriate for all of our varied counties so that they might meet the needs of the populations that they serve.
Rural counties in our state face unique challenges, such as, isolation, distance and lack of resources for basic services.Their unique issues need to be addressed, if we are to create a system that serves all of the people of California.

Finally, a web needs to be created to support those who do emancipate from the system.
In order for those young people to successfully integrate into adult life, we must ensure that the have the tools and resources they need: education, employment, housing, access to mental and physical health care and connections to adults and systems.

These young people are our responsibility; they are wards of the State of California and it behooves all of us to work together to ensure that their needs are being met.
Supportive legislation is important, but it is also important for cities, counties and schools to work together to improve the conditions for these children. Collaboration prevents duplication of services, enhances the quality of the services and saves valuable dollars. The solutions are simple, but not easy. Therefore, we need to look at exemplary programs across the state and replicate them in other areas.

This is important work; children's lives are at stake.

CCS Partnership is a joint effort of the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California School Boards Association. The Partnership promotes the development of public policies that build and preserve communities by encouraging local collaborative efforts among California's 478 cities, 58 counties and more than 1,000 school boards and districts the partners represent.

The Complete Report

by smf for 4LAKids

Thursday at Noon State Controller John Chiang addressed the Pat Brown Institute California Issues Forum at Cal State LA. The lunch was serve- yourself spaghetti and meatballs And the topic was "CALIFORNIA'S FINANCIAL FUTURE - Getting Beyond Gridlock" --two days after the defeat of the "meaningful budget reform" Special Election Propositions - placed on the ballot by the Sacramento Big Five and rejected 65%-35% by 23% of registered voters.

Whoever invited Chiang to speak on that date (and the date must've been set before the special election was called) is either prescient or very lucky. Seeing as how Prop 1c failed (The myth that the lottery somehow helps public education lives on!) I suggest buying lottery tickets with that person!

There was little good news in what Chiang had to say. Not really much news at all – but rather a frank and honest discussion of where we are today– what happened and didn't happen on the road to today – and a suggestion or two on what needs to happen next.

A glimmer of hope: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased 6.1% in the past quarter - improving from - 6.3% in the previous. GDP is the output of goods and services produced by US labor and property. A 10% drop in GDP qualifies a recession as a depression.

The real good news may be that Chiang, a technocrat with lot of political savvy may just be the right guy at the right place for these very wrong times.

Chiang laid out his role as controller with fiscal oversight over $100 billion annually and a fiduciary duty to try and keep $100 billion in income in alignment with $100 billion in spending. In good times they do …but of late they do not.

Remember July 17, 2007?
- It was a Tuesday.
- Flight 3054 overran the runway of at Sao Paulo International Airport and crashed, killing all 186 and others on the ground.
- Michael Vick (who just got out of jail) was indicted for conspiracy in his dog fighting bust.
- The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones agreed to be acquired by News Corp/Rupert Murdoch.
- And July 17, 2007, 17 days into fiscal year 2007-08, was the last day California had a balanced budget with equal receipts and expenses.

State expenses have exceeded income for an uninterrupted 676 days since then …even though California has a constitutional mandate for a balanced budget.
- California on 7/17/07 was already in an economic downturn.
- Unemployment was at 5.7% and growing; the US figure unchanged at 4.6%.
- California consumer spending was at 76% of income, the nation at 67%. Californians like our state government were living beyond our means, relying on consumer credit and leveraged home borrowing.
- The downturn fed job loses in construction leading to (>) decreased state income and corporate tax receipts > state borrowing > impacting the corporate, institutional and real estate credit market > impacting the state's ability to borrow because of its low credit rating > because of political gridlock and the two-thirds rule.

Nothing is as obvious as the slippery slope in the rearview mirror - and we haven't even burst the housing/credit/sub prime bubble yet!

The timeline is this:

- FIRST the state budget and the state budget process was in trouble and nothing substantial was done to correct it. (Borrowing yourself out of debt is not a solution - made worst by California having the worst credit rating of the fifty states. And the worse your rating, the higher the interest you pay.)
- SECOND The California economy began to slide, pushed by the above (and ignorance of the parenthetical).
- THIRD the bottom fell out of the economy and the credit markets globally.

By the time the real recession became obvious California was already in two-strike deep trouble. Revenue shortfalls created a cash crisis. The Legislature could not come up with a budget and Wall Street wouldn't loan without one. Bills were in danger of not being paid, payrolls were questionable, and 'No New Taxes' was the hue and cry of the vocal and controlling minority.

The 98-days-late '07-08 budget was rejected by Wall Street as being unrealistic in its assumptions - and it was back to the drawing board. Wall Street came face-to-face with its own bad assumptions about sub primes and credit default swaps. The bubble burst, guys with green eyeshades held sway and suddenly California (with a newer and later and [quote] more realistic [unquote] 2007½-2009 budget) couldn't borrow money because there simply wasn't any! The trinity of the State Treasurer, Controller and governor's Director of Finance in the guise of the Pooled Money Investment Board (probably the most powerful trio in the state) started pulling the plug on state construction projects - saving the state from default but adding to unemployment and all the economic complications thereof.

Somehow the state skated though - but the new budget relied on Props 1a-1e to create a semblance of balance - and the political compromise between the big five never grew beyond the five.

Which brings us to May 21 and spaghetti-and-meatballs with Controller Chiang. The state budget deficit at $15.2 billion on May 18 with the May 19th ballot measure failure is expected to hit $21.3 billion. Revenues continue to slide. To deconstruct the election beyond Wednesday morning is to avoid the issue.

What do we do now?

Chiang says the state must first eliminate nonessential borrowing. The credit market is an unknown - and every state bond offering (sale) to come will "test the capacity of bonded indebtedness".

The governor and the lege must act immediately to reduce the deficit. The challenge ahead is to avoid default (the immoral equivalent of bankruptcy - which is not an option for the state.) Otherwise employees and vendors will be paid with IOUs - and those IOUs (warrants) come with guaranteed interest, which only perpetuates the problem. Chiang didn't say this but I will: Confederate Bills promised interest too.

Chiang did remind us all that Education has constitutional first priority in state spending …but we all must realize that right now we are contesting money that just isn't there.

Chiang did offer suggestions beyond the obvious of cutting spending and increasing revenues. There will be no more AB55 loans for bond-funded infrastructure projects in the immediate future; the sate match for school construction and the high speed train to nowhere and the peripheral canal are on hold. Because Capital Gains Taxes are so volatile (up in good years, down in bad) perhaps they would serves as a basis for any future 'rainy-day-fund' proposals. The Two-thirds Rule for raising taxes/approving a budget is a problem, term limits are a challenge, Prop 13 is Prop 13 …those three are the third rails of California politics.

But the third rail, public transportation fans, IS where the power is.

After a Q&A session Chiang left the audience with questions of his own: "Imagine you were a founder of the state, back in that first constitutional convention in 1849." (Or even at the reform convention of 1878-79.)

"Is this the system you meant to design? Is this the outcome you desired?"

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
A new interdisciplinary field researches the effects of learning fine arts on a student's brain,0,3974835.story

CALIFORNIA, OUT OF MONEY, REELS AS VOTERS REBUFF LEADERS | The New York Times ~ May 21, 2009 - Direct democracy has once again upended California -- enough so that the state may finally consider another way by overhauling its Constitution for the first time in 130 years.

CALIFORNIA'S CHARTER SCHOOLS GET MIXED SCORES IN NEW STUDY | Los Angeles Times ~ May 20, 2009 - USC researchers cite lapses in financial reporting, but say it appears that many are using public funds wisely, and that academic scores are fairly similar to those of public schools.

CALIFORNIA VOTERS KILL BUDGET MEASURES | Los Angeles Times ~ May 20, 2009 The "big five" elected leaders -- Schwarzenegger and the legislative chieftains from both houses -- are slated to begin closed-door meetings today upon the governor's return from Washington, where he spent election day after casting a last-minute absentee ballot.

REJECTION AT POLLS DEEPENS THE DEFICIT TO $21.3 BILLION | Sacramento Bee ~ May 20, 2009 - California voters gave an emphatic thumbs-down Tuesday to five ballot measures that elected leaders were banking on to help plug a gaping hole in the state budget. With about 72 percent of the state's precincts reporting, Propositions 1A through 1E were being crushed by margins as wide as 30 percentage points, and none was winning more than 40 percent approval.

CALIF. VOTERS REJECT MEASURES TO KEEP STATE SOLVENT | The New York Times ~ May 20, 2009 - A smattering of California voters on Tuesday soundly rejected five ballot measures designed to keep the state solvent through the rest of the year.

CALIFORNIA VOTERS REJECT BUDGET MEASURES | The Wall Street Journal ~ May 20, 2009 - Californians on Tuesday rejected a series of ballot initiatives to help fix the state's massive budget shortfall, as authorities prepared deep spending cuts in anticipation of the measures' defeat.

BUDGET MEASURES DEFEATED | San Diego Union-Tribune ~ May 19, 2009 - The special-election ballot agenda crafted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders to bail some of the water out of California's leaky financial boat went down to a crushing defeat Tuesday.

POOL OF TEACHERS BEING DEPLETED: EXPERTS SAY LAYOFFS COULD DISSUADE POTENTIAL EDUCATORS | San Diego Union-Tribune ~ May 19, 2009 - Even with thousands of teachers statewide facing layoffs, recruitment experts are warning of an impending teacher shortage.

HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELORS BRACE FOR BIG CASELOADS | San Diego Union-Tribune ~ May 18, 2009 - Three years after state lawmakers agreed to spend $200 million to hire 3,000 high school counselors, cash-strapped districts across California are slashing the number of overworked advisers at their schools.

CREATIVITY: THE PATH TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 4:07 PM - Published Online: May 12, 2009 | Published in Print: May 13, 2009 This article was forwarded to 4LAKids by LAUSD Local District 4 Superintendent Richard Alonzo. Dr. Alonzo has succumbed to the siren call of the Early Retirement Package �or perhaps to his dream of retiring to the Hill Country of Virginia to paint. He is an Art

SCHOOL TIES: As the gatekeepers of two of Los Angeles�s most coveted schools, Tom and Deedie Hudnut inspire awe and fear. - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:01 AM- By Marshall Heyman | W Magazine | June 2009 Photograph by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin The athletic field at Harvard-Westlake's upper campus. In Hollywood, it is generally understood that few things are harder than getting your movie made. One of those things may be getting your child into the Center for Early Education, a progressive elementary school off Melrose Avenue.

Report: DISCIPLINE METHODS ENDANGER DISABLED/SPECIAL ED KIDS - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 5:58 AM - by Joseph Shapiro | National Public Radio/Morning Edition | Broadcast Tuesday May 19, 2009 Listen Now [4 min 46 sec] add to playlist Seven-year-old Angellika Arndt died in 2006 when she suffocated while being restrained by two adult staff at the Rice Lake Day Treatment Center in Wisconsin. Courtesy of the Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse Morning

GAO REPORT LINKS ACHIEVEMENT GAP AND ACCESS TO ARTS EDUCATION - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 6:30 AM - Access to Arts Education: Inclusion of Additional Questions in Education's Planned Research Would Help Explain Why Instruction Time Has Decreased for Some Students �Teachers at schools identified as needing improvement and those with higher percentages of minority students were more likely to report a reduction in time spent on the arts.� GAO-09-286 February 27, 2009 Highlights Page (PDF

PARENTS UNITED: LAUSD moms and dads are mad and not going to sit it out anymore - Sunday, May 17, 2009 2:23 AM - LA DAILY NEWS EDITORIAL LA Newspaper Group 5/12/2009 - IF there is a bright spot in the otherwise dark picture of public education and the Los Angeles Unified School District, it is the burgeoning activism of parents fed up with budget cuts that continually diminish the quality of schools. A growing army of parents has begun to organize in response to the latest round of LAUSD cuts

GOVERNOR'S EDUCATION CUTS RANGE FROM BAD TO WORSE -- O'Connell: "The proposals offer a choice between devastating and horrific cuts to public schools." - Sunday, May 17, 2009 2:16 AM - Canan Tasci, Staff Writer | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (LA Newspaper Group) 16 May | In a year when schools have been pummeled by budget cuts, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed two budgets that will continue to eliminate money to the already struggling state education system. The two proposals were released just days before Tuesday's special election as part of Schwarzenegger's May.

LINKS TO THE STORIES ABOVE: The news that didn't fit from May 24

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Wednesday May 27, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m.
9171 Telfair Ave.
Sun Valley, CA 91352

Friday May 29, 2009
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Valley Region Early Education Center #1
8635 N. Colbath Ave.
Panorama City, CA 91402

*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 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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