LA Unified sets record with 5 county ‘Teachers of the Year’

Teachers of the Year 2014 LAUSD

The five LA Unified teachers named Los Angeles County “Teachers of the Year” are in the front row, (left to right): Maricar J. Fortuno Calatán, Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher, Isabel J. Morales, Michael A. Morgan, and Hector V. Perez-Roman.

A record five LA Unified teachers have been named Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year for 2014-15.

The honorees are among 16 teachers in the county to receive the award, and they are all now in the running for the California Teacher of the Year award, according to a district press release.

“These teachers represent the best in education. I applaud them all—in particular those from our District,” said LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy in an issued statement. “Good teaching combines art and science. We take pride in our honorees.”

The winners, who were honored at a ceremony Friday at Universal City, were chosen because they are “educators who have shown exemplary dedication, compelling classroom practices, positive accomplishments and professional commitment,” according to the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s website.

LA Unified winners were chosen from 75 candidates who had been honored locally by their school districts. The state winner will then move on to the national competition, which will take place in the spring of 2015.

The L.A. County Teachers of the Year from L.A. Unified are:

Six LA Unified teachers have won the California Teacher of the Year award in past years:

Another challenger to Kayser enters LAUSD school board race

Andrew thomas LAUSD school board candidate

Andrew Thomas, challenger to Bennett Kayser for the district 5 seat on the LA Unified school board

Andrew Thomas came to the conclusion the LA Unified school board had grown too distant from issues at the school level. He tried one approach at improving things, serving as a member of the Parents Advisory Committee, which was suppose to help shape spending.

Not satisfied that it had much impact, Thomas is now running for the District 5 board seat occupied by Bennett Kayser, one of four seats up for election next year. Kathryn Torres, a former SEIU Local 99 official, is also opposing Kayser.

“The district is not doing the job, supporting schools and parents,” said Thomas, 48, a professor of education at the online Walden University and operator of a research company that consults with school districts, including LA Unified. “There’s definitely a feeling that the district is not going in the right direction, that the board and the district are out of touch with what needs to happen.”

He said his impetus for running stemmed from efforts to seek Kayser’s help for various school site problems and getting no response. He said that cemented his view that the district has become too “focused on autocratic control,” with a “one-size-fits-all” approach to problem solving that leaves parents take action on their own.

As an example, he cited budget cuts in recent years that deprived schools of custodial staff and site managers, “leaving parents to do things like painting and cleaning up the grounds.”

He said he largely agrees with complaints raised by the teachers union, UTLA, over Superintendent John Deasy’s leadership style, the mishandling of the iPads and MiSiS programs and the need to retain greater job protections for teachers.

He called the iPad program “a bad idea,” suggesting that the bond money used for it would have been better spent for capital improvements at schools around the district.

But despite his sympathetic views toward UTLA, he said his initial efforts to seek financial support from the union were unsuccessful, recognizing that UTLA has been a consistently strong support of Kayser.

“I’m going to have to look elsewhere,” he said.

In State of the Union, Caputo-Pearl hints at strike, targets Deasy

Alex Caputo-Pearl new president of Los Angeles Teachers Union

Alex Caputo-Pearl, President of UTLA

In his first State of the Union speech as the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) president, Alex Caputo-Pearl delivered a careful, balanced address at the union’s annual Leadership Conference on Friday night, leaving most of the fiery rhetoric to one of his predecessors, Wayne Johnson, who energetically recalled the 1989 strike, which he led.

While Caputo-Pearl was not shy about “unapologetically” attacking LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy, his barbs were mostly repeats of statements he and UTLA leaders have made the last few months, which reduced a lot of their shock value. Most of the weight of the speech rested on what was only indirectly referred to — the possibility of a strike if negotiations for a new contract prove unsuccessful.

Speaking after Johnson, Caputo-Pearl let the audience know it was no coincidence Johnson was chosen to address the crowd.

“As I said many times as part of the Schools LA Students Deserve campaign, we are bargaining in good faith for a contract that is good for students and educators, but we are also preparing ourselves for all possibilities,” he said. “And you know from Wayne’s talk exactly what we mean.”

The comment was as close as Caputo-Pearl got to forecasting a strike, but he also stressed that union leaders are focusing on getting organized and “gearing up for this fight.” He dropped hints of actions to come, with a reminder for union members to wear red shirts to campus on Sept. 30 as a sign of solidarity and to “[k]eep your eye out for, first, of a series of monthly escalating actions, starting in October at school sites.”

Another part of his speech was dedicated to now familiar attacks against Deasy, which the crowd ate up and applauded.

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Morning Read: Teacher dismissal bill may further muddy process

Teacher dismissal bill may add complexity not simplify
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in late June with the goal of expediting the process of dismissing teachers for egregious misconduct, but some experts say AB 215 will only further muddy up an already difficult and costly process. S&I Cabinet Report

Officials optimistic about spring assessments
Last spring more than 3 million students in California, the largest number ever to take an online test in the state, took field tests of new assessments aligned to the Common Core state standards without major technical breakdowns or system crashes. Edsource

Child-Care, research bills make Congressional short list
As the curtain begins to close on the 113th Congress, lawmakers showcased a brief burst of bipartisanship to push forward on two education measures that had been languishing in the legislative pipeline. Edweek

San Diego school district will get rid of armored vehicle
Yielding to residents’ concerns, the San Diego Unified School District says it’s returning the 18-ton MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, that its police department recently acquired from the Department of Defense’s surplus equipment program. NPR

Deasy, Garcetti help kick off City Year in 25 LAUSD schools

Los Angeles Mayor speaks on the south lawn of Los Angeles City Hall to help kick off City Year Los Angeles' year of service in LA Unified schools on Sept. 19, 2014.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, helping kick off City Year in LA Unified schools.

LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were on hand today to help 288 City Year Los Angeles members kick off a year of service in LA schools during a high-energy ceremony on the south lawn of City Hall.

The ceremony began as the City Year members, dressed in matching yellow or red jackets, burst forth from the sides of City Hall, running down the steps and cheering as loud music pumped up the crowd.

City Year, which is part of the national organization, AmeriCorps, involves recent college graduates working in local schools throughout the year. City Year focuses on schools in areas with high poverty rates, and workers mentor students who are struggling or at risk of dropping out through in-class tutoring and after school programs.

This year, the program will focus on 25 LA Unified schools as it celebrates its 8th year in Los Angeles.

“You are here because you get results now, not later, not forever,” Deasy told the City Year members. “And we do have to fight every day to lift youth out of poverty. We depend on you as a partner, and we are very lucky.”

Garcetti took the stage wearing one of the matching yellow City Year jackets.

“Congratulations on City Year, you look beautiful today,” he said. “In this incredible city to see this sea of activism of passion, of purpose, of transformation, we know that you are truly angels in this city of angels today.”


LAUSD 10th graders hold steady on state high school exit exams

LAUSD high school exit examsThe state today released the latest California High School Exit Examination results, and the news for LA Unified is either encouraging or disappointing, depending on your point of view.

The percentage of district 10th-grade students who passed the on their first attempt, remained at near-historical highs, according to state figures showing that 68 percent of District 10th graders passed both the English Language Arts and mathematics portions of the exam in 2013-2014.

That compares with 69 percent from a year earlier, an all-time high, and with 44 percent in 2003-04, the year the exam was first given statewide.

“We held mostly steady for the year, but when you look at the historical trends, we’re making great progress in preparing our sophomores and other students for graduation,” Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement. “There’s no doubt that we have more work to do in serving our historically-underserved students, and we are committed to doing so.”

Overall, 78 percent of sophomores passed the English Language Arts portion of the test, and 79 percent passed the mathematics part, recording a 1-percentage point increase in both subjects from the previous year.

The results in English Language Arts for 10th graders compared with 71 percent in 2008-2009. In mathematics, L.A. Unified students have shown a similar pattern of growth.

The rate of 11th graders who passed both exams rose this year by one percentage point, to 80 percent from a year ago. Among seniors, 87 percent passed, a decline of 1 percentage point from the previous year.

Schools with the highest percentage point gain in 10th graders’ pass rates

                                                     May 2013  May 2014    1-Year Change

Marquez Senior High                        55%           72%              17%

R.F. Kennedy Senior High Arts         63%            79%              16% 

Jefferson Senior High                       49%            62%              13%

RFK UCLA Community School         60%            73%              13%

Rivera Learning Center                     52%            65%              13%

Torres Humanities/Arts/Tech            50%            63%              13%

Legacy Senior High                           61%            73%              12%

Chavez Language Arts                      49%            61%              12%

Rivera Learning Com & Tech             51%            63%              12%

Carson Academy of Med Arts           79%            90%               11%

RFK Ambassador Global                   51%           61%                10%

LA teachers group offers solutions for a post-Vergara world

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with Teach Plus Fellows Bootsie Battle-Hold and Kat Czujko

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with Teach Plus Fellows Bootsie Battle-Holt and Kat Czujko. (Photo: Nick Toren for Teach Plus)

While state teacher unions are spending time, energy and money fighting the landmark Vergara v. California ruling through appeal, one group of teachers in Los Angeles is helping shape what a post-Vergara world could look like.

In a presentation yesterday at the California Community Foundation, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined L.A.-based teaching policy fellows with the national group, Teach Plus, in presenting ideas for change should the appeal fail.

In a ruling that landed like a bomb on the educational landscape, California Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu struck down five statutes governing teacher tenure, dismissal and layoffs, concluding that they violate the state constitution by denying students access to a quality public education. If the ruling stands, the state legislature has to rewrite the laws, and yesterday’s event was designed as a roadmap.

As the key speaker, Villaraigosa threw his support behind the Vergara ruling —  and the group’s ideas to accommodate it.

“When you take extreme positions, like tenure, that says you can’t ever fire anybody… that’s extreme,” he said. “The other extreme is that we shouldn’t have teacher unions and due process. But what Vergara said was, this is uber-due process; this is way beyond.”

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The debate — Torlakson vs. Tuck — that only a few people noticed

Tuck and Torlakson debate 9-17-2014

Tom Torlakson (left), Marshall Tuck (right)

Guess what: The two candidates for State Superintendent for Instruction — incumbent Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck — debated Wednesday night, and almost no news outlets covered it, including LA School Report.

No matter, here’s the video. It starts at the 11 minute, 43 second mark and runs an hour, 38 minutes.


Lots of strike talk expected as teachers union opens conference

Alex Caputo-Pearl strike talks UTLA

Alex Caputo-Pearl, President of UTLA

United Teachers Los Angeles opens its annual Leadership Conference today, and strike talk will be a prominent theme.

As part of the three-day gathering at the Concourse Hotel at LAX, local union leaders will hear from union chiefs from other cities who used the threat of a strike to get a new labor agreement. They’ll also hear from the last UTLA president to lead a strike.

Focus on such a disrupting possibility comes as negotiators for UTLA and LA Unified are meeting periodically over a new contract. But the sides remain far apart, making the possibility of a strike more real than ever.

The conference also comes as the union has intensified its animus toward district Superintendent John Deasy, whose support for the Vergara plaintiffs  — he was their first witness — and district missteps in the iPad and MiSiS programs have painted an ever growing target on his back. Deasy’s annual performance review by the school board is set for the Oct. 21 meeting, and an unsatisfactory review could end his tenure — if he doesn’t resign sooner.

While UTLA plays no role in the decision, apart from its fervid support for a handful of board members, it has called the for the board to hold Deasy “accountable” for his actions. Union officials have declined to explain what exactly that means.

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Morning Read: LAUSD pays out to settle software vendor lawsuit

L.A. Unified settles suit with student data software vendor
The Los Angeles Unified School District paid $3.75 million Thursday to settle a lawsuit with the vendor of a software system designed to track attendance, grades, schedules and other student data, officials said. LA Times

L.A. school district will double staff helping with iPad rollout
In response to problems with providing iPads to all students, teachers and campus administrators, the Los Angeles school system will double the number of people who will help with technical and instructional issues. LA Times

Report critical of charter school oversight
A lack of oversight of the nation’s charter schools has led to too many cases of fraud and abuse and too little attention to equity, according to a new report that offers recommendations to remedy the situation. EdSource

Brown shoots down history curriculum update
Gov. Jerry Brown rejected legislation Thursday that would have required the state to complete a full revision of its history and social studies curriculum standards by July, 2018. S&I Cabinet Report

A simple fix for L.A.’s voter turnout problem
Editorial: When fewer than 1 in 4 registered Los Angeles voters bothered to cast a ballot for a new mayor last year, it set off a round of soul-searching among city officials and political experts. LA TImes

LAUSD says concerns cited in iPad report were expected

iPad program reportLA Unified officials said today they anticipated the concerns raised by an independent report on the district’s one-to-one iPad program, which found that schools are not using the devices to teach the new Common Core curriculum.

What’s more, said Bernadette Lucas, director of the District’s technology project, they were thrilled to get the bad news.

“I couldn’t tell you the exuberance that our team had over this,” she said in a briefing with reporters.

The problems identified in the report by American Institutes for Research (AIR), mirror those the district is now tackling, and that validates the district’s plan moving into the next phase of the rollout, Lucas said.

“The vast majority of the challenges outlined in the report have have been worked on for quite a long time,” she added.

Conducted in spring, the report surveyed the 47 schools involved Phase 1 of the program. And although the district is now in Phase 2, planned for 58 schools, only a dozen have received the tablets this year. The remaining 46 schools will get devices by November — an exact date has not been determined.

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Report on iPad program effectiveness gives mixed results

LAUSD iPad Program reportLA Unified’s ambitious plan to get computer tablets into the hands of its 650,000 students just received its first evaluation, producing decidedly mixed results.

In a 95-page report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a Washington, D.C. research group hired by the district to evaluate the Phase 1 rollout of the program, students and teachers reported numerous positive responses to the possibilities the tablets offered. But technical problems resulted in less than half of the classrooms observed using the devices and very few using their pre-programmed educational software.

“These initial hurdles included problems navigating the interface, login, and scheduling conflicts with instructional time,” the reports executive summary stated.

In response to the report, the district said it is already applying its findings in the planning for the 2014-15 school year.

“We welcome the constructive input and meaningful points highlighted in this report,” said Bernadette Lucas, director of the district’s technology project, in a statement from the district. “When we first embarked on the CCTP” — Common Core Technology Project — “we had a vision to have a device in the hands of every LAUSD student to close the digital divide. This is still our vision.”

Phase 1 of the $1.3 billion program involved the deployment of iPads to 30,490 students and 1,360 teachers in 47 schools during the 2013-14 school year. The total cost to the district so far has been approximately $61 million.

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Website that helps teachers find grant money takes off

HQ grant money teachers LAUSDTeachers are responding with enthusiasm to a website that helps them find grant money for classroom projects and professional development, according to the LA Fund for Public Education, the non-profit that launched the program last spring.

Called Grants HQ, the website puts hundreds of millions of dollars in educational grants online in one place and is available only to LA Unified’s approximately 30,000 educators.

“Teachers want the grants,” Andrea Kobliner, a grant advisor with the program told LA School Report. “This is really the only grants website that is just geared for education, only for LAUSD teachers, and helps them by actually classifying the grants.”

Previously, hunting down grants required the arduous task of searching the Internet on many sites to find one that specifically fits an educator’s grade level and eligibility, according to Kobliner.

The program also offers free grant-writing workshops to teachers, which have been oversubscribed, she said. Two upcoming workshops this month and next are already full, with a waiting list of over 90.

At least seven successful grants totaling $12,370 have been handed out to LA Unified educators through the site. Kobliner said she thinks the actual numbers may be higher but teachers are not obligated to report their successes. “It’s kind of tricky, as we’ve asked everyone when they apply for grants… and then if they win an award to please notify us,” Kobliner said. “That doesn’t seem to be the case, and we have no other way to get the information unless they tell us.”

Kobliner said six of the seven confirmed grant winners had attended a workshop.

Kobliner said the site has 1,153 registers users and at the moment about 275 available grants. She recalled recently putting up a new available grant on the site at 9:30 a.m.

“By 11:30,” she said, “we had 257 hits on it.”

Editorial: Pre-Deasy days weren’t as great as you thought

Logo_LATimesVia LA Times | by the TImes Editorial Board

At L.A. Unified, tensions are high and crisis is in the air. The relationship between Supt. John Deasy and the school board that oversees him is at what is perhaps an all-time low. Deasy is again muttering about quitting; others are grumbling that he should be fired.

Not surprisingly, United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers union, is practically giddy. The union has regularly lambasted the superintendent, calling his performance “anything but satisfactory,” suggesting he be placed in “teacher jail” like a teacher accused of misconduct would be, and making it clear that it would like him to resign. If Deasy resigns, the leadership no doubt figures, it can go back to the good-old days.

Read the full story here.

Morning Read: New report says iPad curriculum rarely used

New report on L.A. Unified’s iPads reflects problems with curriculum
An evaluation of the iPads-for-all project in Los Angeles schools found that only 1 of 245 classrooms surveyed even used the costly curriculum. LA Times

More than 100,000 LA school repairs backlogged
Los Angeles Unified schools are waiting on 116,000 maintenance and safety problems reported since January, records show, and officials said they don’t have the staff or money to fix them all. KPCC

CTA backs Torlakson with big contribution as race tightens
Flush with $150,000 in new support from teacher organizations, state schools chief Tom Torlakson was still forced on the defensive by challenger Marshall Tuck at a candidate forum Wednesday night. S&I Cabinet Report

Fate of high school exit exam undecided
While the state’s standardized testing program is being revamped during the transition to the new Common Core State Standards, the fate of the high school exit exam – the one test students must pass – remains murky. Edsource

Deasy, LAUSD board must decide if they can work together
Editorial: A year after John Deasy threatened to resign, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s superintendent and its board are back at a dangerous crossroads. LA Daily News

2 percent bonus arrives for school principals, plus others

LAUSD principals and teachers get two percent bonusMore than 13,000 LA Unified employees of labor groups that struck new contract deals with the district are receiving a 2 percent lump sum payment this week.

Among those that found the extra bump in their bank accounts are members of the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA), which includes school principals, assistant principals, administrators as well as maintenance, operations and food services managers.

According the district, school administrators can expect a check ranging from $1,100 to $2,700 depending on their pay.

“Both AALA bargaining units negotiated the 2 percent bonus and are pleased to have received it,” union president Judy Perez told LA School Report. “While 2 percent is not ideal, we appreciate the fact that we did reach an agreement with the district on compensation for the next three years.”

The California School Employees Association and Teamsters Local Union 572 reached the same salary agreement with the district. All four groups also received a 2 percent raise in August, plus a 4.5 percent increase over the next two years.

In all, LA Unified officials report the cost of the bonuses is $12.4 million.

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Seven education bills await action by Gov. Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown

Seven education bills are currently awaiting the signature or veto of Gov. Jerry Brown – and before too many more stack up, we thought a review was in order.

For more check out Edsource’s EdTracker, a tool that follows the ins and outs of education legislation in Sacramento.

“Willful defiance” bill
AB 420
 would limit the authority of a superintendent of a school district and a principal to suspend or expel a student for the act of “willful defiance.” It is meant to curb the number of suspensions and expulsions in the state for what critics say is a vaguely-defined infraction.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is the bill’s sponsor and says the “willful defiance” infraction “disproportionately affects students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities,” according to the group’s website. Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill, saying, “I cannot support limiting the authority of local school leaders,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

If passed, the bill would be a moot point for LA Unified, which in 2013 became the first school district in the state to ban defiance as grounds for suspension, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Bill to mandate kindergarten attendance
AB 1444 would make kindergarten attendance mandatory in the state. Currently, kindergarten is optional, but students starting in the 2016-17 school year must have completed one year of kindergarten before entering first grade if the bill becomes law. The bill is sponsored by the California Teacher’s Association (CTA).

A posting on the CTA’s website states: “CTA believes in providing students with a quality education that begins the very moment they get to our schools. Making kindergarten mandatory is critical so that all children can be better prepared for career or college by the 12th grade.”

Other groups, such as the Private & Home Educators of California, oppose the bill, saying it takes away a level of parental rights. A posting on the group’s website states: “Advocates of extending government control of all children from birth will be able to use passage of AB 1444 as an incremental step toward establishing seamless, cradle-to-grave government-controlled education and development programs.” Continue reading

What’s next *if* Deasy is out? Speculation abounds

John DeasyThe possibility that LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy will no longer be at the helm of the nation’s second largest school district – whether by choice or by force – is looming ever larger as the deadline for his annual evaluation approaches, leaving some district officials to speculate over how to replace him.

The seven-member elected school board, often split between Deasy supporters and Deasy critics, could deem his performance over the last year “unsatisfactory” at a his annual review slated for next month, automatically preventing his contract from rolling over into a new year.

Or Deasy could choose to quit.

A number of sources say he has grown tired of defending himself amid a growing controversy over whether emails exchanged with vendors, including Apple and Pearson, were appropriate before the bidding process began in the $500 million dollar purchase of iPads for the district. He says the issue is fabricated by those trying to oust him, but has admitted he’s lost confidence in his ability to continue working alongside the fractured school board.

Under either departure scenario, several district officials say even with the warning shots, the process for finding a replacement will be long and arduous.

It’s up to the school board to set new hiring guidelines and processes, says Executive Officer of the school board, Jefferson Crain. “Only they can decide how they want to do it and how long it will take,” he said.

But no one is saying it will be easy.

“The truth is there aren’t a lot of superintendents out there who have run any government agency of this size,” a district staffer told LA School Report. “That leaves LAUSD with a very short list of candidates with actual experience.”

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Morning Read: Lawsuit challenges CTA’s power over dues

Lawsuit challenges teachers’ compulsory dues
A lawsuit working its way through the courts is striking at the core of the CTA’s power: its authority to automatically deduct hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dues from the paychecks of both members and non-members. Edsource

LAUSD police to give up some weaponry obtained in federal program
Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. LA Times

L.A. Unified students claim walkout over heat; district repairing A/C
As intense heat continued its stranglehold on the Los Angeles area, students from at least one high school said they walked out of class. LA Times

EpiPen, TB testing bills signed into law
Bills scaling back tuberculosis testing for school employees and requiring schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors were signed into law this week by Gov. Jerry Brown. S&I Cabinet Report

North Hills elementary school at center of latest LAUSD molestation lawsuit
The latest in a series of lawsuits claiming Los Angeles Unified failed to protect children from predators alleges school officials knew a teacher’s aide was under investigation for distributing child pornography. LA Daily News

Google flash funds LAUSD teacher projects with $1 million

donorschoose logoLA Unified has received a generous surprise gift from Google, as the tech company announced it has funded all classroom teacher projects in the district on the crowdfunding site

The nearly $1 million donation will go to 769 teachers, who submitted proposals for projects and materials. The donation included pencils, books, laptops, musical instruments and other supplies.

“There’s something magical about the idea of a single moment when every teacher’s dream can come true,” said Charles Best, founder of He says Google’s offer to “flash fund” also provides a “singular opportunity to tell people about the site, and creates more teachers participation as well as more citizen giving.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti helped make the surprise announcement yesterday at Marina Del Rey Middle School.

“Our school teachers give their all every day to ensure that Los Angeles students reach their full potential,” said Garcetti, according to a press release. “We’re grateful for their ongoing dedication and passion that’s inspiring the next generation of Angelenos – and I’m thrilled that the help of Google and will help every student reach their dreams a little faster.”

Teachers at the school expressed gratitude at the generosity of the donation.

“Anything from pencils to technology, it’s going to help the kids in the classroom. Any professional with a well-supplied toolbox will be more effective,” history teacher David George told ABC7. “I’m blown away by the generosity. It’s super cool.”

Google has enacted similar “flash funding” campaigns over the last few months in San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Austin, and Kansas City. On Tuesday, Seattle area schools became the latest to benefit from the campaign. is a non-profit founded in 2000 to help classrooms in need. Teachers at half of all the public schools in America have created project requests, resulting in more than a million people donating $260 million to different projects.