Sunday, May 23, 2010


4LAKids: Sunday 23•May•2010
In This Issue:
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:
4 LAKids on Twitter
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.
Stuff happens. Stuff happened this week.

California State PTA, The School Boards Association and the Association of School Administrators - along with nine school districts and 60 individual students and their parents - sued the governor, legislature and State of California because the state is not adequately funding public education.

The reasons parents and students and school boards and districts and principals are suing is because the lege and the governor are not holding up the their end of the state constitution - the constitution they held up their hands to preserve, protect and defend when they took their term-limited/gerrymandered/safe-seat jobs.

The partisan-polar nature of Sacramento politics drives the argument and drives the defense of The Other Side no matter who it is. Whether the Us or Them is progressive or conservative, Democrat or Republican, tax or spend, red or blue ...there is no room in the middle of the road. There is no gray, just black or white. Just vote No or Yes. Win or lose. Elected or Cast out.

It is there, in no-man's-land in the middle of the road that the children in public education find themselves.

The famous mis-remembered/oft misquoted quote of other dark times is: "Have you no shame Senator?"

The shame is not Senator No-Cuts' or Assemblyperson No-New-Taxes'. It is not the Governator's. It is collectively ours.

We The People elected these folks ... or didn't bother to vote at all. We continue to elect them because they protect Us from Them. So we sue. We sue because we are a litigious society. We sue because it's a last resort. We sue because we are right ...and in this case we are. Not right-or-left right; right-or-wrong right. Or at least a pleasing shade of gray far closer to right than wrong.

BAD/MISINFORMED AND/OR MISINTERPRETED DECISIONS got made, proposed or avoided last week based on the above and all the other variables of the slippery slope to fiscal chaos - with little regard for What's Best for Kids. Apparently school libraries and librarians are essential ... or are they? High school students need Health classes to graduate ...or do they? Maybe we don't need plant managers and custodians at our schools ...or do we?

IN WASHINGTON DC - "Sixty-one square miles surrounded by reality" - the re-authorization of ESEA (the debacle formerly known as No Child Left Behind) has begun to stir -- and the politicians, lobbyists, the especially-interested and the special interests have begun to posture and align themselves. (see: School Turnaround Models...below) Stay tuned - but don't hold your breath. It is an election year and primary season is upon us. And based on first results: the electorate is pragmatic.


FOR SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION TOM TORLAKSON. I like Larry Aceves too - and maybe just as much - but going all politically-scientific I believe Torlakson is more electable.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE E - make your vote one of confidence in future of the Children of L.A., not of the current regime. (see Steve Lopez, below ...though I'm not sure how many LAUSD parents - or LA voters - drink caramel macchiatos.) And if it passes - fight to make sure the money gets spent well won't be easy.

HERE'S PROPOSITION FOR TORLAKSON, ACEVES AND ROMERO - and for every single last one of us: How about we have the things in schools the students need?

Safety. Cleanliness. Caring adults who know what they're doing. Books. Toilet paper. Paper towels. Toner for the copier. A librarian in the library. A nurse in the nurses office. Counselors. Health education. Life Skills classes for adolescents. A custodian who knows the school and the kids instead of a cleaning crew that knows the schedule. Balls for the playground. An art teacher. A music teacher. A real teacher instead of a long term sub. Someone who knows each child when their world comes tumbling down. A chance to succeed.

None of the above are frosting on any cake; they are bread to go with the lead-free water.

Field trips would be nice. A box of crayons with all the colors. After school programs. Vegetables on the lunch menu that aren't catsup. Classes that kids want to take.

I saw a sign at an LAUSD school this week and I had to stop and take a picture. It said:

Welcome School Visitors
Bienvenidos Visitantes Escolar

We need more of those.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

A good sign...

● PTA JOINS IN HISTORIC LAWSUIT: California's broken school finance system is unconstitutional
California State PTA informational alert to members

Thursday, 20 May 2010 -- This morning, a historic lawsuit was filed against the state of California declaring that the current education finance system is broken and unconstitutional. As a result, students are being denied the opportunity to master the educational programs the state requires.

Maya Robles-Wong v. the State of California was filed in Alameda by the California State PTA, the California School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators. Plaintiffs include nine school districts, as well as individual students and their families. Plaintiff Maya Robles-Wong is a 16-year-old 11th-grader at Alameda High School.

"We must have a school finance system that allows schools to deliver a high-quality education for all children - in good times and in tough times," said Jo A.S. Loss, president of California State PTA.
About the lawsuit

California's constitution requires a school system that prepares students to become informed citizens and productive members of society. The state has set clear requirements for what schools must teach and what students must learn. The state has an obligation to provide the resources necessary to meet the required standards, but the state has failed to do so.

This lawsuit seeks to remedy the broken school finance system by (1) declaring that it is unconstitutional and (2) requiring state lawmakers to uphold their constitutional duty to design and implement a school finance system that provides all students equal access to the required educational program.

The lawsuit declares that the "unsound, unstable and insufficient school finance system is neither aligned with required educational programs nor with student needs."

Filing this lawsuit was a last resort for California State PTA and the other plaintiffs. The Governor and lawmakers have known for some time that the current school finance system is harming students, and they have done nothing to remedy the crisis.

For more information on the lawsuit and to read the complete complaint, please visit

We recognize the need to keep our membership informed as the case progresses.
Important note

The Board of Directors and Board of Managers weighed this decision to participate in the lawsuit very carefully. The unprecedented step of initiating legal action is necessary given the serious deficiencies of the current school funding system, and the utter lack of meaningful action taken by the Legislature and Governor to address it.

All of the legal representation for California State PTA's involvement in this case will be provided at no cost to our association. A number of prominent law firms and legal experts are involved in the case, some volunteering their time. Absolutely no member dues or any other of our revenues will be spent on legal costs for this case.


By Lesli A. Maxwell | EdWeek Vol. 29, Issue 33

May 21, 2010 -- In what could become the most important school finance litigation in 40 years in California, parents, students, school leaders, and education advocates sued the state Thursday, claiming the way it finances public schools violates the state constitution.

The plaintiffs—including nine school districts and 60 students and their families—argue that although the state prescribes what teachers must teach and what students must learn, it does not provide the resources to deliver on those requirements. They are asking the courts to order the governor and the state legislature to scrap the current finance system and design a new one that is “sound, stable, and sufficient.”

“This lawsuit is the last resort,” said Frank Pugh, the president of the California School Boards Association, one of the plaintiffs. “The governor and the legislature, and I mean both sides of the aisle, have known for some time that the current school finance system is harming students, and yet they’ve done nothing to remedy the crisis.”

The suit was filed May 20 in Alameda County Superior Court.

California, with K-12 enrollment of 6 million public students, ranks near the bottom of the 50 states for its per-pupil funding, according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, which determined that the state spent $8,164 per pupil in 2007, more than $2,000 less than the national average of $10,557.

California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will oppose the lawsuit and believes the state will prevail.

"We will continue to fight to keep education a budget priority as well as fight for the other reforms essential to ensuring a great education for all our students," she said in a statement.

Over the past two years, California’s budget woes have forced lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, to make deep spending cuts to many of the state’s core services, including K-12 education. The cuts to public schools have added up to roughly $17 billion over those two years, and more could be in the offing as lawmakers and the governor wrestle with closing a $20 billion gap in the budget proposed for fiscal 2011. State spending on K-12 in fiscal 2010 still accounted for about 37 percent of California’s $91.4 billion overall budget.

But the plaintiffs, which include the districts in San Francisco and Santa Ana, contend that the school finance system—with funding formulas that date back as far as 60 years—has been dysfunctional for years. Their lawsuit, which could take years to play out, is not directed at the upcoming budget negotiations in the state legislature, said Abe Hajela, a Sacramento lawyer for the plaintiffs.

“This was a systemic problem before we had the budget crisis, and it will probably be there after the crisis is resolved,” he said.

Mr. Hajela, who is representing the CSBA, as well as the California State PTA and the Association of California School Administrators, said the case is unlike other school finance lawsuits that have focused purely on equity or adequacy issues, including the 1976 Serrano v. Priest case in California that determined that property-tax rates and per-pupil expenditures had to be to equalized across all of the state’s school districts. The Serrano case was appealed to the California Supreme Court by the defendants, but the case was closed in 1987 after the plaintiffs withdrew.

The essence of the new case, Mr. Hajela said, is that the state’s politicians have consistently fallen short of delivering on the state constitution’s guarantee that education funding be a priority.

“This case is different because the state is exercising its constitutional authority when it comes to having developed an educational program for the state where it’s clear what schools must teach and what students must learn,” Mr. Hajela said. “But the state isn’t living up to its duty to provide the resources to actually deliver on that. This is a systemic attack on school finance. We’re not trying to fix a discrete problem in one district, but an entire system.”

By Alyson Klein | EdWeek - Vol. 29, Issue 33

21 May 2010 - The Obama administration’s prescription for turning around low-performing schools—particularly the models districts must follow in making those improvements—is raising eyebrows on Capitol Hill, as Congress gears up for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the four models for intervening in perennially foundering schools spelled out in the U.S. Department of Education’s regulations for the $3.5 billion School Improvement Grant program are inflexible, particularly for schools in isolated, rural areas, and don’t put enough emphasis on factors such as the need for community and parental involvement.

“These four choices are interesting, but they’ve got to be fleshed out here,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee at a hearing on the topic May 19. “There’s a portfolio of things you need to bring to this problem.”

“You can choose to say you’re going to turn around a school, you can reconstitute a school, you can close a school,” said Rep. Miller, one of the lawmakers the administration is trying to court in its push to reauthorize the ESEA. “It won’t matter if you don’t have [certain] ingredients in place … [including] collaboration, buy-in from the community, the empowering and the professional development of teachers. If you don’t do these things, and you have to more or less do them together, you’re not going to turn around much of anything.”

Last year, the Education Department unveiled the list of four options states must employ to turn around schools that are perennially struggling to meet the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act, the 2002 version of the ESEA.

Under the regulations, officials can close a school and send students to higher-achieving schools; turn it around by replacing the principal and most of the staff; or “restart” the school by turning it over to a charter- or education-management organization. Under the fourth option, a school could implement a mandatory basket of strategies labeled “transformation,” including extending learning time and revamping instructional programs.

But Rep. Miller cautioned that closing a school and removing its staff should be done as a last resort.
“A fresh start doesn’t mean firing all the teachers and only hiring back an arbitrary number,” he said. “You can find some of the best teachers in the worst-performing schools, but they are stuck in a system that isn’t supporting them.”

And he said “wraparound” services, which typically include health care, prekindergarten, and counseling, need to be part of the mix.


Rep. Miller’s critique of the administration’s turnaround strategy is especially significant because it is difficult for critics to accuse him of pandering to the teachers’ unions, who also have concerns about the models, particularly the emphasis on removing staff. The education committee chairman has bucked the unions on a range of issues, including merit pay and the need to link student data with teacher effectiveness.

And he was a champion of many of the education overhaul provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal economic-stimulus program. They include a major boost for pay-for-performance programs and a new fund to scale up promising practices at the district level, which eventually became the $650 million Investing in Innovation Fund. He’s also one of the key lawmakers the administration has been counting on to help shepherd its reform agenda through Congress.


“There are a number of concerns, shared by members in both political parties, with the administration’s approach, which represents a more intrusive federal role in education policy that is better left to parents and state and local leaders,” said Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa. during the May 19 hearing. “Of equal concern, these changes to the existing School Improvement Grant program have been imposed on state and school leaders outside of the reauthorization process and without proper congressional oversight.”

In a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee earlier this spring, Sen. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, the top Republican on the panel, questioned whether the models would work for rural schools—and asked whether there was sufficient research to back them up.

“I am very concerned that requiring school districts to use one of the four school turnaround models for schools identified for school improvement will adversely impact rural and frontier schools,” Sen. Enzi said. “Some flexibility needs to be given to rural and frontier schools that simply cannot meet these strict federal requirements.”
He said schools in isolated areas have a tough time recruiting principals and teachers, much less finding turnaround partners or charter operators to help with school improvement efforts.
And Sen. Enzi said the “scientific evidence or research for the four interventions proposed for school improvement grants is, at best, sketchy. …. If we are going to mandate interventions from the federal level we need to be clear about why we are mandating such reforms and what evidence we have for our actions. Otherwise I worry that we are not learning from NCLB and are just repeating our mistakes.”


On the other side of the Capitol, some rank-and-file Democrats echoed such critiques.

Rep. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y. said during the May 19 hearing that her support for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is “wavering,” in part because the models don’t put enough emphasis on parental engagement.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., went even further.

Flanked by leaders from both national teachers’ unions on May 20, she introduced a “framework” that would largely scrap the models and replace them with what she termed a more flexible and holistic range of options.

Rep. Chu wants to use the reauthorization of ESEA to prod schools to promote flexibility and collaboration (such as beefing up mentoring and induction programs), remove barriers to student success (such as increasing community involvement and support), and “foster” teachers and school leaders (such as increasing the use of support staff like speech therapists and school psychologists).

Lily Eskelsen, the vice president of the 3.2 million National Education Association, held up Ms. Chu’s framework, saying, “I love this paper!”

Randi Weingarten, the president of the 1.4 million American Federation of Teachers, brushed off the notion that Ms. Chu’s approach would offer too much latitude to schools, saying the approaches outlined in the framework have worked in schools throughout the country.


Congresswoman Chu’s Press Release

May 20, 2010 1:22 PM -- Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA32nd District – East LA, El Sereno, San Gabriel Valley) officially unveiled a plan today to improve our nation's education system using a new framework of school improvement grants, a proposal that is being supported by AFT, NEA, PTA and the National Association of School Psychologists, among other groups.

The Congresswoman's new framework constitutes a radical departure from existing guidelines on School Improvement Grants, replacing the overly punitive and restrictive model with a more flexible, holistic approach and giving schools a broader menu of research-driven options and more time to show improvement. Under the new framework, school closure would strictly be a last resort option.

"The current school improvement grant program is admirable in theory, but some of the tactics haven't been successful in practice," said Rep. Chu, noting as an example the recent mass firings, and subsequent rehiring, of staff at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island. "What we need is a system that promotes flexibility and collaboration instead of tying the hands of administrators, teachers, and parents. We must remove barriers to student success instead of ignoring them. And finally, we must support teachers and leaders, instead of breaking them down."

That is the approach taken by Rep. Chu's proposed new framework, called Strengthening Our Schools (SOS) (see attached report). The plan would promote flexibility and collaboration between schools, parents, community leaders, businesses and other stakeholders; provide support to students facing crisis, both inside and outside of the classroom, by offering mental health services for behavioral problems, ESL resources and other wrap-around services; and giving teachers the tools they need to reconnect with disengaged students and help improve performance through personalized teacher training and specialized instructional support.

"In the upcoming ESEA Reauthorization I will be pushing for a complete revision of school improvement grants that is based on Strengthening Our Schools," said Rep. Chu, who was joined by representatives of major national education associations, teachers groups, former administration officials, parents and others as she unveiled the details of SOS at the Rayburn House Office Building. "As a Member of the Committee on Education and Labor, I plan to work with Chairman Miller on school turnaround and push for this framework to be adopted in ESEA Reauthorization."

The Congresswoman's plan was lauded by prominent members of the educational field.

The goal of SOS is nothing less than to achieve dramatic improvements in student achievement at priority schools, said Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the National Education Association.

"The only way for schools to succeed is if all the adults involved in public education work together collaboratively and make decisions based on our common purpose to give students what they need to succeed," Eskelsen said.

"Congresswoman Chu has developed an excellent framework for redefining the federal role in K-12 education. Her proposals recognize that the path to school improvement is through positive, not punitive, measures. She understands that teachers do their best in atmosphere of respect and encouragement, rather than incentives and sanctions," said Diane Ravitch, education historian and former Assistant Secretary of Education. "The federal role should be to support school improvement, not to mandate closings and firings. She is a breath of fresh air in a stale and nonproductive discussion."

"PTA is appreciative of the opportunity to provide input on the proposal and the framework's
inclusion of family engagement and collaboration with parents," said PTA National President Charles J. "Chuck" Saylors. "We cannot turn around struggling schools without parents at the table."

Howard Adelman and Linda Taylor, UCLA researchers who have investigated many of the successful methods included in the Congresswoman's proposal, lauded the new SOS framework and its holistic, multi-tiered approach.

"Good teaching and, indeed all efforts to enhance positive development, must be complemented with direct actions to remove or at least minimize the impact of barriers, such as hostile environments and intrinsic problems," said Adelman and Taylor in a written statement. "Without effective direct intervention to address barriers to learning and teaching, such barriers continue to get in the way for many students and interfere with teachers' efforts to close the achievement gap."

The goal of SOS is nothing less than to achieve dramatic improvements in student achievement at priority schools, said Lily Eskelsen, Vice President of the National Education Association.

"The only way for schools to succeed is if all the adults involved in public education work together collaboratively and make decisions based on our common purpose to give students what they need to succeed," Eskelsen said.

Strengthening Our Schools:A New Framework and Principles for Revising School Improvement Grants -- FULL REPORT

by Steve Lopez – Los Angeles Times columnist

May 19, 2010 | Good morning. May I have your attention?

Go ahead, enjoy your caramel macchiato while we chat, or is it an iced cinnamon dolce latte?

I'm not going to kid you, folks. As my colleagues on the editorial board pointed out last week, there are lots of good reasons to vote against Measure E on the June ballot, the temporary $100 annual parcel tax that would raise $92.5 million a year during each of the four years it would be in effect for Los Angeles Unified schools.

For starters, times are tough, and people don't want to dig into their pockets right now, especially since there's no citizen oversight written into the measure. On top of that, the teachers union has stubbornly resisted needed reforms, the district bureaucracy can be awful and the school board is no great shakes, either. So do we really want to send these people more money?

I say yes, and maybe it's because I have something no member of our editorial board has:

A child who attends an L.A. Unified school.

It changes your whole perspective. You know the entrenched problems and challenges in greater detail, but you also know more about the good work done by so many unheralded teachers and administrators. More important, you appreciate that as adults in ivory towers debate the merits of an $8.33 monthly fee per household to help schools devastated by budget cuts, hundreds of thousands of children are waiting on an answer.

At our daughter's school, my wife and others are involved in the constant scramble to raise money so we can save teachers served with layoff notices, or the librarian, or computer science, etc. And as things go in LAUSD, we're among the lucky ones, with our middle-class parental involvement, political clout and financial ability to help fill in some of the gaps.

For the vast majority of students, there's no such voice, and no such luxury.

"It's really about kids and families who many times have no other choice" but the neighborhood public school, said Elise Buik, president of United Way of Los Angeles, which has spent three years organizing parents and demanding more accountability and reform in local schools.

United Way's board, dominated by business leaders, has endorsed Measure E despite some reservations. Given funding cuts, Buik said, and the possibility that class sizes will balloon, the board sees Measure E not as a panacea but as a temporary necessity.

It might help, I told LAUSD Supt. Ray Cortines on Tuesday, if someone — him, perhaps? — stepped up and explained what that $100 a year would pay for. Cortines said he's keeping a low profile and hoping that if the turnout is low, only the most passionate voters will take to the polls and support the schools.

With all due respect, that's preposterous.

Measure E is a long shot as it is, with two-thirds approval required thanks to Proposition 13. So it has to have a passionate, high-profile champion who can celebrate student gains, flog lazy parents who don't take responsibility for their children and shame well-off citizens who carp about a $2-a-week tax that would give legions of impoverished youngsters a boost.

Maybe Cortines figures this thing is a loser, I don't know. There's no question the campaign for E is as strapped as the schools themselves, with only about $100,000 in support so far. Consultant Parke Skelton told me to expect mailers soon in which parents and teachers make the case for Measure E, but that'll be the extent of it.

So what's at stake, exactly?

Cortines told me that if Measure E passes, it will save the jobs of 350 teachers, along with 400 custodians and campus aides. Seventy-five nurses, counselors and psychologists will be spared. High school class sizes, already in the 40s, won't swell any further. And arts programs in the elementary grades could be preserved.

So where's A.J. Duffy of United Teachers Los Angeles, which dragged its feet before finally endorsing Measure E, and why isn't he leading the cheers?

Where's Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has tried to peddle himself as the education mayor?

The most passionate voices I've heard so far are those of the roving LAUSD art teachers who work at a different school each week. Dozens of them have gotten precautionary pink slips and they bristle at the suggestion that music, theater and other art classes are superfluous or expendable, especially in a district where it's the only access many students will ever have to professional arts instruction.

Elaine Burn-Machorro, who teaches theater at seven schools, called me Tuesday from Russell Elementary in the South Los Angeles area, where she was preparing second-graders for a performance of "Charlotte's Web."

"The arts are core curriculum," she said, whether students are exercising their brains to learn music or empathizing with characters as they develop the confidence to recite lines in front of an audience. "We do integration with math, science and social studies. We're not second-class citizens."

Burn-Machorro said she personally lobbied UTLA to support Measure E rather than play politics and point fingers at district leaders.

"My analogy is that you might not like the captain, but do you really want to sink the ship?"

She has a toddler who will one day attend an LAUSD school, Burn-Machorro said, so she's voting yes on E.

"Yes, times are tight, and my husband and I are homeowners. But it's $100 a year. We're talking $8.33 a month, or two lattes, to pay for theater, dance, music, visual arts, nurses, psychologists, counselors, librarians and custodians. Where are you going to find that for $8.33?"

by Gary J. Whitehead

Go now into summer, into the backs of cars,
into the black maws of your own changing,
onto the boardwalks of a thousand splinters,
onto the beaches of a hundred fond memories
in wait, where the sea in all its indefatigability
stammers at the invitation. Go to your vacation,

to the late morning cool of your basement rooms,
the honeysuckle evening of the first kiss, the first
dip and pivot, swivel and twist. Go to where
the clipper ships sail far upriver, where the salmon
swim in the clean, cool pools just to spawn.
Wake to what the spider unspools into a silver

dawn dripping with light. Sleep in sleeping bags,
sleep in sand, sleep at someone else's house
in a land you've never been, where the dreamers
dream in a language you only half understand.
Slip beneath the sheets, slide toward the plate,
swing beneath the bandstand where the secret

things await. Be glad, or be sad if you want,
but be, and be a part of all that marches past
like a parade, and wade through it or swim in it
or dive in it with your eyes open and your mind
open to wind, rain, long days of sun and longer
nights of city lights mixing on wet streets like paint.

"First Year Teacher to His Students" by Gary J. Whitehead, from Measuring Cubits While the Thunder Claps. © David Robert Brooks, 2008. (buy now| from NPR's The Writer's Almanac May 18, 2010 |

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest of the Stories from Other Sources
from the Galatzan Gazette - boardmember Galatzan's weekly e-newsletter |

20 May 2010 - Superintendent Cortines said this week he will ask local district superintendents to conduct an inventory to determine if library aide positions are being funded for next year at individual school sites. Speaking at the Committee of the Whole [of the Board of Education] meeting, the Superintendent also asserted that libraries must be administered by“professionals” rather than volunteers, as is the case at some schools.

The Superintendent made his remarks in response to comments from library aides, several from schools in [boardmember] Tamar [Galatzan]’s district, decrying severe cuts being proposed for the library program.

He called libraries and library aides “essential” and stated unequivocally that neither high schools nor middle schools should be without a library. The Superintendent did remind the Board, however, that because of the budget crisis, there will be less money for libraries next year.

●●smf's 2¢:

● The "essential" designation of school libraries is critical+welcome
● is the recognition of the professional status of library aides: elementary school librarians
● is the "unequivocal" statement that "neither high schools nor middle schools should be without a library"
● ...though it equivocates on elementary school libraries.

That there will be less money next year is unquestioned; that there will be less money for libraries is purely a school board decision.

This is good - but not nearly good enough: Students don't need an inventory, they need libraries.

Earlier board policy and school construction and modernization bond language identified and defined school libraries at all schools as "core facilities." I was instrumental in developing that policy and I can assure the superintendent and the current board that the intent wasn't un-staffed or closed libraries.

Hopefully the local district supes will interpret Cortines words as a directive to keep all school libraries open - hopefully he will frame his direction as a directive.


● SUIT WOULD OVERHAUL CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FINANCE SYSTEM: Carl Barnes, right, father of plaintiffs Kibew Diop, 10, bot...

● LA UNIFIED TEENS COMPETE IN DISTRICT-WIDE TALENT CONTEST: Bell High School students Cynthia Rivera and Michael Vel...


● School Library Update: SUPERINTENDENT CONSIDERS LIBRARY STAFF “ESSENTIAL”: from the Galatzan Gazette - boardmembe...

● MORE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS AT LAUSD, STATE TEST SHOWS: By Connie Llanos Staff Writer | LA Daily News 22 May...

● FURLOUGH DAYS WILL IMPACT SCHOOL YEAR: By BOH YOUNG LEE | The Colonial Gazette – The student newspaper of Fairf...


● MEDIDA E SUBE IMPUESTO | MEASURE E TAX INCREASE: Medida E sube impuesto Measu...

● EN DEFENSA DE LA EDUCACIÓN | IN DEFENSE OF EDUCATION: En defensa de la educación : Una coalición demanda a Califor...


● LAWSUIT CHALLENGES CALIFORNIA ED FUNDING: Various news stories: 5/20/2010: Suit Would Overhaul California School F...

● PTA JOINS IN HISTORIC LAWSUIT: California's broken school finance system is unconstitutional: California State PTA...

● Steve Lopez on Measure E: THIS SCHOOLS TAX IS A BARGAIN — For just $8.33 per household a month, voters could save ...

● Measure E: THIS TAX GETS A SOLID ‘F’: Long Beach Press-Telegram Editorial | LA Newspaper Group 18 May 2010 -- The...

● LAUSD OFFICIAL HOPES TO BLOCK MORE LAYOFFS: By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Daily News 18 May 2010 -- A Los A...


EVENTS: Coming up next week...
*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213-241-5183
Phone: 213-241.8700


What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6383 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6387
...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.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE.
• If you are registered, VOTE LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT.

Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD. He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He is an elected Representative on his neighborhood council. He is a Health Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served as a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the UTLA/AFT 2009 "WHO" Gold Award for his support of education and public schools - an honor he hopes to someday deserve. • 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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