LAUSD to Pay $150 M to Resolve Lawsuit

September 21, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay more than $150 million to 50 schools in primarily low-income areas to resolve a lawsuit accusing the district of misspending funds that should have been used to benefit “high-need” and English-learning students.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 by a coalition of community groups that alleged the district had been misspending about $450 million annually that should have been earmarked toward campuses in primarily low-income communities.

“We are pleased to have reached to solution that will immediately improve the lives of students across the Los Angeles,” said Aurea Montes-Rodriguez, executive vice president of Community Coalition, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit. “While this is a promising victory, it also serves as an important reminder that low-income communities of color remain overlooked in Los Angeles. The time for communities like South L.A. is now, and we must continue the fight for our kids and our future.”

The “settlement provides a tremendous opportunity to direct more resources to our highest-need students and schools,” said David Holmquist, general counsel for the LAUSD.

“The underlying litigation between the parties involved varying interpretations of a very complex statutory framework. With this settlement complete, the district is ready to move forward and continue to put kids first,” Holmquist said.

The 50 schools that will receive additional funding are primarily in South and East Los Angeles. The money is expected to support academic, social and emotional support services, drop-out prevention programs and parent-engagement efforts, according to the groups that filed the lawsuit.

AIDS, Tenant Organizations March in Kingdom Day Parade

January 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles Councilman Curren D. Price Jr. today served as grand marshal of the 31st annual Kingdom Day Parade, whose theme is “Our Work Is Not Yet Done.”

What organizers bill as the nation’s biggest celebration of the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. started at 10:15 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Arlington Avenue, heading west on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Crenshaw Boulevard, then proceed south, concluding at Vernon Avenue.

Groups marching in the parade included the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, seeking to promote the messages that AIDS is a civil rights issue and access to care and treatment for people with HIV and AIDS should be a universal human right, and the L.A. Tenants Union, promoting the message of “Housing Justice For All!”

The Community Coalition community organization entered a float with two black and brown fists, with broken chains and shackles, representing South Los Angeles’ black and Latino residents affected by slavery and mass incarceration.

The float was inspired by the 2014 passage of Proposition 47, which required misdemeanor sentences for certain drug possession and theft crimes and allowed for resentencing for past convictions, according to Sandra Hamada, the coalition’s director of youth programs.

Metro’s entry in the parade was a replica of the bus Rosa Parks was riding in when she was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white rider in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955.

The entry was intended to highlight the role of public transit in the civil rights movement and mark the 60th anniversary of Parks’ arrest and the subsequent bus boycott, which became a catalyst of the
movement, according to a Metro official.

Price called the parade “a celebration of promise and hope of a better tomorrow.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti, other members of the City Council and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck were among those taking part in the parade.

“It’s amazing. This is such a great L.A. tradition, not only to remind us of the work that happened to get us to this point but to remind us of what’s left to do,” Garcetti told ABC7 in the midst of the parade. “And just to see every color of Los Angeles coming out to serve our city and to fight for justice.

“I’m proud of L.A. Last year we passed a minimum wage increase, which is exactly what Dr. King talked about. This year we’ve got to get people off the streets, our homeless. So our work never ends. But we can celebrate the victories and that’s what today’s about — to rest, to celebrate and commemorate a great man.”

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