LAUSD board approves a student voice, but not how to get it

Steve Zimmer LAUSD Board Meeting 4-8-2014

Steve Zimmer LAUSD Board Meeting 4-8-2014

A grand plan by Steve Zimmer and Bennett Kayser to put a student voice on the LA Unified School Board hit a road block today when the board accepted the idea in principle but delayed adopting a plan for how to do it.

In a 50-minute debate, board member Tamar Galatzan was the first to lead the charge against their Student Engagement and Empowerment resolution, which would have required Superintendent John Deasy to develop a plan that included a seven member student advisory board and a district-wide student Congress.

But the effort went down in a 4-2 vote over objections to doing anything more than acknowledging the certainty of creating a student advisory position for the board something during the 2014-2015 academic year.

“I don’t know why we need to create this giant bureaucracy of student advice when the education code is much simpler,” said Galatzan, who voted with Monica Garcia, Monica Ratliff and Board President RIchard Vladovic to defeat the resolution.

Garcia quickly proposed an alternative approach: Accept the petition presented to the board — 1,500 student signatures calling for the addition of a student representative, as required by the California education code — and authorize Deasy to recommend within 120 days the best way to accomplish the effort.

That was passed, 5-1, with Zimmer as the holdout.

After the board meeting, Zimmer told LA School Report, he was disappointed in his colleagues who chose to meet only the minimum standards required by the state.

“I hope that the students who participated in the process don’t feel deflated by democracy,” he said. And he encouraged them to view it as a partial victory.

“The good news,” he said, “is that there will be a student here and that’s going to make this a better board of education.”

Rallies at LAUSD for budget priorities and a student voice

Community Coalition rally, protesting LAUSD budget priorities

Community Coalition rally, protesting LAUSD budget priorities

With the LA Unified board meeting tomorrow, two rallies are taking place outside district headquarters that seek support for two different educational issues.

Parents, education advocates and civil rights groups, who represent Communities for Los Angeles Student Success, or CLASS, are organizing a “silent protest” on behalf of low-income students, schools and communities by placing 375 empty desks on Beaudry Avenue. The desks represent the 375 LAUSD students who drop out each week, according to organizers.

“We have a historic opportunity to do right for the highest need students 
who have not received their fair share,” Maria Brenes, executive director of Inner City Struggle, a member of CLASS, told LA School Report. “This rally is calling on LAUSD
 officials to be bold by comprehensively directing funds to the highest need
students, schools and communities.”

As LAUSD is preparing to refine its next budget, CLASS is demanding that $1 billion in extra state funding over the next seven years go to help the students it was meant to serve – low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

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Charter Groups want four unused LAUSD sites for new schools*

Maybe 4 fewer eyesores?

Maybe 4 fewer eyesores?

Two charter organizations want to take over four LA Unified public schools that have become an eyesore in the West San Fernando Valley, after closing more than three decades ago.

El Camino Real High School, which became a charter in 2011, has proposed taking over three of the school sites – Highlander, Platt Ranch and Oso Elementary.

Preliminary plans include converting the Highlander campus into a K-8 grade school, while Platt Ranch would become the new site of El Camino’s continuation high school. Oso, which is essentially crumbling, would be razed to allow the development of an outdoor science center with a self-contained eco system, green houses and gardens. The center would only be open to El Camino students.

Estimated costs for renovations at the three sites are approximately $18 million.

For another $12 million, the fourth site, Collins Elementary, would be operated by the CHIME Institute, a charter school based on an inclusive model of learning, which puts special needs and gifted students in the same classroom.

The new campus would allow CHIME to expand its K-8 grade school into high school. It projects an enrollment of 480 9-12th grade students.

The schools were initially shut down due to declining enrollment but at a meeting with  homeowners and community members last night, Mark Hovatter, Chief of Facilities for the district, assured community members that history would not repeat itself.

He said despite the exodus from traditional public schools, demand for charter schools is high.

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Abandoned LA Unified schools coming back to life — but how?

dilapidated schoolsAfter more than 30 years, the West Valley may be closer to having four more schools.

What kind of schools remains to be seen.

Community members are invited tomorrow night to a meeting at Woodlake Elementary School to learn more about the the future of the elementary schools — Oso, Collins, Highlander and Platt Ranch Elementary — that were abandoned in the 1980s due to a massive loss of student attendance.

Those who attend the meeting will be among the first to hear recommendations from LA Unified’s Facilities Division, which has reviewed multiple bids to renovate the properties at a cost of up to $80 million. The division has narrowed the bids to one per campus and has so far declined to reveal details about any of the bids that were passed on.

Tom Rubin, consultant to the district’s School Construction Bond Citizens’ Oversight Committee, said the bidding process is done in utter secrecy, but the board has given charter schools affiliated with the district top priority.

“It’s a safe bet, that’s who the district is going to go with,” he told LA School Report.

But it won’t be cheap.

“These schools need work,” Rubin said. “The charters were very clearly told, go out, we’ll give you the tour, we’ll help you figure out what’s needed. We’ll tell you everything we know but these will need work.”

School board members Tamar Galatzan and Steve Zimmer will attend the meeting. Each has two of the shuttered schools in their district.

The full school board will take up the decision to proceed with the proposals at the board’s next meeting, on Tuesday.


Commentary: Standing with Beatriz against Vergara

Steve Zimmer

Steve Zimmer

Just over a year ago, I won re-election to the Los Angeles Unified School District board. It was an unlikely victory in what may have been the most expensive school board race in U. S. history. The wealthiest of self-styled reformers – Eli Broad, Reed Hastings, Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Rhee’s followers – put in over $4-million to try and take over the L.A. Board of Education.

The stakes were high. Los Angeles Unified is by far the largest school district in the nation to be governed by an elected board. Our district has over 900,000 students, over 60,000 employees and an operating budget of over $7 billion. The reformers were clear about their goals. They sought to eviscerate the power of our teacher union by eliminating job protections, seniority rights, and tenure. They sought to link teacher evaluation directly to standardized test scores. And more.

Against this gale force, we were able to build an improbable coalition of families, teachers and classified employees, and community activists. We matched the billionaires’ money with authentic boots on the ground. We talked to people, and people listened. In the many struggles in today’s economy, battles often pit people’s interests against the interests of corporate America. This time the people won.

Or so we thought.

As it turns out, the election isn’t really over. It just shifted venues.

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Commentary: Listen adults, it’s time for a student on the board

Cindy FigueroaDo you know how many students attended the LAUSD school board meetings last month? In my circle of friends, you’d be lucky if a single person could name a school board member or tell you what the school board does.

As an active LAUSD student who cares about my community, I wonder how the second-largest district in the nation can make decisions about the futures of thousands of students without hearing our perspective on issues that matter. Most importantly, aren’t we the ones most affected by decisions on issues like the Common Core curriculum, school spending, iPads and new schools?

How can a school district that prides itself on leadership and preparing future citizens not have a seat for a student to exercise that leadership on the District level?

California Education Code states that governing boards have student representation. Also, students have the right to petition the board for that student representative to have an advisory vote if they collect more than 500 signatures.

LAUSD would not be alone in choosing a student representative. Over 200 districts in California have a student sitting on their schools board, including Oakland and San Francisco. There are hundreds more throughout the United States that have given students a seat at the table. Even our own State Board of Education has a high school student who participates on its board.

It’s time for LAUSD to come around.

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Dip in enrollment could cost LAUSD hundreds of millions

images-1The Los Angeles Unified School District is losing an average of 2.6 percent of students attending traditional public schools – that’s about 56,000 kids — and it’s costing the district hundreds of millions dollars each year.

By the current formula, which calculates how much money goes to districts based on student attendance, about $292.4 million will no longer flow to LA Unified’s public schools in the 2014-15 school year.

At a special school board meeting today, during which the board members discussed the district budget for this year and next under California’s new Local Control Funding Formula, Megan Reilly, Chief Financial Officer for LA Unified, said district projections indicate the enrollment problem is only going to get worse.

In the 2015-16 school year the district expects to lose another 2.9 percent of non-charter students, bringing that group’s enrollment down by 72,000 students over two years. It would make it the 12th straight year of enrollment decline.

Reilly attributes the steady loss of students to the increasing popularity of charter schools. “About 44 percent of the movement has been to charters,” she told school board members.

But the majority of the decline is due to demographic changes as Southern California birthrates decline, and people are moving out of the area.

As a result, Reilly warned board members to “pay special attention to the district’s fixed costs which don’t change when enrollment declines.”

“They can start taking up more of your budget,” she said.

That’s especially true when it comes to paying out pensions and health benefits for retirees which continue to grow.

Board member Steve Zimmer tried to provide a ray of sunshine on the gloomy news.

“You’re basing these figures on charter enrollment that we’ve already approved,” he said, perhaps suggesting that the school board may want consider restricting charter application approvals, something the board has been accused of not doing.

Although he acknowledged “we have work to do in terms of children being born,” Zimmer suggested the board could devise strategies to boost enrollment and retain more area students.

Denied renewals, 2 Aspire charters appeal to LA County

imgres-1After the LA Unified board denied renewals last month for two high-performing charter public schools in southeast Los Angeles — Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy — the schools vowed to fight on.

They filed an appeal with the LA County Board of Education and now have a public hearing scheduled March 18, with the board’s vote expected on April 15.

“We have gone through appeals processes before, and we are confident that the county will approve these charters, given the great success that these schools are having in serving students and families in Huntington Park,” James Willcox, Chief Executive Officer of Aspire, told LA School Report.

“We remain committed to keeping these schools open and serving our students. We expect approval of both charters, just now under a different authorizer.”

The two Aspire schools serve predominantly low-income, Latino students — and serve them well: The latest API score for AMLA is 835; for Ollin, 803.

Yet despite their strong academic performances, the LA Unified board voted against the renewals, 4-2, because of the schools’ refusal to provide special education to their students by going directly through an LA Unified-administered services plan.

Each California school district is required to provide special services to schools through what’s known as a SELPA – Special Education Local Planning Area — with state money for services flowing through the district to the local service providers and specialist.

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Quietly, LA Unified gets a voice in place for District 1

Sylvia Rousseau

Sylvia Rousseau

After school board member Marguerite LaMotte died, her district — which stretches from Palms to Central Los Angeles — went without a voice for 89 days. That ended Tuesday, when the Los Angeles Unified School Board hired Sylvia Rousseau as a temporary “liaison” for the community.

The appointment approved by unanimous consent after little fanfare and no public debate.

Rousseau, who will continue teaching full time at the USC Rossier School of Education, will serve until a permanent replacement has been elected later this year. The district has agreed to pay her $49.90 per hour.”

Today, her second day on the job, Rousseau told LA School Report, “I’m really trying to get a profile on what District 1 is like.”

“I want to learn from the community, parents, and principals so that the board has a more clear idea of what its needs are as they deliberate on major decisions that affect District 1” she said.

Rousseau said she will report her findings to the board at each monthly meeting.

Information will also be going in the other direction. Working with local superintendents and school principals, Rousseau is responsible for keeping District 1 parents informed about long-term issues, including the new Local Control Funding Formula and Common Core implementation.

Parents have accused the board and Superintendent John Deasy of acting secretively, making the appointment in a closed session meeting and failing to speak publicly about Rousseau’s role.

But district officials said that may be more an issue of expediency. Rather than hold an open debate to refine specific job responsibilities, board members met individually with her and agreed that she was ideally suited for the job.

“This is a person of such high esteem and caliber that we chose to trust her with the substance of the work, based on what she said to us individually,” said board member Steve Zimmer, who has been the leading advocate for finding some means of connection between the board and District 1 until the special election, which is scheduled for June 3.

Zimmer said Rousseau’s major focus will be conveying to the board “data and trends” from within District 1 so the information can be considered in two of the biggest issues before the board in the coming months — the district’s annual budget and setting priorities for how to spend new state money from the Local Control Funding Formula.

Previous Posts: The LA Unified board appoints a ‘liaison’ for vacant board seatDoes experience count? LAUSD candidates vie for attentionThe LA Unified board twice voted against a caretaker for vacant seat.

Zimmer introducing plan to give students a role with school board

stevezimmer12_17Fresh off his (unsuccessful) effort to get a District 1 voice onto the LA Unified school board right away, trustee Steve Zimmer is returning to the monthly board meeting tomorrow with a plan that would lead to another voice with influence on the board:


Zimmer is introducing a measure — the Student Engagement and Empowerment Resolution of 2014 — that would create a student advisory member of the school board, a “student congress” made up of two representatives from each district high school, and from that, a student from each of the board’s seven districts to serve as liaisons between the congress and the school board.

The program, starting as a pilot in 2014-2015, would also create a district-wide curriculum for high schools using the televised board meetings as a “teaching tool” to increase student involvement with board actions and draw district students closer to issues that bear directly on them.

As his motion says, the student congress and student board member would be “embraced by the Board to bring a new level of legitimacy, accountability, and transparency to policy decisions enacted” by the board, starting with the spring semester of 2015.

“I’ve always believed in student empowerment,” Zimmer said in an interview with LA School Report. “The lack of an authentic student voice is something I have always felt obligated to address.”

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LA Unified board appoints a ‘liaison’ for vacant district seat

Sylvia Rousseau, USC Credit: Steve Cohen

Sylvia Rousseau, USC
Credit: Steve Cohen

In a closed session meeting — meaning, it was closed to the public — the LA Unified School Board named Sylvia Rousseau, a professor at USC,  as the “liason” to board District 1, starting in March.

The board seat has remained unrepresented at school board meetings since Marguerite LaMotte died in December.

The appointment is not totally official yet, nor is the position fully defined. The board will take the next two weeks to outline Rousseau’s duties and responsibilities and will vote to ratify her appointment at the next school board meeting, on March 4.

“It was not the most elegant process,” school board member Steve Zimmer told LA School Report.

Zimmer has been the most outspoken advocate for an interim representative for the district until the outcome of a special election in June.

“I don’t think it was anyone’s first choice for how this would be done, but it is quite a compromise,” he said. “In the end, everybody compromised.”

The decision comes just one week after the school board voted down two measures to appoint a temporary representative: One came from Zimmer, to have a non-voting “virtual board member,” who would report to the school board sit and on the horseshoe. The other was an effort from board president Richard Vladovic, directing Superintendent John Deasy to select and appoint an “executor” for the seat.

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LA Unified board votes against a caretaker (twice) for vacant seat

President Vladovic: His vote doomed caretaker

President Vladovic: His vote doomed caretaker

The LA Unified school board on Tuesday quashed any chance for temporary representation for the 110 schools and nearly quarter million students in board District 1, twice defeating measures that would have appointed a non-voting caretaker.

It was just the latest example of the inability of a school board, paralyzed by the absence of a potential tie-breaking vote, to push past personal differences for sake of unity.

The decision means that the seat, which has been vacant since Marguerite LaMotte died more than two months ago, will remain empty through a special election scheduled for June 3 or through mid-August if a runoff is needed.

The path to failure began when board president Richard Vladovic delayed action on a proposal from Steve Zimmer with an an idea of his own, which he called an amendment — directing Superintendent John Deasy to select and appoint an “executor” for the seat. Before the vote, Monica Ratliff asked Deasy if he knew whom he would appoint.

“I don’t,” he said.

The amendment failed on a 3-3 vote.

That brought the members back to Zimmer’s proposal, a carefully worked measure that would have allowed residents of District 1 to participate in the appointment process by nominating candidates for the position.

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Zimmer’s plan for District 1 vacancy facing a big vote

images-2The LA Unified school board has an unusually long agenda for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, 39 items plus a handful of reports and updates.

Each has consequences but few of them carry the import and emotional impact of Steve Zimmer‘s proposal to fill the vacant seat for District 1 on a temporary basis until a new member is elected later this year.

After weeks of discussion and his “committee of one” meeting last week, he has written a template for what the interim can do — and by extension, can’t do — and a timeline for identifying and approving a selection.

With guidance from the district legal team, Zimmer has devised a job description that effectively allows the temporary member to perform almost all the duties of a regular member, apart from casting a binding vote and attending some closed meetings. While it falls short of what many District 1 residents wanted, it tip-toed as close as possible to the line of legally permissible, as drawn by the LA City Charter.

“I did the best I could to sculpt the most empowered interim representative design under the parameters of the law, understanding that I myself have no standing to challenge the law,” Zimmer told LA School Report. “I know that all of my colleagues care deeply about the students, families and schools in Board District One. We may have differing perspectives on how to meet the challenge of representation for the next six months, but I trust that we will work our way to a just solution.”

If the board approves Zimmer’s proposal or an amended version, a schedule of events kicks in, leading to the nomination of up to three candidates from each of the current six board members by Feb. 24. The goal is to narrow the list at the March 4 meeting to one candidate who could win four votes for approval.

Failing that, the board can consider other nominees or change the selection process.


Clarifying role of ‘caretaker’ for LaMotte’s school board seat

Appoint-Elect-ConversationBubblesThe LA Unified school board on Tuesday is expected to approve a list of proposed responsibilities and job qualifications for a temporary, non-voting board member to fill the seat of Marguerite LaMotte, who died in December.

The recommendations grew out of a meeting this week chaired by Steve Zimmer, the most vocal school board member to support installing an interim appointment. A document (see below) lists 20 responsibilities and five qualifications he devised as well as the timeline for filling the seat.

If his proposal is approved, an interim would be identified and voted into place by the board’s March 4 meeting. As a caretaker, the new member would have no ability to cast a binding vote nor the right to attend closed sessions without permission from the board.

The timeline lays out the process leading to a selection, starting with the launch of a special website on Feb. 18 where nominations can be made. Once selected, the board’s new colleague will serve only through the June 3 special election — or an Aug. 12 runoff if necessary — which puts a fully enfranchised member in the seat to complete the LaMotte term, ending in mid-2015.

The board voted last month to call a special election, rather than make an appointment. Nonetheless, board members have argued that an interim appointee should be selected, an idea that was shot down by legal counsel as impossible. Zimmer’s plan represents a compromise.

While Zimmer tells LA School Report that his proposal has been cleared by LAUSD general counsel, a lively discussion at the February 11 board meeting (see agenda here) is expected, especially with two lawyers, Monica Ratliff and Tamar Galatzan, on the board.

Zimmer gets the message, interim cannot have binding vote

SteveZimmer-AdHoc-2-4-14Only two LA Unified school board members hold law degrees: Tamar Galatzan and Monica Ratliff. But Steve Zimmer, a college professor, did a pretty good impression of a lawyer last night.

Zimmer presided over an ad hoc “committee of one” — no other board members attended — that was charged with defining the role and scope of a temporary representative for the vacant District 1 seat while the city awaits a special election.

Turnout was sparse — barely a fraction of the crowd that showed up for a board vote last month, when it approved the appointment of a non-voting advocate for the south LA region after the death of Marguerite LaMotte in December.

But Zimmer used his platform to build a case for bestowing voting rights on an appointee.

“The enfranchisement of the vote and opinion of District 1 is both possible and it’s permissible” he said, before launching into a series of questions for LA Unified general counsel David Holmquist.

–”Theoretically, what would it take to enfranchise the vote of an interim representative?”

–“To be able to have that vote be counted…the remedy would be the courts?”

–“Is it your opinion that a binding vote would be prohibited?”

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Zimmer may have ‘virtual’ solution to filling open board seat

LA Unified board member Steve Zimmer

LA Unified board member Steve Zimmer

Steve Zimmer isn’t giving up.

Despite legal opinions against him, the LA Unified board member for District 4 is still seeking a way to give voting rights to a temporary appointee to the vacant District 1 board seat until a permanent member is elected later this year.

The board voted earlier this month against such a possibility. So he knows it’s a long shot, as he told LA School Report today, conceding that he might not convince three other board members to join him in challenging the LA City Charter, which denies an appointment the same voting rights other board members have. With the board now comprised of six members, four votes are required to approve anything.

But Zimmer may have found an acceptable compromise: a “virtual” board member, whose vote would be recorded but not count. In that way, he said, the district represented for a decade by the late Marguerite LaMotte would get as full representation on the board as possible during a time the district is facing major financial and structural issues.

“This is the line in the sand for me,” Zimmer said. “I’m adamant about the vote being recorded. I’m adamant about the interim representative fully participating in the debate process — offering amendments, participating in committee work, all the things a board member would do — and Board District 1 just doesn’t have that now.”

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LA Unified board OKs more iPads, caretaker for vacancy

images-2The LA Unified School Board made two major decisions today that will go a long way toward shaping the months ahead.

The six members green-lighted Phase 2 of the iPad plan, ensuring enough tablets for standardized testing in the Spring, and they approved the appointment of a non-voting representative to serve District 1 until later in the year.

In a unanimous vote on the iPads, the board put into action essentially the same plan that was before them two months ago. This next phase will bring the tablets to 38 new campuses, provide high school students at seven schools with a laptop, acquire keyboards for Phase 1 and 2 schools and equip all schools with enough iPads for all students to take the Smarter Balanced field test in the spring. The cost is estimated to be $115 million.

The decision went against the advice of the Bond Oversight Committee, which recommended that the board limit the number of devices it procures through the end of the year.

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LA Unified asking community for ideas on state spending plan

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy

With the State Board of Education meeting later this week to set a new funding plan for public education, LAUSD officials today sought ideas from community-based groups for putting the money to best use.

Speaking to the representatives at the downtown office of the California Endowment, Superintendent John Deasy applauded the plan, known as the Local Control Funding Formula, which he said will ensure state support for students with the greatest needs.

“We’re not confused,” Deasy said. “We lift youth out of poverty, period.”

Still to be determined is how the spending will be carried out in such a way school districts can honor the “local” in the Local Control Funding Formula.

Edgar Zazueta, Deasy’s Chief of Staff for external affairs, said today’s meeting was a first step in crafting the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which must be submitted to the state in July.

“It’s a collective process,” Zazueta told LA School Report. “These groups, these representatives of the stakeholders, are the avenues to reach more local populations, and we want to take these issues to a more local crowd as well.”

Pedro Salcido, the district’s legislative liaison, said the district is “creating other forums for getting greater community feedback on this issue.”

After Deasy’s address, attendees met in smaller groups to discuss how the spending plan might impact certain “priority areas,” such as parent engagement, student achievement and school climate.

One school board who attended, Steve Zimmer, said that he’s hoping for a balanced approach from the state and cautioned against framing issues as an all-or-nothing choice between the local school sites and the district.

Zimmer said he believes some guidelines, such as summer school rules and class size, should be set by the district, and that school sites should have to justify any alternative approach.

“A meeting such as this is one thing, but not the only thing to consider,” Zimmer told LA School Report. “More important are the genuinely grass roots meetings that will take place across all the LAUSD districts.”

Previous Posts: Governor Brown’s budget pumps billions more into school funding; Survey finds CA parents unaware they have a voice in school fundingLegislators Latest Critics of New Funding Formula Regs.

Analysis: Zimmer takes center stage in LAUSD drama

zimmerfourEmerging as something of a Shakespearean figure, LA Unified School Board trustee Steve Zimmer took central stage earlier this week at a long board meeting complete with its share of sound and fury.

Zimmer, facing one of the most challenging moments in his political career, had been publicly cryptic about his position on the evening’s big decision: whether the vacant seat on the board left by the sudden death of Marguerite LaMotte should be filled by a board appointment or special election.

Ever since an election last spring created a board more sympathetic with positions of the teachers union, Zimmer has played an increasingly pivotal role on the fractured board, leaving him somewhat stuck in the middle. While he was re-elected last year with big support from the union’s super PAC, Zimmer nonetheless recently stepped in to help save Superintendent John Deasy’s job- a move that couldn’t have gone down well with union leadership that has made no secret of wanting Deasy’s head.

This week, as a critical vote on a split board, Zimmer appeared sympathetic and earnest, repeating multiple times that he came to listen to the packed room — filled with members of the South Los Angeles community who made impassioned pleas both in favor of an appointment and an election. Continue reading

Board can’t appoint ‘voting’ interim, says LAUSD lawyer

David Holmquist

David Holmquist, LAUSD General Counsel

David Holmquist essentially agrees with board member Steve Zimmer.

It’s just not right, Holmquist said, that existing laws keep the LA Unified District 1 board seat vacant until after a special election in June, denying families equal representation for months.

But if Zimmer is expecting Holmquist, LAUSD’s General Counsel, to navigate around the LA City Charter, he is likely to be disappointed.

“The law is relatively clear on this,” Holmquist said in an interview with LA School Report. “The consequences of ignoring it are potentially extreme.”

And as for Zimmer’s suggestion that something not explicitly prohibited by the City Charter might be possible, as Zimmer said at the board meeting, “is one of the weakest arguments in law,” Holmquist said, adding: “The City Charter also doesn’t say that the six board members could vote one of them off the island.”

Zimmer is hearing none of that. In an interview with LA School Report, he said, “I am rarely as adamant about something as I am about this. And I believe I am on solid ground.” Continue reading