Sunday, March 10, 2013


Onward! 4LAKids
4LAKids: Sun 10•Mar•2013 Pacific Daylight Time
In This Issue:
 •  BIG MONEY DOESN’T BUY MUCH IN L.A. SCHOOL RACES + somebody else’s 2¢
 •  APATHY v.2.0: Election officials were stunned when 16% of voters cast ballots. They couldn't believe that many people knew there was an election.
 •  STUDENT PANEL OFFERS EXPERT ADVICE TO LAWMAKERS ON EVALUATING SCHOOLS: “Ultimately, every student deserves to have a voice in their own education.”
 •  HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  What can YOU do?

Featured Links:
 •  OUR CHILDREN, OUR FUTURE: What will California schoolchildren, your school district and YOUR School get when the initiative passes?
 •  Follow 4 LAKids on Twitter - or get instant updates via text message by texting
 •  4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
 •  4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
I am a little – or maybe a whole lot – compulsive about writing these weekly essays – but I am asking your permission to not go there this weekend. It’s not that I don’t have opinions and issues re: the goings-on, for I surely do. But my mother passed away on Saturday after a long life and a short illness. She went to sleep and slipped away unafraid– but I need to be alone in my thoughts for now.

I don’t ask for your sympathy or words of solace, only for this space – and that you cling to your families and hold them dear, that you cherish the moments and raise children that value the things that are important.

That is a lot to ask, so I add “please”.
And say “thank you”.

EverOnward/SiempreAdelante. - smf

BIG MONEY DOESN’T BUY MUCH IN L.A. SCHOOL RACES + somebody else’s 2¢ [updated]

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times |

March 6, 2013, 8:15 p.m. :: Outside interests poured money into Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's war chest for this week's school board elections in an attempt to influence education reform here and nationwide. But when the votes were tallied, the group could count only one clear winner.

The mayor's political action committee, which amassed more than $3.9 million on behalf of three candidates, secured just incumbent Monica Garcia's seat.

In the other two races, the Coalition for School Reform lost its bid to unseat incumbent Steve Zimmer, who was backed by the teachers union. The group's other favored candidate, Antonio Sanchez, is headed for a May 21 runoff.

The results were "a loss for the mayor and the future of reform in the district," said former state Sen. Gloria Romero, who is generally allied with Villaraigosa's education agenda.

But American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten summed up Tuesday's election this way: "Big monied interests — most of whom live far away from Los Angeles and virtually none of whom have children in LAUSD schools — were rebuked by parents, teachers and the community."

The costliest race was between Zimmer and attorney Kate Anderson in District 4, which spans the Westside and west San Fernando Valley. There, the mayor's group spent more than $1.5 million on Anderson's behalf. The coalition campaign portrayed one-term incumbent Zimmer as an L.A. Unified insider who voted to fire thousands of teachers and approved a hugely expensive new school.

Taking on Zimmer was "an odd choice," said Charles Kerchner, a professor at Claremont Graduate University. Overall, Zimmer has been the most independent current board member and a "bridge builder," Kerchner said.

Zimmer and the union could not keep pace with the coalition's fundraising, but he was able to turn the tables on the opposition's attack ads.

"Our message is very simple," Zimmer wrote in an email blast just before election day. "Don't believe the lies of March." He exhorted supporters who "have joined our students and their families in resisting this takeover of the board and this assault on our democracy."

Zimmer, who claimed 52% of the vote, said Wednesday that "the willingness to win by any means necessary makes me very sad…They really did try to buy a seat and were pretty brazen about it."

He added that he still intends to cooperate with Supt. John Deasy and Villaraigosa. "This election hasn't changed me."

The coalition's clear victory was in Garcia's District 2, which encompasses downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. The two-term incumbent received 56% of the votes. The teachers union had hoped to push Garcia into a runoff but devoted few resources to that goal.

In all, campaign committees affiliated with United Teachers Los Angeles spent close to $1 million, according to the City Ethics Commission. That included $150,000 from the American Federation of Teachers.

The coalition's coffers included $1 million from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, about $340,000 from the California Charter Schools Assn., $250,000 from an organization led by former District of Columbia schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and $250,000 from a New York-based subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Sanchez and Garcia also benefited from financial support from employee unions other than UTLA.

Sanchez, running for the open District 6 seat, in the east San Fernando Valley, finished with 43% of the vote. He'll be in a runoff with Monica Ratliff, who tallied 34%. The teachers union sat out that race.

Voter turnout was low, ranging from 13.5% in District 6 to 17.5% in District 4, according to preliminary figures.

Former school board member Marlene Canter said that the teachers union managed to divert attention from its own history of using funds to sway school board elections.

"Most of these so-called outsiders have a long-standing interest in improving education and personally stood to gain exactly nothing from the outcome," said Canter. "Their participation simply helps level the playing field."

A debate over the policies of the superintendent — including the use of student test scores as a significant portion of a teacher's evaluation — never really reached voters through the campaigns.

"Most voters never heard about those priorities from [Anderson's] campaign," said Dan Schnur, director of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. "By drawing her into a more typical political shooting match, Zimmer was able to make the race more about her money than her ideas."

Schnur's brother Jonathan is an education adviser to Bloomberg, but Schnur said neither of them had a role in the New York mayor's L.A. campaign donation.

Deasy said he's ready to move on. He said the contentious election was never an issue between him and Zimmer.

"He and I talk every day," Deasy said. "I didn't experience a divisive relationship whatsoever."

• Times staff writer Stephen Ceasar contributed to this report.

•• smf: The following from an anonymous commenter was forwarded by a 4LAKids reader, who writes: 

[ UPDATE: *  subsequent publication of this same material in the AALA Update credits the original poster as Alan Warhaftig, an accomplished educator at Fairfax High School.]
“This was put together by a good friend. It tells the tale what is happening in this country, though it relates to a minor election of our LAUSD school board.

“It is a continuing saga of the efforts of our mayor in his efforts to take over the school district and the efforts of the Walton types who want to privatize public education.”

A very cool overview of spending for last night's election from the L.A. City Ethics Website:

The money from Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, Michelle Rhee, Eli Broad et al went into Mayor Villaraigosa's Coalition for School Reform.

• $1.542 million in Independent Expenditures (most from the Coalition, some from the California Charter Schools Association) supported the candidacy of Kate Anderson or opposed the candidacy of Steve Zimmer.
• $1.08 million in Independent Expenditures (most from UTLA and SEIU) supported the candidacy of Steve Zimmer or opposed the candidacy of Kate Anderson.
• Advantage: Anderson by $462,000.

In regular contributions (limited to $1,000 per donor)
• Anderson received $250,925
• Compared to $82,307 for Zimmer.
• Advantage: Anderson by $168,618.
• The total money advantage for Anderson was more than $630,000.
• Anderson raised a total of $1,912,385.80 ($64.75 for each of the 29,537 votes she received).
• Zimmer raised a total of $1,042,794.60 ($32.45 for each of the 32,137 votes he received).
• The differential: 2:1.

The District 6 election in the Valley, which will have a runoff, is even more interesting.
• $1.18 million in Independent Expenditures (most from the Mayor Villaraigosa's Coalition, with big contributions from AFL-CIO and SEIU) supported the candidacy of Antonio Sanchez, a Villaraigosa staffer.
• UTLA chose not to spend any money on this race, so there were no Independent Expenditures backing the candidacy of Monica Ratliff.
• Advantage: Sanchez by $1.18 million.
• In regular contributions (limited to $1,000 per donor), Sanchez received $54,688.53
• Compared to $14.797.69 for Ratliff (of which $1,996.23 was contributed by Ms. Ratliff herself - skin in the game).
• Advantage: Sanchez by $39,891.
• The total money advantage for Sanchez was more than $1.2 million.
• Sanchez raised a total of $1,236,225.40 ($94.46 for each of the 13,087 votes he received).
• Ratliff raised a total of $14.797.69 ($1.43 for each of the 10,351 votes she received).
• The differential: 66:1. Wow.

• Mónica Garcia and her backers raised a total of $1,798,879.71, or $117.82 for each vote she received.
• Her opponents in District 2 raised a total of $94,115.77 – or $7.86 per vote.]

The outside money didn't buy much last night, but it made an impression that is impossible to ignore. Can UTLA afford to stay on the sidelines for the runoff? The billionaires certainly won't.

APATHY v.2.0: Election officials were stunned when 16% of voters cast ballots. They couldn't believe that many people knew there was an election.
L.A.’s WALKING DEAD: Most Angelenos couldn't summon the energy to cast a ballot. That doesn't have to continue.
Steve Lopez

By Steve Lopez, LA Times columnist |

March 6, 2013, 6:45 p.m. :: Mark the date, remember the day.

On March 5, 2013, Los Angeles redefined apathy.

A measly 16% of the city's registered voters — or perhaps around 20% once all the mail-in ballots are counted — turned out in an election with the following things at stake:

How much we pay in sales tax, who controls the nation's second-largest school district, who might fill nine City Council seats and three community college board positions, and who will serve as city attorney, city controller and mayor.

This is late-night TV joke territory, as in:

"Election officials were stunned in Los Angeles on Tuesday when 16% of the city's voters cast ballots. They couldn't believe that many people knew there was an election."

You could spin it, I suppose, and say it's not that we're disengaged, we're just laid back. A whole metropolis of Big Lebowskis, dude.

But being laid back is a lifestyle that takes some thought, as well as the right sneakers. Blowing off an election is just plain lazy. Mail-in ballots are available to one and all. You can vote without ever getting off the couch.

What to do?

One idea would be to time mayoral elections so they're on the same ballot as presidential elections instead of a few months later. It seems to me that a mayor has more impact on our daily lives than a president, but national elections draw a lot more Angelenos to the polls.

Or we could switch to an instant runoff system in which you vote for your first and second choices for mayor. That makes the stakes higher and delivers a winner without the hassle of a separate runoff election.

Or we could do our voting at Starbucks and probably triple the turnout, especially if Starbucks offers a civic duty discount on your caramel macchiatto.

One problem is that polls suggest most people get their news from local television stations, which devote far more time to covering the weather — which is exactly the same 320 days a year — than to local politics and government.

If I were to jump into the mayor's race as, say, a write-in candidate, the first thing I'd do is hijack a car, plaster it with "Believe in Steve" signs, and lead police on a very slow televised chase.

Some slackers try to go high-road on you to explain their civic indifference. They're in the know, see, and they're not going to waste their time voting for ideologically indistinguishable characters like Eric Garcetti or Wendy Greuel, both of whom are neck-deep in City Hall dysfunction and equally unlikely to shake things up.

Some truth in that, sure. But one's a man, the other's a woman. One's a lefty at heart, the other was once a Republican. One's a Silver Lake city boy, the other's a working suburban mom in the San Fernando Valley. One is endorsed by public employee unions, the other by Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek.

And one of these candidates is about to become the mayor of nearly 4 million people in one of the world's most loved and hated cities, a Pacific Rim Ellis Island with staggering riches and overwhelming challenges. One of them will make decisions on traffic, public safety, housing, economic development, and dozens of other issues that will have a direct impact on you, your kids and your grandchildren for years to come.

Speaking of which, I'd like to have a word now with the candidates.

Mr. Garcetti? Ms. Greuel?

If you're out of breath from the primary, I don't know why, because neither of you had much to say. Spare us the prattling in the runoff, please.

Eric, stop telling us that although the recession and the crazy contracts you and Wendy handed to city employees got us into trouble, you jumped into the fire to beat back the flames while others stood on the sidelines.

Wendy, we know you've convinced yourself, if no one else, that you've found $160 million in waste, fraud and abuse as city controller. But you don't seem as eager to explain how the city's fiscal problems were hatched when your were a council member.

Both of you, please quit telling us what you did or didn't do, because we'd rather hear about what you're going to do to ensure we don't die from a heart attack while the Fire Department offers six explanations for slow response times.

Measure A tanked, as both of you said it should. So now's a good time to explain how we pay for city services without the extra $200 million that half-cent sales tax increase would have generated.

You also both said you'd back killing a business tax that brings in more than $400 million a year? Time to show us the math on that trick, too.

Eric, we don't need consensus-building as much as head-cracking. Wendy, I beg you once again to stop telling us everything's on the table. It's time to throw things off the table and tell us where you stand.

And although there's no acceptable excuse for not voting, I want the candidates to know they should be ashamed of all the sensational, distorted, beside-the-point, lowest-common denominator crapola in their campaign fliers and TV ads. Whether those ads were independent expenditures or came from the campaigns, they stank from Pacoima to Pedro.

It's time for some adult conversation about your focus, your plans and your vision. Class things up, and maybe you'll motivate a few slackers to tweet their friends and find out where to vote.

Hey, I'm back where I started.

Stop with the excuses, non-voters. Cynicism is acceptable, surrender is not. Read the paper, for crying out loud. Educate yourself. If we pull together in the runoff, a 25%-30% turnout is possible.


By Kimberly Beltran | SI&A Cabinet Report –

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 :: A key legislative panel undertook Wednesday its first look at the challenges the state faces in bringing the new common core curriculum standards into California classrooms. And, committee members expressed a lot of doubt the transition can be accomplished by the fall of 2014.

“I know I sound skeptical – because I am,” said Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee. “It’s not the standards themselves and the direction we want to go. It’s just our ability in the next year and a half to make sure that the districts are prepared to actually deliver that high quality curriculum.”

The hearing, first of the year by a legislative oversight committee on common core implementation, focused on the steps that still must be taken to provide students instructional materials aligned to the new curriculum goals, train teachers and access technology that will be needed to administer the new testing.

State schools chief Tom Torlakson provided the Legislature a detailed transition plan in January aimed at beginning the first testing tied to the common core by the spring of 2015.

Although the hearing was organized as a fact finding mission, Buchanan, as well as other committee members, seemed dazed by the challenges.

“So you’ve got the end of this year and one more year and then you’re going to start testing kids,” she said at one point. “I just feel like, with the public, are we really being honest?”

One key issue that the panel focused on was ensuring teachers are properly prepared to instruct in the new content goals.

“School districts now, many of them, don’t even have the three days of in-service they had at the beginning of the recession,” said Buchanan. “Some of them under this proposed formula won’t even get up to their pre-recession levels of funding until after 2020. And we say, well, if they want to they can redirect funds here or there – they may want to do a whole lot but the reality is they’re probably not going to be able to do it.”

While no one has yet put a price tag on how much will be needed for the professional development piece of common core implementation, it has been estimated that training, along with new instructional materials and needed technology, will be in the billions of dollars.

It has been suggested that lawmakers consider at least a one-time allocation of funds to districts specifically for common core and assessments.

Members of the panel were also concerned about the lengthy testing window CDE plans to allow for the new assessments, and they wondered if and how the assessments indicate a student’s readiness to enter the workforce.

CDE has said it plans to give schools a 12-week period to assess students simply because most don’t have enough computers for each pupil to be tested all at once. Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford education professor and chair of the Teacher Credentialing Commission, said that in California, the student-to-computer ratio is five-to-one.

This is a concern, panel members said, because students will not have had an entire year of instruction if testing must begin three to four months prior to year’s end.

Darling-Hammond also said, however, that it is likely most districts will need much fewer than 12 weeks – maybe as little as four – to assess all of their students.


By Kimberly Beltran | SI&A Cabinet Report |

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 :: Worried about the fate of adult, early childhood and career-technical education programs across the state, members of a legislative panel on education finance said Tuesday they will be taking a hard look over the coming weeks at the impact Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed school funding formula could have on those key offerings.

Both the K-12 education system and the state’s preschool and early childhood learning programs have sustained major cutbacks over the five years since the onset of the national recession. While the passage of Proposition 30 last November helps restore some of the funding to K-12 districts, Brown’s 2013-14 budget plan contains no new revenue for pre-K programs, nearly decimated by cuts last year.

“Study after study and nation after nation and state after state has said – and now we can add the president to that list – that the money is best spent in high-quality early childhood education,” said Concord Democrat Susan Bonilla, chair of the Assembly’s education finance committee. “To ignore what all the data says about putting money into the early years would be foolhardy and, frankly, kind of flies in the face of what everyone in the educational world has accepted as very positive and productive.”

The governor’s budget also includes his plan to restructure the way schools are funded by the state. Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula would deregulate spending restrictions on money previously reserved for special programs, including career-technical education. In addition, the new formula would shift responsibility for adult education programs from the K-12 system to community colleges – a move both state schools chief Tom Torlakson and the non-partisan Legislative Analyst said they oppose as currently proposed.

“I do not think it would be an effective move to move adult education to the community colleges. They have a different mission,” Torlakson said on Tuesday. “For the community colleges, with their own budget challenges, they would have a difficult time launching a whole new program and making contracts to have local access.”

Bonilla and several of her colleagues on the panel also expressed concerns over the potential loss of career-technical education programs, since school districts, still underfunded compared to other states and pre-recession years, would be able to use those funds for any educational purpose.

Assemblyman and newcomer Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, pointed out that a successful career technical education program, operated through a joint-powers agreement between six districts in his home district, is planning to dissolve if the governor’s funding plan is adopted as proposed. The Southern California Regional Occupation Center, created in 1967, serves 10,000 students a year and employs 120 teachers, all of whom have received layoff notices, Muratsuchi said.

Torlakson’s legislative affairs director Erin Gable, however, said the superintendent’s office believes the governor’s funding formula can be tweaked to ensure the continuation of CTE programs.

“We believe that there’s room to work within the proposal to include some sort of add-on for high school base grants around career-tech education to ensure that there’s a strong infrastructure that remains in place; that’s there’s no loss of program offerings at the local level, and that goes into each of the CTE programs that have been very successful and continuously underfunded statewide,” Gable said.

Sharon Scott Dow, representing Molly Munger’s Advancement Project, also suggested that the committee consider one-time funding allocations to help school districts implement the new common core curriculum standards as well as new assessments based on those standards. The state adopted common core in 2010 but they have yet to be implemented due to a lack of funding.

Since the national recession began in 2008, California has grappled with a decline in state revenues that in turn has negatively impacted state funding for education. However, with the passage of the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 (Proposition 30), schools were spared billions of dollars in mid-year trigger reductions.

The governor’s 2013-14 budget estimates a Proposition 98 minimum guarantee for schools of $56.2 billion, $2.7 billion above the current year funding level and a 5 percent increase year-over-year.

Proposition 98 funding growth is greater for community colleges (10 percent) than for K-12 education (4 percent); however, about half of the additional increase for the community colleges is related to the governor’s proposal to restructure adult education.

STUDENT PANEL OFFERS EXPERT ADVICE TO LAWMAKERS ON EVALUATING SCHOOLS: “Ultimately, every student deserves to have a voice in their own education.”
By Kimberly Beltran, SI&A Cabinet Report |

Thursday, February 28, 2013 :: If the state wants an accurate accounting of how its schools are performing, it should find a way to include student input in its Academic Performance Index, said those perhaps closest to the issue – the students themselves – at a state hearing Wednesday.

California should also create a statewide database where teachers can share and learn best classroom practices from each other. To curb the high drop-out rate? Promote programs in schools that combat bullying.

And, finally, to help cut down on the number of injuries and deaths caused by teens texting while driving, officials should incorporate preventative education in high school health classes.

These were the recommendations made to a Senate education panel Wednesday by an advisory group of high school students as part of an annual report to lawmakers.

Their interest in changes to the school accountability system comes in the wake of legislation adopted last year that restructures the API – now calculated solely on standardized test scores – so that other factors, such as school culture and environment, may be taken into account in evaluating school performance.

An advisory commission to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, saddled with turning the legislative goals into a workable system, has been struggling to find indicators outside of assessments that would provide reliable and consistent information to make up 40 percent of the API.

Members of the California Association of Student Councils’ Advisory Board on Legislation in Education suggested Wednesday that the state incorporate student input as part of the API by including them on local review panels that are contemplated in the restructuring legislation and also supported by Gov. Jerry Brown.

“Ultimately, every student deserves to have a voice in their own education,” said Jakleen Lee, a student at Fullerton’s Troy High School and a member of the council. “If students know that their opinions matter and are taken into account when evaluating their school, students will become empowered to learn and utilize their full potential in the classroom.”

In their recommendations on improving school accountability, the student group also proposed:

• Allowing students to suggest questions to the local review panel prior to school visits.

• Evaluating the responses from the interviewees based upon a standardized criterion and rubric that assesses the academic composition of the school.

• Standardized evaluation criterion could include: teacher attitude and enthusiasm, organization of curriculum structure, returning tests and homework in a timely manner.

While lawmakers said they were intrigued with the ideas, there wasn’t much consensus on how to proceed.

“This is a very controversial and very important topic – probably the most – and we as a Legislature have dealt with it and the entire education community has dealt with it for many, many, many years,” Sen. Mark Wyland, vice chair of the education committee, told the students. “I love the idea of a student voice. I don’t know how you would do it. I don’t know how you would select the students, but I think that would be good at all high schools.”

Senators on the panel, chaired by Carol Liu, also were supportive of the student group’s suggestions for looking at ways to combat bullying in schools to help lower the state’s dropout rate – so much so that Sen. Loni Hancock suggested a separate legislative hearing on the topic.

“We have lots of problems in schools, and some of them are related to money, but this one isn’t,” Hancock said. “Kindness is cheap. Reaching out a hand to somebody else doesn’t cost money.

“It’s what the school climate is, and it’s how we do something that I suppose you’d call character education,” she continued. “And how do we begin to infuse that in our schools. I would suggest to the chair that we might want to have a hearing on bullying at some point.”

While the student group reported finding some studies from other states looking at a correlation between bullying and the dropout rate, California could take the lead by adding the category “bullied” to the subgroup units in its Annual Report on Dropouts, a state analysis of high school dropouts required under SB 651 (Romero), to ensure a state investigation on the link between bullying and dropout rates.

Once the data has been verified, the students said, the state should create a legislative committee to identify specific problems pertaining to bullying and eventually offer possible solutions with input from student representatives.

At the least, the students said, officials should consider incorporating questions pertaining to bullying in the California Kids Survey, conducted by the California State Board of Education, to better understand the motives of potential high school dropouts.

“There are many factors contributing to high school drop-out rates in California,” said Sara Castro, a student at the California Academy of Mathematics and Science in Carson in Los Angeles County. “But as a group, we decided that bullying was one of the major causes of high school dropouts that we’ve experienced. I myself was a victim of bullying and I wanted to dropout because of the environment I was in.”

Two other priority topics brought forward by the student advisory group were the establishment of a central system for educators throughout the state to share best classroom practices, and the incorporation of a lesson on the dangers of texting and driving into school curriculum.

Currently, the students said, there is no effective way for schools, teachers and students to receive and share best practices with each other. Teachers with great practices have no statewide outlets for these ideas, and similarly, teachers desiring great practices do not have a reliable source to draw from.

Also, while other states have begun to include texting while driving education in their schools, California has yet to do so. Health classes now include curriculum on the dangers of drinking and driving; however, there is no curriculum on the consequences of texting and driving, the students reported.

HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
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THE POLLS ARE OPEN: Go do it!: …and thank you. ¡EverOnward/SiempreAdelante!

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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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