Labor unions not feeling part of ‘One LA Unified’ after being left off school board’s agenda
Labor leaders who work with LA Unified were surprised their regular labor report was not on the agenda at the first board meeting of the new school year. Dropping the “labor partners update” was part of new board President Ref Rodriguez’s “Kid’s First” focus, so he began Tuesday’s meeting with students talking about their schools...
By Mike Szymanski | August 24, 2017
STEM school vote highlights LAUSD divisions as resolution against a state-run school fails
A controversial resolution condemning a legislative proposal to start a STEM school in Los Angeles that would be outside LA Unified’s control failed after a heated debate Tuesday. The first school board meeting of the new year was supposed to display board President Ref Rodriguez’s “Kid’s First” agenda. A new help desk was set up to...
By Mike Szymanski | August 22, 2017
‘Kids First’ Help Desk launches at first LAUSD school board meeting of new school year
When parents show up at Tuesday’s school board meeting to complain or gripe or advocate for their child, they will be greeted by something new: a “Kids First” Help Desk. As part of his newly passed resolution to put kids first at LA Unified, school board President Ref Rodriguez said that people who used to...
By Mike Szymanski | August 21, 2017
Gonez introduces ambitious resolution to ensure LAUSD students succeed in college and careers
New school board member Kelly Gonez is introducing an ambitious resolution that calls for making detailed data available to the public to ensure students are supported and able to complete college and “access a rewarding career.” With this resolution, called “Creating Pathways to Lifelong Success for Our Students,” Gonez is fulfilling a key campaign promise to...
By Mike Szymanski | August 18, 2017
Back to school, ALL together now: For the first time in 36 years, all LAUSD district schools will start on the same date
For the first time in 36 years, all LA Unified district students are starting school at the same time, now that the last school — Bell Senior High School — has ended its multi-track schedule. In 1981, Bell and nearly 80 percent of the district’s schools went on a year-round schedule to alleviate overcrowding. Even though...
By Mike Szymanski | August 1, 2017
Student activists fear that LA Unified’s vegan pilot program may just wither away
(Click on photo to play video of the school board meeting.) It was one of the most uncomfortably dramatic moments at any LA Unified School Board meeting in recent memory — maybe the oddest of any in the country this year. Flanked by her friends, 15-year-old Lila Copeland stood in silence for a minute and a...
By Mike Szymanski | July 20, 2017
Austin Beutner explains the purpose of the LA Unified Advisory Task Force, and 7 other things you should know about how it will help kids
*UPDATED Philanthropist and former LA Times publisher Austin Beutner said he doesn’t see the new task force he is co-leading as a body that has any intention of usurping the new LA Unified School Board, or telling the superintendent what to do. “We are here to support Michelle King, and offer suggestions,” Beutner said in...
By Mike Szymanski | July 19, 2017
‘See me for who I really am’: Inside Nick Melvoin’s plan to win over L.A. parents and teachers
When Nick Melvoin unseated LA Unified school board President Steve Zimmer, teachers threatened to strike. Others worried about having to find a new job. A national reporter was surprised to learn in an interview that opponents were all wrong when they portrayed Melvoin as a Trump supporter. And there was palpable trepidation by a server who...
By Mike Szymanski | July 18, 2017
School board president says pay increase ‘will help all of us with our duties’
* UPDATED An independent city panel gave the LA Unified school board members a 174 percent raise on Monday night, from $45,627 to $125,000, but according to new board President Ref Rodriguez, it was an unexpected development. “This is a total surprise,” Rodriguez told LA School Report. “But it will help all of us with our...
By Mike Szymanski | July 12, 2017
Tears, applause, and hope set theme for 3 newly inducted school board members
Mónica García carried a little green alien with her as she took her seat after being inaugurated for a fourth term on the LA Unified school board. “It’s a little alien named ‘Z’ from my niece Maya, and it’s supposed to spread love and harmony and peace and calm,” Garcia said. (And it’s a social-emotional...
By Mike Szymanski | July 7, 2017