Sunday, January 27, 2013

In the right order of things

Onward! 4LAKids
4LAKids: Sunday 27•Jan•2013
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The rhetoric soared this week. President Obama’s inaugural speech. Myrlie Evers-Williams invocation. Richard Blanco’s poem - reminding us that this glorious American “One Day’ has twenty small empty desks and twenty children marked absent, today and forever. Governor Brown – “With a caustic critique of excessive testing and overregulation and a fervent call for respecting the ‘dignity and freedom of teachers and students’,” quoted The Little Engine That Could and William Butler Yeats in the same speech …while giving even the Republicans something to applaud. Hilary Clinton boldly assumed responsibility: “It happened on my watch…” …and reminded pretenders-perched-on-pretense what leadership really is. Even the usually verbally circumambulatory Steve Zimmer was concise at a Westside candidate forum, reminding his opponent and the audience that: “Teaching is a team sport” …albeit one where an unwelcome dissenting voice is sometimes required. And also that reason (with three supporting votes) trumps volume.

THERE WAS NO ELOQUENCE AND NO ASSUMING OF RESPONSIBILITY in the superintendent’s office as yet another episode of alleged abuse became public. Despite all the prior assurances that parents would be informed, the particulars of the case (from last March) was obviously news at Oscar de LaTorre Jr. Elementary – with hurried parent informational meetings with District Staff. Again it was a Bad Teacher and the Bad Principal who escaped the superintendent’s justice (and are collecting pensions) because of the Bad Ed Code and the Bad California Commission Teacher Credentialing – which unfairly imposes the same restrictions on LAUSD as it does on the 1, 099 other California school districts.

With nine months to practice the fine art of CYA: “Deasy told The Times that his recollection was that the adult [allegedly abused] was a co-worker of Pimentel.” His recollection? I’m sorry; when peoples’ lives are on the line and names are being named in the media shouldn’t one work from notes? Bail is set at $12 million. If an adult was abused where was that report? Was the co-worker a fellow teacher? A classroom aide? A volunteer?

“There ought to be a law,” the apologists squeak, looking to Senator Padilla and SB 10 – “…and as soon as there is that law we’ll follow it!” Unfortunately there is a whole Ed Code and Criminal Code full of laws about child abuse and mandatory reporting and dismissing teachers – and a sheaf of policy and bulletins un-followed and/or selectively enforced. And fingers pointed …always elsewhere.

THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSAL VIS-A-VIS A WEIGHTED STUDENT FORMULA (rebranded the “Local Control Funding Formula”) is welcome news in Los Angeles – and San Diego, Long Beach, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento and Fresno – but those urban districts are seven of 1,100. The lessons from kindergarten about looking both ways and not running with scissors also included playing well with others. There is much playing well to be done.

THE SUPERINTENDENT’S $17 MILLION PILOT PROPOSAL to place tablets in the hands of all students came back as a $50 million pilot (with more schools piloted) and was approved by the Bond Oversight Committee Wednesday. The full project has an eventual price tag upwards of $500 million – with many questions remaining to be answered. Like: Do the kids get to take the tablets home? …And How+Who will pay for the technical support? And whether the State will eventually fund the whole effort from a future state school bond. Stay tuned.

EVEN WITH THE US DEPT OF ED OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS SCRUTINY OF LAUSD – which started in March 2010 as an investigation of the lack of access and effectiveness of English Language Learner programs [] – a report this week identifies 4,150 LAUSD students who are not being helped. What’s with that?

MEANWHILE, LAUSD INTENDS TO ENSURE STUDENT SAFETY with 1000 part-time "security aides" - armed with a vest, a walkie-talkie and a roll of slickers. Wouldn't schools be safer, cleaner and more healthy with their own plant manager/custodian? An actual dedicated employee with an actual job and an actual knowledge-of-and-familiarity-with the school, staff and students?

NEW REGULATIONS FROM THE US DEPARTMENT OF ED re: the spectacularly underfunded but federally mandated IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Special Ed) says that all kids must receive access to athletics programs. The complications and consequences of this remain to be seen – but the speculation is rampant. The SAT word is “encroachment” …and you normally only apply it to offside in football and Special Ed. Again, don’t touch that dial.

CONGRATS TO THE FOUR CYBERPATRIOT TEAMS FROM LAUSD SCHOOLS. Twelve teams were chosen nationally - four are from LAUSD!

“In the right order of things, education—the early fashioning of character and the formation of conscience—comes before legislation. Nothing is more determinative of our future than how we teach our children. If we fail at this, we will sow growing social chaos and inequality that no law can rectify.

“In California’s public schools, there are six million students, 300,000 teachers—all subject to tens of thousands of laws and regulations. In addition to the teacher in the classroom, we have a principal in every school, a superintendent and governing board for each school district. Then we have the State Superintendent and the State Board of Education, which makes rules and approves endless waivers—often of laws which you just passed. Then there is the Congress which passes laws like “No Child Left Behind,” and finally the Federal Department of Education, whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in America, where sixty million children study, not six million.

“Add to this the fact that three million California school age children speak a language at home other than English and more than two million children live in poverty. And we have a funding system that is overly complex, bureaucratically driven and deeply inequitable. That is the state of affairs today.

“The laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. All the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers. Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child.

“We seem to think that education is a thing—like a vaccine—that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children. But as the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats said, ‘Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.’”

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

OK: Yeats wasn't the first to have said that ...if he said it at all. It was first said by Plutarch, in Greek, in the first century AD.

By John Fensterwald | EdSource Today |

January 24th, 2013 :: With a caustic critique of excessive testing and overregulation and a fervent call for respecting the “dignity and freedom of teachers and students,” Gov. Jerry Brown laid out the case for returning primary control of education to local hands and distributing state money equitably in his State of the State address.

Brown used the 20-minute speech on Thursday to call on the Legislature to adopt his Local Control Funding Formula, which would phase in substantially more money for low-income students and those struggling to speak English proficiently. This is needed, he said, in order to help districts “based on the real world problems they face.”

Upbeat overall, Brown dwelt on education in his address, in which he praised the Legislature for courage in making overall spending cuts and voters for passing taxes in Proposition 30. The governor vowed to continue to enforce a fiscal discipline to protect against “great risks and uncertainties” that lie ahead. The implication is that he would discourage more funding for social programs – not encouraging for those calling for restoring cuts to preschool and child care. He also pledged to fight any tuition increases for higher education – a line that drew the loudest applause and a bipartisan standing ovation.

Brown has yet to flesh out the details of his school finance proposal, which he outlined in the State Budget plan last week; instead, with a touch of righteousness, he explained the underlying principles for it.

One is non-interference with those officials closest to working with students, what Brown calls the principle of “subsidiarity.” It is one way to unshackle districts and teachers from layers of authority, the most remote of which are Congress and the federal Department of Education, “whose rules, audits and fines reach into every classroom in America.”

● SUBSIDIARITY: say what? In the context of Brown’s push for decentralized control, subsidiarity can be translated as “the locals know best so don’t tread on them.” But it sounds more persuasive in Latin.

Brown has lashed out before at the education dictates and minutiae demanded by Washington, particularly in the Race to the Top requirements, the No Child Left Behind law and Secretary of Education Duncan’s refusal to grant California a waiver from it. He picked up that theme again with relish.

“The laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. All the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers,” he said and added, to applause, “We seem to think that education is a thing — like a vaccine — that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children.”

Brown alone cannot undo state or federal accountability laws, but he is promising school districts more flexibility over how they spend dollars to meet them. That’s the pragmatic piece of his plan, and tapping into resentment of Washington has broad appeal. But he’s also calling for legislators to redistribute money to high-needs children, because, he said, “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.” Appealing to the altruism of legislators representing districts that won’t get supplemental money will be a challenge.


Education advocates and legislators generally responded favorably to Brown’s call for local control and regulation, though some added caveats.

Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association, said in an interview that educators will feel “encouraged and inspired by the governor’s address” because it shows that he “values the opinions of educators.”

“He threw down the gauntlet in terms of micromanaging education and said that to fix education, you’ve got to trust teachers,” Vogel said. “The governor’s criticism of state and federal micro-managing of our schools is refreshing.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson praised Brown in a statement “for putting California on the path toward restoring the financial health of our schools” and focusing on students with greater needs. Implying that he hasn’t given up on increased funding in other areas, Torlakson said, “Both early childhood and adult education programs, which have been cut severely in recent years, have a tremendous role to play in strengthening our economy, and I will be working to see they receive a fair share of state resources.”

“There’s much to be said for his mistrust of overreliance on standardized testing and how it has sapped the vitality of the system,” said John Affeldt, managing attorney at Public Advocates Inc., a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization. Brown is a lone voice in the nation saying that. Teachers are leaving the profession because it’s not interesting to them anymore.”

But on the issue of “subsidiarity,” Affeldt said, “there needs to be more of a balance. His rhetoric tips too far toward letting the locals do it. Under the state Constitution, the state retains the ultimate responsibility for assuring basic equality of education opportunity. The state has to assure that districts exercise flexibility in a way that serves neediest kids.”

Crystal Brown, board president of the parents advocacy group Educate Our State, said she too appreciated that the governor raised the issue of testing. “It needs to be a big part of the conversation,” she said. “He is clear on the problems education is facing and why education needs to be a priority. The elephant in the room is that we’re not funding our schools adequately. Everyone knows that, but no one is discussing it.”

That’s also the view of Assemblymember Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, who chairs the Assembly Education Committee. She says she shares Brown’s view of No Child Left Behind and his belief that education must be a “richer experience, more than test scores.” And she also agrees with Brown that children in poverty and English learners need more support and classroom time to catch up. But the state is 49th in per capita spending, when regional costs of living are factored in, and she would not support a new system that would potentially leave those districts without high-needs students with flat funding for a decade or more.

Buchanan would normally play a pivotal role in deciding the fate of a financing reform, but Brown has indicated he wants to bypass hearings before legislative policy committees and attach his funding plan to the budget “trailer bill” at the end of the session. Buchanan reiterated her view, which Assembly Speaker John Perez supports, that any plan to rewrite the state’s school finance system must face “a robust review” before legislative committees, with all of the impacts known. There should be no surprises, she said.

STUDENTS STRUGGLING WITH ENGLISH NOT GETTING HELP, REPORT SAYS: More than 20,000 California students struggling with English are not receiving legally required services to help them, setting them up for academic failure, says a report by two civil rights groups.

By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times |

January 26, 2013, 8:20 p.m. :: More than 20,000 California students struggling with English are not receiving any legally required services to help them, setting them up for academic failure, according to a recent report by two civil rights organizations.

The study compiled 2010-2011 state data showing that students of all ages in 261 state school districts were receiving no specialized support to help them acquire English, as required under both state and federal law.

The districts with the largest number of students receiving no aid included Los Angeles Unified with 4,150, Compton Unified with 1,697 and Salinas Union High with 1,618, according to the report by the American Civil Liberties Union of California and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

Students who have been designated "English learners" make up one-quarter of all California public school students; 85% are U.S.-born. Continued failure to teach them English — they are among the lowest-performing groups of students — will leave them further behind and jeopardize California's future, the report said.

"State educational officials are creating a caste system whereby tens of thousands of children — nearly all of whom are U.S. citizens — are denied access to the bond of English language that unites us as Californians," said Mark Rosenbaum, chief counsel of the ACLU of Southern California.

The two organizations, along with the Los Angeles law firm Latham & Watkins, warned of possible litigation unless the state responds in 30 days with a plan for action. The legal advocates are demanding stronger state monitoring, including investigations of districts that report they provide no services, requirements to create a plan to do so and sanctions if they fail to comply.

But state education officials said that 98% of the state's 1.4 million English learners were receiving services and that recent court decisions had found that the California Department of Education was fulfilling its legal obligations to monitor help for them.

"Despite the enormous financial strains of recent years, California has made dramatic progress in seeing that all English learners receive appropriate instruction and services," state education official Karen Cadiero-Kaplan said in a statement. She added that any parents with concerns should contact their school district.

Jessica Price, an ACLU attorney, said some parents opt out of specialized programs for their children but that the law still requires districts to provide aid until the students are no longer classified as English learners. She said some districts simply don't know how to help the students, while others willfully ignore them — state compliance monitors found that one Northern California district had used state and federal funds for English learners to buy computer monitors and cameras, she said.

One parent, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by school officials, said she only learned at a district meeting four months ago that her children were entitled to special classes designed for English learners.

She began investigating and learned that her children had never been placed in any of the specialized classes. Neither she nor her children knew they existed, she said.

L.A. Unified's unserved students represented just 2% of its 194,904 English learners. Six of the 15 districts with the highest percentage of students without services were in the northern counties of Yuba, Siskiyou, Shasta, Butte, Sutter and El Dorado.

William S. Hart Union High School District in Los Angeles County reported it provided no services to 1,142 students, representing 54% of all English learners.

- Times staff writer Dalina Castellanos contributed to this report.


By Diana Lambert, The Sacramento Bee |

Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 :: Wheatland High School sits along a country road bordered by fields, a pumpkin farm and a cemetery. Its 710 ninth- through 12th-grade students are a mix of local teenagers and military kids from nearby Beale Air Force Base.

There isn't usually much news coming out of the Yuba County school.

That changed Wednesday when a report was released that listed the Wheatland Union High School District as the California district with the highest percentage of English learners – 85 percent – not receiving required language classes.

The district is made up of the high school and a community day school on the high school campus.

The report, issued by the American Civil Liberties Union of California and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, lists 251 state school districts that failed to offer English learner classes to all students needing them in the 2010-11 school year, the most recent year that data is available.

School district submit annual reports to the California Department of Education.

Two other local districts – Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento and Rescue Union Elementary School District in El Dorado County – joined Wheatland on the list.

Officials from all three districts seemed to be caught off-guard by the news.

Wheatland Principal/Superintendent Vic Ramos said he didn't know why school officials reported they had only served four of 27 of their English learners in 2010-11. "We may have misreported it," he said.

He said that every student at the school speaks English and that only a few – 15 this school year – are categorized as English language learners.

"I'm very familiar with the challenges of having students who don't speak English," said Ramos, who previously was the principal at Rosemont High in Sacramento. "We don't have those challenges."

He said English learners are integrated into regular classes in which teachers differentiate instruction. "We monitor their progress," he said.

The principal acknowledges that the school had a number of problems when he arrived in 2009-10, including teachers without the appropriate credential to teach English learners. That has changed, he said. Now the district's teachers either have the credential or are on their way to earning it, he said.

He points to a 37-point increase in the district's Academic Performance Index score last year, increasing it to 784. Latino students, who make up a majority of the school's English learners, increased their collective API by 48 points, he said.

Twin Rivers, which has 8,852 English learners among it 28,000 students, did not offer services to 5 percent of that population – 407 students in 2010-11, according to state data.

District officials blame the high numbers on seven independent charter schools within Twin Rivers Unified, saying 362 of the 407 unserved students in their district attended those charters. One of the charter schools has since closed.

"Because they are independent charters, the district has no control over their instructional services," said a prepared statement from the district.

School boards must approve each charter, however, and have the power to decide whether to renew charters when they expire. Twin Rivers officials said they will take this into consideration when they renew the charters in June of 2017.

Rescue Union Elementary School District did not offer services to 30 percent – or 39 – of its English learners, according to the report.

Rescue Superintendent David Swart said the information is inaccurate and that the district provides services to 100 percent of its English language learners. He said Thursday that the information was put in the system incorrectly by district staff.

The district, which serves 4,065 students at seven elementary and middle schools, has a 907 API. Its English learners increased their score by 14 points to 764 in 2011-12.

"We are getting help to the kids who need it the most," he said.

The data reported by districts as part of an annual census shows that 20,318 English learners attending California schools in 2010-11 didn't receive any of the instructional services required, according to the California Department of Education's website.

The numbers for 2010-11 aren't unusual, said David Sapp, an attorney for the ACLU. "It's been an issue for decades."

The lack of services has a debilitating effect on English learners, said the civil liberties group in a letter to state Superintendent Tom Torlakson and State Board of Education President Michael Kirst sent Wednesday. They said the students that aren't provided services are most at risk of dropping out or struggling academically.

The ACLU and the legal center warned state education officials they could face a lawsuit if they do not address the problem immediately.

"There are so many districts violating the law and the state isn't taking any action," Sapp told The Bee.

Education Department officials turned down a request for an interview for this story, issuing a news release instead.

"Despite the enormous financial strains of recent years, California has made dramatic progress in seeing that all English learners receive appropriate instruction and services," said Karen Cadiero- Kaplan, director of the English Learner Support Division at the Education Department in the prepared statement.

"School districts – which are responsible for providing instruction to students and appropriate services to English learners – currently report that 98 percent of the state's 1.4 million English learners are receiving services."

The number is from the same 2010-11 data, according to state education officials.

Then some students "have not received services and that would be illegal," Sapp said, when told of the state's response. "That number should be zero."

Report - OPPORTUNITY LOST: The Widespread Denial of Services to California English Learner Students

By Tom Chorneau, SI&A Cabinet Report |

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 :: The almost automatic approval that school districts have received for class-size waivers from the California State Board of Education during the past four years may be facing serious opposition from the state’s powerful teachers lobby.

Since the onset of the recession, the state board – both under the Schwarzenegger administration and Gov. Jerry Brown – has been sympathetic to districts that have been forced by budget cuts to layoff teachers and increase class sizes.

Sections of the Education Code governing class size were drafted in the mid-1960s and generally limit teacher-student ratios to less than 30:1 from kindergarten through the eighth grade. The law imposes financial penalties on districts when the average class size either exceeds that district’s average class size in 1964 or the state’s average at that time.

Although the California Teachers Union has routinely objected to the class-size penalty waivers, the requests seemed to provoke new vigor during a hearing last week where the board granted conditional approval to more than a dozen class-size penalty waivers without dissent.
In arguing against the moves, CTA representatives referenced the passage of Proposition 30 in the November election and the improving economy as reasons for the board to reject the requests.

The issue of class size is likely to also become a key point in the negotiations over the state budget.

Separately since the 1990s, the Legislature has provided funding aimed at limiting teacher-student ratios in kindergarten through the third grade at 20:1. But because of the fiscal crisis, lawmakers have since 2009 allowed districts to receive much of that money even though class sizes have often exceeded the limit.

As part of his restructured school funding program, Brown has proposed supplemental funding for elementary schools to keep smaller classes in kindergarten through third grade but allow larger classes otherwise – at least for now. Expectations are that the governor would require districts to transition back to a maximum ratio of 24:1 sometime in the future.

CTA president Dean Vogel has pointed out that the 24:1 maximum is above current law.

Here is a summary of the full SBE’s waiver calendar:

By Pia Escudero in the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles Jan 28 Weekly Update |

AALA thanks Pia Escudero, Director of School Mental Health (SMH), for submitting the following letter in response to our recommended New Year’s Resolutions for District leadership.

Jan 24, 2013 :: It was with great inspiration and hope that I read about AALA’s call for identifying and allocating the resources necessary to provide adequate mental health services and support for students and their families. I write on behalf of over 300 SMH professionals who are dedicated to promoting the mental health, well-being and academic achievement of all LAUSD students. In light of recent national and local events of school violence, we recognize the sense of urgency to promote a unified and collaborative approach and response to ensuring the safety of all our students and staff. LAUSD SMH continues to be nationally recognized for its crisis intervention and mental health programs.

Over the last two decades, SMH has paved the way in prevention and intervention practices for preparation and response to school violence and providing trauma-informed services. For example, since 2005, SMH has been funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) to implement the Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools, in partnership with RAND, UCLA and USC. Our administrators and staff, guided by nationally recognized researchers and academicians, have developed evidence-based practices, tools, and resources for LAUSD students, families, and staff. These coveted tools and practices have been disseminated and adopted by other states and school districts, such as New Orleans, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

LAUSD SMH Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services has worked collaboratively with multidisciplinary administrative teams to develop and implement policies and protocols as they relate to risk assessment and management, including threats, suicidal ideation and workplace violence incidents. Furthermore, our internal and external partnerships with School Operations, Los Angeles School Police, General Counsel, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles Police Department and other local law enforcement and community-based agencies have paved the way to addressing and mitigating critical events and violence in our school communities. Recently, we have launched several updates to LAUSD policies that promote a safe learning and work environment for all:

• BUL-5799.0 Threat Assessment and Management

• BUL-5798.0 Workplace Violence, Bullying and Threats Prevention

• BUL-2637.1 Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention

SMH is committed to ensuring the academic achievement of all students. As a unit, we are devoted to improvements at both the policy level and in the classroom. Recent research demonstrates that when students are exposed to traumatic or stressful events, it impacts brain functioning, which leads them to “fall behind in school or fail to develop healthy relationships with peers or create problems with teachers and principals because they are unable to trust adults.” 1 SMH professionals support positive student connections with peers, family, school and community by facilitating their ability to successfully deal with problems, crises and traumatic experiences. We foster resiliency (the ability to bounce back from challenges with confidence and coping capacity) by promoting healthy relationships, self-reflection and problem-solving skills. We are invested in creating trauma-informed schools across LAUSD.

Currently, the District leads the nation with the greatest number of trained school mental health clinicians in nationally-recognized, trauma-informed and evidence-based practices to improve clinical mental health symptoms so students may engage in learning. Nevertheless, in comparison to our student population and number of employees, SMH is extremely small. Our ratio per student is approximately 1:2,200, in comparison to the National standard, established by NASW, 1:250. The reality is that the need for students and families to have access to mental health services is significant. Last year alone, SMH lost funding for over 40 FTE Psychiatric Social Workers (PSW) positions as a result of reductions in school and program discretionary dollars. School and program administrators have had to face the difficult decision of selecting between mental health or other support services on their campus. This year, one school in particular lost the PSW position they had kept as part of their staff for over 20 years.

Thank you for your appeal to increase our opportunity to better serve our students and school community.

Your acknowledgment is two-fold: (1) It helps to reduce the stigma associated with accessing mental health services; (2) It highlights the need to fund mental health services in our schools. As we move forward as a District, ensuring the mental health and well-being of all students will be a collective effort. With highly trained, skilled and adaptive Psychiatric Social Workers, SMH is ready and available to provide services to aid in recovery and healing so that students may return to normalcy and continue to learn and grow.


HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
If a picture is worth 1,000 words – this t-shirt is worth 1,009! Get yours today.


Discipline Policy: WHY PUNISHMENT DOESN’T WORK: EdWeeks’s Bridging Differences |


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Today’s Civics Lesson II: [SCA 10] IT’S TIME TO BRING TRANSPARENCY TO BACK-ROOM LEGISLATING: It's time to bring ...

Today’s Civics Lesson I: GOVERNOR’S STATE-OF-THE-STATE ADDRESS - 9am on KPPC 89.3 /KABC-TV Channel 7 / CalChanne...

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ONE TODAY: the inaugural poem by Richard Blanco: the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain the e...


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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