Sunday, December 07, 2014

The FBI comes to call

4LAKids: Sunday 7•Dec•2014
In This Issue:
 •  The FBI at the door: WHAT’S IT ALL MEAN?
 •  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?

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To not note that this date, Sunday, December 7th, is the anniversary of that Date That Will Live in Infamy would be to forget.

Before that Sunday in 1941 the events of history were not so immediate. Sure, the generations previous probably remembered where they were and what they were doing when they heard the Titanic was lost or the archduke shot; when Lindy landed at Le Bourget. But national consciousness had never been awakened so collectively, so immediately – in an instant everyone knew the world had changed. An entire generation of Americans was baptized in the moment in the fire of Pearl Harbor.

There have been similar moments, similar days of infamy since: Nov. 22nd, 1963. Sept 11, 2001. Oddly, I remember the dates and where-I-was+what-I-was-doing, but the days of the week are not so indelible. (Nov 22, 1963 was a Friday; it was Tuesday, September eleventh.)

My mother never forgot where she was and what she was doing on Dec. 7, 1941; my father remembers that Sunday still.

The winter sailing weekend in Newport, the slatting of the halyards against the wooden masts. Someone’s tinny radio crackles on the dock: "We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin..."

“Oh my God! …have you heard?”

Their memories become our memory; in remembering them we remember then. The circle is unbroken.

MONDAY THE FBI CAME TO CALL AT LAUSD BEAUDRY. To hear the story told it was a surprise, G-men on a raid, search warrants and badges flashed – a strike force of special agents seizing and boxing-up and carting-off evidence.

►KPCC: “The investigation came as a surprise to district officials and will delay the rollout of iPads to more students in the district.

“Superintendent Ramon Cortines said he first learned about the investigation when 20 boxes of documents were seized by FBI agents Monday afternoon.”

►LA Times: “The FBI visit surprised school officials, according to L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines.

“‘They stopped by late yesterday afternoon,’ Cortines said Tuesday. ‘I found out at 4:30 in the afternoon on Monday.’ Cortines said he then alerted the district's general counsel to notify the Board of Education.”

All very dramatic. In actuality it was all much more mundane.

I have written my share of screenplays; the creating of drama is stock-in-trade. Leave drama to the professionals: LAUSD is never in need of a prompt to take logos, pathos and ethos all the way to bathos.

This was not an FBI “fishing expedition”.
The subpoena for the material was issued to the LAUSD General Counsel nine days before on Friday, November 21st and was served no later than Monday November 24th. The subpoena [] didn’t just request the files, it actually described them:

“All originals and copies of all and any records and documents related to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Request for Proposal 1118 (RFP 1118), The Common Core Technology Project (CCTP), Apple, Pearson Incorporated …”

and specified where they were:

“…that are located in Room 22-125 at 333 S. Beaudry Ave, Los Angeles CA 90017 in the LAUSD Office of Inspector General. “

“As a convenience to you, you can produce the demanded documents by mail or in person to Special Agent Liana M. Jensen ……” And if there were any questions, the office and cell phone numbers of the FBI Special Agent in Charge were provided.

There was a request that the existence of the subpoena not be disclosed outside parties – but that provision would not and could not have applied to the superintendent and/or board of education.
This wasn’t a federal raid; it was the transfer of files in the custody of the Inspector General to the U.S. Attorney.

In all likelihood the Federal Grand Jury didn’t delve into the files on Friday morning at 9:30 AM in Room 1346 on the 13th floor of the U.S. Courthouse. There’s a lot of cataloging and photocopying and the adminsitrivia of the mundane legal process remaining; there is homework to be done. Leads to be followed. Don’t expect indictments, perp walks and the issuance of orange jumpsuits any time soon. There was far too much urgency in the iPads for All initiative; I don’t expect the same from the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.

If this was a 60 Minutes story, it would be about iPads and MiSiS. It might even be about education and kids. Because it’s an FBI story it’s only about the iPads and the content.

QUOTE O’ TH’ WEEK (from LA School Report): “Andy Bowman, a spokesman for Apple, said the company declines to comment on anything that relates to LA Unified”.

Watch this space.

ON FRIDAY MORNING I attended a breakfast hosted by the Tri-Cities Consortium, an AB86 [] collaboration of the Adult Ed divisions of Compton, Lynwood and Paramount School Districts with the Compton Community College District to work together to provide adult education, Career Tech Ed and higher education in those communities.

(Coincidentally, a Paramount USD teacher-turned-legislator was named chair of Assembly Ed this week: 20 YEAR TEACHER/FRESHMAN LEGISLATOR NAMED CHAIR OF ASSEMBLY ED COMMITTEE |

What we are seeing there – and in the other 70 AB 86 consortia, is a genuine paradigm shift, driven by the recession and changes in state education funding but motivated by true mutual interest, collaboration and a common interest in the common good. City officials, adult educators, college faculty and community groups – organized labor, chambers of commerce, veterans' advocates - local, county, state and federal governments: In the room, at the table and on the same page.

In the Tri-Cities this is an effort focused on “College Ready and Career Prepared” - neither as either/or nor ‘the first is preferable to the latter’…but rather in the clear realization that the first is one of multiple pathways to the latter. And that what was once K-12 Public Education now goes from preschool to post-doctoral study.

I heard the same joke repeated twice in the morning: “I went to college so I could afford to pay my plumber.” The second time it was “…my air conditioner repair person”- but it was an AC tech student telling the joke.

We heard from a community member who successfully benefitted from local adult ed and community college collaboration; from a young student who is currently attending a career tech program, and from Assembly Member Anthony Rendon who went from high school drop-out to GED to Community College and into the California State University and UC system – eventually getting his Ph.D. Without ever amassing more than $2500 in debt! The Hon. Mr. Rendon may just be the poster child for the California Master Plan for Education.

Former LAUSD Boardmember, Community College trustee and Assemblyman Warren Furitani put it all in perspective – and into the moment: The cases we are seeing all around us of Black men falling victim to police deadly force on the street are instances first+foremost of ignorance. Racism is ignorance. Fear-of-the-Other is ignorance, Violence is ignorance. Poverty in the end is a symptom-of, cause-of and perpetuator-of ignorance.

The remedy for ignorance is education. The possibility, opportunity, availability and accessibility of low-cost/high-quality education take the Travon Martins and Michael Browns and Eric Garners off the street. Education arms the George Zimmermans, Darren Wilsons and Daniel Pantaleos with better weapons than guns+chokeholds.

Black Lives Matter. Latino Lives Matter. Asian Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. Policemen’s Lives Matter …not because they are Black or Latino, or Asian or White or policemen …but because they are lives and Every Life Matters.

We the People. We Hold These Truths to be Self Evident ….and Among These are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Together. We. Can. Will. Must.

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf

The FBI at the door: WHAT’S IT ALL MEAN?
By Steve Lopez | Los Angeles Times |

Dec 7, 2014 :: With three weeks left in December, I'm hesitant to jump the gun and suggest that we've seen the last of this year's troubles for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

As you might have heard, there was a knock at the door of district headquarters last Monday.

It was the FBI.

I'd like to tell you the federal agents were there for a mentoring program or some other educational purpose, but that wasn't the case.

Agents marched in and seized 20 boxes of documents relating to the district's $1.3-billion iPad fiasco, making clear that a criminal investigation is underway. A federal grand jury would have plenty to look at, given a bidding process that smelled like a red mullet fish kill, with cozy relationships between top district officials, Apple and curriculum provider Pearson.

I'm wondering why the feds didn't kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. While they were rummaging around at district headquarters, they could have grabbed another 20 boxes of documents related to the disastrous multimillion-dollar electronic student tracking system that created chaos in August and still hasn't been fixed.

And speaking of the FBI, district officials were oddly complacent about the storm troopers, if you ask me. You'd think someone would have enough self-respect, even if it was just for show, to put up a fuss or demand an explanation for the raid. But I watched a district lawyer tell a TV reporter, with a smile, "I have no idea what it's about."

I'll tell you what it's about.

It's about a disastrous year for the nation's second-largest school district, which has managed — thanks to bungling, sloth and political squabbling — to let down more than 600,000 students.

And the iPad and MISIS (My Integrated Student Information System) failures were not the only things that went wrong. The district paid out a staggering $139 million last month to settle claims against a teacher who fed his own semen to elementary school students, among other monstrous behavior, some three decades after the district received its first complaint about him.

It's still not clear how he was able to pull off his crimes after protections were put into place because of a previous sex abuse scandal, nor is it evident that adequate steps have been taken to diminish the chance of such a thing happening again. District officials have had maddeningly little to say about any of it.

And while I'm on the subject of abuse, KPCC was the first to report last month that in 2013, a district-contracted lawyer argued in court that a girl who sued the district was mature enough at 14 to have consented to the sexual affair she had with her 28-year-old middle school math teacher.

If stupidity and rotten leadership were federal crimes, the FBI would still be lugging boxes out of Beaudry.

The records removal, of course, harks back to Supt. John Deasy. He was supposed to lead the district to new heights when he took over three years ago, but he left under a cloud, in part due to his monumentally botched iPad plan.

After that, the Board of Education lured former Supt. Ray Cortines out of retirement to play quarterback, and he's a capable and energetic guy at 82. But the board has given no indication as to how long he'll be at the helm or whether anyone has begun serious conversations about recruiting a long-term replacement, should anyone be brave enough to take the job.

Meanwhile, teachers aren't happy about going years without raises, and their union is locked in bitter negotiations with the district. And unresolvable political divisions remain as to who should be running the district: the school board or the superintendent.

Is there anything good to say about LAUSD?

Yes, as a matter of fact. For all the distractions, most teachers and principals care about their jobs and do them well, and students have continued to show gains in recent years. And as for graduation rates and go-to-college rates, UCLA education professor John Rogers says the numbers "seem to have improved significantly."

But clearly, there's a long, long way to go.

"What we have right now is complete dysfunction," said Antonia Hernandez, director of the California Community Foundation. She and other community leaders have tried to agitate for better leadership, and she thought Deasy, despite his missteps, was rattling many of the right cages.

So what next?

"We don't know what to do anymore," she said.

But doing nothing, as she knows, is unacceptable.

A Friday headline in this newspaper reiterated an obvious reality: The Southern California economy is stuck in low-wage mode, in part because of an under-educated workforce. There's no way out of that rut without doing a better job of preparing 600,000-plus youngsters to become fully invested contributors. Every one of us stands to benefit, including employees, employers and taxpayers.

Despite continued school funding issues, money from Proposition 30 and Gov. Brown's plan to redistribute the wealth to needier districts makes for an opportunity that can't be wasted. So the first order of business is to find the right superintendent.

And if the LAUSD board thinks it can take the holiday season off, or wait until after the March elections to get serious about that conversation, someone else should do the job for them.

Who should that be?

As Rogers pointed out, the challenges in school districts like LAUSD are largely about socioeconomic issues, and that's the purview of county officials. So why is it that L.A. County supervisors, whose constituents fill L.A. schools, act as if LAUSD is somebody else's problem rather than everybody's responsibility?

We don't need a politician to hijack the district, as former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tried to do, or to stock the board with lackeys. But there's middle ground between Villaraigosa's hostile takeover bid and Mayor Eric Garcetti's unapologetic invisibility.

Where's the leadership and collaboration in one of the richest cities in the world, home to some of the greatest universities on the planet, as well as some of the largest nonprofits devoted to lifting up communities?

I'm not a fan of blue-ribbon panels that have no authority and produce voluminous reports nobody reads. But I'd be willing to temporarily waive my bias if a team of good people got together to help the district find a new superintendent and map out a plan to turn things around in 2015, especially if no one on the school board is going to lead or get out of the way.

There's too much at stake to plod along, business as usual, as a horrible year ends with the FBI at the door.

by Michael Janofsky, LA School Report |

Posted on December 3, 2014 1:04 pm :: Twenty boxes of documents now in hand, the FBI is examining records from LA Unified that bear on its digital technology program.

By terms of a subpoena, the documents will go before a federal grand jury Friday morning, and evidence of criminal wrong-doing could lead to indictments.

But what exactly are investigators looking for, and is it even possible that LA Unified might not be the central focus of the probe, that it could, instead, be its partners in the iPad program, Apple and Pearson?

The subpoena, dated Nov. 21, requested “all originals and copies of all and any records” related to the district’s request for proposals for the digital device program, the Common Core Technology Project and the two companies.

Among other records requested were those relating to other companies involved in the bidding process and to district personnel involved with the bidding and review processes.

Further, the authorities wanted records related to Apple and Pearson before the bidding process, a clear indication they have interest in the emails between Apple and Pearson and former superintendent John Deasy and his deputy at the time, Jaime Aquino.

Marc S. Harris, a former deputy chief of the Public Corruption and Government Fraud section for the Central District of California, told LA School Report that one of the companies, rather that the school district, could be a focus.

“It’s conceivable,” he said.

Pearson, the world’s largest educational publisher and developer of products for the Common Core curriculum, has run afoul of the government before.

A year ago, the Pearson Charitable Foundation, the company’s nonprofit, agreed to pay almost $8 million to New York state for using “charitable assets to benefit their affiliated for-profit corporations,” the state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said at the time.

Brandon Pinette, a Pearson spokesman, said today in an email that in regard to LA Unified the company was “not aware of the FBI action before it happened and we have not been contacted by the FBI or anyone else in law enforcement.”

Deasy, too, said he has not be contacted by the FBI.

Andy Bowman, a spokesman for Apple, said the company declines to comment on anything that relates to LA Unified.

If the focus of the investigation is, indeed, LA Unified, Harris said evidence of wrong-doing could lead to an indictment under statutes known as “honest services fraud,” a relatively new category (since 1988) that reflects “a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

The reference is to employees found with such violations as bribery, kickbacks or gratuities at the expense of a public agency.

But here’s why one of the companies cannot be ruled out as a focus of investigation: In 2013, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. ruled that the mere offer of a quid pro quo can lead to a conviction. That could turn the focus away from LA Unified, to one of its contractors.

Hard to know at this point. Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office involved in the case, said in an email: “Federal grand jury proceedings are secret, therefore I cannot comment any aspect of grand jury proceedings, including whether a particular matter is being investigated by a grand jury.”

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI, also declined to comment.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC |

Audio from this story 0:39 Listen |

December 04 2014 :: It's been a roller coaster ride for Los Angeles Unified School District students who were promised iPads that would usher in a new chapter in how they'll learn and take tests in the digital age.

The latest dip in that ride came Tuesday with news that LAUSD is canceling the latest purchase of iPads.

The announcement came after the FBI seized boxes of district documents, revealing a criminal investigation into LAUSD’s $1.3 billion iPad program.

King Drew Medical Magnet High School was scheduled to receive iPads along with 26 other schools that were part of the next phase of the program designed to place a tablet in the hands of each district student.

Eleventh-grader Maria Delgado says her teachers told her the iPad would replace most everything in her heavy backpack.

"Classwork and assignments were due and given on the iPads so that we wouldn’t carry our binders and none of that — only the iPad, and the iPad was going to carry all the supplies and materials we needed," she said.

Jritza Marquez, a fellow 11th grader, had also looked forward to the day when everyone had a tablet.
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"Because there’s some students that can’t afford the technology and teachers are really strict on the essays and stuff like that," he said. Finishing assignments would be easier with an iPad.

Word that students will have to wait for their iPads didn't please 11th grader Rebecca Borden. “I think that it sucks. We should have gotten them,” she said.

At least one student, however, thought the school-issued iPads would be a distraction.

"It would be an advantage, but then again it would just make us more dependent on technology and there’s other sources that could help us much more," said 11th grader Michelle Rosales.

For 10th-grader Jazmond Summers, the latest development with the iPads program is yet another unfulfilled promise from school officials.

"We’re so used to, like, rejection. Like it doesn’t always happen, we’re so used to that. It’s just like, oh, they might be coming. But we weren’t surprised that they didn’t," she said.

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said Tuesday the iPads purchase program would be restarted with a new contract to buy iPads and another agreement to acquire Chromebooks. But students will need to wait until the 2015-2016 school year before they get the tablets.


By Karin Klein, LA Times Editorialist in Opinion LA |

Dec 3, 2014 | 12:13PM :: There was a lot to dislike about the proposal to buy $500 million worth of iPads for Los Angeles Unified School District students (plus $800 million for the necessary broadband at schools): The price, the incomplete curriculum, the paucity of serious questions about whether all of these devices were necessary, the failure to plan for obvious things that could go wrong.

But the news this week that it’s now the subject of a federal grand jury investigation, with 20 cartons of materials seized by the FBI, was a big surprise.

But possibly a good surprise, in its way.

Though L.A. Unified’s own inspector general is also conducting his second inquiry into the iPad purchase—this time into the emails among former Supt. John Deasy, his deputy Jaime Aquino and representatives of Apple and Pearson, which at first appeared to be the early and only winners of the technology contract—there’s reason for the public to lack confidence in the district’s ability to investigate its technological missteps.

1. --A first investigation into the iPad contract, by L.A. Unified’s Inspector General Ken Bramlett, covered only the bidding process and never even found the controversial emails that appear to indicate a close working relationship between the two district leaders and the two future contract bidders, a good year before the contract went out to bid.

2. --The school board refused to make that first investigative report public, though it had the authority to do so. Meanwhile, after public records requests revealed the emails, the inspector general began a second investigation into those and whatever earlier relationship might have existed between Deasy and the winning contractors.

3. --Another, separate audit by the inspector general’s office, into the catastrophically troubled student tracking system, never questioned Deasy about a series of bungles up and down the line, despite numerous earlier complaints that he had been warned repeatedly that the software was not ready to be implemented and went ahead anyway. That left a glaring gap in the probe. It’s unclear why Deasy wasn’t interviewed, but he’s still in the district’s employ until the end of 2014; it would seem that part of his job would be to help with any audits.

4. --When the school board reached a severance agreement with Deasy in October, it issued a statement that board members do “not believe that the superintendent engaged in any ethical violations or unlawful acts” in regard to the emails. That statement was completely inappropriate considering that Bramlett’s investigation into the emails was still underway—as it is now. The board has no authority to direct the inspector general’s investigations—but it can hire and fire the person heading the staff office, and controls his office’s budget. (In fact, just a week or so before the board made its statement, Bramlett’s office pleaded for more funding, according to a KPCC report.) The statement could be seen as pressuring the inspector general not to find wrongdoing; in any case, board members are in no position to prejudge the matter.

For that matter, none of us are in that position. The emails could be perfectly legal and appropriate—or not. It’s unknown whether even a federal grand jury will be able to ferret out the full picture, since many earlier emails were apparently deleted and aren’t available. And if it uncovers ethical rather than legal problems, the public might never know; the grand jury is looking for evidence of crime. Federal crime at that. This might not be the best mechanism for examining the iPad purchase. But the investigation at least ensures that an independent authority is examining the matter, unimpeded by internal politics or pressures.

●● smf’s 2¢: Let me add a Fifth Reason to be Glad:

5. The Inspector General, the Board of Education and the Bond Oversight Committee do not/cannot/should not investigate or prosecute alleged criminal or civil wrongdoing by individuals and/companies - especially multinational corporations worth hundreds of billions of dollars. These are not alleged ‘bad teachers”; they very well may be ‘bad actors.’

The line in the article: “The board has no authority to direct the inspector general’s investigations…” is open to question and interpretation. The IG is a direct report to the Board of Ed - they, not the superintendent, are his bosses. Obviously they interfere in the IG’s work at their political peril – but previous boards have done so in the past with other Inspectors General.

In this case the IG is investigating the expenditure of bond funds – and he is expending bond funds in making that investigation. The Bond Oversight Committee expects him to report to the Bond Oversight Committee in our oversight capacity (please excuse the first person) and generally we have a very cooperative+ symbiotic working relationship. But, to paraphrase Ms. Klein: “The oversight committee has no authority to direct the inspector general’s investigations…”

And, to be quite frank, we also have no authority to demand the IG’s investigative work product such as the report referred to in bullet #2 above – which we have politely requested – but have been denied by the board, not the IG.


By Teresa Watanabe , LA Times |

1 Dec 2014 :: Aiming to close a legal loophole that allowed L.A. Unified attorneys to argue that a 14-year-old girl could consent to sex with her teacher, a state assemblywoman introduced a bill Monday that would bar that defense in civil cases.

Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose) said she was outraged when she learned that the district successfully used the argument to combat claims for financial compensation filed last year by the girl.

The student said she suffered emotional trauma after her then-teacher at Edison Middle School in Los Angeles lured her into sex for several months four years ago.

Campos' measure, AB 29, would make the age of consent 18 in civil cases involving sexual intercourse between two parties. That would clarify state law, which some California courts have interpreted as allowing those as young as 14 to consent to sex with adults. Criminal law generally holds that sexual activity between adults and those under 18 is illegal.

"It’s ridiculous to argue that a child can consent to sex," Campos said in an interview. "No victim of sexual abuse, especially a child, should ever be blamed."

A jury last fall found L.A. Unified was not liable for damages in the case. District officials argued that school staff did not know of the abuse and that the eighth-grade teacher and student took pains to conceal their relationship until it was reported to a science teacher by the victim's friend.

When notified, the district removed the teacher, Elkis Hermida, from the classroom; he was subsequently convicted on criminal charges of lewd acts against a child and sentenced to three years in prison in 2011.

But L.A. Unified officials came under fire after their legal defense was reported in a radio broadcast this month by KPCC. The district subsequently severed ties with W. Keith Wyatt, the outside attorney who had represented L.A. Unified on this and other cases for 27 years.

Jennifer A. Drobac, an Indiana University law professor and expert on consent laws, said the Campos measure did not go far enough. She said, for instance, that the abuse of boys by men might not be covered because the measure does not apply specifically to sodomy but only "sexual intercourse," which courts have generally interpreted as heterosexual acts.

Campos said she is open to refining her measure.

The loophole over underage consent to sex was opened by a 2001 California Supreme Court decision, in which the justices noted that the Legislature had removed non-forcible sex with minors from the state’s rape laws in 1970, Drobac said.

In doing so, the court said, legislators "implicitly acknowledged that, in some cases at least, a minor may be capable of giving legal consent to sexual relations." That language has been picked up by other courts in other cases, Drobac said.

"It’s a duplication of errors that is creating this horrific situation in California and other states," Drobac said.

But Campos said her measure will clear up any ambiguity over legislative intentions on the issue. "It’s not a gray area," she said. "It’s black and white."

By Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News |

[Edited from a longer article]

Posted: 12/04/14, 3:49 PM PST :: The coming city elections could be marked by rematches and returns based on the final list of candidates who filed nominating petitions Wednesday to appear on the ballot in the Mar. 3 primary


On the L.A. Unified board, George McKenna is unopposed in District 1.

Third District incumbent Tamar Galatzan, who represents the San Fernando Valley, qualified for re-election, and she was to face teacher-scientist Ankur Patel. Children’s advocate Elizabeth Badger Bartels, businessman Carl J. Petersen, businessman-professor Filiberto Gonzalez and retired teacher and school administrator Scott Mark Schmerleson filed petitions on Wednesday.

Incumbent Bennett Kayser filed petitions to keep his 5th District school board seat. He is being challenged by educator-parent Andrew Thomas and educator Ref Rodriguez.

In the 7th District, incumbent Richard Vladovic is seeking re-election. Public school teacher Lydia Gutierrez qualified for the ballot, and principal-adjunct professor Euna Anderson filed petitions to run.


And over on the Community College board, Seat 1 incumbent Mona Field was running for a new term against professor Maria “Sokie” Quintero and community college professor Andra Hoffman. Teacher and radio host Mark Isler filed his petitions to run as well.

For Seat 3, which was vacated by Veres in his bid for the City Council, candidates include Jozef “Joe” Thomas Essavi and Sydney Kamlager, both no profession listed. Others who filed petitions: community college professor Yolanda Toure and neighborhood council board member Glenn Bailey.

For Seat 5, incumbent Scott Svonkin is seeking re-election, and environmental-science instructor Steve Schulte filed petitions to run.

Candidates for Seat 7 were to be educational job trainer Mike Fong, community college faculty member John Burke and Joyce Burrell Garcia, no occupation listed. College student board member John Noyola and community organizer Rodney D. Robinson filed petitions.

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



Tweet: Dec 4 - THIS AM @ 9:30AM on the 13th floor of the Federal Courthouse a grand jury convenes to look into LAUSD iPad fiasco & the Apple/Pearson contract

ALL THE SUPERINTENDENT’S MEN: Everybody had long since gone home |



Cortines: iPAD CONTRACT CANCELLATION NOT BASED ON FBI RAID. Decision made after reading material over Thanksgiving

Tweet:Dec 2 - FBiPADS: 11:41 a.m.: FBI probing LAUSD? 10:58 a.m.: Feds take iPad-related documents from LAUSD 1:01 p.m.: Cortines cancels iPad contract


FBI SEIZES LAUSD iPAD DOCUMENTS; 20 boxes carted away in surprise visit |

EVENTS: Coming up next week...

• REGULAR BOARD MEETING – Tues. December 9, 2014 - 10:00 a.m. (Rescheduled from 12-2-14)
• BUDGET, FACILITIES, AND AUDIT COMMITTEE – Thurs. December 11, 2014 | 9 a.m

*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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