‘I’ll make sure that they’re heard’: LAUSD’s new student board member outlines her priorities as the voice of 600,000
High school senior Frances Suavillo has always believed education is a right and not a privilege. She’s seen firsthand when it’s not. Born and raised in the Philippines until she was 9 years old, Suavillo saw deep-seated educational inequity in the Southeast Asian island country — how “money dictated who went to school and who didn’t,”...
By Taylor Swaak | September 9, 2019
LAUSD approves $7.8 billion budget for next year: Here’s what it means for high-needs students, lowest-performing schools and district finances
*Updated June 25 L.A. Unified board members passed the 2019-20 budget and accountability plan on Tuesday — but not before acknowledging that they are “unintelligible” documents that provide little insight into specific program and funding changes as the district looks to the next school year. “None of the documents add up to anything you can...
By Taylor Swaak | June 21, 2019
‘Voters are tired of you’: A week after parcel tax defeat, LAUSD parents rail at district leaders during 2019-20 budget hearing
*Updated June 17 Parents blasted L.A. Unified officials at a school board hearing this week — one even bursting into tears — offering an angry glimpse into the fractured trust between the community and the district just one week after voters overwhelmingly rejected a new parcel tax. Many of the more than 20 speakers at Tuesday’s...
By Taylor Swaak | June 13, 2019
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