6 things to know about the old and new Ref Rodriguez allegations
*UPDATED Shockwaves reverberated through the Los Angeles education community last month when the LA County District Attorney filed charges against LA Unified school board President Ref Rodriguez alleging he engaged in political money laundering during his election two years ago. New allegations were revealed Monday when the Los Angeles Times published a report saying that...
By Sarah Favot | October 17, 2017
LA district schools lost 13,100 students this year — here’s what they plan to do about it
When board members heard Tuesday that the number of students who have left LA Unified schools was even worse than they’d been told, they wanted to know what was being done. Here’s what they heard: • launching the unified enrollment system • offering a broader range of school options • reducing absences. And here...
By Mike Szymanski | October 12, 2017
LAUSD needs to meet now with labor groups to ‘save the district,’ board member says
LA Unified urgently needs a sit-down with union representatives to make sure everyone is on the same page about the budget before the district falls off a fiscal “cliff,” longtime school board member Richard Vladovic said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “Our labor partners see the budget differently from the way we do, and I would...
By Mike Szymanski | October 12, 2017
Tempers flare at LAUSD school board — ‘I feel disenfranchised,’ one board member says
It was college appreciation day Tuesday at the LA Unified school board, so all the board members wore their school shirts. But they may as well have worn their football jerseys because it erupted into a verbal brawl. In a few seemingly innocuous votes involving committee meetings, two board members not part of the new...
By Mike Szymanski | October 10, 2017
JUST IN: Mónica García becomes new board president
In a vote that fell along the reform and labor lines, Mónica García on Tuesday became the new president of the LA Unified school board. She named Nick Melvoin to the vice president’s position. Melvoin joined the board in July after defeating the former board president in May’s general election. She also confirmed that she...
By Mike Szymanski | September 26, 2017
Exclusive: Mónica García is likely pick for next school board president
Mónica García — a staunch education reformer and a favorite of the district’s Latino majority — will likely become LA Unified’s new school board president next Tuesday. She has served as president twice before, for a total of six years, and she is already the longest-serving school board president in district history. The District 2...
By Mike Szymanski | September 22, 2017
JUST IN: Ref Rodriguez resigns as LAUSD school board president after felony charges
Ref Rodriguez announced Tuesday he has resigned from his position as LA Unified school board president after the district attorney charged him last week with three felonies related to an alleged money laundering scheme in his bid for the school board. Rodriguez posted a statement on his Twitter and Facebook pages at the beginning of a...
By Sarah Favot and Mike Szymanski | September 19, 2017
Good news on chronic absences and the budget, despite a ‘structural deficit’ — a wrap-up of board action
This Tuesday, the school board will meet in a non-voting session, called the Committee of the Whole. It will be the first meeting of the board since last week’s revelations of felony charges against school board President Ref Rodriguez. That news came just after last Tuesday’s board meeting, the second that Rodriguez presided over as...
By Mike Szymanski | September 18, 2017
LAUSD board President Ref Rodriguez on DACA and his parents’ sacrifices for his education: ‘I’m someone’s dream deferred, so I could have something better’
For this school board president, the end of DACA is personal. Ref Rodriguez’s dad has only a third-grade education, and his mom left school at sixth grade. They were migrant workers in Mexico who came to the United States to offer their children a better future through education. So Tuesday’s announcement that the Trump Administration...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | September 6, 2017
‘Equity’ and ‘urgency’ beat out ‘respect’ and ‘transparency’ as board chooses core values for LAUSD
“Respect,” “transparency,” and “teamwork” only got one vote each. Oh, and so did “humility.” The seven members of the largest school district in the country with an elected board gathered Tuesday at their first off-site retreat of the year, where they took a deep dive into health benefits but also hashed out core values for LA...
By Mike Szymanski | August 31, 2017