Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pluto voted off the Council of Planets

4LAKids: Sunday, August 27, 2006
In This Issue:
LAUSD BILL CALLED UNCONSTITUTIONAL: State legislative counsel repeats opinion after text amendment
THE POWER AGENDA: Why Does City Hall Deny the Truth About Mayor V’s School Plan?
The occaisional rant: AN INFORMATION CHALLENGE
EVENTS: Coming up next week...
What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
READING TO KIDS: Read to some kids the second Saturday morning each month. Make a difference. Change some lives (including your own!).
The Blueprint for Effective School Reform: MAKING SCHOOLS WORK — Get the Book @!
4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
from "Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's ambitious bid to assume control of the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District abruptly stalled in the state Senate on Thursday, sparking accusations that the legislation was being held hostage to extract concessions from Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, a powerful supporter," writes Michael Gardner in the Daily Breeze.

Slowing down the flow of bills at the end of session to extract concessions? Shocking!

"Senate leader Don Perata, an Oakland Democrat who made the call, insisted there was 'nothing sinister' behind his decision to adjourn just minutes before the measure was to come up for a vote."

"However, a frustrated Sen. Gloria Romero said the legislation became entangled in a feud between Perata and Nunez, D-Los Angeles, over the fate of more than 100 Senate bills languishing on the Assembly floor."

"'It's a hostage bill to make sure that 115 bills are OK,' said Romero, D-Los Angeles, who has worked tirelessly for the legislation for months."

►smf opines that reports elsewhere contend the votes simply weren't there Thursday — or that the delay is to allow the bill (which the Leg Counsel still says is still unconstitutional) to be actually read by the Senators. Maybe it was the bell like clarity of my message on late night talk radio ...or the (over)wealming sea of yellow T-shirts at City Hall Thursday AM?

• One suspects there is ongoing rewriting amongst the reading, arm twisting, and fear and loathing.
• Will the severability clause endure?
• A promise of a referendum on District breakup in 2012?
• If a referendum's good then, wouldn't it be better now?
• Will the Republicans cave and drink to Kool Aid? It's so hot here in the kitchen and there's a happy face on the icy pitcher!

Monday (Admission Day) will present a newly amended and unread bill, a new compromise, newer and stranger bedfellows …but who will admit what?

And Pluto? Toon Town anthropomorphism gone awry: The barking pet dog of a talking mouse. Forgotten and cast aside like so many schoolchildren, parents, voters and taxpayers.

Of course the textbook publishers will clean up the mess of the demoted planet …think of all the obsolete science texts! —smf

The newest graphic representation of the lines of accountability under AB 1381

LAUSD BILL CALLED UNCONSTITUTIONAL: State legislative counsel repeats opinion after text amendment
by Harrison Sheppard, Staff Writer, LA Daily News

8/22/2006 - SACRAMENTO - On the eve of a key vote on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's school-takeover plan, a new state legal opinion issued Monday reaffirmed that the proposal appears to be unconstitutional even after it was amended to address legal concerns.

The opinion from state Legislative Counsel Diane Boyer-Vine echoes a review she issued earlier this summer finding that the Legislature does not have the legal authority to give a mayor control over a school district.

Article 9 • § 6 • ¶ 3: “No school or college or any other part of the Public School System shall be, directly or indirectly, transferred from the Public School System or placed under the jurisdiction of any authority other than one included within the Public School System.”

"I think it's pretty clear that the current language is unconstitutional," said Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, an opponent of the bill who requested the new opinion.

"But I think further than that, it makes the argument as to why any language will be unconstitutional. I think that's the hurdle the mayor has to deal with."

After Boyer-Vine's office issued that earlier opinion on July 17, Villaraigosa and bill author Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, amended the bill to address concerns raised by her and by the city's legislative analyst.

Those amendments included giving the county superintendent of education authority to approve Villaraigosa's proposal for a new mayor-controlled community partnership to directly oversee the lowest-performing schools.

The idea behind that amendment was to allow existing educational agencies to have the ultimate authority, similar to a concept used in the law allowing charter schools, which successfully withstood constitutional doubts.

Runner had requested that the Legislative Counsel's Office review the new language. The opinion she issued Monday, signed by deputy counsel Gerardo Partida, was nearly identical to the previous document.

The opinion notes that no court has addressed the question, but case law and a reading of the state constitution lead to the conclusion that the constitution "would be construed by a court to prohibit the Legislature from transferring by statute authority or control over educational functions currently performed by a school district to the mayor of a charter city."

But Villaraigosa and his allies remain undeterred.

Thomas Saenz, the mayor's legal counsel, noted that the legislative counsel's review is just one opinion, and that the office has been wrong on other bills in the past. The Legislature is free to ignore that opinion and allow the courts to decide the matter, he said.

"It is our view that even without the county superintendent provision, with due respect, the opinion is wrong and the law would be upheld," Saenz said.

"We added the county superintendent piece just as an additional protection against a legal challenge."

The opinion was issued as Villaraigosa returned to Sacramento again to try to round up votes for his proposal, which is expected to come to a Senate floor vote this week. Los Angeles Unified School District board President Marlene Canter also returned to Sacramento, her 13th trip, to lobby against the bill.

"Whenever it goes on the Senate floor, my hope is that it moves as quickly as possible," Villaraigosa said. "I imagine there will be a vigorous debate."

Canter said in speaking to legislators one of the common concerns was about the constitutionality of the bill.

She also thinks the effort will interfere with progress the district has made in improving test scores and other academic measures.

"The last thing you want is a mess," Canter said. "And this has the potential of being one. And that's not what the kids of L.A. need. I continue to think that there are better ways to go about doing this."

AB 1381 - The actual bill, as amended (Warning: Subject to Change!)

THE POWER AGENDA: Why Does City Hall Deny the Truth About Mayor V’s School Plan?
written by David Zahniser | LA Weekly

Wednesday, 23 August 2006 ― This isn't about power, declared Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa a few days before the state Senate was set to vote on legislation that would put him at the top of the organizational chart of the Los Angeles Unified School District. But if it isn’t, why can’t the mayor and his allies stop bringing it up?

For weeks, Villaraigosa deftly wielded his political talents, driving his public-school steamroller ever closer to the office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican who promised to sign the bill to overhaul L.A. Unified sight unseen. Using a hefty arsenal of carrots and sticks, Villaraigosa got a reluctant Los Angeles City Council to fall in line, dangling before them the possibility of a third term in office. And in L.A. Unified’s southeast cities, he enticed recalcitrant mayors with the promise of their greater influence over the school district, from veto power over hiring decisions to site selection for new schools.

Yet as he edged closer to victory, Villaraigosa and his allies worked strenuously to downplay the behind-the-scenes horse trading and arm twisting. He pointedly brought up the P-word a week ago, telling the Senate Appropriations Committee that power had nothing to do with his desire to select the next superintendent — and run as many as 50 low-performing schools. Villaraigosa’s close ally, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, raised the issue as well, telling the committee minutes earlier that the mayor had many things in mind for the school district, but certainly not power. Not that.

Performing a victory lap a day later, Villaraigosa mentioned power yet again — arguing that it played no role in his public-education campaign, an apparatus funded by more than $1 million in contributions from Republican allies like Jerrold “Jerry” Perenchio, an executive at Univision, the Spanish-language station that broadcasts a weekly chat with Villaraigosa titled A Su Lado, or On Your Side in English.

“No matter what you hear, this bill is not about mayoral control, power or politics,” Villaraigosa told reporters at City Hall. “It’s about creating better schools for our kids.”

Yet officials at L.A. Unified — and even a couple of emboldened Democratic legislators — seemed to stray from the script crafted for them by Núñez and Senate President Don Perata, not to mention Schwarzenegger, who is running for reelection and received a pass for an entire summer from the most powerful Democrat in Southern California. Senator Deborah Ortiz blew the whistle the loudest, telling a filled-to-capacity chamber in Sacramento that she had misgivings about the bill but had been instructed by the Democratic leadership to vote for it anyway.

Ortiz bluntly called Villaraigosa’s bill an experiment, saying it creates a new bureaucracy, offers no suggestions on how to improve education and could be struck down in court. The Sacramento Democrat even hinted at the possibility that she could be punished if she votes no on the bill, known as Assembly Bill 1381.

“I understand you’re speaker of the Assembly, and that it’s a very important bill,” Ortiz advised Núñez. “I have some very important bills that I hope you will have an equally open mind about, as I move through the last two weeks of my career. But I have to be honest with you, I’m not convinced this is the solution. I’m prepared to vote for this, but there is a lot at risk.”

Senator Kevin Murray, D-Los Angeles, couldn’t avoid the topic either, but tried to put a friendly face on Villaraigosa’s push for increased mayoral oversight. “In the final analysis, this bill is about power and control,” said Murray, as he name-dropped his roommate experiences with Villaraigosa. “But power not for power’s sake, but power in terms of moving your program along.”

On its face, the mayor’s skillful use of power represents a desire for control. Villaraigosa has left little to chance in his battle with L.A. Unified, which may explain why he chartered three private buses to deliver parents and children to his own education town hall/rally for A.B. 1381 in Lincoln Heights. The moment it looked like U.S. Representative Maxine Waters was unhappy with his school campaign, Villaraigosa hustled over to South L.A., hitting six African-American churches on a single Sunday in an effort to corral his base.

Villaraigosa spent much of the past week trying to swap one P-word for another, telling reporters and policymakers alike that the L.A. Unified bill is about partnership, not power. Partnership, after all, has a warm, cuddly sound to it. But a bid for power? That just sounds crass. Even Villaraigosa’s efforts at teamwork didn’t sound all that collaborative. Only two weeks ago, Villaraigosa in-house counsel Thomas Saenz said that the mayor planned to team up with parents, community leaders and principals to improve 50 low-performing schools. Villaraigosa plans to do that, however, by personally selecting each of the parents, teachers and community representatives who will serve on the eight-member committees responsible for such improvements. So is that partnership? Or power?

L.A. Unified Superintendent Roy Romer, no stranger to hardball politics himself, made the cardinal mistake of calling the game for what it was, telling lawmakers publicly that he viewed passage of the bill as a done deal. Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, took umbrage at such an accusation — especially after Romer compared the bill to the Legislature’s disastrous attempt at electrical deregulation during the 1990s. “I wasn’t sure Governor Romer was here to convince us or insult us,” Florez huffed.

Romer offered an array of warnings about the bill, saying it could be a precursor to breakup, since different sections of L.A. Unified could be offered a chance to make their own hiring decisions. But Romer sounded like King Lear in Sacramento, railing over the district’s political misfortune as lawmakers looked away.

Reality briefly intruded on Villaraigosa’s march to Sacramento, forcing him to turn from his school campaign to an annoying municipal matter — a strike by the 7,500-member Engineers and Architects Union. The EAA supported the mayor during the 2005 election, spending $110,000 on radio advertisements and other campaign expenses, only to turn on him viciously once Villaraigosa refused to give them the same salary package as workers at the Department of Water and Power.

Yet despite all the hype surrounding Villaraigosa’s decision to cross a picket line, it was hard to view the EAA strike as serious drama. This was no MTA walkout, with bus drivers crippling the city’s ability to serve its citizens. These were building inspectors, city planners, tech-support workers and public-relations people. Sure they’re important. But will the voters rise up when a second-story home addition can’t get through plan check? Not likely.

Even as the mayor outmaneuvered the EAA, another seasoned pol flexed his considerable political clout. Former mayor Richard Riordan, a backer of Villaraigosa’s plan for L.A. Unified, worked behind the scenes to rewrite portions of the bill, worrying that a judge will strike down the provisions that give the mayor more power while preserving the language that strengthens the hand of the teachers union.

Villaraigosa spokeswoman Janelle Erickson pooh-poohed such efforts, offering a lulu to the Los Angeles Times. “We need to shift the focus away from legislative maneuvering and put it back in the classroom,” she told the newspaper.

The thing is, Villaraigosa’s bill is the naked result of legislative maneuvering, from a closed-door deal with the teachers union to billionaire Eli Broad’s telephone calls to Núñez last spring. That’s because Núñez and Villaraigosa insisted from the beginning that the neutering of the seven-member school board had to be decided in Sacramento — not Los Angeles, where voters spent the past century electing that board. But then, letting the voters make such an important decision would have meant giving up — how else to say it? — power.

►Does the multi billion dollar budget of LAUSD attract power hungry politicians? The Full Disclosure Network special Video News Blog (12 min)



San Francisco Chronicle Editorial –

Monday, August 21, 2006 – Both Sacramento and Washington are running roughshod over a basic principle of the educational system in the United States: our schools are supposed to be administered by locally elected school boards.

Sacramento is about to revamp the way the Los Angeles Unified School District is run. With three-quarters-of-a million students, it is by far the state's largest school district. Legislators are moving to approve a complicated -- and we think misguided -- plan to give Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other mayors partial control over the vast district.

Under Villaraigosa's plan, which the former Assembly speaker is peddling to his old pals in the statehouse, L.A. Unified would be partially run by the school board and partly by a "council of mayors" -- consisting of Villaraigosa and his counterparts from 26 other cities within the district.

This is the kind of decision that shouldn't be made in the clubby atmosphere of Sacramento, where most legislators have no direct stake in the quality of L.A. schools. The decision on how best to run a school district should be made by local voters. But Los Angeles voters will not be given an opportunity to weigh in on the issue -- probably because there is at least an even chance they'll reject it.

Speaker Fabian Núñez has already signed off on Villaraigosa's plan. Some suspect Núñez's enthusiasm is partly linked to his desire to run for mayor of Los Angeles in 2010, when Villaraigosa is expected to run for governor.

Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he'll approve Villaraigosa's school power grab -- even before he has seen the arrangement being cooked up in Sacramento.

It's probably no accident that Villaraigosa has yet to endorse Phil Angelides, his party's candidate for governor. Villaraigosa needs Schwarzenegger's signature on this plan.

What makes this "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" strategem hard to fathom is that even as Villaraigosa trashes the Los Angeles schools, they have made measurable progress under the leadership of Superintendent Roy Romer.

As a revealing Los Angeles Times article noted last week, Villaraigosa has "focused on data that present the district in the worst possible way, almost entirely discounting that the school system is improving faster academically than many other school districts and compared to California as a whole."

Why should those of us up north even care if some of our political leaders muck up a school system that can and must do more, but for the first time in years appears to be on the right track?

The answer is twofold. Because L.A. Unified serves so many of California's young people, including a significant percentage just learning English and/or from low-income homes, their success or failure in school will have a profound impact on the future of the state.

Also, if legislators can muscle through a reorganization of the Los Angeles schools, there will be nothing to stop them from doing the same thing to any other school district anywhere else in the state.


Editorial by Jim Boren | The Fresno Bee

Sunday, August 20, 2006 — There are many ways that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa can improve the education of Los Angeles children, but allowing him to take over the school system isn't one of them.

The battle in Sacramento to give the mayor control of the Los Angeles Unified School District is more about political power than a well-crafted strategy that would turn around a struggling district.

The suggestion that L.A. Unified will magically get better if the mayor has control over it is just plain fantasy.

What politicians don't seem to understand — or prefer to ignore — is that it takes hard work to improve a school system, especially one as big as L.A. Unified with large numbers of impoverished neighborhoods.

But Villaraigosa wants us to believe that he has some secret plan that no one else has thought of.

Some of us watching from the sidelines wonder — apparently naively — why the mayor doesn't fix all that ails the city of Los Angeles before he takes on the L.A. schools. But then this may be more about Villaraigosa making a public relations splash in the schools to beef up his résumé to run for governor in four years.

OK, mayor, you want to help the schools? Do what you were elected to do: Solve the major problems facing Los Angeles. It's no coincidence that school test scores follow the poverty line. It's that way in every city in America.

Here are some ideas

So here's a strategy for Villaraigosa if he's really serious about enhancing the quality of education in L.A. Unified:

Improve the poorest areas of Los Angeles. If he looks closely, he'll undoubtedly find that the low-achieving schools are in neighborhoods with high unemployment and low economic opportunity. Create jobs and give families the advantages of those living in more prosperous neighborhoods, and test scores will rise accordingly.

Solve the crime problem, especially the rampant use of drugs among young people, and control the street gangs that abound in Los Angeles.

Find a way to give every family in Los Angeles access to decent medical care so that all children can go to school healthy and give their best when they are in class.

Create affordable housing across sprawling Los Angeles. What is more basic than being able to live in a safe neighborhood where children can go outdoors without fear of being a victim of violence?

Solve the homeless problem. Thousands of homeless children in Los Angeles don't even attend school and those who do have bigger problems than getting their homework done.

In Fresno, this is an old story. Mayor Alan Autry, a Republican, has been trying to run the school system ever since he was elected mayor in 2000. He even went to the Legislature for that power, but was shot down by most of the same Democrats who now are ready to give Villaraigosa power over Los Angeles schools.

But Autry, like Villaraigosa, didn't have any creative ideas to fix the schools beyond the platitudes that the L.A. mayor is offering: using the bully pulpit of the office to force reform; create public-private partnerships with the schools; hire a superintendent committed to making the schools better.

In Fresno, there's begun to be a turn-around in the schools, but not because of Autry's obsession to run them. He belatedly joined a movement that has elected reform candidates to the school board and they have put Fresno Unified on the right track.

Back good candidates

Villaraigosa could do the same thing — essentially taking over L.A. Unified by getting his candidates elected to office. But that takes work, and it appears to be much easier for the former Assembly speaker and his Sacramento pals to ram a bill through the Legislature giving him power over the schools.

This bill, however, is an odd piece of legislation. The latest news stories say it would also give some power to the other cities in the sprawling district, although Villaraigosa would have the most. There would be a weighted vote by a "council of mayors" on selecting a superintendent, and a bunch of other convoluted language.

The district is going to have to hire more attorneys just to figure out how to interpret the provisions in the Villaraigosa takeover legislation.

But while the mayor is on his power grab, he may not realize the big political risk down the road. If he doesn't make Los Angeles' campuses blue-ribbon schools with his bully-pulpit reforms, he's going to be considered a huge failure.

Then he not only will preside over a city that doesn't work, but also be in charge of a school system that's failing.

Seems like it would make much more sense for Villaraigosa to work on city problems, which is the job description for a mayor. That not only would improve the quality of life in L.A., it would help make the schools better.

▲Jim Boren is The Fresno Bee's editorial page editor. At the Senate Education Committee hearing a Senator from Fresno tried unsuccessfully to amend Fresno Unified School District into AB 1381!


By Selene Rivera, Eastern Group Publications Staff Writer (Northeast & Eastside Sun, etc.)

August 21, 2006 — A survey conducted by United Students at Garfield and Roosevelt high schools in the fall of 2005 revealed that 77 percent of students want to go to college, but only one out of 10 students realizes their dream.

As part of an effort to decrease this alarming statistic and to empower students, most of them low income minorities, an East Los Angeles organization, InnerCity Struggle, ICS, last weekend presented the fourth annual “Educational Justice Week,” an event in which students from Garfield and Roosevelt high schools participated.

Starting on June 28 and culminating August 11, the Justice Week workshops and events traveled from campus to campus. Students at each of the events had the opportunity to get informed about the A-G courses/curriculum (15 preparation classes required to enter a college or a university) through workshops, college fairs at which information about 15 colleges and universities was distributed, and an opportunity for students to set up appointments with their local school counselors to talk about their educational future.

Organizers hope that this event “will raise students awareness on what classes they need to take in order to graduate and go on to a 4-year university,” stated ICS director, Luis Sanchez.

Garfield High School is one of the biggest schools in the nation with more than 4,800 students but only 62 percent of its courses are “A-G curriculum courses.” Only 65 percent of these classes are available at Roosevelt High School, according to the event’s organizers.

“I didn’t know I had to take these classes, but I think I will take advantage of the fair and inform myself about the things I can do to get the classes… I hope it’s not too late,” said Garfield High student Maria Hernandez.

But ICS didn’t just limit their efforts to providing information during Justice Week activities, the organization also surveyed about 1,800 students on the A-G courses.

“The data will be presented to the Los Angeles Unified School District and elected officials to demonstrate the need for courses and learning support for the successful implementation of the A-G college preparation curriculum,” said Sanchez.

As the music played and students gathered information, several different students speakers addressed the education crisis and what students need to do to continue their education. Many of the students at the event said they would like to see more of these events taking place at their schools, since many admitted they didn’t know much about the A- G courses, or the process to getting into to college.

According to Sanchez, only 16 percent of Garfield’s 9th graders complete high school four years later having satisfied the A-G requirements.

Due to the high student drop-out rate and the need for more college preparatory courses at high schools in Los Angeles, LAUSD approved a resolution more than a year ago to require all students to complete the A-G curriculum starting in 2008.

The occaisional rant: AN INFORMATION CHALLENGE
Are you tired of The Mayor's Plan and AB 1381? Join the club.

The other day I was trying to think of what I'd be doing during August – a supposed-to-be-uneventful month in LAUSD – if I wasn't so engaged in the mayor's jihad. His word, not mine.

Vacation doesn't work; my daughter is at a year 'round school. Cleaning off my desk – or out the garage - would be good but the overachiever in me doesn't find that a worthy goal – and the procrastinator within seconded the motion.

Then I remembered something I had kvetched to a school board member about – a response to a well meant "What could we do now to make it better for parents?"

The LAUSD Switchboard! If you've ever called (213)241-1000 and tried to get information or connected when you weren't already positive who you wanted to talk to or what office to ask you know where I'm going: VMH!

I decided to call a rather prominent department head in an office I know the name of but didn't have the direct dial phone number for. (If you're a district employee and want to replicate this experiment call 241-1000 and ask to be connected to yourself – or better still describe what you do but don't use your name or title. If you're a board member it's no fair pressing the "push X for board members now.")

One enters Voice Mail Hell (VMH) almost immediately – and pressing the button for LAUSD information leads one through several levels of button pressing and exposes one to all kinds of options for information – and information itself (all employee-centric) until one is eventually admitted to the queue to speak to an information operator.

I was encouraged to seek help on the internet – but let's get real: How many LAUSD parents have access to the internet?

My call was important to them, there was the omnipresent unusual volume of calls, operators were busy helping other people. I was thanked for my patience – obviously the prerecorded voice didn't know me well!

The horrible music on hold ("Romer's Theme") entertained me - interrupted by regular periodic reminders of how important my call was, and I was helped in only nineteen minutes. The number given me was the correct one …but the person I needed to speak to was not available. He hasn't returned my call yet.

Here's my point: I'm an insider. I normally get connected by calling people who know people who have the numbers and information I need. But the average parent who calls into LAUSD doesn't know the system. They probably don't know the name of the person or the department they want. They may not speak English well. And they are probably calling about something important to the most important person in their life: Their child. It may well be something they feel uncomfortable discussing with the school office staff or the principal – maybe they want to discuss the staff or principal.

And the telephone system itself becomes a firewall between the system and the parent.

LAUSD does have an online database of names and phone numbers available to the internet connected – if they have an 'Inside LAUSD' account! In other words: If they're an employee! This may come as news: The school district is not there to serve or even help the employees – it's there to serve children, their parents and families.

It can start by doing a much better job at answering the phones. And LAUSD can learn something from the City of LA here – their 311 service is pretty good, pretty efficient, pretty friendly.

It's also pretty blocked from most school site and district phones — that's something else that needs fixing! - smf

Download the whole LAUSD Phonebook updated last Friday - Offices but no names - how good is that?

EVENTS: Coming up next week...
Monday Aug 28
Some LAUSD offices and schools closed

Tuesday Aug 29 – 10:30 AM
City Hall

Thursday Aug 31 – 9AM
LAUSD Board Room – 333 Beaudry Ave.

Thursday Aug 31 6PM
Join us at this meeting where we will:
* Introduce the Project Architect to the community
* Provide overview of the school facilities, including: number of classrooms, library, lunch area, etc.
* Review LAUSD design principles
* Receive community input on school design

Drew Middle School
8511 Compton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90001

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
Phone: 213.633.7493
Phone: 213.633.7616


What can YOU do?
►CONTACT YOUR ASSEMBLYPERSON AND STATE SENATOR [link below to find them]. Tell them what you think about their wasting their time, effort and the taxpayer's money on the mayor's attempt at takeover or makeover – an effort that is patently unconstitutional and will never survive a court challenge. Their time, the mayor's time, the board of education's time – all of our time, thinking and hard work - is better spent working together rather than at odds to continue and support the very real efforts at reform already begun. Their time is better spent helping LAUSD find a new superintendent, guaranteeing an improved funding stream for all California schools and helping kids in the classroom, on the playground; during, before and after school.




• E-mail, call or write your school board member: • 213-241-6387 • 213-241-6180 • 213-241-6388 • 213-241-6382 • 213-241-6385 • 213-241-6386 • 213-241-6383

...or your city councilperson, mayor, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think!
Call or e-mail Governor Schwarzenegger: 213-897-0322 e-mail:
• Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
• Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
• Get involved at your neighborhood school. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child.
• Vote.

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

Scott Folsom is a parent and parent leader in LAUSD. He is President of Los Angeles 10th District PTSA and represents PTA as Vice-chair the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He serves on various school district advisory and policy committees and is a PTA officer and/or governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is also the elected Youth & Education boardmember on the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.
• 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.
• FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. 4LAKids makes such material available in an effort to advance understanding of education issues vital to parents, teachers, students and community members in a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.