Sunday, July 06, 2014

$15 an hour for the 4th of July: Fireworks to follow

4LAKids: Sunday 6•July•2014
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This is the first issue of 4LAKids for the New School Year – so happy New School Year everyone!

This is also 4LAKids Issue number 520 on the online collection of issues at http://; there were weekly newsletters before the online archive was started. That long division one learned in 4th grade starts paying off: 520 issues divided 52 weeks in a year leads me to believe that I have completed year ten and am starting year eleven of 4LAKids.

What was I thinking? What possessed me to write it down?

WHILE EXPLORING MATH let me point out that I watched the PBS special A CAPITOL FOURTH Friday night. A few random observations:
• The third line in “You're a grand old flag. You're a high flying flag. And forever in peace may you wave.” Forever is a long time. But as Pete Seeger said to Mr. Ecclesiastes: “I swear it’s not too late.”
• Somehow Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – as jingoistic+bombastic a piece of Russian patriotism as can be imagined – which plays the Russian national hymn “God Save the Tsar” in triumphant counterpoint to the blood-soaked “Marseilles”- synchronized to the Bells of Moscow and a fusillade of artillery - has become a standard in the American Patriotic musical repertoire. The Russians won their War of 1812; we Americans didn’t fare as well on ours.
• And Frankie Valli showed up and sang with his backup singers, The Four Seasons. Not to be confused with the quartet of which Mr. Valli was once a part of the same name. The new Four Seasons has four singers – and Valli makes five. Obviously, nothing is sacred inside the Beltway. I’m not sure whether this is revisionism at its most reviled or some New Math interpretation of The Common Core Standards. Are they Math standards or History standards or Music standards? “Sherry” is certainly a standard …but “The Theme from Grease”? I wonder if the calendar makers know there’s now five seasons. I wonder how Vivaldi feels about this. I say we Impeach Arne Duncan and be done with it!

LAUSD IS THE LARGEST EMPLOYER IN L.A. COUNTY in terms of total payroll and the total number of employees - with the exception of the county itself. Its payroll is huge, its cash flow is huge; its construction budget and food budget and bus fleet and square acreage of blacktop and inventory of buildings, copy machines, iPads, flagpoles and every kind of whatnot you can imagine is humungous. The Office of the General Counsel is the biggest law firm around. It’s as big a business as big business gets [See: Letter from an LAUSD teacher to his students |] - and most of the jobs are union jobs ...and the unions want to keep it that way.

The mythology of Too Big to Fail applies here, big time. This past week the superintendent - a man who clearly subscribes to some tenants of union-busting – said he wants to keep LAUSD a union shop. You could almost hear Dr. D and Board of Ed humming the “Look For the Union Label” song at the board meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“Oh sure, we work hard, but who’s complaining….”

LAUSD has lots of unions and lots of union contracts, and as to being a union shop: Both the District and the unions shop around for better deals, for an angle – for political advantage.

Read the following two articles – they are two visible pieces of a huge iceberg in the shipping lanes that deals with one of LAUSD’s biggest unions.

Your casual observer and the ®eform critics like to focus on the teachers’ unions – which have the easy-target appearance of being national juggernauts and power-players. There are two national teacher unions: The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and The National Education Association (NEA) – and those two are sometimes at odds (i) . UTLA, LAUSD’s teachers’ union local is somewhat uniquely (ii)(iii) affiliated with both – a state of affairs that works to UTLA’s advantage at times in that they can conveniently play the middle ground.

LAUSD’s other really big union is SEIU: The Service Employees International Union – which represents Educational Aides, Instructional Assistants and Operations staff - including cafeteria workers and custodians. The LAUSD SEIU local #99 is not really a big local in SEIU’s national universe. The big union represents about 1.9 million public+private sector service workers in over 100 occupations in the U.S. and Canada. But collectively all the SEIU members in Los Angeles represent a force to be reckoned with in terms of political clout – and SEIU’s clout outreaches that of the AFT and NEA affiliates in California and the Nation. SEIU is huge (it’s the adjective o’ th’ week!) in the L.A. County Labor Federation and in California and National Politics.

The current regime in LAUSD has been known to leverage SEIU#99 for advantage – and vice versa.

Local#99 has a lot of members, most are low paid, and one can maximize one’s budget bucks politically by giving SEIU#99 workers a raise – or a bunch of plum jobs -- far more easily and less expensively than in giving teachers and administrators a salary increase or additional positions. Monica Garcia created a lot of better paid SEIU cafeteria jobs (with benefits) back in the day – buying a lot of political favor and maybe getting herself re-elected twice. Dr Deasy created a lot of Security Aides – armed with orange vests and yellow stickers (and SEIU cards) - in response to Sandy Hook. Local#99 supports much of Dr. D’s ®eform agenda. Of the supe and six board members there is only one I’ve never seem (or seen pictures of) in a purple SEIU t-shirt. (Deasy appears in an SEIU promotional video – in a hairnet and apron - here:

THE $15 DOLLAR AN HOUR MINIMUM WAGE IS A CAUSE CÉLÈBRE FOR SEIU – not for school employees …but for hotel and restaurant workers.

A few months back SEIU#99 got the LAUSD Board of Ed is come out in favor for $15 an hour for L.A. hotel workers – and in so doing created an opportunity for the national union …and a slippery slope for the Board of Ed.

At the time slope was easy to see – and once contract negotiations began for SEIU#99 it was all slip-sliding away. After all, the Board had created a policy in support of $15 as a minimum wage – how could they apply it to hotel maids and not cafeteria workers and classroom aides, etc?

It only took a little grandstanding about equity and civil rights – and an infusion of instant data – to demonstrate that the investment would help English Language Learners, Foster Kids and Children of Poverty. Because identifying The Civil Rights Issue of the Moment is as easy as playing Mad Libs: Insert Issue here: ____________.

Alert The Media: The biggest employer in L.A. County supports a $15 minimum wage. (Oddly, LAUSD – which was created by the L.A. City Charter doesn’t seem to be governed by the charter’s mandate for a Living Wage. WWT?)

As you read the two articles following you will see that that SEIU#99 membership may have been played by the District and their own national union to further A Greater Cause. This produces dissent within the SEIU ranks – with the local’s executive director advocating for the contract and the elected president arguing against it.

Because the 6.5% raise that many members thought they voted for is a little specious, a little wishful thinking – a bit of what the software industry calls ‘vaporware’ – and what the old special effects guys in my former trade called ‘smoke+mirrors’.

SEIU#99 isn’t the only union representing low priced folk in the District; there is also the California School Employees Association, CSEA Local#500 - representing classified Clerical, Professional, and Technical Staff including library aides and front office workers. They don’t have a national agenda, but they do have employees making less than $15 an hour. Contract negotiations with them are ongoing – as they are with UTLA and AALA and others.

MEANWHILE, UP IN WASHINGTON STATE there will be an initiative to reduce class size on the ballot. It calls for class size of 17 or less for K-3, 25 for 4 and above. It’s pretty simple – with no complicated funding formulae. You count the kids whether brown, white, and black or green – a poor kid counts the same as middle class kid - and divide by 17 or 25. Special needs kids get even smaller class sizes. And more counselors and nurses are mandated. What could possibly go wrong?

FINALLY, IN NOT QUITE A RETRACTION: I was challenged on my figures from last week stating that the LAUSD 2007-8 Budget was $19.5 billion. That number was+is bogus – but it is the official number from the official budget document.


"The Adopted Final Budget, totaling $19.5 billion, is balanced." Signed, sealed and delivered.

It says $19.5 billion three times on one page! If that doesn't make it true, what does?

Yes, it is the Summary Page - but we all know that is the most read+quoted page in finance.

How the CFO and the Budget Office came up with that number was easy: They added the operations budget and ongoing+projected construction costs (beyond the year at hand), federal programs and grants and all the change in the seat cushions and the categoricals and set-asides and carry-overs – all the apples and oranges and watermelons and pineapples – and called it a number and called that number $19.5 billion. That technique is so far outside generally accepted accounting practice as to be laughable. The real number is something like $7,668 billion.

But somehow along the line the 2007-8 budget has become the mythologized Golden Age of California School Finance. If only we could get back there! Gentle reader: School Year 07-08 only sucked less than both the preceding and following years. Nothing less and nothing more.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


(i) Both national unions started out endorsing The Common Core State Standards. Recently NEA has backed away …and AFT’s enthusiasm seems to be waning.
(ii) The Dade County/Miami Florida teachers’ union local is similarly co-affiliated – but Florida is a ‘right-to-work’ state - so th' can o’ worms is decidedly different!
(iii) I know, unique is unique – it can’t be qualified. Where are the Grammar Police when you need them?

by Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times |

• “As our nation struggles with questions about justice and fairness for low-wage workers, LAUSD must lead by example.” - Steve Zimmer

July 5th, 2014 :: A Los Angeles Unified School District move to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour has thrust the system into the forefront of a national movement and marks another political victory for a powerful labor group — and it's not the teachers union.

The Service Employees International Union, Local 99, represents 33,000 of the lowest-paid employees in the nation's second-largest district, including custodians, teaching assistants, security aides and cafeteria workers. Some made $8 an hour last year.

The union hailed both the local and broader impact.

"This historic agreement sets a new standard for ending poverty in our schools," said Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh. "This will be felt in school districts across Los Angeles and across the country."
This historic agreement sets a new standard for ending poverty in our schools. - Courtni Pugh, Local 99 Executive Director

With Washington, D.C., stalled in legislative gridlock, the "Fight for 15" campaign, as it is known, has achieved particular resonance in more liberal, diverse cities, where the cost of living frequently is higher.

Seattle has approved a gradual move to a $15-per-hour minimum. San Francisco has put the idea on the November ballot. A group of employers at Los Angeles International Airport has signed on, and city officials are drafting an ordinance that would require larger hotels to pay at least $15.37 an hour.

Such efforts often are spearheaded by locals of Service Employees International.

"This is a giant first step in making sure that school jobs are good jobs," Pugh said. "Mom and Dad can help with their children's homework instead of clocking in for their second job."

Some observers struck a cautionary note.

"Funds that are now going to be redirected to low-wage workers will have to come from somewhere," said Lance Izumi, senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, a conservative think tank based in San Francisco. "Where will that belt-tightening occur? How much effect will that belt-tightening have on children in the classroom?"

He added: "While revenues are better now, it was just a couple years ago that LAUSD ran deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars. With California's economy subject to roller coaster ups and downs, is it prudent to nearly double the wages of these employees?"

The school board approved the pact unanimously. L.A. Unified has benefited from an improving economy and state policy that provides increasing funding to schools with low-income students.

L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy strongly endorsed the $15 minimum, calling it "philosophically easy" if "financially difficult."

Through education, "we lift youth out of poverty every single day," he said. The school system must do its part, he added, "to make sure parents are not remaining in poverty."

Board members were unreservedly enthusiastic.

"As our nation struggles with questions about justice and fairness for low-wage workers, LAUSD must lead by example," said one, Steve Zimmer.

Tamar Galatzan praised the contributions of the workers: "You keep our schools clean, you make sure our kids get to their field trips safely and on time, you wipe runny noses, you ensure the transcripts and paperwork go out — you lead our school communities."

The new contract is a testament to the clout of both the union's campaign dollars and the ground troops it can assemble for an electoral campaign.

Local 99 has scored notable victories in recent years. In 2007, part-time cafeteria workers received health benefits for themselves and their families. Later, jobs and working hours increased for food workers when the district began requiring breakfast for students in their classrooms.

And the district responded to the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut by hiring hundreds of unarmed security aides — all union members.

"Local 99 is obviously flexing its muscles but in a way that draws political agreement as opposed to being in your face," said Charles Kerchner, a Claremont Graduate University professor who has written about education reform and labor. "This is the part of the wage agenda that seems to have found political resonance over a fairly broad spectrum."

Because these union members often also are L.A. Unified parents, they are regarded as doubly motivated voters who could influence others in school board elections. Local 99, an alternative union power base to United Teachers Los Angeles, is carefully courted by school board aspirants and incumbents.

Last year, the local helped Monica Garcia remain in office despite teachers union opposition. The group also aided teachers union ally Zimmer, who staved off a well-funded challenge.

The teachers union, which has about the same number of members, has long had the reputation of being the most powerful employee group. But cash-strapped United Teachers Los Angeles sat out some school board races to save money and made strategic blunders in some others, said union supporters and critics alike.

Teachers union leaders praised Local 99's contract breakthrough even though it could result in less money available for raises for instructors, who have yet to conclude contract talks. The teachers union is seeking a multi-year pact with a 17.6% raise.

About half of Local 99 members were making less than $15,000 a year; more than half earned less than $15 per hour. During the recent recession, many workers also had their hours reduced, often in addition to pay cuts from unpaid furlough days. Despite the raise, they'll remain among the district's lowest-paid, in part because many do not work full time.

In the current deal, workers already earning more than $15 per hour will get a 2% raise this year, followed by annual raises of 2% and 2.5%.

By the time all promised wage and hour increases are phased in, the district will be paying nearly 19% more to Local 99 members than it did in the school year that just ended.

The $15 plan takes effect in stages. The minimum rose to $11 an hour last week. The rate will be $13 next year, and will hit $15 on July 1, 2016.

The pact was one of several approved Tuesday by the school board.

If the teachers negotiate a better deal, some of the already-approved employee contracts contain a "me too" clause that allows those union members to receive the same.

The Local 99 pact also has a new evaluation clause. About 500 workers will take part in a new, more detailed performance review, which will include employee input, Pugh said.

Some low-wage district employees who are not part of Local 99 are not affected by this agreement, but could receive similar terms when their union finishes its negotiations.

"This is a wonderful day," said Andre Smith, a campus aide at Fremont High for 19 years, after the board vote. "We've had a struggle for the past years, but today is the good day — to finally have our voices heard."


By Thomas Himes, Los Angeles Daily News |

7/02/14, 7:43 PM PDT :: Some members of the largest union for Los Angeles Unified non-teacher employees say union leadership tricked members into approving a contract by falsely claiming they were guaranteed 6.5 percent pay raises.

The LAUSD school board unanimously agreed to the deal on Tuesday, but Service Employees International Union Local 99 was waiting for polls to close at 6 p.m. Wednesday before announcing its membership vote count. The union represents teacher assistants, cafeteria workers, custodians and other school employees.

A flier passed out by union staff at polling stations states union members are “guaranteed” a 6.64 percent pay raise.

But a close inspection of the proposed agreement and district documents reveal that union members are only guaranteed a 2 percent raise and a minimum hourly pay of $15.

“I was calling people, telling them, ‘go vote, go vote,” recalled Sylvia Gutierrez of her initial reaction, before learning Monday she had been misled.

Additional proposed raises of 2 percent and 2.5 percent to be distributed on July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, respectively, are contingent upon Los Angeles Unified School District finding the money for it.

Vivana Huitzil-Holguin said she suspected the union was up to something, so she read the fine print once contracts were made available.

“I looked at it and saw the contingency and I was like, ‘heck no,” Huitzil-Holguin said.

The school district’s three-year revenue projections, under a new state funding formula, indicate it won’t have anywhere near the roughly $63.5 million annually to pay for the contract without either cutting its budget and programs or finding revenue from some yet-to-be identified source.

Superintendent John Deasy briefly mentioned the predicament Tuesday, in a board meeting that largely touted the deal as a move that would lift many employees out of poverty by guaranteeing a $15 per hour minimum wage.

“We still have a lot of belt-tightening down the road to do so we can honor these agreements,” Deasy said at Tuesday’s board meeting, which also saw pay raise approvals for members in other unions.

SEIU Local 99 Spokeswoman Blanca Gallegos said LAUSD will have enough money and if they don’t, school officials will have to prove it to union leaders.

“The projections are much brighter than they have been in the last couple years,” Gallegos said.

In addition to the fliers, polling station workers also handed out the three-page contracts for members to review. But Gutierrez wonders just how many voters took the time to read the fine print.

“I’m not a union person, I don’t know the legal language,” said Gutierrez, who works as a healthcare assistant for the district. “All I know is what’s wrong is wrong.”

Multiple union members reported that union staffers told them if they failed to support the agreement, they wouldn’t receive a raise at all. The school district would put its limited funding into a deal with the teachers union, numerous sources reported being told. The statements were allegedly made when the agreement was announced Monday afternoon and repeated by poll workers.

United Teachers Los Angeles has stated LAUSD has plenty of money to fund pay raises for both groups.

Local 99 was expected to know whether the contract was ratified late Wednesday evening, after the votes were tallied, Gallegos said.

●●smf update: The contract was approved.

from the Politico Morning Education Read for 3July2104 |

Educators in Washington state plan to submit more than 340,000 signatures today to qualify a class-size reduction initiative for the fall ballot.

The measure would cut class sizes across all grades over the next several years.

By 2019, early elementary classes would have no more than 17 students and classes would be capped at 25 for fourth through 12th graders.

Maximum sizes would be even smaller in low-income schools where more than half the students qualify for subsidized lunches.

The initiative would also support the hiring of more school counselors, nurses and teacher’s aides.

Backers of Initiative 1351 say funding to cut class sizes should be available if the legislature abides by a state Supreme Court order to come up with billions more funding for public schools over the next few years. The legislature has struggled to meet that mandate — but the court has said it must appropriate more money to fulfill its “paramount duty,” spelled out in the state constitution, to provide an “ample” public education for all children.

Teachers say an “ample” education includes class sizes small enough to allow for individual attention. More about the ballot initiative, which has strong union backing:

from the Class Size Counts (WA) website |

Myth: Class-size reduction is an unproven reform

FACT: Studies from Tennessee, Wisconsin and other states demonstrate that students assigned to smaller classes in K-3 do better in every measurable way.

The Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, concludes that class-size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms proven to increase student achievement. The conclusion was reached following rigorous, randomized experiments – the “gold standard” of research.

Myth: Class size matters only in the early grades

FACT: Despite the fact there have not been the type of large-scale, randomized experiments in middle and upper grades that have been done in the early grades, numerous studies indicate that smaller classes in upper grades lead to achievement gains and lower dropout rates.

One comprehensive analysis found that smaller class size is the only objective factor positively correlated with student achievement. Moreover, student achievement gains were more strongly linked to class size reduction in the upper grades than the lower grades.

Myth: Small classes didn’t make a difference in California

FACT: Every controlled study of the California class-reduction program shows significant gains from smaller classes.

Analysis of the achievement of California students who had smaller classes for only one year compared with those in larger classes found substantial benefits, especially for students in high-poverty urban schools.

Myth: A threshold must be reached before class-size reduction works

FACT: Research has shown that no particular threshold must be reached before students begin to benefit from smaller classes.

Any reduction in class size increases the probability that students will be focused and positively engaged in learning.

Myth: Smaller classes don’t narrow the achievement gap

FACT: Those students who benefit most are those who often need the most help. Researchers have found that children from poor and minority backgrounds experience twice the gains from class-size reduction as other students.

Though minority students benefit the most from smaller classes, they are more likely to be enrolled in classes of 25 or more. And the gap in class size between schools with high- and low minority populations has increased in recent years.

Myth: Class-size reduction is too expensive

FACT: Economists have detailed the benefits of smaller classes, concluding that they far outweigh the costs.

Smaller classes result in higher graduation rates and higher post-secondary educational attainment. This, in turn, results in higher earnings, less reliance on welfare and lower rates of incarceration.

Public health researchers even project that small class sizes result in reduced health care costs and greater longevity.


by Vanessa Romo, LA School Report |

Posted on July 3, 2014 10:55 am :: For the second time in recent weeks, Tamar Galatzan has turned a critical eye toward LA Unified’s Bond Oversight Committee and the role it plays in monitoring district spending on bond-funded projects.

At the board meeting on Tuesday, she objected to the BOC’s wholesale approval of a library project that earmarked $116,000 to move library equipment and materials from one school to another. Using Measure R bond money to pay for it would have been a misappropriation of funds because it does not involve construction of a new building or modernizing an existing one.

In May, she led an effort to block the reappointment of Stuart Magruder to the 15-member panel.

Her concern on the library project arose from an error caught by Galatzan’s staff and apparently, overlooked by everyone else, including the Integrated Library and Textbook Support Services office, which mistakenly sent it to the BOC for review.

“I am very frustrated that it went to the BOC,” Galatzan told her colleagues on the board. “I am also very disappointed that the BOC exercised absolutely no oversight — did not ask one question about this project — because it wasn’t appropriate to be there in the first place.”

She continued, “This is a perfect example of, sometimes, the total lack of oversight by the Bond Oversight Committee when they are reviewing projects because this one should never have gone to them and should never have been approved.”

In defense of the committee’s judgment, Tom Rubin, a consultant for the BOC, said the set of proposals submitted for review that included the library project was “not in good shape.” The library project was a small part of a $10 million plan that, itself, was part of a larger package of proposals presented to the BOC. The committee sent the entire set of proposals back to Facilities for revision.

Although, Rubin declined to speak on the $116,000 project that was approved, he said, “One of the other unfortunate things was that the people who prepared the report were not in town after we had been given the report. So we were limited in who we could ask.”

But the bigger problem, he said, is that “it is simply just not possible for the BOC to be able to go into hundreds, even thousands of different recommendations that come to us, and go into detail with each one.”

Galatzan’s latest objection echoed her expressions of concern in May, when she first called into question the BOC’s efficacy.

She had persuaded the board not to reappoint Magruder, an architect, who has aggressively opposed the use of tax-payer dollars to buy iPads. The decision was overturned in a subsequent board vote, and he was reappointed after a fight involving lawyers for the district and the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

She had accused Magruder of “overstepping his bounds” as a member of the review panel, often expounding on curriculum and instruction issues and the use of iPads in the classroom.

Similarly in this case, Galatzan said the BOC disregarded a thorough discussion of the library plan at its most recent meeting because its members got caught up in an hour-long discussion over a multi-million dollar iPad expenditure request from earlier in the year.

Galatzan has asked Superintendent John Deasy to begin an annual audit of the BOC, a term stipulated in the district’s Memorandum of Understanding with the committee but has never been done

●● smf's 2¢ : No matter what Ms. Galatzan says about lackadaisical oversight, being a duly-diligent Bond Oversight Committee member I spent a great deal more than an hour this (Thursday) afternoon attempting to make sense of this story. I missed a perfectly good graduation ceremony and live performance of the inaugural LAUSD Beyond The Bell/Fernando Jones Blues Camp while trying to unpack/unravel/decode the he said-she said/who-signed-off-on what-and when of this tale of woe.

I’m sorry I missed the students performing – none of this was worth missing that!

That said, let me say this:

• No bond money has been misspent. As a matter of fact, no money has been spent at all.
• At this point I think I now know more about this than reporter Vanessa Romo and/or Boardmember Galatzan – who may have detected an administrival unintended error in a Board Report signed off on by just about every member of LAUSD senior staff from the superintendent, senior deputy superintendent and general counsel and the directors of Curriculum+Instruction, Intensive Support and Intervention and Budget Services. I for one did ask the question: “Is all of this legal?” …And got the correct answer. (Albeit based upon the misinformation provided)
• This is a tangled web …and as much as I now know, I don’t know enough to say any more.
• Have a safe+sane holiday weekend – and leave the fireworks and the game of “Gotcha! to the professionals.

We will learn what we learn when we learn what we learn.

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







CLASS SIZE: Myth vs. Fact




iPADS v. TABLETS IN LAUSD: All the news updates in one place! Read:

THE ATLANTIC: How to Trick Your Kids Into Reading All Summer Long Read:


“You see, education is Big Business LAUSD now is LAUSD, INC. Under John Deasy, we are a factory.”


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: • 213-241-6386 • 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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