Sunday, April 17, 2016

Another case/anaother story

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Q: Someone once asked me what I thought of Vergara.
A: “Well,” I said., “in the unlikely event of an erection lasting more than four hours one should probably get professional medical help.”

VERGARA v. CTA was a landmark show trial in the great “Let’s take public education out of the hands of public educators - run it through the courts - and put it into the boardrooms of ©orporate $chool ®eformers and Silicon Valley Edupreneurs” movement.

FRIEDRICHS v. CTA – The U.S. 9th District Court’s ruling in favor of CTA recently affirmed by an equally divided Supreme Court was another such public legal proceeding, accompanied by similar judicial sturm und drang – and promoted by many-of-the-same (un)usual suspects.

Vergara was tried in a courtroom of the L.A. Superior Court by a judge and on the steps of the courthouse by the media – recounted nightly+breathlessly by L.A. School Report …which was founded by former Vice President and L.A. Bureau Chief of Court TV Jamie Alter Lynton. It may not have been reality T.V. …but it was just as real!

The lawsuit was brought and funded by an organization called Students Matter, bankrolled by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch on behalf of nine students. The complaint argued that current state law makes it too much work/too time consuming/too hard to fire ineffective teachers.

Vergara was a photo opportunity for high profile attorneys, almost-a-billionaire venture capitalists and telegenic/camera ready plaintiffs – allegedly denied a good education by employment protections and due-process safeguards built into the California Ed Code by evil teachers’ unions and their subservient friends in the legislature.

It was “Bad Teacher: The Courtroom Drama”

The star witness for the plaintiffs was one Dr. John E. (‘Don’t call me Johnny’) Deasy, superintendent of LAUSD – who swore under oath that LAUSD was ungovernable under the teacher ‘tenure’ standards in the Ed Code. Bad Teachers were everywhere and Dr. John’s hands were tied; he couldn’t fire his way out of the mess!

(Semantics 411: Public school teachers don’t have ‘tenure’, which is lifetime employment guaranteed to college+university professors. Teachers have the protection of due process – which mandates a fair hearing over employment issues.)

●● Another case/another story: Deasy’s own firing from LAUSD would result from other testimony he gave, in Cruz v. CA. Deasy in Vergara said LAUSD was ungovernable; Judge Hernandez in Cruz pretty much said that LAUSD was ungoverned.

ROUND 1 TO THE PLAINTIFFS: Deasy and the Vergara Plaintiffs ultimately convinced Judge Rolf M. Treu that job protections for teachers were so harmful that they deprived students of their constitutional right to an education.

The laws, Treu wrote in his 2014 opinion, protected a small but significant number of “grossly ineffective” teachers and disproportionately harmed poor and minority students. He went on to say the tenure system resulted in educational malpractice that “shocks the conscience.”

ROUND 2 TO THE APPELLANTS: Last Thursday the California Court of Appeals for the Second District unanimously reversed Judge Treu and found that the plaintiffs failed to show “that the statutes inevitably cause a certain group of students to receive an education inferior to the education received by other students” – the prerequisite for an equal protection claim.

“With no proper showing of a constitutional violation, the court is without power to strike down the challenged statutes. The court’s job is merely to determine whether the statutes are constitutional, not if they are ‘a good idea’.”

THE THIRD AND DECIDING ROUND was always going to be in the California State Supreme Court; the case is about the California State Constitution and the California Supremes will be the final arbiter. Stay tuned.

In the meanwhile it is hoped that the legislature will step in and tweak the Ed Code and perhaps add a little bit more time to the period during which new teachers can be evaluated before they receive protected status. Watch this space.

KUDOS TO MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI, who in his State of the City Address Thursday said Los Angeles will commit to a goal of giving every hardworking graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District one free year of community college. Mayor Garcetti once asked me to periodically advise him on education issues; I have been loath (or perhaps dilatory) in doing so …and if Hizzoner keeps doing the right things I’m going to uncharacteristically keep my mouth shut!

THE MOUNTAIN LION ON THE CAMPUS AT JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL on Friday cannot go unremarked on. We live in and share a wonderful world with all nature of things.

ON SATURDAY, in the heart of downtown; within view of city hall and other iconic architectural buildings and works of art, Grand Park was the spotlight for a very spectacular display of talent from all five local school districts within LAUSD.

The LAUSD Grand Arts Festival, hosted by the Arts Education celebrated LAUSD’s unique and diverse artistic culture. 15,000 Festival attendees were expected to attend this free, public event. Festival goers witnessed over 2,000 LAUSD student performers on four stages, a student visual arts gallery, and a film festival of original student films being sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. There were scores of informational and interactive booths from community arts partners, LAUSD arts schools, and higher education institutions, as well as family activities and food trucks.

“My film and media students are ready,” says former entertainment industry insider Aaron Lemos, current veteran master instructor of digital media and film (and lion-lockdown survivor) at John F. Kennedy Senior High School in Granada Hills. Mr. Lemos’ students are superstars in their own right, heading to national competitions in late May to maintain their championship titles. “We look forward to the Grand Arts Festival this year to see what the other students are expressing through digital media and film, have fun, and celebrate the young people’s talent and artistry.”

This year’s Arts Festival will also feature some professional performers on the festival main stage. This opportunity to connect with professionals has schools excited. “This is the first time our choir will be on the main stage performing,” said Dr. Iris Stevenson, longtime chair of the music department at Crenshaw Senior High School (…and Deasy-era ‘Teacher Jail’ inmate).

“I have taken these kids all over the world to perform, and it is so good to share our talent at home.”

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


By Jennifer Medina and Motoko Rich | New York Times |

April 14, 2016 :: Los Angeles — A California appeals court ruled on Thursday that the state’s job protections for teachers do not deprive poor and minority students of a quality education or violate their civil rights — reversing a landmark lower court decision that had overturned the state’s teacher tenure rules.

The decision put a roadblock — at least temporarily — in front of a national movement, financed by several philanthropists and businesspeople, to challenge entrenched protections for teachers, championed by their unions.

Two years ago, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge struck down five California statutes connected with the awarding of tenure, as well as rules that govern the use of seniority to determine layoffs during budget crises. Ruling in a case brought by a group of nine high school students — four of whom have since graduated — the judge, Rolf Treu, said the statutes violated the students’ rights to an equal education under the California Constitution because they allowed poorly performing teachers to remain indefinitely in classrooms.

In reversing the trial court’s decision, a panel of three appeals judges wrote that if ineffective teachers are in place, the statutes themselves were not to blame because it was school and district administrators who “determine where teachers within a district are assigned to teach.” The laws themselves, the judges wrote, do not instruct districts in where to place teachers.

“The court’s job is merely to determine whether the statutes are constitutional,” the panel wrote, “not if they are ‘a good idea.’”

Teachers unions immediately welcomed the ruling.

“I consider this a victory for teachers and a victory for students,” said Eric C. Heins, the president of the California Teachers Association. “What these statutes have done is, one, they bring stability to the system, and for many students they bring stability to their schools and to the teachers in their schools. For many kids, the school environment is the only stable environment that many of them have.”

Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction in California, said the appeals court decision would allow districts to recruit and train teachers at a time of shortages in the state.

“All of our students deserve great teachers,” Mr. Torlakson said in a statement. “Teachers are not the problem in our schools — they are the answer to helping students succeed on the pathway to 21st century college and careers.”

The plaintiffs in the case, known as Vergara v. California, said they would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“The Court of Appeal’s decision mistakenly blames local school districts for the egregious constitutional violations students are suffering each and every day,” Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., the lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “But the mountain of evidence we put on at trial proved — beyond any reasonable dispute — that the irrational, arbitrary and abominable laws at issue in this case shackle school districts and impose severe and irreparable harm on students.”

The decision came just a day after another group of parents served notice to defendants in a lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s job protections for teachers. A similar lawsuit is also pending in New York.

The plaintiffs in Minnesota and New York vowed to press on, with backing from the Partnership for Educational Justice, a New York-based group that receives financing from the foundations of Eli Broad, a Los Angeles billionaire, and the Walton family, founders of Walmart.

Katharine Strunk, an associate professor of education at the University of Southern California, said that while the ruling may be considered a victory for teachers’ unions, the case had sparked a national conversation over teacher hiring and firing.

“The judges are saying things are not right in California, that there are drawbacks to the current system, but this is not something for the courts to decide,” Ms. Strunk said. “I don’t think anyone believes that these laws are the best we can do.”

After the trial court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs two years ago, Arne Duncan, former United States secretary of education, applauded the decision, saying he hoped it would prompt policy makers to change tenure statutes. On Thursday, John B. King Jr., Mr. Duncan’s successor, was not immediately available for comment.

The plaintiffs argued that because the state allows districts to grant tenure after just two years, and because districts often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove teachers they consider low-performing, tenure rules can lock in ineffective educators for life.

All too often, the plaintiffs argued, the worst teachers are placed in schools with high concentrations of low-income and minority students.

In its ruling, the appeals court said that “the challenged statutes do not in any way instruct administrators regarding which teachers to assign to which schools.”

The judges acknowledged that principals got rid of “highly ineffective teachers” by transferring them to other schools, including schools with many poor students.

“This phenomenon is extremely troubling and should not be allowed to occur,” they wrote, “but it does not inevitably flow from the challenged statutes.”


By John Fensterwald | EdSource Today |

April 14, 2016 :: A California appeals court has struck down a trial judge’s controversial Vergara ruling that declared that several state laws governing teacher hiring, firing and layoffs are unconstitutional.

The appeals court decision in Vergara v. the State of California and the California Teachers Association is a victory for teachers unions in a case that has drawn national attention. At issue were five state laws that established layoff procedures based on seniority, laid out dismissal procedures and awarded teachers permanent status, known as tenure, after two years on the job.

David Welch, the driving force behind Students Matter, the organization that filed the lawsuit on behalf of nine students, promised the decision would be appealed to the California Supreme Court.

“I’m not going to mince words – we lost,” he wrote in an email. “This is a sad day for every child struggling to get the quality education he or she deserves – and is guaranteed by our state constitution.”

In his 2014 ruling, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled that the teacher workplace laws interfered with students’ constitutional right to a quality education. The laws, Treu wrote, protected a small but significant number of “grossly ineffective” teachers and disproportionately harmed poor and minority students. In his 16-page decision, Treu wrote that evidence from a two-month trial “shocked the conscience.”

But in a strongly worded, unanimous decision, three judges of the Second District Court of Appeal, based in Los Angeles, wrote that the plaintiffs failed to show “that the statutes inevitably cause a certain group of students to receive an education inferior to the education received by other students” – the prerequisite for an equal protection claim.

“With no proper showing of a constitutional violation, the court is without power to strike down the challenged statutes. The court’s job is merely to determine whether the statutes are constitutional, not if they are ‘a good idea,’” the decision states.

The judges also said that administrators are responsible for deciding where low-performing teachers teach, but that the lawsuit attacked the statutes, not how they may have been inequitably applied.

“Although the statutes may lead to the hiring and retention of more ineffective teachers than a hypothetical alternative system would, the statutes do not address the assignment of teachers; instead, administrators – not the statutes – ultimately determine where teachers within a district are assigned to teach,” the ruling states.

In a statement Thursday, Theodore Boutrous, lead attorney for Students Matter, said that the appeals court got it wrong. The decision “mistakenly blames local school districts for the egregious constitutional violations students are suffering each and every day, but the mountain of evidence we put on at trial proved – beyond any reasonable dispute – that the irrational, arbitrary, and abominable laws at issue in this case shackle school districts and impose severe and irreparable harm on students.”

He expressed optimism that “the California Supreme Court will have the final say.”

CTA President Eric Heins celebrated the ruling as a “great day for educators, and, more importantly, for students.”

“Today’s ruling reversing Treu’s decision overwhelmingly underscores that the laws under attack have been good for public education and good for kids and that the plaintiffs failed to establish any violation of a student’s constitutional rights,” he said in a statement. “Stripping teachers of their ability to stand up for their students and robbing school districts of the tools they need to make sound employment decisions was a wrong-headed scheme developed by people with no education expertise and the appellate court justices saw that.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement, “The Appellate Court clearly recognized that Vergara was a flawed ruling and overturned it unanimously. Now we can move forward together to recruit, train, and support talented and dedicated educators in school districts all across our great state.

Read the Vergara v. CTA Court of Appeals ruling here.

by Joy Resmovits , Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli | LA Times |

April 16, 2015 :: An appeals court decision this week upholding California's teacher tenure and seniority rules leaves school reform forces at a crossroads as they press for changes across the nation.

The movement had made the Vergara case — which would have thrown out the nation's most generous teacher employment protections — a centerpiece in their effort to remake schools.

Despite the defeat in California, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups have scored victories in other states. But experts say making inroads has become harder recently as teachers' unions have flexed their muscle locally and nationally.

The Vergara decision came just weeks after another major victory for teachers' unions. The U.S. Supreme Court was set to review a California case, which could have prevented unions from collecting dues from employees who didn't agree to become members.

Some observers believed the conservative court would rule against the unions. But the court deadlocked 4-4 after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February.

Chester Finn, a former Reagan administration education official and senior fellow at the conservative-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Institute, acknowledged that teachers' unions have racked up significant victories. "The two big courtroom centered strategies for weakening teacher union power both kind of bit the dust in the last few weeks," he said. "If I were the head of one of the unions, I would be gloating with satisfaction that my side prevailed and that these bad guys haven't done any serious damage to me."

But he and others believe reform efforts can move forward from the defeats, noting they continue to be well-funded and well-organized.

In California, backers were looking for the silver linings in the Vergara defeat while also noting they were appealing the case to the California Supreme Court.

"I think where the movement goes is where it's been going for the last two years — people are suddenly paying attention to the impact of ineffective teachers on students, about evaluation, about dismissal policies," said Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution at Stanford University who testified on behalf of the Vergara plaintiffs.

Ben Austin, an official with Students Matter, the nonprofit Silicon Valley group sponsoring the Vergara plaintiffs, agrees: "I can remember not that long ago when these issues were untouchable; you just couldn't mention them without getting laughed out of the halls" of Sacramento.

Unlike in many other states, California lawmakers refused to mandate the use of student test scores as a significant portion of a teacher's evaluation. Traditional teacher job protections are probably the strongest in the country: an instructor earns tenure safeguards after two years,; the dismissal process is longer and more complex than for other state employees, and layoffs are based primarily on seniority rather than performance.

The Vergara lawsuit, to supporters, represented a way around the political stronghold. They argue that it's far too difficult to remove bad teachers and that this hurts students.

Unions and their supporters said eliminating tenure and seniority would result in a lower-quality teaching corps and cause the profession to attract and retain fewer talented people who have other career options.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, hailed the Vegara ruling.

Weingarten acknowledges that the current tenure laws are problematic, and said that the state of California should "work together" to improve them.

"You can't fire your way to a teaching force," she said.

Reform forces scored big wins in North Carolina, which virtually eliminated tenure. And in Wisconsin, union political funding has largely dried up because of laws that limit the collection of membership dues.

Currently, there are two similar lawsuits that target tenure in New York and Minnesota, and backers say those are moving forward despite Vergara.

But the environment has been more challenging elsewhere. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been pushing back against reforms embraced by predecessor Michael Bloomberg.

Still, one advantage the reformers still retain is money. The movement is backed by some of the nation's wealthiest foundations and philanthropists, including Bloomberg and the heirs to the Walmart fortune.

"They have a huge reservoir of money," said retired California teacher Anthony Cody, who has become a leader of a group opposing the reformers. "And they will keep trying to find avenues to break unions wherever they can."



by The L.A. Times Editorial Board |

April 14, 2016 :: Not every weakness in California’s public schools is tantamount to an assault on the state Constitution. After a problematic lower-court ruling struck down various job protections for California teachers, an appeals court rendered a more sensible conclusion Thursday: the state’s current seniority and tenure laws aren’t optimal, but they fall short of being unconstitutional.

At issue in the case of Vergara vs. California were laws that lay out a long and tortuous procedure for teachers to appeal a firing, require that less experienced teachers almost always be let go first when districts carry out layoffs and give principals only 18 months to decide whether a new teacher deserves tenure.

These laws go too far. Bad teachers are a stain on schools; parents will go to almost any lengths to avoid the worst of them. Students lose learning time and, perhaps worse, their interest in school under the weakest and least motivated instructors.

The laws should be changed, but it is not the courts’ job to intervene in every poorly crafted or outdated statute. The question was whether these protections so harmed education — and discriminated against the black and Latino students who often come from low-income families and attend schools with fewer resources — that they violated constitutional guarantees of equal treatment and a free and high-quality education.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu decided that they did, despite evidence that truly awful teachers make up a tiny percentage (perhaps 1% to 3%) of the overall teaching force. In addition, as the appeals panel noted, there’s little proof that the weakest teachers are disproportionately assigned to schools with large numbers of black and Latino students. Even if that’s so, that problem isn’t caused by state law, but by union contracts in each district that give more experienced teachers first shot at job openings at other schools, instead of assigning teachers where they’re most needed.

What happens next? Probably nothing very good. The school reform-minded plaintiffs vow to appeal. With the pressure of a lawsuit off its neck, the Legislature, which has been far too solicitous of the wishes of the California Teachers Assn., is less likely to pass AB 934, a reasonable legislative fix to the laws in question that would still protect teachers from capricious and vindictive firings.

Worse, the battle lines between reformers and union-allied groups become even more deeply etched. This state has real problems to work on in its schools, especially the lack of counselors and the looming teacher shortage. If California can’t draw more enthusiastic and well-trained new teachers to fill openings in classrooms, education will suffer mightily — especially for disadvantaged students. This is the big issue that both sides should get to work on resolving.

●●ABOUT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES’ EDUCATION MATTERS FUNDING: Education Matters – the Times’ self-described “education initiative to inform parents, educators and students across California” receives funding from a number of foundations. The California Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles administer grants from the Baxter Family Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the California Endowment and the Wasserman Foundation to support this effort. Under terms of the grants, The Times retains complete control over editorial content.

by Howard Blume | LA Times |

April 13, 2016 :: A former local charter school operator has agreed to pay a $16,000 fine for misconduct that includes using public education funds to lease her own buildings.

Under a tentative settlement with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, Kendra Okonkwo acknowledges that she improperly used her official position “to influence governmental decisions in which she had a financial interest,” according to documents posted Monday by the state agency.

The settlement or “stipulation” notes two instances of wrongdoing: establishing leases for the school in two buildings that Okonkwo owned and arranging for public funds to pay for renovations to these structures.

The school, Wisdom Academy for Young Scientists, lost its charter to operate and closed last year.

“In this matter, Okonkwo engaged in a pattern of violations in which she made, used or attempted to use her official position to influence governmental decisions involving real property in which she had a significant financial interest,” the commission said.

Okonkwo declined to comment, but the commission cited several factors for not imposing a larger fine, including that “Okonkwo understands the seriousness of the violations and accepts responsibility for her actions.”

The South Los Angeles school, which opened in 2006, had been targeted by regulators for several years.

The violations cited this week by the state date from 2010 and 2011, when Okonkwo earned a total of $223,615 as the elementary school’s executive director. She also received about $19,000 a month in rent from the school. She attempted to eliminate the appearance of conflict by assigning the property to a new, separate corporation, for which her mother signed the leases. But the arrangement did not pass legal muster, according to the state.

The other violation pertains to Okonkwo signing contracts for school-funded renovations worth $62,000. Okonkwo addressed this conflict by resigning as executive director. Someone else then signed the renovation contract.

Charters are independently operated and exempt from some rules that govern traditional campuses. Wisdom Academy began under the jurisdiction of the L.A. Unified School District, which refused to renew the school after its initial five-year charter expired.

A report to the school board cited “serious concerns pertaining to violations of conflict-of-interest laws against self-dealing on the part of the school's executive director as well as insufficient governance by the … board of directors.”

The L.A. Unified action did not close the school because, under state law, a charter can appeal to the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which chose to take over as the supervising agency.

But the county office eventually turned against the school as well, revoking its charter in 2014, and leading to its shutdown at the end of the last school year.

The county cited a report by state auditors, who concluded that administrators may have funneled millions in state funds to Okonkwo, her relatives and close associates.

Some of the allegations bordered on the bizarre.

Auditors questioned, for example, the use of school funds to pay a $566,803 settlement to a former teacher who sued the organization for wrongful termination after she was directed by Okonkwo to travel with her to Nigeria to marry Okonkwo's brother-in-law for the purpose of making him a United States citizen.

The organization's payment of the settlement was inappropriate because Okonkwo was not acting within the scope of her school employment, auditors concluded.

The school took its fight to survive all the way to the state board of education.

In papers filed with the state, Wisdom’s leaders accused auditors and the county office of misconduct and “open hostility … against this African American operated school,” calling it “the culmination of years of unfair treatment and retaliation … because a few [county office] staff members dislike our school’s founder Kendra Okonkwo, her family, the thickness of her accent, and the color of her skin.”

State officials declined to overrule the charter revocation.

by City News staff |

Thursday, April 14, 2016 06:59PM | LOS ANGELES (KABC) :: Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles will commit to a goal of giving every hardworking graduate of the Los Angeles Unified School District one free year of community college.

Delivering his annual State of the City address on Thursday, Garcetti also said the city is looking at plans to put 260 new cops on the street, fix more broken sidewalks and streets, fight homelessness and create jobs for reformed ex-gang members.

He is working on the college plan, he said, in partnership with LAUSD and the Los Angeles Community College District. He said it is similar to a program announced by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union last year that sought to offer two free years of community college to U.S. students.

"Tonight Los Angeles will become the largest city in the nation to commit ourselves to a new goal: every hardworking student who graduates from LAUSD will receive one free year of community college," Garcetti said.

A spokesperson for the mayor said the deal is not done yet, but when finalized it would start in 2017. Funding would come from the community college district, the city and a private philanthropist.

Garcetti spoke at Noribachi, an LED manufacturer in LA's Harbor City neighborhood that relocated from New Mexico four years ago and has since won national recognition for its rapid growth.

The mayor focused primarily on jobs, wages and businesses in his address. He said under one city program, launched by City Attorney Mike Feuer, the city will provide education and job training to 1,500 former gang members.

Garcetti said he also expanded the city's program to match young people with jobs, tripling the number from 5,000 when he took office to an expected 15,000 this year.

He noted that the city expects to hire 5,000 new employees over the next two years, and recruiting for those positions will target communities in need, including ex-offenders.

He also said the city needs to step up its efforts to fight homelessness. The city budget Garcetti will propose next week will commit $138 million to get homeless people off the streets, a figure he described as a "tenfold" increase in the city's investment.

Next year, he said, the city will place a comprehensive measure to fight homelessness on the local ballot that will include a "linkage fee" on developers who build new projects.

Garcetti has also recently been touting the 109,000 jobs that the city has added since he took office in 2013 and the 5.8 percent unemployment rate, about half of what it was in 2012.

The focus on job creation follows a year in which Garcetti and the City Council adopted a measure to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 an hour by 2020, creating fears among businesses that the city could lose jobs.

Garcetti urged Angelenos to support him in his vision for the city, which he said includes plans not just to fix problems for the next few years, but for an entire generation.

"If Kobe Bryant could post 60 points and lead his team to victory in his final game, come on guys we can do this," he said.

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...
All Tuesday April 19, 2016:

• EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND PARENT ENGAGEMENT Committee - 2:00 p.m. – [Rescheduled from 4/5/16]

*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: • 213-241-8333 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-5555 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6387
...or the Superintendent: • 213-241-7000
...or your city councilperson, mayor, county supervisor, state legislator, 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. Volunteer in the classroom. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child - and ultimately: For all children.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE at

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

Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and was Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and has represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for over 13 years. He currently serves as Vice President for Health, is a Legislation Action Committee member and a member of the Board of Directors 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 "WHO" Gold Award and the ACSA Regional Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award - honors 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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