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LAUSD board committees take on Student Bill of Rights, pre-K cuts

Vanessa Romo | May 4, 2015

Monica Garcia LAUSDLA Unified school board members will be busy this week in a series of committee meetings as a prelude to the board’s monthly meeting next week.

The Successful School Climate Committee, chaired by Monica Garcia, will be gathering tomorrow to discuss the implementation of the Student Bill of Rights.

The district passed the new set of discipline policies in May 2013, redefining the role of police on school sites, banning “willful defiance” suspensions except in the most egregious cases and expanding restorative justice programs. The changes have resulted in a significant drop in citations, according to district data.

The committee will receive an update of the district’s “implementation audit” of student rights from Duerr Evaluation Resources, a firm hired by LA Unified to conduct a study. And a panel of school police officers and school administrators will present an update on new restorative justice programs.

On Thursday, Bennett Kayser, chairman of the Budget, Facilities, and Audit Committee, along with members Monica Ratliff, Steve Zimmer and George McKenna will hear a debt report from Michelle Issa, a district financial advisor at that committee’s meeting.

The members are also scheduled to hear from Mark Hovatter, the district’s Chief Facilities Executive, for an update on workforce housing, and Diane Pappas, Chief Advisor to Superintendent Ramon Cortines, will share the latest on all things MISIS.

That meeting will be followed by Kayser’s Early Childhood Education and Parent Engagement Committee. The district’s School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP), a pre-school program that’s slated for elimination due to budget cuts, is a big part of the agenda.

The committee, which also includes Ratliff and Zimmer, will hear a presentation on “How SRLDP Fits into a Strategy to Address the Needs of English Learners.”  Additionally, Ratliff will be presenting a resolution to “Seek Greater Opportunities for Four Year Olds.”

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