Monday, June 08, 2009

Ideas and funding.

4LAKids: Sunday, June 7, 2009 Lummis Day
In This Issue:
K-12 CHIEF TAPPED AS EDUCATION DEPT. TAKES SHAPE: As Duncan fills top spots, focus is on "real passion" and entrepreneurial spirit.
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.
"Every day brings me some new wonder and some new beauty"
- Charles Fletcher Lummis
Poet/Author/Troublemaker: City Editor of the Los Angeles Times, First Librarian of the City of Los Angeles, Founder of the Southwest Museum.

I have a set speech at groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings for new schools about the tent that appears "like magic" at such events. I say that kids find magic because they look for it. I believe - and we all believe - in magic because we believe in kids.

There's little magic in the current situation but we need to find whatever hope is to be found in the budget and fiscal crisis. We need to look for it. Not the Bartlett's quotation "challenge is the flip side of opportunity" hope …but real hope to build the foundation for the future upon.

HOWEVER/WHATEVER: On Monday two independent reports came out describing the impact of the economic meltdown upon the District's ability to sell the municipal bonds that finance school construction and modernization programs.

Remember how bond financed public construction works:
• The voters approve both a list of projects ("Projects" means capital improvements, not teacher or operating salaries - it says that in almost that language in the California Constitution!) - and to assume a level of debt.
• Bonds are sold, not all at once but in the succeeding years to borrow the money as-it-is-needed. (To sell all the bonds all at once would be illegal - subjecting the taxpayers to unnecessary interest obligations)
• Property taxes are used to pay back the debt and interest, paying off the bonds over time.

The voters have spoken over the years: they have approved the bonds from BB through K + R + Y + Q – and identified projects that they want done in their name with their money – building new schools and fixing up the old ones. Seventy-odd new schools have been built; countess modernization projects have been completed.

A bond vote like the one last November to approve Measure Q is in essence doing the paperwork and filing out the loan application on a line of credit – in the case of Q for $7 billion. We voters have declared our intent - we have told potential lenders how we will spend the money and we have promised to pay it back at interest.

HOWEVER (Remember, there is ALWAYS a 'however') the credit markets have dried up. Property values have declined. The tax base is down. Unemployment is up. The credit well is dry and will continue to be so long after the economy turns around. Property values and employment are lagging indicators; they are the last things to recover.

When Measure Q passed we knew it would be a few years before the district could begin to sell the bonds/borrow the money because of the economic downturn (Today's 'crisis' was a 'downturn' last November) and the number of bond issues outstanding. If LAUSD were to sell Q bonds early it would raise taxes and debt above prescribed/proscribed limits. ["The highest tax rate projected for the bonds shall not annually exceed $60.00 per $100,000 of the taxable property within the District."] Q was seen as a mechanism to guarantee continuing financing for ongoing modernization and repair - and there are still Y bonds in the sales pipeline to finance current construction and modernization plans. While planning for Q might begin immediately the real work wouldn't start until 2012 or later.

HOWEVER²: it is now apparent that the final sale of Measure Y bonds will also be affected by the fiscal/credit crisis. The last $550 million in Measure Y bonds remaining unsold is problematic if we are to keep that $60 per 100K in assessed valuation guarantee because, algebra fans, as the second factor of the balanced equation (the assessed value - or - the number of $100Ks in a parcel o' land) goes ▼DOWN▼, the first part ($X per…) goes ▲UP▲. The colorful expression economists and Wall Street types use to describe this phenomenon is "upside down". That is not good.

HOWEVER³: as our Bond Oversight Committee consultant informed the Board of Education: THE GOOD NEWS is that THE BAD NEWS is NOT TERRIBLE NEWS.

The current situation is not due to anyone's error, mistake or inaction - there is no waste, fraud or abuse, not this side of the Beltway or Wall Street. It's ALL due to the economic situation and LAUSD is ahead of the curve… but there exists plenty of opportunity for mistakes to be made going forward!

•LAUSD is not yet overextended credit-wise; we have neither sold the bonds nor awarded the contracts.
•The anticipated two year delay in being able to sell Q bonds and start Q projects may stretch to from four to seven years depending on how long the recovery takes.
•There are ways to leverage the remaining Y projects and complete projects under way and keep the promises made to end involuntary busing and year 'round calendars by 2012 as the voters, taxpayers, parents and children were promised.
• No projects started or planned have been or need be cancelled …IF decisive action is taken soon.

These actions require some creative accounting practices - not bad 'cooking the books' or 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' …but transparent, prudent, legal and bold actions nevertheless. If the District doesn't act opportunities will be missed; promises won't be kept - and students, taxpayers and voters will be ill served.

I made a statement - OK, a speech - about this to the Board of Ed Facilities Committee on behalf of the Bond Oversight Committee regarding this last Thursday. What I said was not the final word - there will be plenty of words to come - but nonetheless I quote me below. [Y&Q Deferred]


CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER. The California State Budget crisis gets more bizarre and politically counterintuitive everyday. The SF Chronicle reports the state budget office has proposed defunding animal regulation and granting 'flexibility' - in essence telling animal regulation folks to reduce the amount of time they impound animals before they are euthanized from six to three days. It's like the powers-that-wanna-be don't just want to cut programs for widows and orphans, invalids, the elderly and schoolchildren …let's target puppies and kittens too!

4LAKids predicts the Gubernator may yet meet his match in Betty White and Bob Barker!


EDUCATING CALIFORNIA: On Wednesday evening there was a facilitating discussion - HOW DO WE CLOSE CALIFORNIA'S EDUCATION GAP? - hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California and Zócalo Lecture Series at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy downtown.

Forty years ago, California's higher education system was the envy of the nation. Its bold strategy welcoming any resident who wanted to learn led to a doubling of enrolled students, and sparked similar efforts across the country. California ranked high among other states for its share of working adults with a bachelor's degree. But that figure has declined sharply in the decades since. According to new research by the Public Policy Institute of California, by 2025, the state will fall nearly one million college graduates short of serving its economic needs. With the pressures of financing and pursuing an education in a stalling economy, vast demographic shifts including the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and the influx of immigrants, and the ongoing struggle for stronger secondary education, California needs to recall and possibly adapt its long-heralded higher education vision. What prompted California's fall from higher education excellence, and how can it be reversed? Zócalo hosts a panel moderated by Jim Newton, Editorial Pages Editor of the Los Angeles Times including Campaign for College Opportunity Executive Director Michele Siqueiros, Director of the California Education Program at the New America Foundation Camille Esch and PPIC Associate Director Hans Johnson on the history and future of higher learning in California.

Rather than write it up I direct you to the audio and video streams:


UNDERSTANDING THE ESTIMATED STIMULUS FUNDING: On Friday Matt Hill of the the Superintendent's office released current projected numbers on the Federal Stabilization part of the Stimulus Package – including potential cuts and anticipated shortfalls as the state attempts to make community colleges whole – at the monthly Government Liaisons Meeting of the LAUSD Office of Government Relations.

The report ends as follows, in big bold type: Conclusion: Given the uncertainty of the exact amount of the federal stabilization funding that we will receive, we need to budget with alternative guarantees that can be adjusted to reflect the actual amount that we receive.

Call to Action!
Write to the Governor

No more cuts to education!
Allocate stimulus stabilization funding to restore the disproportionate cuts that were made to high need students (i.e., English Language Learners, low income families)

Hill's PowerPoint is here:

Friday there was a DROPOUT PREVENTION SUMMIT at the New High School for the Arts Downtown - sponsored by LAUSD and AMERICA'S PROMISE - Gen. Colin Powell's education foundation. Other Sponsors included the City of LA (the Mayor was there) and Boeing, Disney and others. The initial presenters (including the mayor) made much of LAUSD's dropout rate - but lost in the avalanche of tired and tortured statistics Carmita Vaughn - the presenter from America's Promise (whose summit it really was) stated the inconvenient unvarnished truth pretty clearly: Every major urban school district in the country - whether run by mayoral control or elected school board or formerly by the current Secretary of Education - has similar numbers.

The challenge is universal; the solution or solutions have not yet been found. A single voice in the crowd speaking the truth speaks no less the truth.

We must realize that the fledgling LAUSD dropout prevention program is being eviscerated in the current budget cuts. We will never know if that plan would've worked.

The breakout session I attended on Parent Engagement seemed to be productive, there is no shortage of good ideas and good thinking out there. To quote High School for the Arts Executive Director Rex Patton: "Ideas are more important than funding".

But do we/did we need another Conference, another Summit …another Meeting?

Maybe we just need to keep kids in school - and get youngsters who drop out back and engaged in their own education. Maybe we need to look at dropout prevention and high school graduation as attendance issues. Seeing as how LAUSD appears to be budget rather than student or outcome driven: A student in class produces revenue and revenue is what the school district is shortest of. State law says every child between 6 and 18 must be in school unless they have gradauated. 'Must be'. Not 'should be' or 'may be'.

To be really Back-to-Basics about it it's a law enforcement issue. And PSA/attendance counselors (Truant Officers if you will) "right-sized" and collecting unemployment are an egregious triple waste of the taxpayer's money, workforce assets and countless young lives.

Let me put my sarcasm hat on and wrap myself in conspiracy theory. Face it: PSAs who do their job well cost the taxpayers and the state far more than their salaries because they make the state pay more in Average Daily Attendance with every dropout they bring back to school. A ninth grade dropout who stays and graduates costs the state over $30,000. LAUSD has about 21,000 identified dropouts on a list now. If we follow those numbers to their illogical extreme that's $630 million dollars. (The current LAUSD budget shortfall is $680 million.) And those graduates might not become clients for the unemployment office and/or prison system. They might go on to colleges and universities costing the state even more. Welfare offices and jails might have to close. Probation officers might have to be right sized. The end of the world as we know it, the status freaking quo.

Maybe California can't afford LAUSD being successful. Maybe the same bean counters who run cost benefit analysis projections euthanizing puppies and kittens three days early save even more money by counting on kids leaving school three years early.

Ya think?

¡Onward/Hasta adelante! - smf

smf's statement to the Facilities Committee | June 4, 2009

While these reports are not good news; that there are reports - now - when we can confront the situation and adjust our thinking and our planning is.

Before the cry goes out that the sky is falling let me assure everyone who hasn't been paying attention that the sky has fallen. The international economic crisis is upon us and the LAUSD school construction and modernization program is not above it.

The Tamalpais Study and the Beacon Report were made at the insistence of the Bond Oversight Committee, not because we are tea leaf readers or doom-and-gloomers but because we take our job - that of overseeing the spending of the taxpayers' money as they voted to do - and have been promised - very seriously.

Now more than ever there is a need to address the certainty of uncertainty with a dynamic plan and the right people in place.

We look forward to the complete report. While this report is not complete we accept its findings. It's a gamechanger.

When Prop Q passed last year we all accepted that it would a couple of years before we could begin selling those bonds and initiating Q projects. In reality there still is no Strategic Execution Plan for Q; this report tells us we won't be able to even start concrete planning for Q for a few more years. This report also warns us that the economic crisis also affects the future sale of Y bonds. That was not anticipated - but this report has shone the light there - we are warned and we now can be prepared.

A gamechanger.

In the show business we have an expression for when the details of a plotline or a budget meeting become overloaded: MEGO - my eyes glaze over.

We have entered into the realm of very complicated finance and economics, of tax bases, assessed valuation, ad valorem tax collection and bond ratings; of debt limit, debt capacity and bond issuance. All of this is complicated by forecasting future trends and economic developments. We know with certainty that the current crisis will end eventually - and 'eventually' is a nebulous as it gets.

The chair of the Bond Oversight Committee, and BOC Executive Committee and I wish to state categorically to the Board of Education and to the public: "We own this turf". The Bond Oversight Committee is prepared and expects set the tone and take the lead - and take the heat - going forward. This is our role, constitutionally, statutorily and fiduciarily under Prop 39, our operating agreement with the District and the series of promises made to voters and taxpayers in the bond language from BB through Q.

I have talked about the voters and taxpayers, but we all of us up her on this dias also serve our communities, district employees, parents and always, always children. Let me assure everyone that although the game may have changed promises made about ending busing and year 'round calendars - and providing safe clean welcoming neighborhood schools will be kept. Concept Six and non-voluntary busing will be eradicated by 2012. Schools will be built, modernized and repaired.

Madam Chair, with your permission I'd like to invite Mr. Tom Rubin, the Bond Oversight Committee Consultant to address the report and offer his opinion and advice.

LA Wave Newspaper - from wire services

June 7, 2009 -- Los Angeles Unified School District Transportation Branch officials announced proposed $17 million in budget cuts Friday that will affect all students who ride school buses for the 2009-10 school year.

The proposed cuts would affect more than 5,000 students, forcing many to walk farther to their middle and high schools and endure longer bus rides, according to Lourdes Vitor of the LAUSD.

A proposed service reduction to the Permits with Transportation Program, which serves students attending magnet schools or are allowed to transfer from their home schools, would require students living within three miles of their school to find their own transportation, Vitor students.

About 2,100 students would be impacted by this service cut.

Students now living with two miles of their school must find their own transportation.

The proposed cuts would also extend the maximum one-way riding time from 75 minutes to 90 minutes, Vitor said.

"Magnet students who are riding from the inner city to the San Fernando Valley could potentially ride up to 90 minutes," LAUSD Transportation Director Enrique Boull't said.

The recommended cuts will also eliminated the Other Transported Students Program, which provides transportation for about 3,000 students who take a school bus to and from their neighborhood school because of distance or hazardous conditions, such as having to walk on a freeway on-ramp or across railroad tracks to get to their campuses, Vitor said.

While the proposed reductions bring the total Transportation Branch budget reductions to $28 million for the 2009-10 school year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants $62 million in public school transportation cuts, Vitor said.

"If the governor's transportation cuts take place, we will have to make serious policy and service reductions that are unavoidable. Half of what we do would be eliminated," Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines said.

"These reductions would be devastating, affecting all traveling students, whether they are being bused away from an overcrowded neighborhood school or to a magnet school."

Vito said that if $62 million in transportation cuts are required, "tens of thousands of students would lose their ride to school."

The proposed recommendations would result in the elimination of more than 100 contracted school bus routes and the elimination of or reduction in work hours for more than 100 transportation branch employees, including bus drivers.

"No drivers are losing their jobs, and only a small percent would be reduced from full-time, eight-hour assignments to part-time status," Boull't said. "Routes being eliminated would come from our contracted bus fleet."

The district Transportation Branch provides home-to-school transportation for special district programs, including student integration and special education.

The Transportation Branch also processes requests, schedules buses and tracks expenditures for 97,000 auxiliary bus trips in addition to operating five major garage facilities required to service about 3,400 district-owned buses, trucks, cars and vans.


Los Angeles Unified School District
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 24th floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 241-6766
FAX: (213) 241-8952
News Release

June 05, 2009 — Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Transportation Branch officials today announced proposed budget reductions effective for the 2009-10 school year, affecting all students who ride on school buses.

While these reductions amount to approximately $17 million dollars, bringing the total Transportation Branch budget reductions to $28 million for the 2009-10 school year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is now seeking $62 million dollars in public school transportation cuts.

"If the governor's transportation cuts take place, we will have to make serious policy and service reductions that are unavoidable. Half of what we do would be eliminated," said LAUSD Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines. "These reductions would be devastating, affecting all traveling students, whether they are being bused away from an overcrowded neighborhood school or to a magnet school."

Under the currently proposed cuts, many students will have to walk farther to their middle schools and high schools. Those who participate in magnet schools or are allowed to transfer from their home school via the Permits with Transportation (PWT) Program will no longer walk two miles or less. That distance would grow to three miles. This proposed service cut would impact approximately 2,100 students.

Affected students also will spend more time getting to and from school. The maximum one-way riding time will be extended to 90 minutes from the current maximum of 75 minutes; the average ride is 37 minutes. The new 15-minute increase will apply to all bus routes, but would especially impact students who live the greatest distance from their schools.

"Magnet students who are riding from the inner city to the San Fernando Valley could potentially ride up to 90 minutes," said LAUSD Transportation Director Enrique Boull't.

In addition to longer bus rides for that group of students, the recommended cuts will eliminate transportation provided for students who take a school bus to and from their neighborhood school either because of distance or hazardous conditions such as having to walk on a freeway on-ramp or across railroad tracks to get to their campus. This cut to the Other Transported Students (OTS) Program will affect approximately 3,000 students.

These policy changes will result in the elimination of over 100 contracted school bus routes and the elimination of/or reduction in work hours for over 100 transportation branch employees including bus drivers. "No drivers are losing their jobs and only a small percent would be reduced from full-time 8 hour assignments to part-time status. Routes being eliminated would come from our contracted bus fleet," said Boull't.

If $62 million worth of transportation cuts are required, tens of thousands of students would lose their ride to school.

The LAUSD Transportation Branch provides home-to-school transportation for special District programs including student integration and special education. More than 59,000 students are transported each day on 2,000 bus routes during a traditional school year. Among its other responsibilities, the Transportation Branch also processes requests, schedules buses, and tracks expenditures for 97,000 auxiliary bus trips; operates five major garage facilities required to service approximately 3,400 District-owned buses, trucks, autos, vans and 3,000 specialized power equipment; and responds to District emergencies.

For more information on the Transportation Branch, call 800-LABUSES/1-800-522-8737 or go to

K-12 CHIEF TAPPED AS EDUCATION DEPT. TAKES SHAPE: As Duncan fills top spots, focus is on "real passion" and entrepreneurial spirit.
by Michele McNeil | Education Week
Published Online: June 5, 2009
Published in Print: June 10, 2009

Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana knows about low expectations.

After all, as a 1st grader in California, she was assigned to the "Buzzards" reading group—the lowest in her classroom—despite the protests of her Mexican-immigrant parents that she could already read in her native Spanish. In high school, a counselor told her she had no chance of going to UCLA.

Now, she's U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's pick for assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, in charge of implementing K-12 policy under the No Child Left Behind Act. She was nominated by President Barack Obama last month.

Her selection nearly rounds out the Education Department's top leadership team, a mix of Washington insiders, foundation and think tank education experts, school district leaders, and confidants from Mr. Duncan's time as schools chief in Chicago. Ms. Melendez and two other assistant secretaries were awaiting Senate confirmation as of last week, and a pick for the special education assistant secretary was still to be announced.

Ms. Melendez got to this point in her career by vaulting over the low expectations of her early years—indeed, attending and graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles. She went on to get her Ph.D. in language, literacy and learning from the University of Southern California. Her career path saw her rise from a classroom teacher through district-level leadership ranks.

She got her superintendent's job, in California's 30,000-student Pomona Unified School District, through a nontraditional route: She spent a year and a half at a private education foundation before winning a spot in the 2006 Broad Superintendents Academy, which trains emerging district leaders.

"She had 'rising star' written all over her face," Tim Quinn, the managing director of alumni-support services for the Broad Center, said of Ms. Melendez, who would not comment for this story because of her pending confirmation. Mr. Quinn said that as an assistant secretary, she would confront a steep learning curve, but "she is going to understand, walking in the door, the issues."

Ms. Melendez, 50, fit the broad job criteria that Mr. Duncan had established for department appointments, which he says were more about character, drive, and general smarts than about possessing certain education credentials or representing a particular constituency.

In a recent interview, Secretary Duncan discussed how he went about assembling his team, targeting people like Ms. Melendez who came from modest backgrounds, had a passion for the work, and showed an entrepreneurial spirit—and were willing to take what was likely a big pay cut to work in a federal job. No education policy or district superstars with big egos were welcome, he said.

"If they're scared off because they won't make more money ... or if they wanted a certain job title, ... that's not the kind of person we want," Mr. Duncan said. "We want people for whom this is a real passion. This is mission-driven work. Everyone is taking pay cuts."
Compatible Vision

Steering clear of job titles and traditional hierarchy, he reached out, he said, to educators, academics, and foundation and other nonprofit officials whose vision was compatible with his. His selection of Ms. Melendez for elementary and secondary education chief is telling: He was directed to her after seeking suggestions from Mr. Quinn, who had worked with the Broad Academy, an initiative of the Los Angeles-based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.

When Ms. Melendez became the superintendent of Pomona in 2006, that district was in a mild state of disarray. Members of the community, upset at the poor academic performance of students and an aloof school board, tried to recall several members of the board.

The district, 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is mostly Latino. About 70 percent of its students receive free- or reduced-price lunches, and when Ms. Melendez took over, the district was struggling with declining enrollment.

"The thing that was critical for her was that she could identify the stakeholders in the community, reaching out to them and really forming a partnership, so we could get things done," said Andrew Wong, Pomona's school board president.

A profile of her done in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin when she was hired as superintendent mentioned that in her office, she prominently displayed a motto that guides her work: "Si se puede," the Spanish phrase that means "Yes we can." That was long before now-President Obama made it a campaign slogan.

Ms. Melendez further explained her drive in a December 2008 article she wrote in School Administrator, the magazine of the American Association of School Administrators: "I want [students] to feel the encouragement of adults who have high expectations for them, professionals who are skilled at guiding them to the doors of opportunity."

Under Ms. Melendez's administration, the Pomona district opened its first district-sponsored charter school. It is also planning to open its first science and math magnet school, and is developing academic clusters and academies for high schools.

To answer criticism that the district was not open enough, Ms. Melendez took what was then a considered an unusual step and posted online an audit critical of the school district's use of federal funds for the E-rate technology program, involving spending before her tenure.

The key for her, Mr. Quinn said, was "the transformation of the culture into one of transparency, and the transformation of the belief system into one that believed that poor kids and poor kids of color can learn at the highest levels."

She also made tough budget decisions: determining that, with declining enrollment, it didn't make sense to continue an ambitious construction plan from the previous administration. And in February, she had to send out more than 600 teacher-layoff notices because of budget cuts, notices that were rescinded—as of now—because of money headed to California from the federal stimulus package.

The local teachers' union was critical of how layoff notices were handled, citing confusion on notification and errors on seniority.

"These are peoples' lives," Associated Pomona Teachers President Morgan Brown told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. "It's reckless and it's irresponsible."

Ms. Melendez' biggest imprint on Pomona?

"Accountability," said Ramon Cortines, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District and a mentor to Ms. Melendez. "She's modeled it with board members that have not always been in her corner. She's modeled it with administrators, ... with parents and teachers and the union. She's tough as steel."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has assembled a diverse team of district leaders, Washington insiders, foundation and think tank offi cials, and Chicago confidants to help him manage the U.S. Department of
Education. Among the key players:

Confirmed Jan. 20
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
Confirmed May 1
Former vice president of the Education Trust

Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach
Confirmed May 1
Former Chicago-based communications consultant

Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs
Confirmed May 1
Former senior education adviser to Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.,
the chairman of the House education committee

Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation,
and Policy Development
Confirmed May 1
Former chief education adviser to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy,
D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate education committee

Nominated April 29
Former chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza (Calif.) Community
College District

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education
Announced May 19
Superintendent of Pomona
(Calif.) Unified School District

Deputy Secretary
Nominated May 18
Former director of Silver Lake, a private-investment
firm with offices in Menlo Park, Calif., and New York City

Chief of Staff
Announced May 19
Former special assistant to the director of education at the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Deputy Undersecretary
Announced April 20
Founder of the Institute for College Access and Success
and the Project on Student Debt

Senior Adviser
Former education program director and senior adviser
at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; former undersecretary
and acting deputy secretary of education in the Clinton

Special Assistant
Former assistant to Mr. Duncan in Chicago

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation,
and Policy Development
Announced May 19
Former co-director of the Aspen Institute

SOURCES: U.S. Department of Education; Education Week

By Connie Llanos | Staff Writer - LA Newspaper Group | Long Beach Press Telegraph

June 6, 2009 - With summer school canceled, Los Angeles teachers are enlisting parents to help keep kids academically engaged until classes resume in September.

United Teachers Los Angeles is hosting a half-day workshop June 13 for parents of students in kindergarten through eighth grade. They'll receive take-home resources and tips on teaching techniques.

"Teachers need to give parents skills so they can keep the education process going during the summer," said A.J. Duffy, president of the teachers' union.

The free workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at UTLA headquarters, 3303 Wilshire Blvd. To register or for more information, call 213-368-6230, fax 213-637-5160 or e-mail

Summer school for an estimated 225,000 elementary and middle school students was canceled by Los Angeles Unified because of a funding shortage caused by the ongoing state financial crisis. The summer school cancellation will save the district $34 million.

The district is offering summer school to high school students who need summer courses to graduate and a special program for students with disabilities.

Published on United Teachers Los Angeles (

Students are the highest priority for L.A. teachers. Teachers want parents to get the support they need to promote their children’s academic success.

Because LAUSD cancelled summer school, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is inviting parents to attend a half-day conference addressing the educational challenges that the recent LAUSD cancelation of summer school has created. Attend workshops for ideas and hand-on resources to help your child stay connected to academics during the summer. Please register below.

• Take home resources include journal and information packets.
• Free raffle for 2 TV sets.


All parents of students in K-8 are invited. (Spanish translation will be available)

Date of Workshop:

Saturday, June 13, 2009
8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


at United Teachers Los Angeles
3303 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 2nd Floor Auditorium (map)


8:30 Registration and Refreshments
9:00 Opening
9:20 to 10:20 Workshop 1
10:25 to 11:25 Workshop 2
11:30 to 12:00 Close

To Register

Space limited: First come, First served. Limited enrollment, register now.
Please call Stacy Baskin at (213) 368-6230, fax (213) 637-5160, or email [4] by Friday, June 12.

En español llame a Lucy Rothstein al (213) 368-6262

Parent Flyer in Spanish:

Parent Flyer in English

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
Saturday, June 06, 2009 10:29 PM
By JENNIFER RADCLIFFE | HOUSTON CHRONICLE Annie Wells Los Angeles Times - Children lead the Pledge of Allegiance at a Los Angeles Board of Education meeting in July 2007 attended by now former L.A. schools Superintendent David Brewer, center.  June 7, 2009 — LOS ANGELES — When former three-term Colorado Gov. Roy Romer announced his retirement in 2006 as superintendent of the Los Angeles

More about Arts Education than you ever probably wanted to know: ARTS PARTICIPATION, ARTS EDUCATION RESEARCH & GRANTS
Sunday, May 31, 2009 4:55 PM
Assembled & Compiled by the Wallace Foundation Shared insights that arts organizations can use to build and sustain participation in their programs and activities. Want to know when new Arts Participation resources are added? Sign up for the Wallace Foundation’s email alerts and select 'Arts Participation' as an interest. To learn more about the Wallace Foundation’s current grants and

LAPD HIGH: Magnet schools sponsored by cops are getting results with at-risk kids.
Sunday, May 31, 2009 4:30 PM
by Laura Vanderkam | City Journal | Spring 2008 vol. 19, no. 2 A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, May 31 - The statistics say that 17-year-old Rocio Sazo should have dropped out of school by now. In the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), outside studies show that fewer than half of

Architecture Review: PASS/FAIL FOR L.A.’s NEW ARTS SCHOOL
Sunday, May 31, 2009 4:28 PM
“Rarely has architecture seemed so visually dramatic -- or so politically out of touch.” LAUSD's bold new campus for Central Los Angeles Area High School #9 flaunts a district's-worth of design at one site. Given the architect and client, conflict, rethinking and missteps were inevitable. By Christopher Hawthorne| LA Times Architecture Critic

The news that didn’t fit from June 7th

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Monday Jun 08, 2009
Valley Region High School #4: Construction Update Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Patrick Henry Middle School - Library
17340 San Jose St.
Granada Hills, CA 91344

Wednesday Jun 10, 2009
Verdugo Hills High School Softball Field: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Verdugo Hills High School
10625 Plainview Ave.
Tujunga, CA 91042

Wednesday Jun 10, 2009
University High School Modernization Project
Design Development / Pre-Construction Community Meeting
Time: 6:00 p.m.
University High School
11800 Texas Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Wednesday Jun 10, 2009
Central Region Elementary School #20: DTSC Remedial Action Plan Public Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Virgil Middle School - Auditorium
152 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Thursday Jun 11, 2009
Castelar Elementary School Library Modernization Project
Design Development / Pre-Construction Community Meeting
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Castelar Elementary School
840 Yale St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday Jun 11, 2009
Valley Region Elementary School #9: Construction Update Meeting
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Hazeltine Elementary School - Auditorium
7150 Hazeltine Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91405
*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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