Parent panels now reviewing LA Unified’s next spending plan

images-3Parents involved in setting spending priorities for LA Unified have a lot of homework to do over the next two weeks.

Members of the Parent Advisory Committee and the District English Learner Advisory Committee have been instructed to “take home and live with” Superintendent John Deasy’s proposed Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) before providing feedback in time for the school board to adopt the 2014-2015 budget on June 17.

The two groups, which include more than 100 parents and guardians elected onto the committees by other parents, met with district officials last week.

It brings the district one step closer to fulfilling the state’s requirement for local participation in drafting the final LCAP — essentially, a budget explaining how LA Unified will disperse funds from Gov. Jerry Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

Rowena Lagrosa, executive director of the district’s Parent Community Services Branch, said the committees met over two days for 10 hours. But they’re not ready to weigh in on the budget just yet.

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Morning Read: Governor backs new CA teacher dismissal bill

New teacher dismissal bill deal has Governor’s support
Asm. Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) says she’s brought the California Teachers Association and the school reform group EdVoice together on an issue that’s split the education community for years: How to allow districts to quickly fire teachers accused of sexual abuse, child abuse or serious drug crimes. Capital Public Radio


Centinela appoints interim replacement for highly paid schools chief
pending an investigation of Supt. Jose Fernandez, who was paid $674,559 last year. Fernandez was placed on paid leave last week. For now, the Centinela Valley Union High School District will be managed by Bob Cox, who had been serving as the assistant superintendent for human resources. The board announced its action after meeting nearly three hours in closed session. LA Times


Modesto teachers to meet as vote looms on split from statewide union
Teachers will gather Wednesday for one last discussion with Modesto Teachers Association management before a pivotal vote May 6 on whether to split from the statewide union. In the run-up to balloting, teachers say tensions are rising, and a legal filing by the California Teachers Association accuses Modesto City Schools of meddling in the fight. Modesto Bee


Vigil planned for Dorsey High student Jennifer Bonilla
A candlelight vigil is planned for Wednesday to honor Jennifer Bonilla, a student from Dorsey High School who was among those killed in a bus crash in Northern California last week. The vigil will begin at 5 p.m. at Dorsey High School, 3537 Farmdale Avenue in the Crenshaw area. LA Times

Just in: LA County Board of Ed OKs Aspire renewals

Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy

Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy

The LA County Board of Education today reversed a decision by the LA Unified school board by voting to approve the renewal of two Aspire charter schools.

“We are delighted in the vote of confidence by the LA County Office of Education,” said Aspire Public Schools CEO James Willcox. By renewing our charters for Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy and Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy, the board has ensured the students and families in Huntington Park will continue to have access to a high-quality public education. Now we get to focus on what matters most in school, our students,”

Kate Ford, Aspire Public Schools LA Superintendent, said, “Today’s vote gives our Aspire families the peace of mind that their schools will continue to offer local students a supportive community that meets the needs of all children who choose to attend.”

The appeal was filed in February after the two schools in southeast Los Angeles were denied renewals by the LAUSD Board over questions of funding methods.

 

Too late to apply to LAUSD magnet schools? Try this instead

Gifted and Talented GATE LAUSDThink your child may be gifted but missed the magnet application window last fall?

Now’s a chance for LAUSD parents to act: the SAS program, which stands for “Schools for Advanced Studies,” is accepting applications until April 30.

SAS programs are, in essence, gifted programs that reside within a traditional school. Offered at dozens of schools district-wide (see list here), they are considered a well-kept secret, perhaps because performance numbers are not broken out from the host school so their track records are hard publicize.

“What some parents don’t know is that kids don’t have to test to get into these programs,” says Angel Zobel-Rodriguez, a mother of two, who started a website called,  Magnet Angel (and runs another called Ask a Yenta) to help parents navigate the complicated gifted-magnet application process.

Instead, students can be referred by schools if they meet the academic criterion (see description here). And unlike with the magnet process, students can apply to as many SAS schools as they want and don’t need “points” — an accrual system that is used for the gifted magnets.

According to the new LAUSD Gifted/Talented website, the programs are “an intensive academic articulated program in which both innovative and traditional courses are taught.” The SAS programs are open to students from neighboring areas (pending available space) who have been identified as high performers, and the SAS teachers are required to go through extra professional development training.

In general, you can expect “classes will be taught at a higher level,” says Zobel-Rodriguez. “Think of them as gifted magnets but without a bus.”

For more information:
LAUSD Gifted/Talented website
Ask A Yenta
Magnet Angel
Great Schools

LA County Board of Education deciding fate of 2 Aspire charters

Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy

Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy

The LA County Board of Education is set to vote later today on whether to allow two top-performing charter schools to remain open.

The appeal was filed in February after two Aspire public charter schools in southeast Los Angeles — Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy — were denied renewals by the LAUSD Board.

The denials came at highly-charged school board meeting in February when members clashed over how the schools get paid for students needing special services.

The decision shocked parents and community members because the schools are among the best in the city, both well above the state goal of 800 on the academic performance index.

Aspire is California’s largest charter organization, operating 12 schools in LAUSD.

Officials at Aspire say they are confident that the LA County Board of Education will do the right thing.

“We are hopeful the LACOE Board Members will approve Aspire’s appeal to continue to serve Huntington Park students and families” at the two schools, James Willcox, CEO of Aspire, told LA School Report.

“We have worked with board members and their staff over the past few weeks to demonstrate the high quality education all of our students are receiving at these schools,” he added. “Parents, students, teachers and community leaders have expressed their support for keeping these quality schools open.”

 

LAUSD gets a new ‘index’ to help schools where needs are highest

imagesA coalition of education advocates and community groups has developed a new tool, a “student needs index,” and offering it to LA Unified to help identify high-need schools as the district refines its next annual budget.

Created by the Community Coalition, Advancement Project and InnerCity Struggle, the index uses environmental, social and academic factors that affect student learning to provide the district another measure of students living in poverty, beyond the usual metric of free and reduced-price lunch.

“The index not only measures academic results, but it also measures neighborhood conditions such as exposure to violence, access to youth programming, access to early care and education,” Maria Brenes, Executive Director of InnerCity Struggle, told LA School Report.

In identifying 242 high need schools in LAUSD, most of them in south and east Los Angeles, the index provides a better idea of where the need is greatest, specifically the student populations that money from the state, $837 million, is intended to help — foster youth, English learners and low-income students.

“We think [the index] is an innovative framework for the district in terms of how to target resources for the highest impact,” Brenes said.

The challenge for the community groups now is convincing the district to use the index.

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Morning Read: Settlements to help LAUSD homeless, pending

Settlements pending for Los Angeles schools, homeless
Pro bono organization Public Counsel has inked two class action settlements that would reinstitute funds to struggling schools and homeless residents in the Los Angeles area affected by California’s budget crisis. Under one tentative settlement, reached April 3, Los Angeles Unified School District would allocate $60 million in funding over three years to 37 struggling middle schools that suffered unusually high teacher turnover and student dropout rates following layoffs prompted by the budget crisis. National Law Journal


State among the worst in degrees to Hispanics may surprise you
With a population more than twice as Hispanic as the national average, California has a lower-than-average proportion of Hispanics with college or university educations, and no institution among the top five for awarding them degrees, according to a new study. Hechinger Report


At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test
The students in John Daniels’ U.S. history class at James Lick High School in East San Jose are a smidgen of the tens of thousands of juniors who are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test this spring. And their views of the new test on the Common Core State Standards are but a snapshot of many that the creators of the test and the state Department of Education will receive over the next two months. EdSource


Must be a combined effort to effectively reform schools
Commentary: The recent guest commentary “Teachers aren’t to blame for most of schools’ problems” addressed a number of important educational issues. Focusing on the Vergara v. California case currently in the courts, the author also points to “misleading and false statements that only serve to distract us from the real problems facing our schools.” Contra Costa Times

Caputo-Pearl: Fletcher made right decision, stepping aside

Warren Fletcher

Warren Fletcher

Alex Caputo-Pearl, the presumptive next president of UTLA,  said today that current president Warren Fletcher made the right decision by expressing a willingness to step aside in the race to lead the second largest teachers union in the nation.

“We look forward to the opportunity to expand the base of support behind an approach where UTLA leads the fight for quality schools and respect for educators through powerful organizing and coalition-building,” Caputo-Pearl told LA School Report.

In the recent union election of 10 candidates or president, Caputo-Pearl, head of the left-leaning “Union Power” slate, ran away with first-place in the first round of voting, gathering twice as many votes as Fletcher, even though only a quarter of the membership cast ballots.

As the top vote-getters in the first round, but neither with a majority, they are now competing in a second round of voting.

Candidates in the Union Power group swept the first round, picking up majority wins in nearly every leadership position within UTLA. The shift in Union Power suggests a major change ahead in union strategies and policies. Throughout his campaign Caputo-Pearl advocated for more aggressive actions on behalf of teachers, including a strike to secure a new contract for the union that would include a raise for the first time in seven years.

“We are glad that President Fletcher recognizes that the membership sees the need to move in this direction,” Caputo-Pearl said, adding, “The more we can be united behind this approach, the more successful we will be.”

Fletcher on Sunday told the LA Times he will no longer actively campaign for reelection because “only a fool fights in a burning house.”

In an interview with LA School Report today he expanded: “We are facing a lot of unprecedented outside challenges — attacks on our profession. We are in a situation where we need to make sure that we are as strong as we can be and that’s part of what’s driving the decision on my part.”

If he loses, Fletcher said he’ll return to the classroom.

“It helps that I like teaching,” he said laughing. “Remember, I went to college and studied to be a teacher. This three year period has been the exception and I’m going back to the thing that is my profession.”

SEIU 99 decides not to endorse a candidate for District 1 board seat

SEIU99SEIU Local 99, the service employees union, which represents more than 30,000 cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, special education assistants and other school support staff at LAUSD, has decided not to endorse a candidate for the district’s vacant District 1 Board seat.

The local is the largest labor unit within LA Unified that chose not to get behind any of the seven candidates in the June 3 special election.

The decision not to endorse followed what the union described in a press release as “a lengthy endorsement process,” which included conversations between the candidates and members of SEIU Local 99, a review of candidate questionnaires and a formal town hall meeting where SEIU members interviewed the candidates.

“We recognize that there are many candidates in this race who share our goals for improving education inside and outside the classroom and who believe that when parents have good jobs, their children have the economic stability at home that they need to thrive in school,” said SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Courtni Pugh. “Our decision not to endorse one candidate is, in great part, a reflection of the strong field of contenders in this race.”

Pugh said the union would continue to follow the election and, if a run-off is necessary, would re-evaluate the candidates to consider an endorsement.

Among the other large unions with LA Unified employees, the teachers union, UTLA, endorsed three candidates — Rachel Johnson, Sherlett Hendy-Newbill and Hattie McFrazier. The union representing principals and other administrators, AALA, endorsed George McKenna.

 

UTLA unsure of financial support for teachers in board race

imagesWinning endorsement is one thing. Winning financial support is quite another.

UTLA, the teachers union, has endorsed three candidates in the June 3 special election to fill LA Unified’s District 1 board seat, all three with ties to the union: Rachel Johnson and Sherlett Hendy-Newbill are teachers, and Hattie McFrazier is a former teacher.

The head of UTLA’s political action committee, PACE, said the union will promote all three on the ballot equally, but that support might not come with a lot of union financial support.

“We believe in all of the teachers we’ve endorsed,” Marco Flores told LA School Report. “But the truth is, whoever gets elected won’t be there very long.”

Flores says the timing of the special election in June is too close to the regular school board elections in 2015, when four seats will be up for grabs, including District 1 again. And campaigning for those races, he said, will begin on Labor Day — just shortly after the new District 1 member would take a seat on the board if the election goes to an Aug. 12 runoff.

The question before UTLA and PACE, he said, is: “How much are we going to ask for, from our friends, from our affiliates, from the different groups that we get money from, for this particular race when nine months from now we’re going to be having another four races?”

Next year’s elections will be for board districts 1, 3, 5, and 7.

So far two board members have declared their intention to run as incumbents: Board president Richard Vladovic (7) will be seeking a third term and Bennett Kayser (5) is going after a second.

Barbara Jones, Chief of Staff for board member Tamar Galatzan (3), told LA School Report last week, “She hasn’t announced yet whether she is running.”

Morning Read: Bus crash investigations moves to LA

Deadly bus crash: Bulk of investigation shifts to Los Angeles
The investigation into what caused a FedEx freight truck to cross a median and slam into a charter bus in Northern California, killing 10 people, is shifting to Los Angeles. On the itinerary for investigators: meeting with Silverado Stages, the company that owned and operated the bus involved in the collision, and interviewing student survivors of the accident, mainly in the Los Angeles area. LA Times


More non-profits teaching parents to read with children
Uriel is one of nearly 100 children in East Palo Alto who receive free books and private tutoring through the nonprofit 10 Books A Home, in exchange for a commitment from his mother: She reads with him every day. Programs such as 10 Books a Home, which focus on improving early reading skills by engaging parents, are spreading in California. EdSource


Mobile classroom rolls out to teach students about L.A. River
The contrast between nostalgia for the Los Angeles River and the reality of it today could not be sharper than at its confluence with the Arroyo Seco, a big, desolate flood-control channel strewn with trash and hemmed by freeways, power lines and railroad yards. LA Times


All schools should have good teachers
Commentary: It’s nice to know that tens of millions of extra dollars will go to 37 low-income schools after the Los Angeles Unified School District settled a class-action suit on behalf of students. But the lawsuit, undertaken by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, was never about money; it was about policies that require teachers with the least seniority to be laid off first when there are staff reductions. LA Times

L.A. teachers union president ready to step aside for challenger

Los Angeles Times logoVia the Los Angeles Times |  By Howard Blume

Los Angeles teachers’ union president Warren Fletcher said he will no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles.

In the first round of voting in March, Caputo-Pearl received 48% of the votes and Fletcher 21%. The runoff election takes place this month with ballots set to be counted April 29.

In an interview Sunday, Fletcher said he has not formally suspended his campaign, and that he would serve again if he won. But the one-term incumbent emphasized that he has accepted the near inevitable.

Read the full story here.

 

 

 

Bus crash update: LAUSD offers no names of dead and injured*

LAUSD Supt. John Deasy Bus Crash

Via @NBCLA

LA Unified officials had no additional information by mid-day on the fate of 19 students from 16 LAUSD high schools who were on the bus involved in a fatal crash yesterday, heading to Humboldt State University.

Superintendent John Deasy met with reporters at a noon press conference but couldn’t offer much beyond reports of earlier in the day.

The authorities confirmed that 10 people died, five of them students, but LAUSD has been unable to say whether any of them were from the district’s schools.

The district identified the students’ high schools as San Fernando, Grant, Dorsey, Fremont, City of Angels, Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Manual Arts, Banning, Carson, Chavez, Diego Rivera, Belmont, Wilson, Chatsworth, Jefferson High and Middle College.

The district has set up a support fund to help LAUSD families affected by the crash. The website is here.

*Adds information on family support fund.

Commentary: Mayor Garcetti’s elephant in the room

Via KPCC

Via KPCC

In his first State of the City speech, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti laid out a plan to boost job creation, safety and the city’s ability to compete in a global economy.

Noticeably absent, however, was any mention of the vast education challenges facing the city.

The Mayor’s vision of Los Angeles was notable for its optimism and his passion. And the half-hour speech (transcript here) was heavy on specifics — including a focus on neighborhood improvements, DWP rates and carpool lanes. He cited how he “pushed and prodded” the feds to open a lane on the 405 earlier than expected, and he pledged to “pave more streets and fix more sidewalks.”

But wait, is he talking . . . potholes?

I couldn’t help but flash back to my home town, Chicago, where the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, ran the city with an iron fist for more than 20 years in the 60s and 70s. Boss Daley knew how to fill a pothole, but sadly, at the same time he presided over a disastrous decline in the city’s pubic education system.

Mayor Garcetti’s goal, of “building a better city,” while admirable, is ultimately not achievable without addressing the elephant in the room — education — and his hands-off approach is bad for students, parents and ultimately the economy. The recent departure of Thelma Melendez, who carried the title of education deputy but in practice was almost invisible makes matters worse. And, so far, he hasn’t named a replacement.

Granted, the mayor’s office in Los Angeles officially exerts very little control over the vast LA Unified School District, run by an often fractured seven-member elected board. But that didn’t stop Garcetti’s predecessors from using the bully pulpit to try and enhance the educational opportunities for city students. The outgoing Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, who considered improving public education his mission, devoted a large portion of his 2013 State of the City address to education and saw it as vitally linked to job-growth and the economy.

The district is slowly improving, but challenges like high dropout rates and low student achievement are so profound that it’s hard to argue that all hands should not be on deck, especially those of the mayor.

And the excuse of not having mayoral control? Well, the last time I looked, the mayor doesn’t have much influence on the 405 federal highway project, either.

With post-trial briefs in, Vergara 90-day clock starts ticking

Judge Rolf Treu Vergara

Judge Rolf Treu

Just in case Judge Rolf Treu might have missed anything during the two months of Vergara v. California, a battle over teacher employment protections that concluded last month, the parties filed their post-trial briefs yesterday, each making one last effort to influence Judge Treu’s decision.

At issue are five state laws that govern tenure, dismissal and seniority. Defendants want to keep them. Plaintiffs want them struck down. He now has 90 days to decide who wins.

Each side echoed the same themes from closing arguments:

“In two months of trial, Plaintiffs proved that the Challenged Statutes are creating vast and unjustified inequalities in the educational opportunities being afforded to students across California,” lawyers for the nine student-plaintiffs wrote.

“It is remarkable that after a month of testimony from twenty-two different witnesses, Plaintiffs have been unable to answer the most basic questions surrounding their theory that the Challenged Statutes cause the hiring and retention of ‘grossly ineffective’ teachers in California public schools,” said lawyers for the state.

“After a lengthy trial, Plaintiffs are entirely unable to prove their unprecedented equal protection claims,” said lawyers for the intervenors — the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) — who joined the state in defense.

The entire 30-plus page filings can be found here (plaintiffs), here (defense) and here (intervenors).

Morning Read: LAUSD students in fatal California bus crash

California bus crash: 5 students among 10 killed; at least 30 injured
Los Angeles Unified officials said Friday that 19 of its students were aboard the bus that collided with a FedEx freight truck in Northern California. At least 10 people were killed in the fiery crash. Officials have not released the identities of those killed in the crash, which occurred shortly after 5:30 p.m. Thursday when the FedEx truck crossed a grassy median on Interstate 5 and slammed into the bus packed with students en route to Humboldt State University. LA Times


High-paid South Bay schools superintendent is put on leave
A South Bay schools superintendent who attracted scrutiny for his $674,559 pay was placed on administrative leave this week, pending an internal investigation. The Centinela Valley Union High School District board voted 5-0 to suspend Supt. Jose Fernandez during an abruptly called, closed-door meeting at the Centinela Valley Center for the Arts in Lawndale on Wednesday evening. LA Times


Legislation to strengthen reporting by California teachers makes gains
Two bills — one to strengthen teachers’ mandated reporting requirements and the other to provide additional funding for new state education standards — were approved by the Assembly Education Committee. Both pieces of legislation were authored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, and are now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. San Jose Mercury


Why academic credentials matter
Commentary: Los Angeles Unified school board candidate Genethia Hudley-Hayes recently was accused of falsifying academic credentials on her resume in her quest to fill the seat vacated after member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte died in December. The seriousness of these allegations cannot be overstated, particularly in a race for school board in the district where the majority of Los Angeles’ black students attend public school. LA Wave


LAUSD should let this science teacher teach
Commentary: In February, Los Angeles Unified School District officials suspended a teacher after two of his students turned in science projects that administrators thought looked like guns. Even granting that school officials have a right to be hypersensitive these days about anything resembling a weapon, their decision to remove him from the classroom was a harmful overreaction. LA Times

Sacramento City Unified won’t renew NCLB waiver

947ff2df8b9acd4f6b4187e5b1d44046Via EdSource | By John Fensterwald

Faced with intense opposition from teachers, Sacramento City Unified announced Wednesday it would not join other California districts in reapplying for a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Its defection leaves seven of eight districts seeking to extend a waiver from the federal accountability law through the California Office to Reform Education, a nonprofit that they formed. The waiver they got last year was the first for school districts, as opposed to a state department of education.

The CORE districts applied because California was one of only four states that either didn’t seek a waiver or had its request rejected.

Read the full story here.

Rousseau to LAUSD board: Native English students left behind

Sylvia Rousseau, Liaison LAUSD Board District 1

Sylvia Rousseau, Liaison LAUSD Board District 1

After less than two months on her temporary position as liaison for LA Unified’s District 1, Sylvia Rousseau says she’s figured out how to improve the academic performance of the most troubled schools: zero in on what’s called Standard English Learners.

Rousseau, a USC professor and former local superintendent in the district who was appointed to serve until a District 1 board member is elected later this year, told the board this week she approached the issue as a researcher, reviewing data for the schools in the region, most of them with high concentrations of students from low-income families.

Her conclusion: improving English was the best way to accelerate overall academic performance. That includes Standard English Learners, native speakers who do not possess a mastery of the language. They are separate from English Learners, who are students learning English as a new language (Here is her presentation to the board.)

“The discrepancies are immediately obvious,” she told the board in a long presentation of her analysis of the district. “There is a whole group of students whose right to language is not being recognized, and they are Standard English learners. We know, through extensive research that the syntax, the chronology and the grammar of that language is significantly different from that of the academic language of the classroom.”

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Morning Read: Glitches slowing use of Common Core tests

As testing gains steam, help center ‘inundated’ with teacher calls
It’s week three for California’s new web-based standardized tests and some schools are reporting hair-pulling moments. “Our students are becoming frustrated,” said Bonnie Tanaka, principal of Madrid Middle School in El Monte. She said screens are freezing up, and – unlike what was promised – tests don’t resume where a student’s left off after a break, and students can’t review previous answers. KPCC


Report: Part-time, fractured LA school board unacceptable
Los Angeles Unified School board members are taking issue with a report that suggests one way to improve district schools is to give the mayor control. “The implication is that there’s much success in other places and the evidence to that just doesn’t exist,” board member Steve Zimmer said. “We have mayoral control in New York and Chicago, and they are still struggling.” KPCC


Science teacher’s suspension spurs petition drive
A popular Los Angeles high school science teacher has been suspended after students turned in projects that appeared dangerous to administrators, spurring a campaign calling for his return to the classroom. Students and parents have rallied around Greg Schiller after his suspension in February from the downtown Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts. LA Times


Measure backed to pay half of school transit costs
A bill that would increase state support of school transportation to at least half of a district’s costs won the approval Wednesday of a key legislative panel, which rejected a second proposal to pay 100 percent of a district’s bussing costs. The Senate Education Committee also endorsed two major pieces of legislation aimed at boosting California’s commitment to increasing learning opportunities for children from birth through age five. S&I Cabinet Report


California teachers union blinks on discipline bill
Commentary: The threat of a ballot initiative did the trick, persuading the California Teachers Association to negotiate a new process for teacher dismissal. EdVoice, an educational advocacy group based in West Sacramento, titled its proposed initiative: “Stop Child Molesters, Sexual Abusers and Drug Dealers from Working in California Schools Act.” Merced Sun-Star

Youth asks LAUSD, ‘Where does all the money go?’ in song

BHC Boyle Heights Youth Song Lyrics about LCFF

Song Lyrics composed by youth at BHC Boyle Heights (Photo by Gaby, age 15, from the Las Fotos Project)

Community groups big and small, have responded collectively to the extra $332 million coming into the district via the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), Governor Jerry Brown‘s signature K-through-12 education initiative.

For now, only a few schools have complete autonomy in deciding how the money should be used although more will gain the freedom over the next few years.

At Building Healthier Communities (BHC) Boyle Heights, which is part of a 10-year, $1 billion program of The California Endowment, the youth have composed a song that asks LAUSD, “Where does all the money go?” in reference to the distribution of LCFF money.

The song will be presented at Saludarte, an event produced by our collaborative in partnership with the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, on April 26 at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights. LA School Report has transcribe the lyrics below for your reading pleasure.

(Verse)

Where does all the money go?
To our children? Bureaucracy?
Or to the “Fat Cat”?

It’s a political mirage, an illusion,
That a gift is being given.

(Refrain)
(A slight of hand that’s the trick)

Wait a minute! Lights on!
Recognize you have to deal with us
Our presence, our collective dreams
For our children

(Lights on!)

We will not surrender,
Physically, mentally
We are present!
Answering the call to action
In our homes, in our schools,
In our communities, in our board rooms.