Sunday, May 10, 2009

If STUDENTS are the first priority then everyone else can't have everything else they want.

4LAKids: Sunday, May 10, 2009 HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY
In This Issue:
Catch 22²: L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOLS VIOLATE JUNK FOOD BAN – Audit finds unhealthful food being sold in vending machines, by pushcarts & fundraising groups
MAYOR’S BOYLE HEIGHTS TOWN HALL TAKEN OVER BY TEACHERS: Other community concerns were forced to the back burner, as teachers hijack the discussion.
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.
"If STUDENTS are the first priority then everyone else can't have everything else they want."

On Saturday I plopped myself down in the back of an auditorium where some old fashioned rabblerousing was taking place - real troublemakers always sit in the back. I found myself behind AJ Duffy, the UTLA president - we shook hands and he rattled my cage, saying I hadn't berated him of late in 4LAKids and because of this he isn't going to read it anymore.

That's a challenge hard to ignore. I suppose I could get all obsequious and add words like 'diminutive' and 'scrappy' and 'sartorially resplendent' to the forgoing Duffian description ....but instead I'll flash back to a scene earlier in the week

On Wednesday I ran into Dr. Kim Uyeda, the District's chief medical doctor and told her I'd seen and heard her interviewed multitudinous times on the attempted swine flu pandemic. Wednesday was the day the District reported its first and only A1H1 case - at Fairfax High - and Wednesday was also the day that the Centers for Disease Control changed their guidelines from closing all schools with A1H1 cases.

Uyeda and Duffy had had a radio spat that day – with Duffy demanding that Fairfax be shut down. Uyeda held her ground, being a real doctor with a medical degree and federal gulideline; Duffy's authority being only as a diminutive sartorially resplendent scrappy union president. When I saw her Dr. Uyeda politely asked me ask my friend Duffy to back off.

She's right. And the pandemic seems in check for now …though 4LAKids is recommending getting flu shots early and often this fall for flu season! So in the friendliest way possible I'm asking Duffy to leave the medical doctoring to the professionals — and leave the two of us to our back-of-the-room troublemaking. Me sending out the odd rant+blog while he imports out-of-town parents for angry rallies and organizes illegal wildcat strikes — upsetting (in no particular order) the mayor, school boardmembers, a plurality of his own members, the superintendent and the apple cart. You know the one - you see the fruit vendor stacking the produce in the set-up for the movie car chase …in ten minutes it's splinters and applesauce among the twisted sheet metal.

Read on Duffy, there's more.

• Last Friday there was a meeting in the LAUSD boardroom about Demystifying Charter Schools. I asked District staff how that went, they glowed poetic — a counter opinion is carried below.
• This week The New Yorker published a profile on the LA charter scene's most polarizing character. Opinions characterize Steve Barr as the Golden Boy of the Charter Movement, a bare knuckles opportunist and Eli Broad's lap dog …adding depth to the mystification.
• The mystery deepens further as the anticipated takeover of the new High School for the Arts by a charter school was diverted when the District finally appointed an administrative team. But it also appears that the rumored takeover agency took over a new community college campus instead!
• Duffy's UTLA members took over the mayor's City Budget Town Hall and made it into an LAUSD Budget Town Hall.
• The teachers at the mayor's alma mater - Roosevelt High - seem poised to reject his Partnership for LA Schools - rumor has it the feeling and perhaps the vote runs that way at seven of ten PLAS schools.

And the battle over the District budget - not over money+jobs but over NOT ENOUGH MONEY+JOBS — is becoming a fight over the (not enough) federal stimulus dollars and when and how they can be spent.
•UTLA wants to spend the entire stimulus in year one to save jobs and let next year sort itself out.
•The superintendent seems to have softened on his initial strategy of stretching the two years of stimulus into three years but seems intent on spending it in two. (Let year three sort itself out.)
•Boardmember LaMotte - who went to DC last week with the California School Boards Association, says the "experts" at the US Dept of Education are divided in opinion over spending it now to save jobs or stretching it: "quote."

Ms. LaMotte and Supt Cortines held a town Hall Saturday AM at Hamilton High School - only briefly disrupted by a single angry teacher. Parents who were unsatisfied over the budget process at their school ("Teachers are fighting over their own jobs", "The principal is not opening up the process") were directed to the chain of command - the bureaucracy triumphant!

Yet still an improved effort at community engagement, well meant …maybe halfway there. But - considering Ms LaMotte's dilemma - halfway WHERE?

UTLA and their not-exactly-homegrown coalition of parents groups (read: ACORN) held their own town hall Saturday AM at Contreras Learning Center. There was the usual red-and-white sea of UTLA+ACORN T-shirts, the inevitable fleet of white Fast Deer buses ("parents" were bused from Long Beach, Santa Ana and San Diego). The first half of the meeting was UTLA labor activism supporting their one day walk out next Friday - sprinkled liberally with anti-war, pro-housing, social justice rhetoric. Pamphleteers spread the logic-challenged Stop Cuts/Vote No On The Ballet Measures message.

The second half was a panel discussion with the two new incoming board members, Steve Zimmer and Nury Martinez; current Boardmember Yolie Flores Aguilar, Assembly Ed chair Julia Brownley, Assembly Ed committee member Mike Eng and Senate Ed chair Gloria Romero.

There were maybe four questions from the audience and a three minute speech from each panelist. Every one of them missed the limit by mile - Assemblyman Eng coming closest while offering a billion dollars for education for every minute he ran over!
All accepted with varying enthusiasm the UTLA/ACORN List of Demands (following) - but Flores-Aguilar (the only one with a vote) held her ground on spending the stimulus in year one as the crowd chanted "Change Your Vote!"

Assemblyperson Brownley did an excellent job of presenting the challenges ahead to the legislature and to public education; Senator Romero asked for a show of hands of Republicans in the room (two out of maybe 400-500) and then made an impassioned call to support the ballot measures 1A-F. The UTLA/ACORN moderator didn't want to hear about the ballot measures (UTLA's support is split between 1A+B making the whole exercise moot) - the agenda she remeinded everyone for the meeting was about the List of Demands and the Walk Out.

The Upshot?: The superintendent IS going to face new challenges when the new board members take office. No one's opinion was changed. No new options were presented.

Read on gentle readers - read Onward!

- smf

Save Our Schools and Services! May 9, 2009

DEMANDS: SHORT-TERM - In order to stabilize our schools and ensure a quality education for all students, we demand:

1. That LAUSD utilize all necessary stimulus money to maintain class size and avert layoffs for school employees for the 2009-10 school year.
2. That LAUSD comply with the federal requirement that 1 % of the Title I stimulus funding be used for parent engagement. Separately, that the district work with community organizations such as ACORN, CEJ, and others in developing plans for increasing parent engagement at local schools.

We will bridge our short-term and longer-term demands by building capacity and capturing public opinion with a concerted campaign of:
• Coalescing with diverse constituencies and their advocates in protest of cuts to essential services.
• Recognizing, developing, and supporting leadership coming out of key impacted constituencies.
• Putting on forums and actions that put a human face on the cuts and their impact, while highlighting the imperative of organizing together.
• Implementing a speakers' bureau that vigorously outreaches to groups and the media in order to promote public support and political action for longer-term demands.

LONGER-TERM - In order to adequately fund public education and social services, we demand:

1. Eliminating the 2/3'rds legislative requirement for passing the California state budget, and for raising taxes, in order to require that super-rich individuals and corporations pay their fair share.
2. Instituting progressive taxation measures, such as
• Split roll property tax,
• Fair taxation of California's top 1 % richest citizens, and
• Oil separation tax.
3. Curbing prison spending by reducing the inmate population and number of prisons in California

●●smf’s 2¢ There is little to disagree with here. “All necessary stimulus money” is relative, not absolute. The law is the law, the fiduciary responsibility and authority of public trustees is that; the County Office of Education, the Californaia Department of Education and the US Dept of Ed have the final say.

LAUSD’s responsibility is to work with its own existing parents and parent groups - dependent and independent - including the Parent Collaborative, DELAC, DAC and PTA – and certainly the state mandated school site governance authorities (School Site Councils) — before "separately" bringing in ACORN and other groups with other agendas.

In reality the Long Term Objects are beyond the authority of the district.
But the table is large and the tent welcoming; the more the merrier …within reason.

Finally: As a PTA leader I cannot support the strike. Not officially or personally. This is a wildcat strike - it is illegal. I comprehend and respect and 'get' the civil disobedience aspect of it — I AM an unrehabilitated flower child. I am in agreement that layoffs can and must be minimized if not eliminated altogether. Rightsizing is an affront to the mission of the stimulus law and the president's message of Hope — and I believe the District (the Superintendent and the Board of Ed), staightjacketed in narrow compliance is not being creative with options and thinking. Independent thinking has never been a strong point in LAUSD beyond our best and brightest students themselves.

It is the Board of Education that needs to show some leadership – to throw down the gauntlet and say NO MORE! Not UTLA! If so led I will follow. Questioning every step of the way.

Catch 22²: L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOLS VIOLATE JUNK FOOD BAN – Audit finds unhealthful food being sold in vending machines, by pushcarts & fundraising groups
By Mary MacVean | LA Times

May 9, 2009 -- An audit of L.A. Unified schools found many campuses in violation of anti-junk food policies and said that some administrators were ignorant of district efforts to restrict students' access to unhealthful foods such as soda, chips and candy.

Auditors from the L.A. Unified inspector general's office visited 70 schools at all grade levels and "found that most schools were not in compliance" with district food and beverage sale policies.

The report also stated that a number of administrators and other school officials said that they were unaware of the food policies or of what to do about violations.

"Communication of LAUSD policies on healthy beverages sales and obesity prevention motions was inadequate," the audit said. "In addition, school administrators did not receive adequate training."

The audit was conducted from September 2008 to January 2009 and is scheduled for release Monday.

Investigators found cases in which street vendors sold food near schools in violation of municipal laws and said school administrators failed to notify school police or local authorities. In other cases, school stores and vending machines sold unapproved foods and drinks. The auditors also cited unauthorized food sales to raise money by student clubs and by parent groups.

Such fundraising activities were not properly documented in part because administrators did not understand the policies, the audit said.

Andrea Giancoli, school nutrition coordinator in board member Marlene Canter's office, said that in addition to increasing awareness of the policies, there must be an overhaul of fundraising. She said that she is sympathetic to the need to raise money but that there must be other ways to raise money besides selling unhealthful food to children.

The audit did not list which schools were visited but said they were randomly selected: 20 elementary, 31 middle and 19 high schools. And Alfred Rodas, the deputy inspector general in charge of the audit, said the findings were representative of the district.

Parents were also unaware of the school board's efforts, the audit said. To remedy that, the district said it would include the policies in principal and parent-student handbooks for 2009-10, as well as other administrator information and training programs. Eighteen schools did not even have a copy of the policy on file, the audit said.

Rodas said the findings left him "a little bit dismayed," because two audits several years ago touched on some of the same issues. He said it's not enough to have a policy; everyone has to know about it, and compliance has to be monitored.

The school board enacted a motion in 2002 to ban the sale of sodas and some other beverages. The next year it adopted an obesity prevention motion that governed what foods could be sold on campus. Los Angeles and many other municipalities in L.A. Unified have laws banning food vendors from working within certain distances from schools -- 500 feet in Los Angeles, for example.

Of the 70 schools visited, 30 had vendors using pushcarts, trucks or bicycles to sell such food as ice cream, chips, soda and candy. Sixty-eight of the 70 administrators did not have written policies on what to do about such vendors, the audit said.

Those vendors, the audit said, expose children to health risks such as obesity, diabetes and food-borne illnesses, and students had a higher risk of being hit by cars as they patronized such vendors.

In 11 schools, vending machines carried food that is not approved, including brownies and fruit drinks.

School district officials responding to the findings said a centralized agreement will be pursued to make sure that only approved foods are stocked.

► CATCH 22²: As a PTA leader I worked closely with Marlene Canter to create and implement the "no junk food" policy. We have worked hard since then to get it to work at LAUSD schools and to get the model made into state law. Part of the challenge has been to get someone/anyone at the District to take ownership of the policy – someone with some clout. But in this climate of budget cuts, decentralization, right sizing, focus on the classroom to the exclusion-of-all-else-except-test-scores that has proved impossible. Now the Inspector General, the District's watchdog, is on it. Woof.

In this instance the IG is a tired old dog with no bite – and his leash doesn't let him get to classroom teachers who give candy as rewards – or sell snacks as a classroom fundraiser. PTA's and Booster Clubs still sell candy as fundraisers – including at afterschool playground fundraisers where the consumer is not grandma with a box of See's but kids themselves with a Snickers or an ice cream bar. Let's face it: there are Krispy Kreme fundraisers! Ummm, deep-fried sugar-coated dough. Doh!

• Factoid I: If you Google "School Fundraisers" you will get 8,730,000 hits.

• Factoid II: I learned last week that Warren Buffet owns See's. Those kiddos and your coworkers with the candy drive school fundraiser are agents of Berkshire-Hathaway – who knew?

There is-and-will-be increasing fundraising pressure on parents groups – from themselves and from principals …and from the Giant School Fundraising Cartel (QSP, Red Apple, Innisbrook, etc. – to produce+increase revenue. Not a nonprofit among them; they are the KBR or Blackwater of public education.

Do the math: Candy = $ For Arts + Field Trips!

There are only so many magazine subscriptions and rolls of gift wrap one can buy, so many entertainment coupon books – and that product appeal is decidedly middle class. The Book Fair is good, but CHOCOLATE $ELL$! Cookie dough and candy sell across all demographics. It makes me sick, it makes our children sicker …but it's true.

And the final point: "School district officials responding to the findings said a centralized agreement will be pursued to make sure that only approved foods are stocked." A 'centralized agreement' is anathema to the current administration - that ain't gonna happen. There are no Fundraising Police …and this is one where I guarantee that the best intentioned local decision makers will decide incorrectly. – smf

Kevin Carey in The Chronicle of Higher Education

May 8 - Doug McGray has written a terrific piece in this week’s New Yorker [ The Instigator By Douglas McGray, New America Foundation | The New Yorker | May 10, 2009] about Steve Barr and Green Dot Public Schools’ insurgent campaign to reform public education in Los Angeles — and now beyond. As with most good narrative articles, it’s not readily summarizable (and the endlessly quotable Barr makes it a lively read in any case, e.g. “I don’t want to blow up L.A.U.S.D.‘s ass, but what will it take….”

Urban education reform fights are often explicitly cast in labor vs. anti-labor terms. And there’s often truth in that. But Barr complicates this way of thinking. He’s a Democrat and an organizer. His schools are unionized. When he needed the signature of unionized teachers to take over Locke High School, he went and got them. He’s sincerely trying to partner with national unions like the AFT to expand his movement beyond L.A. There are bona fide anti-labor types within the public school choice movement, but Steve Barr isn’t one of them.

Instead, what McGray very clearly describes is a fight against a school district that was willing to let a massively dysfunctional high school sit and fester for years on end. A district that stood side-by-side with the city teachers union in fighting to retain the right to continue that neglect. The article doesn’t paint Barr as a miracle worker, or Green Dot as a source of fantastic new pedagogy and world-beating teaching. Rather, they’ve taken a building that wasn’t actually functioning as a school in any true meaning of the word, and installed what all schools need: discipline, expectations that students will work, teachers who believe they can succeed. Charter schools were originally sold as a source of innovation. But as it turns out, many of the most successful charters have been a source of something even more important: competence.

Now U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is talking to Barr about expanding the Green Dot approach nationally, to target the bottom 1 percent of schools, the Locke’s of America, schools where failure is least ambiguous and ongoing neglect hardest to justify. Barr wants to work with AFT President Randi Weingarten to get this done. It’ll be fascinating to see if Barr’s initial skirmishes in L.A. grow into something more. Alexander Russo adds more at the Huffington Post.

• Kevin Carey is the policy director for Education Sector, an independent think tank in Washington.


●●smf 2¢: More from the endlessly quotable Mr. Barr, secondhand, from the New Yorker piece: “He even put a school-board member on his payroll -- ‘a mole,’ Barr said -- to report back on closed meetings.”

The above has the whiff of official misconduct and/or malfeasance to it …and perhaps a confession of conspiracy.

The New Yorker article attempts feebly to backtrack on one of Barr’s more unquotable quotes in an interview re: UTLA president AJ Duffy performing unnatural acts with pigs (neither Barr’s nor TNY’s actual words, 4LAKids needs to get past the LAUSD email censors!). What Barr really did say - a sorry piece of obscenity masquerading as wit - is here, at the bottom of pp.1. This is not a quote out of context …there is no context for an educator to say such a thing.

The Instigator By Douglas McGray | The New Yorker | May 11, 2009 + additional links

MAYOR’S BOYLE HEIGHTS TOWN HALL TAKEN OVER BY TEACHERS: Other community concerns were forced to the back burner, as teachers hijack the discussion.
MAYOR’S BOYLE HEIGHTS TOWN HALL TAKEN OVER BY TEACHERS: Other community concerns were forced to the back burner, as teachers hijack the discussion.

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer | Northeast Sun

May 7, 2009 -- It was supposed to be a forum for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to present his proposed Los Angeles city budget to the community, but the Boyle Heights Town Hall meeting at Our Lady of Talpa was quickly taken over by a vocal group of teachers who wanted to discuss teacher layoffs, and nothing more.

The town hall started off friendly enough with the mayor making sure that translation services were being offered, praising Councilmember Jose Huizar for his support and work, and acknowledging the teachers’ and their supporters presence—who made up about a third of the audience.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held back-to-back town hall meetings in Highland Park, right, and Boyle Heights, left, on Monday that drew different responses from residents. In Highland Park he was greeted by a receptive audience, but in Boyle Heights, he was besieged by pink-slipped teachers and their supporters.

Referencing his plan to save city jobs by asking employees to work one hour without pay, go without pay raises and to contribute more to their pensions, Villaraigosa also said he believes there is a way to avoid teacher layoffs. But “I’d have to be a snake salesman to look you in the eye and tell you that we can do all of that with a snap of my fingers,” Villaraigosa said. “It’s going to mean everyone participating.”

Teachers and supporters appeared to be prepared for a showdown, however, with about a third of the audience standing throughout the meeting and several people and children holding up signs that read: “Actions Speak Louder than Words,” “Don’t Increase Class Size,” “93 percent of Teachers at Roosevelt don’t have confidence in the Mayor’s Partnership,” to cite a few.

The mayor said he agreed with teachers and their supporters that the goal of federal stimulus dollars is to save jobs, and that he too does not want teacher lay offs or class size increases. But it was clear the teachers weren’t going to be swayed from why they were there: to press their agenda that no teachers be laid off.

Villaraigosa attempted to remind the audience of his track record supporting labor unions and his efforts to prevent teacher layoffs by LAUSD, but he also implied that the teachers’ union, UTLA, needs to be more flexible.

“The fact of the matter is there is no way to resolve this budget, even with the school district, without some sacrifice all the way. The numbers are too big. Particularly right now, it looks like the people of California are not going to pass the initiatives on May 19…if we don’t pass those initiatives, the budget deficit in LA Unified is not going to get that much better,” said Villaraigosa, who was shouted down as he tried to speak.

The loud and heated back and forth between the mayor and the teachers made it hard for anyone with a non-teacher related questions on the budget to be heard.

At one point, the police even stepped in to control a rowdy member of the audience, and moderator Sal Martinez, Vice President of the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, asked that the audience to be more respectful.

The mayor was even interrupted when he agreed with a speaker.

“I agree with you,” said Villaraigosa. “Did you hear me? I said I agree with you!”

“I’m being honest and telling it to your face,” said the mayor in response to other audience comments.

Many of the teachers present were part of the Mayor’s Partnership Schools. Kirti Baranwal, a teacher at Gompers Middle School in Watts, told EGP the mayor’s schools were the most under-funded and they were at risk of losing 60 percent of their staff.

German Gurrola, a teacher at West Adams Prep, told EGP he wants school board members Monica Garcia and Yolie Flores, who have the mayor’s support, to change their vote and rescind layoffs.

The only time the protesters seemed to cheer loudly was when the mayor talked about cuts not involving teachers, such as a 10 percent cuts to his office budget, mandated work furloughs and $30,000 in cuts to his salary over the last two years.

Many of the teachers and their supporters were not from Boyle Heights, but were from South LA.
However, Mario Hurtado, a pink-slipped history teacher from Roosevelt, said he counted about 10 teachers and 10 students from Roosevelt.

He told EGP they wanted Title 1 Funds, used for ESL Programs and supplemental school supplies, to be less restrictive and to be used temporarily to pay for teacher and staff salaries.

“Because we are in an economic crisis and short on funds, restrictions on Title 1 should be waived—we might be short on supplies, like Post-Its, but we’ll have teachers,” said Hurtado.
The mayor was able to answer a question from a Ramona Gardens resident who wanted to know what he is doing for their community besides increasing policing. Villaraigosa responded by listing the anti-gang and the youth intervention programs that are targeting their community and giving young people an alternative to gangs.

He attempted to answer a handful of questions not related to teachers’ layoffs, but his responses were mostly drowned out by the teachers’ protests.

Matt Szabo, the mayor’s press secretary, told EGP the purpose of the town hall was for the mayor to address the community’s concerns and be accessible.

“Not a single person can walk away from this forum and say that the mayor dodged questions or didn’t share their concern,” Szabo said.

REUNIÓN DE ALCALDE EN BOYLE HEIGHTS DOMINADO POR MAESTROS: Otros asuntos de la comunidad tomaron segundo lugar.

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
5/9 - Hot off the Press
Friday, May 08, 2009 2:55 PM
Downtown L.A. arts high school finally gets a leadership team LA TIMES LA NOW Blog: 11:34 AM | May 8, 2009 Los Angeles school officials have finally selected a leadership team for a new downtown arts high school that is intended to become a national model for teaching dance, theater, music and visual arts to underprivileged students. After a lengthy, and ultimately fruitless, nationwide

Friday, May 08, 2009 2:53 PM
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez | kpcc RADIO May 07, 2009 Listen Teachers at one of the 10 public schools run by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's nonprofit say they're unhappy with the progress of change. KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez says those teachers are threatening to leave the mayor's partnership if promised changes don't happen. Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Roosevelt High School teacher Mario Hurtado

Friday, May 08, 2009 1:19 PM
NOTE ON CHARTER CO-LOCATION: Co-location – charter schools and traditional schools coexisting on the same traditional campus is required when space is available on a year-to-year basis under Prop 39. Last year there were 11 co-locations is LAUSD, next year it is anticipated there will be 29. a 4LAKids Reader writes: May 2: Yesterday I attended the district's "Demystification of

Friday, May 08, 2009 1:13 PM
from a flyer from Ms. LaMotte’s office: Parents Of LAUSD Board District 1 Students Are invited to attend a special “Meet and Greet” with LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines Mr. Cortines will address: ● District budget issues ● Improved academic performance ● Student expectations ● Parent/guardian support & student success ●

Thursday, May 07, 2009 11:53 PM
LA Times Now blog | 8:31 AM | May 7, 2009 Los Angeles City College has abandoned plans to open a satellite campus at the renovated Van de Kamp's bakery site, the subject of a ferocious preservationist fight almost a decade ago. The Los Angeles Community College District adapted the building and its 16th century Dutch town-house facade for the college's use. Because of budget problems, however,

HOW DO I FIRE AN INCOMPETENT TEACHER ? An illustrated guide to New York's public school bureaucracy
Wednesday, May 06, 2009 12:54 AM
You are the administrator of a New York City public school. Your mission is to fire a teacher who is so inept that virtually no other teacher, parent, or student would object. Problem? The teacher has tenure. In which we are reminded that that the newness-of-the-news & the uniqueness-of-the-situation are neither. Indeed, the LAUSD/California “You Can’t Fire a Bad Teacher” paradigm is

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 11:50 PM
Tuesday, May 05, 2009 9:54 PM

Fairfax Student Is Probable Case Of Swine Flu CBS 2, CA A Fairfax High School student is the Los Angeles Unified School District's first probable case of swine flu, officials announced Tuesday.

LAUSD FIGHTS WORK STOPPAGE: Teachers will stay away from class on May 15 to protest the cuts
Tuesday, May 05, 2009 5:21 PM
by Rubén Moreno | La Opinión May 5, 2009 -- The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is “reviewing all the options” to avoid a work stoppage during one day of instruction called for by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). The teachers union plans not to teach class on Friday, May 15, in response to the layoffs of teachers approved by the school board. During the next few days, students

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 5:22 PM
Three cases of virus in the county Several schools have closed in California because of the AH1N1 flu Editorial staff of La Opinión May 4, 2009 - Among the first three cases of A1N1 flu confirmed in Los Angeles County, which were reported on Saturday night, there is a student of California State University Long Beach who is one of the probable cases. This person began to feel the symptoms of

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 11:42 PM
By Brian Doherty | KCET City of Angles blog May 4, 2009 9:29 AM -- Amid all its money problems, the school system in L.A. specifically and California generally also has a problem with getting rid of teachers suspected or accused of incompetence. An L.A. Times investigation finds a record of expensive, often fruitless attempts to get rid of teachers deemed unacceptable. The Times' findings can

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 10:48 PM
Weighted Student Formula Yearbook offers an in-depth look at how schools and districts using "backpack" funding are improving student outcomes Reason Foundation Press Release April 30, 2009 —Much of our education funding is wasted on bureaucracy. The money never actually makes it into the classroom in the form of books, computers, supplies, or even salaries for better teachers. Weighted

Sunday, May 03, 2009 10:42 PM

The news that didn’t fit from May 10th

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Tuesday May 12, 2009
South Region High School #2: Construction Update Meeting
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Bethune Park - Social Hall
1244 E. 61st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90001

Wednesday May 13, 2009
Central Region Elementary School #15: Fun Fence Art Exhibit
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Salvin Special Education Center
1925 Budlong Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Wednesday May 13, 2009
Bell Education and Career Center
Preliminary Environmental Assessment Hearing and Schematic Design Meeting
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Bell High School - Auditorium
4328 Bell Ave.
Bell, CA 90201

Thursday May 14, 2009
South Region High School #12: Demolition Update Meeting
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Avalon Gardens - Meeting Hall
745 E. 88th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90002



1) Picket at your school site in the morning
Arrive at your school site before employees arrive and picket until one hour after the start of your school day.

2) March on LAUSD Headquarters
Gather at Pershing Square (532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles) at approximately 10:00 am. March to LAUSD Headquarters at 11:00 am.

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.
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