Sunday, June 08, 2014


Onward! 4LAKids4LAKids: Sunday 8•June•2014
In This Issue:
 • TEACHING THROUGH TRAUMA: LAUSD says budget’s too tight to treat stressed out kids
 • HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
 • EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 • What can YOU do?

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 • 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.
The last week was a roller coaster ride. Which is just a cheap way to introduce the biggest horror of them all: Magic Mountain is tearing down Colossus! …slipping that news into the cycle where it was lost amid hockey and basketball and elections and Guantanamo and D Day and The End of the School Year and general LAUSD adult misbehavior.

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER! Cue the music, Alice: “Well we got no class / and we got no principles / and we got no innocence / we can't even think of a word that rhymes!”

HOW ‘BOUT THAT ELECTION? There was a 19% turnout in California, the lowest in history. I voted on Tuesday. If you voted that just about accounts for everybody that did …except perhaps for the Assad loyalists in Syria who had to vote. If you don’t vote your car explodes. There was some good news about the election: In the little community where I live there was a polling place at the café which generally functions as a boys club for out-of-work screenwriters. The café – which was famous for milkshakes & cherry cokes in my youth now has a beer+wine license - and the greasy hamburgers are less so and come with kale salad. (We Boomers look out for ourselves.)

They continued to pour at the café during the election!

I can remember when all bars and saloons were closed on Election Day. Being able to take a frosty craft-brewed IPA or an oaky chardonnay into the polling booth is Reform I can support!

THERE WAS NO BOARD MEETING LAST WEEK, but Ms. Galatzan continued to attack Stuart Magruder of the Bond Oversight Committee – changing her rules of engagement from an attack on Magruder to one on the Bond Oversight Committee itself – whom she accuses of “assuming responsibilities outside its purview” and “second-guessing decisions made at school sites by teachers and principals”. What part of ‘Citizens’ Oversight’ is so hard to comprehend?

THE POWERS-THAT-BE’s ATTACK on the Bond Oversight Committee – and before that other duly constituted parent groups, task forces and representative assemblies continues. Ignored and spoon-fed something not approved for the School Lunch Program – the state-law-mandated-and-District-policy-formed Local Control Accountability Plan Parent Advisory Committee grew restless+testy+ignored last week – and a group of them made some polite requests …or a “List of Demands” if you are from the other side.

A couple of them went so far as to write an Op-Ed that employed sarcasm.

The Powers-that-Be believe they are doing their best to comply with state law; the PAC doesn’t think their best is good enough; it’s a parent thing. They seek ‘active engagement and meaningful dialogue’, not ‘compliance’. The differences between the PAC side and the Superintendent’s side are more than just over the semantics of ‘compliant’ and ‘compliance’; it is also on the semantics of “Advisory” – as in: Who advises whom?

Whatever the differences are, the District side decided the most prudent response is to threaten legal action. Criminal+civil. Advocate for children, go to jail.

Then the Superintendent’s side published an overdue and half-hearted response to the PACs previous, not current, criticism. And issued a new Draft LCAP with lots of cosmetic changes and the same bottom line.

THE PAC and the parents they represent are not colleagues or collaborators or advisors. They are adversaries. Welcome to the Business Model. Bury them.

A Reminder, gentle reader: The Local Control Accountability Plan forms the foundation for the LAUSD (and every district+charter school’s) budget for the next three years – and the Board of Ed must agree on it, approve it and get it into the County Office of Ed by the end of June. Or the crocodile with the ticking clock in its belly – and a taste for their captain – eats them all!

Maybe it’s not a croc …maybe it’s an allegory?

THE YEAR END BRINGS CHANGE. ISIS, the acronym for the LAUSD information database is to be replaced by a new system and a new acronym: MISIS. Kids graduate+matriculate. Educators retire, others advance. New folk come aboard. Deck chairs are moved. The dance band plays the old Christian hymn and the games of musical chairs continue. The shards of ice on the starboard first-class deck are not from the cocktail lounge.

I see the best educators of this generation destroyed by apathy, unsupported by their leaders, undone by bullies – badgered by anti-social media and surrounded+confounded by ethical invertebrates.
I see parents and the truths-they-know-to-be true ignored; the truths they teach to their children disputed by half-baked data.

A parent writes me: “That's the problem with the District. They never are really truthful so we are forced to go through their publications […questioning everything and separating this half-truth from that half-truth]. The result is that some are truly affected by the experience and can no longer keep their grasp on reality”.

There were no test scores this past year for us to judge teachers or measure progress or ethics or the basic playground values of fairness. There are dark eddies pulling us down and false navigators claiming that direction is forward.

The voices of the institutional memory and the don’t worrywarts remind us that this too will pass in time. And it will …and inevitably is not soon enough. And the Darwinian survivors will be here to help clean up the mess. The voice of Hope in the Gale is heard /And sore must be the storm / That could abash the little Bird / That kept so many warm.

And the sun pours down like honey / On our lady of the harbor / And she shows you where to look / Among the garbage and the flowers / There are heroes in the seaweed /
There are children in the morning / They are leaning out for love / And they will lean that way forever.

And if you think any of this mash-up is about you, whether hero or villain or victim, take it to heart. They are all the same those three.

And then we do Something About It. Those children are leaning out for love. And knowledge+meaning+direction. Lean in.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

by Vanessa Romo, LA School Report |

June 5, 2014 1:39 pm :: LA Unified school board member Tamar Galatzan is not going down quietly when it comes to Stuart Magruder, a staunch opponent of the district’s $1 billion iPad program whom the board removed from the Bond Oversight Committee last month.
Magruder was the representative of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Galatzan had opposed his renomination to the committee, and now that board member Bennett Kayser is introducing a resolution next week to reappoint him to another two-year term, Galatzan is not backing down.
“Nothing has changed,” she told LA School Report. “I talked with General Counsel, I looked at the Memorandum of Understanding and the state law, and it’s very clear that the appointment is with the Board of Education.”

While the committee’s legal counsel has said the board agreed in 2002 not to interfere with committee appointments, LA Unified’s chief lawyer, David Holmquist, has sided with Galatzan, saying the board has the right to intercede.

The board effectively blocked Magruder’s reappointment through an effort led by Galatzan, leaving an empty seat on the 15 member BOC, an independent panel that oversees bond money spending for school construction and repairs — and iPads.

But in a letter to board president Richard Vladovic days after the vote, Nicci Solomons, Executive Director of AIA, reminded the district of the existing contract between the LA Unified and the BOC, that “while the formal appointment would be done by the board as a ‘receive and file,’ the board would faithfully appoint the nominee of each stakeholder.”

Solomons “respectfully” resubmitted Magruder as AIA’s chosen representative on the committee.
Galatzan’s response: “That’s ludicrous, it’s a illogical…and it violates state law to assign the appointment to another agency.”

She contends the campaign against Magruder, whom she says she has never met, is not against him personally. Rather, it represents her broader opposition to the BOC’s assuming responsibilities outside its purview.

“This is about the proper role of the Bond Oversight Committee in relationship to the Board of Education… and individual committee members are substituting personal judgment for legal analysis. They’re second-guessing decisions made at school sites by teachers and principals,” she said.

Tom Rubin, a consultant for the bond panel told the LA Times, the district has never blocked the appointment of a nominee by an outside group until now.

Annie Gilbertson | | Pass / Fail | 89.3 KPCC |

June 6th, 2014, 2:01pm Los Angeles Unified school board member Bennett Kayser wants the board to reinstate a critic of the district's iPad program to the committee overseeing its school bonds.

Architect Stuart Magruder fought against the iPad program all school year, arguing the bond money used to purchase the devices for a one-to-one technology program would be better spent on building and repairing campuses.

School board member Tamar Galatzan led the effort to toss Magruder off the Bond Oversight Committee last month.

Within days, Magruder supporters launched a petition demanding he be reappointed, quickly gathering more than 500 signatures. Fellow committee members also rallied behind Magruder.

The oversight committee's lawyer said appointments should be free from political motives and claims the board violated the committee's founding documents. One of the seats is designated for the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects - and Magruder is the group's nominee.

Lawyers for L.A. Unified said the board can revoke nominees.

Under school board procedure, Kayser's motion will be read on Tuesday and go to the board for a vote on June 17.

Superintendent John Deasy could have expedited the vote by re-introducing an original motion to continue Magruder's appointment, but did not.


First person report written by Rachel Greene and Andrew Thomas In CityWatch LA |

06 Jun 2014 :: We sat at assigned tables. They read us stories. We colored. They reviewed the rules. If we behaved, we got to watch a video. Adults helped us find our words, and wrote them on posters for us. Then we got stickers to tag our favorites on the posters. Free lunch was provided by Cafeteria Services. Most of us threw away our apples.

Kindergarten? No. We are the LAUSD's inaugural 47-member Parent Advisory Committee (PAC): business owners, IT guys, foster guardians, HVAC techs, community organizers, a nursing mom who brought her baby and trenchant questions about our District's past spending patterns. Previously, we'd attended four days of training on California's replacement for the baroque "categorical" system of tying state funds to specific educational uses.

This sweeping change to education budgets--the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)--balances increased spending flexibility with accountability. The formula adds dollars for high-needs students. It also incrementally restores funding to pre-2009 levels over the next several years with "gap funding."

School districts must show in their new Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) how they spend to support student learning generally, and under-served populations, specifically.

Proportionality is a guiding principle, calculated to ensure that services for high-needs students are "increased or improved" in proportion to the amount of additional dollars they bring to the district.

The legislature only promulgated the template for this sea-change via emergency regulations in January. So the timeframe for stakeholder engagement prior to School Board approval in June is compressed. The PAC's task--in a mere three hours--was to submit comments on the draft LCAP. By law, Superintendent Deasy must respond to our comments in writing.

Problems were apparent from the get-go. The document we received could only be graded as incomplete, with missing pages, blank sections, and no contextual information on other funding streams for the proposed line items (recommended in the legislation, and helpfully provided in other Districts' drafts).

If we hoped for a 21st century vision for the best use of $4.5 billion in educational opportunity for the largest concentration of under-served youth in the State, our hopes remain unfulfilled. Instead, we got a grab bag of justifications for existing programs and administration; disjointed at best, misleading at worst.

We asked for and eventually received the proportionality calculation missing from the LCAP's final section. However, it reiterated a misstatement from Superintendent Deasy to the School Board that proportionality only applies to the "new" dollars each year. Even as the funding formula increases distributions to Districts, the "new" gap funding compared to the prior year's increase actually shrinks over time. This seems a tricky way to decrease the amount that must be spent on the neediest children -- and contrary to the law.

But back to our day in Kindergarten working on issuing comments for Deasy's written reply: Seated in small groups, we were given eight minute periods to generate comments on broad swaths of the LCAP, some worth nearly $1.9 billion of expenditures. And we had to relay our comments to our "Parent Coaches" -- District employees with varying levels of comprehension and dedication to accurate transcription on the posters.

Thus comments like, "The Elementary School Focus line appears to reduce spending for Arts, Libraries, and Assistant Principals by over $7 million for next year," magically became: "This reduces funding for schools." Once posted on the wall, devoid of any context, that phrase appeared misinformed and untrue, rather than factually reflecting the independent research District personnel suggested we conduct.

Meanwhile, the "iPads for all students!!!" comment gathered stickers of approval. If our District had provided the requested budgetary data, PAC parents would have known how many iPads are purchased with bond money -- separate funding invisible in the draft LCAP. Did these parents mean to say they wanted to use basic education dollars to buy more than one iPad per student? We'll never know since we never convened as a whole to form consensus and comment in our authentic voice.

The best part of Kindergarten was missing: Circle Time, when you take turns sharing, keeping ears open and mouths closed while your friends speak.

Ultimately, the District's legal obligation of accountability to parents for improved services for our neediest youth is not child's play. Committee members should be treated like adults. Instead of elevating speed over comprehension and forced choices over informed analysis, the District should let this deliberative body work collectively to give meaningful and constructive feedback. We are parents, after all. That is what we do.

●The authors are At Large Representatives on the LAUSD Parent Advisory Committee. Rachel Greene is a prosecutor assigned to forensically complex cases and has a child in elementary school in LAUSD. Andrew Thomas is father of two LAUSD high-school students and uses his PhD in Education to analyze educational programs and advise school districts.

See also:
: seeks “authentic parent engagement throughout the LCAP process”.

TEACHING THROUGH TRAUMA: LAUSD says budget’s too tight to treat stressed out kids

Teaching Through Trauma: the second in a series of stories on poverty in Los Angeles schools.

June 4th, 2014, 5:02am :: At Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, ninth-grader Noemi Potenciano and her friends sit at a table in the quad after school, listening to R&B music.

They are like a lot of kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District: The girls pull their hair back in bandanas - like wartime assembly line workers - and wear bright red lipstick. They are more likely to hit you back on Instagram than return a call. And every one of them knows someone who died from a gunshot.

Potenciano was in third grade, skidding across the blacktop at Monte Vista Elementary in a game of handball when Los Angeles police officers showed up. They put her in the back of the patrol car and took her home where she’d learn brother had been shot and killed outside the family house on Monte Vista Street.

The world was suddenly a very dark and very scary place.

“The school? They didn’t care,” said Potenciano, now 14.

Los Angeles public schools might look like fertile ground to try new approaches to helping kids with trauma and stress that researchers say can hold them back. It's the second largest school district in the nation and 80 percent of its students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

But while one Los Angeles charter school is showing success through increased student counseling - services at traditional L.A. Unified public schools are severely limited.

The district currently employs about 300 psychiatric social workers to serve roughly 800 schools — a ratio of about 2,200 students to one counselor.

A solution

As researchers work to solve one of the most persistent problems in public education – why kids in poor neighborhoods fail so much more often than their upper-income peers – more and more they’re pointing the finger at what happens outside the classroom.

Shootings. Food insecurity. Sirens and fights in the night. Experts are finding that those stressors build up, creating emotional problems and changes in the brain that can undermine even the clearest lessons.

In a recent study at high-poverty schools, L.A. Unified officials found that eight in 10 kids had suffered three or more traumatic events in the preceding year alone.

One solution cropping up at a smattering of schools across the country: school-based therapy.

“These children need to feel empowered to be able to feel like they are agents of their own change,” said Dr. Victor Carrion, a professor and psychiatrist at UC Berkeley who’s working on interventions for kids suffering from what’s become known as toxic stress.

“They are going to have themselves for the rest of their life,” he added, “so the best thing they can have is to be equipped to manage traumatic stressors later in life.”

But at the Los Angeles Unified School District, counseling services have been in decline for years.

The issue is money.

Cash Strapped

Between 2008 and 2013, L.A. Unified lost $2.8 billion in overall funding from the state. School board member Steve Zimmer said it was a battle just holding on to teachers.

“We had a cataclysmic experience in the district with the budget. Everything that was, is no more,” Zimmer said.

A lot of people lost jobs: teachers, librarians, custodians. And counselors.

During those recession-era cuts, prevention and early intervention funds for mental health services all but disappeared said Pia Escudero, director of school mental health at L.A. Unified.

Now, she said, her staff’s caseload consists almost entirely of students whose problems are so severe the district is required to treat them under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Students like Noemi aren't likely to see a school counselor unless they get so sick a psychiatrist diagnoses them as emotionally disturbed.

“You are always summoned to put out fires versus really embedding programs,” Escudero said.

The financial tide is only now starting to turn at L.A. Unified.

California is sending more money to schools to help the neediest students. L.A. Unified will see its budget increase by $332 million next year for a total of about $6.8 billion. But that still leaves the district – and California – near the bottom of school funding in the nation.

Even with the influx of cash, very few students will see a counselor.

The district is adding 97 counselors, but they’re going to a select group of schools to settle a lawsuit, and to help foster kids stay on track.

Yet Escudero said the need across the district is overwhelming.

Signs of trauma

Schools have long screened for common problems like dyslexia or poor eyesight. But screening for violence and trauma is extremely rare.

Escudero took part in a pilot program screening and treating students for trauma-related problems at four L.A. schools. She wanted to see how much of a difference full, in-school services would make.

With parent permission, children were paired with health workers, who filled out a 30-question survey in about 45 minutes.

The results surprised even Escudero. Of those students screened, 81 percent had experienced three or more traumatic events in the past year. The other 19 percent experienced zero to two such incidents.

Then the counselors probed deeper.

Have you had upsetting thoughts or images about the event that come into your head when you didn’t want them to?

Have you had bad dreams or nightmares?
Have you been upset when think about or hear about the event? Such as breaking into a sweat of heart racing?

About 40 percent said they’d experienced symptoms at levels the counselors found required treatment.

Escudero said she had to limit how many children she screened. She simply didn’t have the staff to treat them all.

Searching for solutions

Some enterprising schools have found a way to provide more services.

“We knew from our first year of operation that we working in a community experiencing a lot of trauma outside the school walls,” said Anna Ponce, CEO of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. At its eight charter schools, therapy and “trauma informed” teaching have become a central priority.

About one in four Camino Nuevo students either get one-on-one counseling or participate in a support group.

What helps children suffering from the stressors of poverty is not far off from what works for veterans returning from war. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a common evidence-based approach, where children narrate the incident and are guided through the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors and are coached through coping skills.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network outlines the vast research, finding trained clinicians can help children in as few as 12 treatment sessions.

To get therapists in its schools, Camino Nuevo tapped into a network of mental health service providers through the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. The state picks up most of the bill because most low-income students qualify for MediCal.

Left to principals

Those are the same funds L.A. Unified already taps into to pay for some of the care it does offer. But the district doesn’t do it on a large scale, according to the county’s records.

Instead, schools have to make connections on their own if they want to increase counseling.

About 70 of the 2,116 schools in Los Angeles County have worked out deals with government-funded mental health providers to get more counselors in their schools, according to Robert Byrd, clinical district chief at the Department of Mental Health. He doesn’t know how many of them are in L.A. Unified.

“Some schools really welcome them and set them up, give them access,” he said. “Some schools don’t have any room so its kind of hit and miss to try and find the place to meet with kids.”

Not everyone agrees the Medi-Cal model is best. Some of L.A. Unified's in-house psychiatric social workers argue a heavy reliance on MediCal would be ultimately discriminatory because undocumented students aren't covered.

No matter who's paying, Byrd said there’s no question it’s best to have counselors at the schools.

“The value,” he said, “is to catch the mental health needs early enough so that children and youth have a more positive trajectory in life and don’t need intensive services later.”

Afraid of the dark

After her brother was killed, Noemi had a hard time sleeping, worried the gang would come after the whole family.

“Every night I would pray to not be scared,” she said.

Teachers called up her mom, Grace Potenciano, to report her daughter was crying in school.

It took some legwork, but her mom was ultimately able to track down a counselor close to home, part of a program to help victims of crime. She was in no state to care for her daughter’s mental anguish on her own, she said.

“For three months, I didn’t know what day it was, what time it was,” Potenciano said. “You are just like a zombie.”

“Do you think the counseling helped me?” Noemi asked her mother.

“Yeah, because you are normal now,” she replied, and they both exploded with laughter.

Wellness Centers

L.A. Unified is experimenting with "wellness centers" as one way to increase counseling and health services for students and recently allocated an extra $50 million to expand them.

It runs 12 on- and off-campus centers where students and families can receive a variety of health services, staffed by mix of county-funded providers and school district employees.

“Students and families with the right supports have the power to transform their context,” Zimmer said on a recent tour of a center in an East Hollywood strip mall. He has field office there, too.

The center’s full-time psychiatric social worker, Rachel Badillo, said it’s a big challenge to treat children, many of whom have trouble even describing how their week has been.

“Sometimes kids have the words and sometimes they don’t,” Badillo said. For those that don’t, she holds up a card showing 10 faces displaying common emotions and tells them to point to one.

“Then we kind of explore it and work on positive coping,” she said.

As she was explaining the process to a reporter, she looked up at the clock. It was 4 p.m. Her next client was either late or a no-show.

Even at full capacity, the centers can serve only a tiny fraction of the district’s families. And kids and families have to find a way to get there, which is not so easy when you rely on public transit.

Escudero, of L.A. Unified, said she’s all for wellness centers. But if schools don’t have dedicated mental health workers, hundreds of thousands of students may continue to go untreated.

“Our services really have to be at the school site for them to be effective,” she said.

By Cindy Carcamo, Molly Hennessy-Fiske , Los Angeles Times |

Published 8 Jane 2014 :: Though overall illegal immigration has declined in recent years, two waves — one of unaccompanied children, another of parents with children — have presented a challenge for officials who say they don't have the facilities in the Southwest to detain these groups.

The presence of unaccompanied migrant children is not new, but the surge in recent months has overloaded Border Patrol stations and detention facilities, particularly in Texas. Most of the children come from Central America, a region long plagued with poverty but now having to grapple with escalating drug cartel and gang violence.

On Saturday alone, 367 children were taken from Texas to a processing center run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Nogales, Ariz., Andrew Wilder, spokesman for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, said Saturday.

A day before, 432 unaccompanied minors were taken to the same facility and another 367 are expected Sunday. "We fully expect this crisis to continue because there is no solution to fix it," Wilder said.

Brewer blasted the transfers and, in a letter to President Obama, complained that she learned of the operation through the media, not from his administration.

She has yet to hear back from Obama, Wilder said.

In a statement Friday, the Republican governor said: "This is a crisis of the federal government's creation, and the fact that the border remains unsecure — now apparently intentionally — while this operation continues full-steam ahead is deplorable."

The unaccompanied children housed in Nogales are supposed to stay for up to 72 hours before they are sent to longer-term facilities at military installations in California, Texas and Oklahoma.

Last week, immigration officials gave reporters a tour of the shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. The 1,015 youths at the facility range in age from 12 to 17. Among them was a boy who appeared to be on the younger side, with spiky black hair and a red T-shirt.

He listened as a caseworker, her laptop propped on the table between them, explained that she would help with his paperwork. The government would attempt to place him with relatives or an approved sponsor while his case made its way through immigration court.

"You have to be patient," she said.

The shelter first opened two years ago to cope with an earlier surge of immigrant minors. The facility closed after two months as officials found ways to more quickly place youths. But two weeks ago, overwhelmed again by a new surge of unaccompanied minors, officials reopened the shelter.

It's already approaching its capacity of 1,200. Another shelter, capable of housing 600 youths, opened Friday at Port Hueneme in California.

Immigrant advocates say they understand that the government is pressed to house young migrants, and that the shelters are stopgap measures. But they fear the youths may languish in the institutional settings.

The young migrants' ranks have tripled in five years, and could reach a new high of 60,000 this year — and more than double that the following year. By then, the costs of shelters and resettlement could reach $2.28 billion.

Last week, the president directed the heads of the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to join in an interagency Unified Coordination Group to address the growing numbers of unaccompanied young migrants. Administration officials characterized the trend as an "urgent humanitarian situation."

At Lackland, the spiky-haired boy's identity and origins, like scores of others, remained a mystery.

Before he arrived at Lackland, he was screened for potential mental health issues, vaccinated and checked for lice and scabies. Once here, he was assigned to a 60-bed dorm. Each bed comes with a gray metal locker that occupants attempt to personalize with drawings, paper lanterns and flowers.

Judith Elena Mendez Rivera wrote her name on a sign attached to her bed, No. 46, along with "El Salvador" and "100% Guanaca," slang for Salvadoran.

"God is always with us in the good and the bad," said another handwritten sign nearby.

"Listen God," a third homemade sign exhorted in Spanish, "and let this torment end soon."

It's not clear how quickly youth at the shelter will be released to be placed with relatives and sponsors. Jesus Garcia, the federal Health and Human Services official leading the shelter tour Thursday, said youth are only released to "vetted family or sponsors."

Maria Woltjen, director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights in Chicago, says she worries that the youths will miss out on the legal assistance, counseling and care they need.

"For the ones fleeing violence, who have been harmed or legitimately fear harm in their home country, how will we know?" she said. "Those kids will fall through the cracks."

On Friday, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. announced the start of a new effort, coordinated with the AmeriCorps community service program, to provide about 100 lawyers and paralegals to immigrant children.

●● smf: Some of the Red State/Red Meat commenters on The Times site call for Gov. Brewer to send in the Arizona National Guard to keep these ILLEGAL ALIENS (their emphasis) out! There’s nothing like a twenty-year-old with an AR-15 to apprehend a child.
These are minor children and I think all of us – especially the Minutemen – have to admit that the ICE agents and the Border Patrol don’t get all – or probably even most – border crossers.

My concern is for what happens to the kids who manage to avoid the authorities, vigilantes, coyotes, elements and narco -mafiosi. Hopefully most/some are united with their families – but how many don’t? How many slip entirely between the cracks and become victims of human trafficking? In my grandmother’s day the danger+horror was White Slavery. The only difference today is of complexion.

CAN THE LEGISLATURE REPEAL PROP. 187? The 1994 measure denied undocumented immigrants education, healthcare & services. 187 was found unconstitutional

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
From AALA Update |

June 5, 2014 :: The June 15 deadline for California to have a 2014-15 budget is rapidly approaching. You may recall that Governor Brown presented an ambitious May Budget Revision last month that addressed the $74 billion unfunded liability that CalSTRS is facing. The proposal mandates that school districts would increase their STRS contributions by 1.5% beginning July 1, 2014, while employees’ contributions would increase by only .15%. School district leaders, professional organizations and other groups began immediately lobbying lawmakers to delay the implementation of the changes until July 1, 2015, citing that most districts have nearly completed their 2014-15 budgets. The Local Control Funding Formula mandated that districts develop their budgets and accountability plans in collaboration with parents and other stakeholders. Multiple meetings have been held and goals, services and expenditures necessary to support strong academic and social outcomes for students have already been determined. To have to go back and change them because of a reduction in anticipated revenue puts an untenable burden on school districts.

Leilani Aguinaldo Yee, LAUSD Deputy Director of Government Relations, testified during a two-hour hearing in Sacramento last week that the District would lose $35 million from its budget and would be forced to make significant changes, thereby eroding the trust that has been established with parents and community groups.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and Senator Norma Torres, D-Pomona, who chair committees looking into the pension issue, have endorsed an alternative plan that reduces the increased contribution amounts of school districts by 50% in 2014-15. This proposal was suggested by CalSTRS and would have the districts make up the difference with higher payments in future years. The alternative plan would still leave intact the other key elements of the Governor’s plan to eliminate CalSTRS’ deficit. The budget must be finalized by June 15, so a decision on the new plan has to be made soon.



DISTRICT 1 RIVALS MUST ACT QUICKLY: McKenna, Johnson seek funding+endorsements in LAUSD race/Unions face tough choice



2. ...AND SUPERINTENDENT ISSUES A NEW DRAFT LCAP (The more things change, the more they stay the same ol', same ol')

1944 June 6 2014 | D Day @ 70:
"Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered...
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition."

6/4/89 TIANANMEN@25 :: Those who choose to remember know it’s safer to forget.

TEACHING THROUGH TRAUMA: LAUSD says budget's too tight to treat stressed out kids |


FIRST OFFICIAL COUNT OF HIGH-NEEDS STUDENTS UNDER LCFF IS IN: Number of students who stand to benefit from the law in LAUSD is lower than expected |


LAUSD BOARD #1 RACE: My evil twin feels cheated of hearing Omarosa telling Dr. D: “You’re fired!” |

ELECTORATE SEES SHADOW: LAUSD Board dysfunction to continue until August - McKenna & Johnson to faceoff in runoff

ELECTORATE SEES ITS SHADOW (cont.) 3-to-3 tie on Bd of Ed will decide Budget, LCFF …or more likely: Not! |

@LASchoolReport: State of CA Edu Supt Torlakson at 48.9 has a [huge lead over] Tuck @ 27.5 | 23.5 Gutierrez

McKenna (39%) and Johnson (25%) lead in early returns for L.A. school board w/ 30% in | 

EVENTS: Coming up next week...

• Regular Board Meeting - June 10, 2014 (9:00 a.m.) including Closed Session items
Start: 06/10/2014 9:00 am

• Regular Board Meeting - June 10, 2014
Start: 06/10/2014 1:00 pm

*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: • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-5555 • 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! • Find your state legislator based on your home address. Just go to: • 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 Brown: 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. THEY DO!.

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

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and is Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for ten years. 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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