LAUSD tries to make it easier for charter families to address the school board
Charter families have lined up at dawn in biting cold winds holding babies. They’ve sweated it out for hours standing around ice chests or taking turns under canopies. They’ve waited hours—sometimes nearly a full a day—to get into an LA Unified school board meeting. Then, they wait hours more just to be heard. School Board...
By Mike Szymanski | September 12, 2016
LAUSD throws away the equivalent of 200 elephants in food waste each week
LA Unified throws away an average of one ton of food per school every week. That’s the equivalent of 600 tons of organic waste for the entire district each week, or “equivalent to 200 elephants of waste a week,” said Robert Laughton, director of the school district’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Laughton gave...
By Mike Szymanski | September 8, 2016
Imelda Padilla, who found inspiration in LAUSD schools after personal struggles, enters board race
Children called her “crooked legs” when she attended school in the east San Fernando Valley. She overcame her crippling rickets after six months in a cast while being homeschooled by LA Unified teachers. When she returned to school, it was one of those teachers who inspired her to smile more and shed the anger she carried....
By Mike Szymanski | September 7, 2016
El Camino Real Charter teachers voice strong support for school, meet with union reps; LAUSD makes correspondence public
A $1,139 dinner at a steakhouse. A $95 bottle of fine Syrah wine. A $73 bill for flowers. Those charges and others made by staff of a successful charter school were cited this week at an LA Unified School Board meeting and led the district to take the first steps to revoking the school’s charter. El...
By Mike Szymanski | August 26, 2016
These 20 LAUSD schools are among the state’s lowest performers
A total of 20 schools—14 district schools and six charter schools—that fall under the LA Unified umbrella are among the bottom 5 percent of low-performing schools in the state of California. The schools are eligible for School Improvement Grants (SIG) money that can result in $2 million a year for five years if the school administrators...
By Mike Szymanski | August 25, 2016
Despite district rules, Haddon Elementary increases enrollment and decreases absenteeism with unique programs
Haddon Elementary Avenue School is so in demand that families want to drive their children across the San Fernando Valley from Granada Hills to attend the Pacoima school. Haddon is not a charter school, it’s not a new pilot program and it’s not a magnet school (yet). It’s a traditional Title 1 district school in a...
By Mike Szymanski | August 18, 2016