LAUSD aiding students returning from ‘juvie hall’ programs

Juvenile campLA Unified is unveiling a new program today, one directed at a small group of students with exceptional needs: those returning to schools from juvenile justice programs.

Designed to serve students from probation camps, juvenile halls and residential situations, the program aims at helping them mount a successful return to school, with a special emphasis on attendance, academic achievement, graduation rates and the prevention of recidivism.

“Our goal is to make sure every LA Unified student graduates and is ready to go on to a college career or the workforce,” said Lydia Ramos, the district spokeswoman. “That means every student. If we don’t help them, they will end up in the prison system, so either we help them as a student now, or the state deals with them later.”

In a presentation prepared for a board committee meeting today, Debra Duardo, executive director of the district’s Student Heath and Human Services division, says that 180 “juvenile offenders” are returned home from  a detention facility each month, two-thirds of them living within the LA Unified school district.

Last month, as an example, the district found that 159 LA Unified students were in justice programs, and they ranged from age 11 to 28.

These students require added attention for the social and educational disruptions they’ve experienced by virtue of their own behavior.

As a result, Duardo says, the district is appointing three sets of monitors to ease the transition. They include counselors assigned to students in detention, counselors assigned to guide each student’s return to a school site, and “aftercare” counselors to monitor attendance, behavior and academic performance.

The program is a collaboration among LA Unified, the LA County Office of Education and the LA Probation Department.

Editorial: New boss won’t cure ‘poisonous’ LAUSD atmosphere

Los Angeles Times logo

Via The Los Angeles Times | By the Editorial Board

With John Deasy no longer in charge at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the school board needs a new superintendent who shares his passion for improving the lives of children in poverty, but not his adversarial approach or his refusal to listen to critics.

Even if the board finds such a person, however, that alone won’t clear the poisonous atmosphere or do away with the rancorous politics that regularly slow progress at L.A. Unified. Even the world’s most talented and collaborative superintendent will not be effective in a district where opposing camps are at war over high-stakes testing and weakening of teacher job protections, and where the board regularly interferes in minor administrative work.

In fact, the board’s reputation for grandstanding, micromanagement and factional conflict could well diminish its ability to draw top candidates.

Read the full editorial here.

Morning Read: New kindergarten cutoff age causes debate

State implements new kindergarten cutoff age
Of the panoply of reforms now being implemented in California schools, the one affecting the state’s youngest students passed almost unnoticed this fall. EdSource

Title IX decision, a reminder on equality in athletics
With an appeals court finding that a California district violated federal discrimination protections, legal experts suggest a review of athletic programs. S&I Cabinet Report

L.A. school officials order review of every senior’s transcript
Los Angeles school district officials have ordered a review of every senior’s transcript. Los Angeles Times

LA Unified acknowledges mistakes in transcripts as deadlines loom
The new $130 million MiSiS student data system is now turning out student transcripts with incorrect information. KPCC

The Secret Lives Of Teachers: Mei-Ling Uliasz
When’s she’s not teaching, Mei-Ling Uliasz turns bottle caps and little tin cars and brass protractors and other found objects into whimsical “upcycled” jewelry. NPR

LA Unified seniors get reprieve on financial aid applications

application formLA Unified high school seniors counting on grant money to attend state colleges and universities got a reprieve today as the district announced a month-long extension for when student grade information needs to be verified for financial aid.

Merit-based Cal Grants require that the school district verify a student’s grade point average (GPA), and the deadline for doing so has been pushed back to Nov. 30 from Nov. 1.

The competitive awards are for students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are from low- and middle-income families. The grants can be applied toward tuition at any CSU or UC campus, and they cover fees up to $5,472 and $12,192 respectively. Students applying to private colleges are also eligible for rewards up to $9,084 toward tuition and fees while those attending most other career colleges can get up to $4,000.

And there may be another silver lining for the district’s most go-getter students applying for early admission who have been let down by LA Unified’s busted student management system: Some, if not all UC’s, don’t offer an early admissions window.

“UCLA doesn’t have an early action or early decision program, and students are not required to submit a transcript at the point of application,” Gary Clark, the university’s undergraduate admissions director, told LA School Report.

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UTLA, AFT demand apology for ‘misleading’ Time magazine cover

Time magazineTime magazine is in hot water with United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and other teacher unions over what they say is an unfair and misleading cover.

On its Facebook page, UTLA posted a link to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) online petition that calls for Time to “apologize to America’s teachers for the misleading and hyperbolic attack on your November 3 cover.”

The cover in question is for a story about the impact of Vergara v. California, the case in which a judge earlier this year struck down California’s decades-old laws regarding teacher tenure, firings and layoffs.

The Time article, which features a gavel about to smash an apple on the cover, is headlined, “Rotten Apples: It’s nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher; some tech millionaires may have found a way to change that,” and is a look at the history of the case and the wealthy group of tech executives who have helped support it. The article has been available online since Friday and is scheduled to hit news stands in print form on Nov. 3.

But it is not the article that the AFT finds fault with. It’s the cover, which the AFT says “is particularly disappointing because the articles inside the magazine present a much more balanced view of the issue. But for millions of Americans, all they’ll see is the cover and a misleading attack on teachers.”

So far, over 60,000 people have signed the petition, according to the AFT’s Facebook page. The AFT has over 1.5 million members.

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LAUSD trying to fix transcript errors before college deadlines

computer-errorAmid reports that LA Unified staff experts were working through the weekend to determine the cause of errors in some student transcripts, Superintendent Ramon Cortines issued a letter to parents today, ensuring them that issues will be addressed.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the experts were attempting to determine if the problems were caused by computer bugs or data errors.

The district is also looking to hire retired counselors and principals on a temporary basis to review every high school transcript manually ahead of a district-set Nov. 1 deadline, which is when the state begins accepting finical aid applications, according to the report.

“As superintendent, I take full responsibility for ensuring that our systems are functioning correctly in support of students,” Cortines wrote in the letter. “We are working to resolve problems that have been identified.”

Aside from issues with accurate transcripts, glitches in the district’s new MiSiS computer program have caused an array of problems at at schools, including getting some students the proper schedules and Title I funds.

“Technology teams are working closely with data, instructional and school teams to make sure that official reports for students, including vital information, like courses taken, grade-point averages and class ranks—are precise,” the district said in a statement. “In addition, support staff, including retired counselors, principals and assistant principals will assist high schools by reviewing and certifying transcripts, as well as help with master scheduling of classes.”

Aside from the temporary hires, the district also said it will communicate with colleges and universities to make them aware of transcripts that may be inaccurate and set up hotlines in each Education Service Center to record student concerns and to follow up on any problems.

“I appreciate your help and guidance as we move forward in the best interest of our students,” Cortines said in the letter “There are going to be mistakes, but we are committed to fixing them. Your children are the reason we are here and we owe it to them to provide absolutely everything they need to achieve their goals.”


State superintendent race spending? There’s an app for that

Edsource logoVia EdSource | By John C. Osborn

The race for California state superintendent of public instruction has been fueled by a combined $24 million in total campaign spending for incumbent Tom Torlakson and candidate Marshall Tuck.

Outside groups not affiliated with either candidate represent the bulk of that spending – close to $19.4 million on ads and mailers on behalf of the candidates.

For more details about the money behind the race, check out our campaign finance app here.

Torlakson and Tuck have raised nearly the same amount in direct contributions, according to recent campaign filings reported on the Secretary of State website. Torlakson, who started fundraising in 2011, has raised about $2.5 million, while Tuck, who started fundraising in late 2013, has raised about $2.4 million.

Read the full story here.

Morning Read: With Deasy gone, is LAUSD’s iPad program history?

With Deasy out, is LA schools’ iPad program ‘dead’?
With the departure of John Deasy, the future of the Los Angeles School District’s controversial one-to-one technology program hangs in uncertainty. KPCC

LAUSD scrambles to ensure MiSiS doesn’t keep seniors from college
Los Angeles Unified’s staff is in a scramble to make sure a computer system doesn’t stop seniors from going to college. Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. Unified students could take iPads home soon
Los Angeles Unified students could take school-issued iPads home as soon as next month. Los Angeles Times

9 LAUSD schools each get $50,000 for proximity to a huge garbage dump
Nine schools will each receive $50,000 grants under an action approved Friday by the Los Angeles City Council. Los Angeles Daily News

Inglewood schools chief criticized over costs of his security detail
Some are questioning why the cash-strapped Inglewood Unified School District is paying for an armed California Highway Patrol officer. Los Angeles Times

South LA charter celebrates community garden’s first harvest


Two Alliance College-Ready Public Schools students at a community garden in South LA. (Credit: LIIF)

A 400-square foot community garden located on the grounds of a south LA charter school run by Alliance College-Ready Public Schools is celebrating its first harvest with an event tomorrow.

The garden, which just opened this school year, is funded by the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) and Citi Foundation.

The first City Garden includes an athletic field and is located on the duel campuses of Alliance Renee & Meyer Luskin High School/Alliance College Ready Middle Academy 7. The garden is integrated into the science curriculum of the schools, according to a LIF spokesperson.

The garden also aims to “reduce food insecurity for students and improve health in south Los Angeles, where 25 percent of children live in poverty and 94 percent qualify for reduced price meals at school,” according to press release from LIIF.

The release also said the garden will provide “healthy food to students; an opportunity to teach students and their parents about cooking and gardening; and a new venue for health fairs and farmers markets. The field will create places to play and exercise and a new community gathering spot where none existed before. Together, they create a new hub of the neighborhood.”

At 10 a.m. tomorrow, Alliance parents, students and staff are planning to celebrate the garden’s first harvest with an event that will include performances by the Alliance Luskin Choir & Dance Group and Debbie Allen Dance Academy, remarks by Rep. Karen Bass, tours, cooking demonstrations, and ProCamps events with professional athletes DeAndre Jordan and Shannon Boxx.


Thesis film examines bitterness of Crenshaw High reconstitution


(Photo via

The battle over the fate of South LA’s Crenshaw High School is now over, but a new documentary film from a UC Santa Cruz grad student takes a fresh and hard-edged look at the bitterness and anger that was unleashed when the LA Unified school board voted to reconstitute the school in 2013.

The film, “Crenshaw,” is the graduate thesis project of Lena Jackson, who shot footage in 2012 and 2013 as the debate over Crenshaw’s future was being determined. (See a trailer for the film below.) 

In Jan. 2013, with the support of former superintendent John Deasy, the school board unanimously approved a plan to break Crenshaw into three magnet schools, firing all of the teachers and staff in the “reconstitution” process and making them reapply for their jobs. Deasy argued the school was one of the lowest performers in the distict and in need of drastic change. About half of the staff got their jobs back and the three schools opened the 2013-14 year as magnets.

As the film notes, many in the community viewed the reconstitution as a stripping of South LA’s cultural identity, as well as an unfair targeting of a community with fewer resources to fight the reconstitution than others.

One African-American parent in the film, pointing at the school board during a meeting, says, “You wouldn’t do this in Beverly Hills. You wouldn’t do this in the Valley. But because this is the last predominately black school in LA, you think that it’s OK? Look at these people behind me. It’s not OK. You reconstitute Crenshaw? We’re going to reconstitute you.”

Her remarks encapsulate the sentiment of the film, which focuses on the outrage some students, parents and teachers experienced during the reconstitution. It’s not so much an examination of the pros and cons of reconstitution as it is a look at the resentment invoked in those that opposed it and the insensitivity they perceived from district leaders.

“Sadly, the community ended up being not strong enough to ward off this battle,” Jackson told LA School Report.

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Morning Read: ACLU questions Jefferson improvement plan

ACLU: Jefferson High class scheduling improvement plan may be flawed
Attorneys for students who want LA Unified to fix class scheduling problems at Jefferson High say the district’s plan to cure the issues may fall short. KPCC

LA Unified gets school lunch makeover in test of locally sourced meals
Los Angeles Unified and 14 other school districts across California launched a pilot program Thursday that aims to bring the farm-to-table movement to school campuses. KPCC

The War on Teacher Tenure
It’s really difficult to fire a bad teacher. A group of Silicon Valley investors wants to change that. Time

New downtown L.A. boarding school aims to enhance culture, education
The American University Preparatory School is a new private boarding school at a luxury downtown hotel off Figueroa and Third streets. Los Angeles Times

Teacher tenure: Wrong target
Commentary: Eliminating teachers’ job security is not going to attract better educators — or do much to improve school quality. New York Daily News

Despite board approval, Cortines opposes bond money for iPads

Child practicing multiplication on iPad

A day of iPad use at Cimarron Elementary

Barely a week into his job as LA Unified superintendent, Ramon Cortines is pushing back against the school board that hired him, voicing opposition to using any more of the $1.3 billion in bond money to buy digital devices equipped with curriculum for use in classroom instruction.

Three times since his first day on the job, at the start of this week, he has suggested that the district should not use voter approved capital improvement funds for the Pearson software that the board approved for the iPads bought from Apple.

In a statement from the district today, he said he is committed to providing technology to students, but added, “I still need to meet with the Common Core Technology Project team to learn more about the plans in place but I think we will need to identify alternative sources to fund the curriculum ongoing.”

This morning, he was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, saying, “I don’t believe the curriculum should be paid for with bond funds, period.”

And at his first school board meeting two days ago, he publicly disagreed with the board’s unanimous decision to use money from bond sales to pay for the $1.3 billion program, characterizing the expenditure as “stealing” from taxpayer dollars.

His public pronouncements would appear to put him at odds with a board that just hired him to replace the architect of the iPad program, John Deasy, whose handling of the program drew widespread criticism from the LA Unified community, including board members. Nonetheless, at every step in planning, the board approved Deasy’s approach to getting all LA Unified students a tablet or laptop.

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LA Unified educator among five California Teachers of the Year


Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher (LAUSD photo)

A middle-school teacher at LA Unified has been named one of five recipients of the 2015 California Teachers of the Year Award from the California Department of Education.

Lovelyn Marquez-Prueher is an eighth-grade English teacher at Dodson Middle School in Rancho Palos Verdes. She has been teaching for 11 years, the last six at Dodson.

Marquez-Prueher was an immigrant child to the U.S and experienced a difficult beginning in school but has embraced the teaching philosophy that learning is a journey, according to a district press release.

“I intend on using what I learn about myself to understand the diversity and culture of every child that walks through my classroom door,” Marquez-Prueher said in a statement. “Through this, I believe that I can ensure that all students learn to function effectively in today’s diverse society.”

Newly-installed interm Superintendent Ramon Cortines offered his praise.

“The award salutes her dedication, passion, and commitment to achieve educational excellence for her students,” Cortines said in a statement.

One of the five winners will be chosen to enter the National Teacher of the Year award, which will be given out by President Obama in April.

“I am thrilled for Ms. Marquez-Prueher, Dodson Middle School, and LAUSD,” said Instructional Area Superintendent-South Robert Bravo in a statement. “I had the pleasure of visiting her classroom with Dodson Principal (John) Vladovic just a few weeks ago and I know first-hand she is a gifted teacher and completely worthy of the recognition.”

John Vladovic is the son of LA Unified board president, Richard Vladovic.

Recent California Teachers of the Year honorees from LAUSD include Veronica Marquez (2012), Jose Navarro (2009), Lewis Chappelear (2008) and Kelly Hanock (2006).

LAUSD awards safe drivers during National Bus Safety Week

little-girl-boarding-schoolbus LAUSDAs part of National School Bus Safety Week, LA Unified’s Transportation Services Division is recognizing its top drivers this week by handing out 811 safe driving pins and certificates.

Some drivers will be receiving pins for multiple years of safe driving, with one reaching as high as 37 years of safe driving, according to Transportation Services Division Director Donald Wilkes

“It is during [National School Bus Safety Week] that LAUSD takes time to celebrate the safe driving accomplishments of their school bus drivers at several award ceremonies,” Wilkes said. “During the ceremonies drivers are treated to refreshments and individually recognized for their achievement in the presence of LAUSD Board member offices, school administrators, as well as their peers.”

Wilkes also said that California state law requires that students receive instruction in school bus emergency procedures and passenger safety at least once each year. (See the attached LAUSD-produced video below on bus safety shown to many students in the district.)

“School bus drivers are required to review with their students how to safely board, ride, disembark the school bus, cross the street, and practice safe habits when walking to or from the school bus stop,” Wilkes said.

In honor of National School Bus Safety Week, here a few interesting facts about the LAUSD fleet. According to the LAUSD Transportation Services Division:

  • Transports approximately 42,100 students daily. 
  • Owns 3,400 buses, trucks, autos and vans.
  • Operates the largest compressed natural gas school bus fleet in the nation, with 530.
  • Logs an average of 23 million miles per year.
  • Assists an average of 1,000 callers per day in the Dispatch/Customer Service Section.

Top 5 issues in Tuck vs. Torlakson state superintendent race

tuck torlakson

Dueling views offered by Marshall Tuck and Tom Torlakson in their bid for State Superintendent of Public Instruction will give voters a stark choice — in what has become a surprisingly close race leading to the Nov. 4 election.

Torlakson, the incumbent, a former teacher and state legislator, has the backing of the Democratic establishment and the teachers unions. Tuck, a relative unknown statewide, was a charter school administrator and has the backing of reform groups and editorial boards throughout the state. 

The two men share vastly different backgrounds and overall educational beliefs, leading the LA Weekly to characterize the election as a reform vs. union battle for the heart of the Democratic Party and the Los Angeles Times to call it “a prime example of the strange rift in education, in which liberal Democrats are sharply divided on such issues as charter schools, job protections for teachers, the authority of the federal government in schools and the value of standardized test scores.”

Much of the media focus is often on the black and white contrast of the candidates’ background and supporters. Equally important are the actual issues at hand and where the candidates stand on them.

LA School Report has picked five major issues, with a breakdown of each candidate’s position:

vergara thumbThe Vergara Ruling

The landmark case in which in which a court found the state’s laws regarding teacher tenure, firings and layoffs are unconstitutional has become a litmus test for public officials.

Torlakson:  As the top education official in the state, Torlakson was a defendant in the lawsuit and led the charge on behalf of the state to appeal the ruling with a statement that the judge’s decision is “not supported by the facts or the law.”

Tuck: A big supporter of the ruling, he has been endorsed by the student plaintiffs in the case. He also publicly urged Torlakson and the state not to appeal and has said he would withdraw support for the appeal on his first day on the job.

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LA Unified reiterates: UTLA demands would lead to cutbacks

teachers union raise salary UTLA Contract NegotiationsIn the first contract talks under LA Unified’s new superintendent, Ray Cortines, negotiators for the district and the teachers union, UTLA, hit another snag yesterday as the district reasserted claims that unions demands are unsustainable and would lead to severe cutbacks to key programs, resources, and personnel that would detrimentally impact students.

The union is calling for a 10 percent salary bump for 2014-15, with the expectation of re-opening pay negotiations next year. Smaller class sizes, salary raises and an end to teacher jail are among key components the union is seeking it its new contract.

“Our budget calculations show that the proposal would cost more than $800 million in 2015-16,” said Vivian Ekchian, the district’s Chief Labor Negotiator. “Combined with a projected $365 million deficit next year, agreeing to the union’s proposal would deal a devastating blow to the District’s educational programs.”

The union’s new wage demand exceeds the district’s standing offer of a 6.64 percent salary increase over the next three years plus a one-time 2 percent bonus.

Another topic UTLA returned to during talks yesterday was the issue of “teacher jail.”

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Morning Read: No iPad software with bonds, says Cortines

Bonds should not pay for iPad curriculum, new L.A. Unified head says
Newly installed Supt. Ramon Cortines said he opposes using construction bond money to pay for curriculum on student computers. Los Angeles Times

California moving rapidly toward post-NCLB accountability
In one sentence, the president of the California State School board signaled the end of the old era of assessment and the dawn of another. Education Week

State seeks $140 million federal grant to expand preschool
CA officials are asking for $140 million in federal funds for subsidized preschool slots in communities where parents have a difficult time finding quality childcare. KPCC

Support for Prop. 2 inching toward 50 percent
Voter support for Proposition 2, a new version of a state budget rainy day fund, has increased from a month ago. EdSource

Art ed advocates put candidates on the spot
If you want to know where school board candidates stand on arts curriculum, there’s an online tool that can help – sort of. S&I Cabinet Report

KIPP set to expand with 9 new schools in south, east LA

KIPP Empower Academy

(Photo via Kipp Empower Academy’s Facebook page)

KIPP LA Schools today announced plans to open nine additional campuses, nearly doubling its presence in south and east LA by 2020.

The high performing charter schools are part of the Knowledge Is Power Program,which runs 162 campuses, educating 58,000 students nationally. In LA, the organization currently operates 11 schools serving 4,000 elementary and middle school students in some of the city’s most downtrodden neighborhoods.

“The families in these communities are demanding access to an excellent college-preparatory public education for their children. KIPP LA’s growth will help meet that demand,” said Executive Director Marcia Aaron at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the organization’s new home.

The campus features 27 classrooms designed for KIPP’s blended learning model. That learning style has contributed toward an Academic Performance Index score of 991, making KIPP Empower the highest performing school in LA Unified and the 10th-best performing elementary school in California.

KIPP also operates three other schools in LA Unified that have earned API scores above 900; the state standard is 800

KIPP has not yet detailed plans for location of future campuses.

Weingarten pleads for ‘collaboration’ in Deasy aftermath

Weingarten at AFT convention

AFT President Randi Weingarten Weingarten speaking at an AFT convention

In a speech today  in Buena Park, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, cited former LA Unified superintendent John Deasy as a failed example of school district management and argued for collaboration over fiat as the pathway to success in public education.

“Collaboration is the vehicle that creates trust. It’s the vehicle that enables risk. It’s the vehicle that enables shared responsibility; it’s the vehicle that has all our backs as opposed to throwing us under the bus, or under the bicycle,” she told an audience of union leaders and school and district administrators from across the country at the West Coast Labor Management Institute. “And it’s the vehicle that gives parents confidence in our public schools and our public institutions.”

While she insisted that collaboration “is not a silver bullet,” she described it as “a way to engender collective responsibility.”

Her plea was to both sides the labor-management relationship, insisting that the “top-down” ways of leaders like Deasy, Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee have failed to achieve their promised revolution in public education.

To her labor colleagues, she asked, “Is a manager or a principal really going to be willing to help us solve a problem after we’ve punched the living daylights out of them? Really? Who would ever want to solve a problem if that happens?”

A full transcript of her speech is available here.

LAUSD employees file lawsuit against SEIU over union dues

Judge Rolf Treu affirm vergara decision


Several LA Unified workers have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 99 over what they say is an improper collection of their full dues.

In the complaint, which was prepared with free legal assistance by the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), the employes claim SEIU Local 99 union officials denied their requests to refrain from paying full dues, according to a NRWF press release. SEIU represents employees who work in a number of non-teaching jobs in public schools, including bus drivers, gardeners and cafeteria workers.

Under federal law set by the Supreme Court in the Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, public employees that must join a union and pay dues as a requirement for employment can request to withhold payment of any fees that support political causes not related to collective bargaining.

“Because California does not have Right to Work protections for workers, workers can be forced to pay union dues and fees to an unwanted union as a condition of employment. However, under Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedent, workers who refrain from union membership can also refrain from paying for union politics and members-only events,” the press release said.

The release also added that despite “the workers’ requests to refrain from union membership and full union dues payments, the Los Angeles Unified School District continues to confiscate full union dues from the workers’ paychecks at SEIU Local 99 officials’ behest.”

The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit were identified by NRWF as grounds keeper Douglas Kennedy, bus drivers Eduardo Berumen and Griselda Moran and cafeteria worker Magi Shanagian.

“SEIU officials are stonewalling workers’ attempts to refrain from paying for the union bosses’ radical political agenda,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, in a statement. “This case underscores the need for California to pass a Right to Work law making union membership and dues payments strictly voluntary.”

SEIU Local 99 Interim Executive Director Scott Washburn issued a statement on the lawsuit.

“The lawsuit filed by the National Right to Work Foundation is yet another example of this group’s attempt to silence the voice and strength of working families in this country. It is no coincidence that this suit was filed on the heels of the historic $15 per hour minimum wage increase won by school workers at LAUSD,” the statement said. “Wherever workers are making big strides to improve their lives and the wellbeing of their families and communities, we can expect to see attacks like this. SEIU Local 99 members will continue to stand strong and move forward with our efforts to ensure quality schools and good jobs for our communities.””

*Includes statement from SEIU