LA parent voice: The search for a good school ‘couldn’t wait. The foundation for a successful education begins at home and then in kindergarten’
Every week, we sit down with Los Angeles parents to talk about their students, their schools, and what questions or suggestions they have for their school district. (See our previous interviews.) Mónica Otlika is thrilled that her two children have started kindergarten and first grade at the ideal school for her family, after a years-long search that...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 19, 2018
New nationwide poll: Most people support teachers’ right to strike, but less than half believe their unions improve the quality of education
Thousands of teachers across the country have walked out of classrooms this year to demand better wages and more school resources. And Los Angeles could very well be next. But a new nationwide poll shows that support for teachers doesn’t necessarily translate to their unions. The poll, conducted by USA Today and Ipsos Public Affairs,...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 18, 2018
Los Angeles schools accelerate support for LGBTQ students as data show more than half have been bullied in high school
Los Angeles Unified is increasing supports for students and their families as new data reveal more about LGBTQ students’ emotional harm in school. According to data presented at last week’s school board meeting, 56 percent of LGBTQ high schoolers in the district have been bullied at school, and 60 percent have seriously considered suicide. The...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 16, 2018
UTLA wanted immigrant parents’ support for a teachers strike. Instead, parents wanted to know, ‘How would this strike guarantee a high-quality education for our children?’
What will we do with our kids if the teachers go out on strike? To find answers to that question, about two dozen public school parents gathered Monday morning at a prominent Latino community organization in downtown Los Angeles. They had invited a teachers union representative to their monthly meeting so they could learn more...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 10, 2018
How to reach your LAUSD school board member — without sleeping overnight on the sidewalk
LA Unified’s seven school board members — or six for now — make vital decisions impacting more than 570,000 students. Parents, community members, and the general public want their concerns to be heard, but what’s the best way to connect with the board members? Besides email and phone, there are board meetings most Tuesdays with...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 10, 2018
1 in 4 kindergartners is chronically absent — part of a multimillion-dollar problem for LAUSD
Los Angeles Unified has a multimillion-dollar problem: kids aren’t coming to school. And it’s particularly bad among their youngest students. New district data show that 1 in 4 kindergartners misses 15 or more days of school each year. “I couldn’t believe that when I heard that,” Diane Pappas, the superintendent’s senior adviser, told board members...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 4, 2018
LA parent voice: ‘We want to have a voice,’ says a mom who showed up at LAUSD before dawn to make sure her community was represented
Every week, we sit down with Los Angeles parents to talk about their students, their schools, and what questions or suggestions they have for their school district. (See our previous interviews.) Sara Martínez, an LA Unified mom living in the southeast boundaries of Board District 5, had to put everything aside for one day so her voice...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | August 28, 2018
‘I want my voice heard’ — Showdown in the boardroom as Latino parents balk at an attempt to name a replacement for Ref Rodriguez without their input
*Updated Aug. 23 Families whose children attend schools in LA Unified’s Board District 5, in southeast and northeast Los Angeles, will get to elect a new representative in a special election on March 5. That’s what the school board on Tuesday decided to do with the seat that has been vacant since Ref Rodríguez stepped...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | August 23, 2018
LA parent voice: To find better school options for your kids, ‘You really have to fight for it!’
Every week, we sit down with Los Angeles parents to talk about their students, their schools, and what questions or suggestions they have for their school district. (See our previous interviews.) Finding the right school where her son could succeed was a struggle for Mary Najera. For years, she didn’t know how to find other public school...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | August 21, 2018
LAUSD is now diverting $2,300 per student to cover health insurance costs — 36 percent more than just five years ago. Now the school board is rushing to avert a ‘fiscal cliff’
LA Unified has one of the most generous health care benefits packages in the state. But that means a big chunk has to come out of the money the district gets to educate each child — $2,300, to be exact. That’s 14 percent of the $16,000 the district gets annually per student. Five years ago,...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | August 19, 2018