Panel Doubles Pay for LAUSD Board Member

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

An independent committee voted Monday to raise the yearly pay for Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education members with no outside employment to $125,000 a year from $45,637, according to a published report.

Board members who receive any salary or honorarium elsewhere will receive $50,000 a year, compared with the previous figure of $26,437, the Los Angeles Times reported.

LAUSD board members have not had a raise in years; the new salaries start in 60 days.

The report noted that the demands of the job require board members to essentially work full time while in office, and the hike in pay recognizes that reality.

Charter Measure L, approved by voters in 2007, created the LAUSD Board of Education Compensation Review Committee, which meets every five years to set compensation and benefits for board members.

When it last met in 2012, the committee, with different members, voted to make no changes to the salaries, The Times reported.

Election Brings Changes to LAUSD, LAPD

May 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Voters on Tuesday shook up the Los Angeles Unified School District Board, creating a four-member majority of charter school supporters with the election of Kelly Gonez and Nick Melvoin, meanwhile Los Angeles police officers facing disciplinary action will now have the choice to have their case heard by an all-civilian panel with the passage of Measure C.


LA Unified

A pair of candidates heavily backed by charter-school proponents will be taking over seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District board, potentially signaling a major policy shift in the nation’s second-largest school district.

Despite topping a four-candidate field in the March primary, LAUSD board president Steve Zimmer couldn’t repeat that success in Tuesday’s runoff, and he was soundly defeated by teacher/attorney Nick Melvoin.

In District 6, meanwhile, another charter-school-backed candidate, Kelly Gonez, prevailed in a much tighter race over union-backed Imelda Padilla in the battle for the vacant seat. With all precincts reporting, Gonez finished with a 748-vote advantage. According to the Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office, nearly 40,000 ballots from across the city still need to be tallied from Tuesday’s election, but it’s unknown how many of those are from LAUSD District or whether the outcome of the race might be affected.

Assuming there is no change, Gonez and Melvoin will join incumbents Monica Garcia and Ref Rodriguez to create a four-member majority of charter-school supporters on the board.

With the unions and well-heeled backers of charter-school expansion pouring big money into the races, Tuesday’s runoff became what is believed to be one of the most expensive school board elections in history, with an estimated $15 million being spent by and on behalf of the various candidates.



Los Angeles police officers facing disciplinary hearings will have a choice of appearing before an all-civilian review board or a panel that includes two command-level officers, thanks to voters’ approval of a ballot measure condemned by critics as a weakening of the LAPD’s disciplinary system.

The LAPPL argued the current system is unfair because of the belief that the police chief has undue influence on sworn members of board of rights panels.

Under the just-passed measure, an officer facing disciplinary action will be able to choose whether the case will be reviewed by an all-civilian panel or a traditional board with two sworn officers and one civilian.

A host of community organizations spoke out against Measure C, saying it was an effort by the LAPPL to weaken the department’s disciplinary process. They also argued that it was crafted without any significant community input.

“Measure C creates an inconsistent disciplinary process that protects cops found guilty of serious acts of misconduct and reverses decades of work to reform LAPD,” said Karren Lane, vice president of policy at the Community Coalition.

The council placed the measure on the ballot in the face of a staff report that found civilians serving on board of rights panels have consistently voted for lighter penalties compared to officers on the panels.


LAUSD Toughens Rules to Protect Immigrant Students

May 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles school board has unanimously approved a set of policies that board members said would provide families with a higher level of protection from federal immigration raids.

Among the safeguards in the sweeping set of guidelines approved Tuesday: No immigration officers will be allowed on campus without clearance from the superintendent of schools, who will consult with district lawyers.

Until that happens, they won’t be let in, even if they arrive with a legally valid subpoena.

The resolution reaffirms the District’s commitment to making every school site a “safe zone” for students and their families, according to an LAUSD statement.

“Our students and parents are currently living in fear every day,” said Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez, who co-sponsored the resolution. Rodriguez’ district includes Highland Park, where in February ICE agents took Ramulo Avelica-Gonzalez into custody while he was on his way to drop one of his four children off at Academia Avance:; his 13-year-old daughter Fatima was in the car at the time and video recorded incident. She can be heard on the video sobbing.

Parents Tuesday in support of “Safe Zones” for LAUSD students. (Fred Zermeno)

Parents Tuesday in support of “Safe Zones” for LAUSD students. (Fred Zermeno)

“This resolution is our commitment that fear stops at our school doors. When our students and families come to our schools, they are in safe havens,” Rodriguez said.

Board member Monica Garcia, who also sponsored the resolution, said the new guidelines clarify the district’s earlier position, “offering greater detail.”

“These are commitments we have already made,” she emphasized.

Rodriguez and Garcia, joined by supporters of the policies, held a press conference in front of District headquarters before the school board meeting Tuesday.

California Schools for Sanctuaries, a broad-based coalition comprised of community-based organizations, leaders from traditional public and charter schools, civil rights and immigration advocates urged passage of the resolution, Supporters said the resolution formalizes LAUSD’s earlier actions and provides “clear steps” that District teachers and staff can take to protect students.

The resolution directs L.A. Unified Superintendent Michelle King to develop a plan within 90 days that will train teachers, administrators and other staff on how to quickly respond to ICE agents.

It also requires “immigrant liaisons with expertise in immigrant and undocumented populations will be made available at the District’s extended support sites.”

Last year, the school board approved a resolution that resulted in the issuance of a guide, which was disseminated to all employees throughout the district, and the creation of Extended Support Sites in every local district, a hotline (1-866-742-2273), and District webpage with immigration resources provided by community partners and legal organizations.

Backers said the latest resolution was the most comprehensive to date, developed by the American Civil Liberties Union over several months.

“This is an important opportunity for LAUSD to be a model for the state and for the nation,” said Sylvia Torres-Guillén, director of education equity for the ACLU of California.

The resolution also does not let the Obama administration off the hook.

“The record number of deportations in recent years,” it states, “has tragically broken apart loving families, devastated communities, and caused widespread fear.”

Millions of people are living in the United States without legal authorization. Many are parents or relatives of children, who have a long-established right to attend public schools regardless of their immigration status.

“Today, L.A. Unified’s leadership has courageously sided with the most vulnerable children and families in our city,” said Marcos Aguilar, executive director of Anahuacalmecac – IB World School, a charter public school in El Sereno. “Together, our united front will aim to ensure every school in the state of California remains a sanctuary.”

Torres-Guillén said it’s important that school staff know exactly what to say and do if immigration officers arrive. They are to tell them simply to keep out. Then it will be up to senior officials to assess the validity of credentials and any legal authority to enter district property or obtain information, she said.


LAUSD Busca Eliminar Lazos Con Patrocinadores de Comida Chatarra

April 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Dos resoluciones fueron presentadas ante la Junta de Educación de Los Ángeles, en la reunión del 18 de abril, pidiendo que se prohíba la “Noche McTeacher” que recauda fondos escolares organizados por McDonald’s. Además, también pide el desarrollo de una opción vegetariana para las cafeterías del Distrito Unificado Escolar de Los Ángeles (LAUSD, por sus siglas en inglés).

LAUSD “tiene un fuerte interés en promover la salud de los niños, lo que conduce a una mejor asistencia, mejor comportamiento, menos probabilidades de enfermedad, mayor atención, creatividad y logro académico”, indica el preámbulo de las restricciones de recaudación de fondos, según Los Angeles Times.

Una “epidemia” de enfermedades relacionadas con la alimentación “afecta desproporcionadamente a las comunidades de color”, agrega la resolución. “Los estudios han demostrado que los niños también son el blanco de este tipo de comercialización”.

Las directrices del distrito ya prohíben que las escuelas busquen patrocinios de empresas que comercialicen, vendan o produzcan productos que perjudiquen a los niños, como el alcohol, las armas de fuego y las comidas altas en calorías.

Sin embargo, las promociones de McTeacher han ocurrido más de 120 veces desde 2013 a 2016, de acuerdo con la investigación proporcionada por la organización sin fines de lucro, Boston Corporate Accountability International, informó The Times.

“Esto es para asegurarnos que nuestras pólizas realmente signifiquen algo y que no estemos participando directamente en la comercialización de alimentos grasosos”, dijo el presidente de la Junta Directiva, Steve Zimmer, quien patrocinó la resolución junto con George McKenna y Richard Vladovic, miembros del consejo.

A lo largo del país, los distritos que incluso prohíben oficialmente la recaudación de fondos “permiten eventos fuera del horario escolar – a pesar de que los administradores a menudo anuncian tales eventos durante las horas de clase”, dijo Sriram Madhusoodanan, un director de campaña de Responsabilidad Corporativa Internacional, en los comentarios reportados por The Times.

“Por lo que sabemos, LAUSD es el único distrito escolar que ha decidido acabar con los patrocinios de comida chatarra completamente”.

Anteriormente, McDonald’s publicó datos del 10 por ciento de los restaurantes que posee directamente en EE.UU. De acuerdo a la información, desde enero 2013 hasta septiembre 2015, estas tiendas recaudaron más de $2.5 millones durante la “Noche McTeacher”, según The Times.

En referente a la opción de comidas vegetarianas, los servicios de comida según han estado contemplando incorporarlas y planearon un programa piloto para el próximo otoño. La resolución presentada le da a los funcionarios 90 días para preparar un plan que expanda las opciones vegetarianas del otoño siguiente, reportó The Times.

Graduation Numbers Rise to ‘Record High’

April 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

For the seventh straight year, California is making gains on the number of students who graduate from high school, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reported Tuesday.

The number of seniors graduating in 2016 reached a record high for the state, Torlakson said in a written statement.

The highest gains were made among English learners and African American and Latino students, according to the data just released by the state Department of Education.

“This is great news for our students and families,” Torlakson said, crediting “increased investments in our schools that have helped reduce class sizes; bring back classes in music, theater, art, dance, and science; and expand career technical education programs that engage our students with hands-on, minds-on learning” for the progress made.

“The increasing rates show that the positive changes in California schools are taking us in the right direction.”

Statewide, the data, which tracks students who entered high school in 2012-13 and graduated in 2016, shows an increase of 0.9 percent from 2015, for a record high of 83.2 percent, which translates to 4,917 more students receiving their high school diploma in 2016 than in 2015.

In Los Angeles County, the graduation rate was 81.3 percent, compared to 78.7 percent for the class of 2015. The dropout rate for students who started high school in 2012-13 was 10.6 percent, down from 12.5 percent for the class of 2014-15.



The Los Angeles Unified School District saw similar trends, with the 2015-16 dropout rate at 13.7, down from 16.7 the previous year. The graduation rate was 77 percent, up from the previous year’s 72.2 percent.

“I am proud of the heroic efforts by our teachers, counselors, parents, administrators and classified staff who rally around our students every day,” LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King said. “We also thank our education leaders and partners who work with us to understand our challenges and
celebrate our gains year after year.

“This data shows we are closing opportunity gaps and preparing more L.A. Unified students for college and careers, but we still have work to do,” King said. “I expect these numbers to keep rising until we reach our goal of 100 percent graduation.”

In the Montebello Unified School District, which has one high school in Bell Gardens, the graduation rate rose to 87.7 percent, 0.07 percent higher than the previous year.

The report also showed a statewide lowering of the dropout rate. Of the students who started high school in 2012-13, 9.8 percent dropped out, down from 10.7 percent the previous year.

While there is room to be optimistic, Torlakson said there is still much work to be done that will require effort from everyone “—teachers, parents, administrators, and community members—to keep our momentum alive so we can keep improving.”

He singled out as critical the work of narrowing “the achievement gap between Asian and white students and Latino and African American students.”

“The latest statistics show the gap has narrowed. For African American students, the graduation rate reached a record high of 72.6 percent, up 1.8 percentage points from the year before and up 12.1 percentage points from 2010. For Hispanic or Latino students, the graduation rate climbed to a record high of 80 percent, up 1.5 percentage points from the year before and up 11.9 percentage points from 2010.”

For the second year in a row, the graduation rate among English learners went up, increasing 2.7 percent to 72.1 percent, 15.7 percentage points higher than the class of 2010, according to the data from the department of education.

Torlakson said changes in education funding and to curriculum, which he calls “the California Way,” are making a difference.

The California Way, he said, includes “teaching more rigorous and relevant academic standards, which provides more local control over spending and more resources to those with the greatest needs.”

Número de Estudiantes Graduados de la Secundaria Crece en Los Ángeles

April 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

La tasa de deserción entre los estudiantes del Condado de Los Ángeles, en escuelas secundarias bajó durante el año escolar 2015-16. Por ende, los números de graduados subieron, según cifras publicadas el 11 de abril por el Departamento de Educación del estado.

La tasa de deserción escolar para los estudiantes del Condado de Los Ángeles, que comenzaron la escuela secundaria en 2012-13 fue de 10.6 por ciento, por debajo del 12.5 por ciento de la clase del 2014-15. La tasa de graduación fue del 81.3 por ciento, comparada con el 78.7 por ciento del año anterior.

El Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles registró tendencias similares. En el año escolar 2015-16, con una tasa de deserción de 13.7% frente al 16.7% del año anterior. Los números de graduación fueron de un 77 por ciento, por encima del 72.2 por ciento del año anterior.

“Estoy orgullosa de los esfuerzos heroicos de nuestros maestros, consejeros, padres, administradores y personal clasificado que se reúnen cada día”, dijo la Superintendente del LAUSD Michelle King. “También les agradecemos a nuestros líderes educativos y socios que trabajan con nosotros para entender nuestros desafíos y celebrar nuestras ganancias año tras año”.

CARSON, CALFORNIA JUN 27, 2012-Jessica Espinoza, left, and Karla De Leon celebrate during Fremont High School's graduation at the Home Depot Center in Carson Wednesday June 27th, 2012. This is the largest graduating class ever at Fremont High. The school is two years into a frequently painful restart, during which most teachers did not return. But the new staff has embraced the mission, supporters say, and the school has benefited from district and community attention after decades of neglect. . (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

Estudiantes de secundaria durante una graduación en la escuela Fremont Senior High School. Foto: Cortesía de LAUSD.

“Estos datos demuestran que estamos cerrando las brechas de oportunidades y que estamos preparando a más estudiantes del LAUSD para seguir la universidad y sus carreras. Pero, aun queda mucho por hacer,” dijo King. “Espero que estos números sigan subiendo hasta que alcancemos nuestro objetivo de un 100 por ciento de graduación”.

En todo el estado, la tasa de graduación subió por el séptimo año consecutivo, según el superintendente estatal de Instrucción Pública, Tom Torlakson.

Un total de 83.2 por ciento de los estudiantes del estado, quienes comenzaron la escuela secundaria en el año 2012-13, se graduaron con su clase en 2016, 0.9 puntos porcentuales más que el año anterior, según el estado.

“Esta es una gran noticia para nuestros estudiantes y sus familias”, dijo Torlakson. “Las tasas de graduación han subido por siete años consecutivos, reflejando un optimismo y mayores inversiones en nuestras escuelas que han ayudado a reducir el número de aulas superpobladas. Al igual, el traer de vuelta la música, el teatro, el arte, danza y ciencia; y el ampliar programas de educación técnica de carreras que involucran a nuestros estudiantes con aprendizaje práctico.”

El informe también mostró una reducción a nivel estatal de la tasa de deserción escolar. De los estudiantes que comenzaron la escuela secundaria en 2012-13, un 9.8 por ciento cayeron, desde 10.7 por ciento del año anterior.

Breves de la Comunidad

February 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Este de Los Ángeles

(CNS) – Un hombre se declaró culpable el 8 de febrero por un intento de asesinato y fue sentenciado de inmediato a 13 años en prisión por atacar a una mujer con un cuchillo.

Andrés Contreras, de 30 años, atacó a una mujer en el bloque 5100 del Bulevar Whittier el pasado 7 de septiembre mientras ella esperaba en una fila en un puesto de tacos.

Contreras -quien no conocía a la mujer- le dijo a los oficiales que él había estado usando metanfetamina durante todo el día y la atacó sin provocación, de acuerdo a los reportes.

Echo Park

(CNS) – Un incendio dañó una habitación de una casa de dos pisos en Echo Park el 9 de febrero, pero nadie resultó herido.

Los bomberos respondieron al incidente a las 4:22p.m. en el bloque 1000 W. Kensington Road, según el Departamento de Bomberos de Los Ángeles (LAFD).

Las llamas se extendieron por una pared, pero las tripulaciones impidieron que el fuego se propagara hacia el ático, dijo el LAFD. La causa del incendio aun está bajo investigación.

South Gate

(CNS) – Funcionarios del Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Los Ángeles y del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles trabajaron el 13 de febrero para identificar a las personas que tuvieron contacto con una empleada de una escuela que murió de meningitis bacteriana.

Los funcionarios de salud no han revelado el nombre de la empleada, pero un padre le dijo a CBS2 que la mujer era maestra de tercer grado en la Escuela Elemental de Montara Avenue en South Gate.

El padre dijo que la escuela y los funcionarios de salud se reunieron con los padres en el campus el viernes por la noche, y una madre dijo que le dieron instrucciones sobre qué medicación darle a su hijo.

Los Ángeles

(CNS) -El Concejo Municipal de Los Ángeles aprobó la creación de un programa el 14 de febrero que le permitirá a las personas indigentes que reciban multas de estacionamiento a que realizen servicio comunitario en lugar de pagar.

Bajo el programa, las personas que cumplen con la definición federal de indigencia podrán acudir a una de las agencias proveedoras de servicios de la ciudad y solicitar servicios sociales o comunitarios en lugar de pagar la multa.

El programa cubrirá un máximo de 10 citas de estacionamiento y hasta un valor combinado de $1,500 por año.

¿Cuántos Estudiantes Sufren Acoso Escolar en LAUSD?

February 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Uno de cada cinco de los estudiantes de las escuelas secundarias de Los Ángeles y uno de cada cuatro de los alumnos de primaria dicen que fueron intimidados el año escolar pasado, de acuerdo a un encuesta interna llevada a cabo por el Distrito Unificado Escolar de Los Ángeles.

Aunque el grado de intimidación encontrado por la oficina del LAUSD del Inspector General no está necesariamente en desacuerdo con las cifras nacionales, la auditoría sugiere que los estudiantes están recibiendo menos ayuda de la que necesitan informó el periódico, Los Angeles Times.

“La mayoría de los maestros y el personal no recibieron capacitación de prevención del acoso escolar o del “Bullying” anualmente”, dice el informe. Las escuelas según intentan abordar la intimidación, pero se quedan cortos, en diversos grados, cuenta el periódico.

Además, según la auditoría, el distrito tiene una cantidad menor de personal a cargo de supervisar los esfuerzos contra la intimidación a comparación de otros sistemas escolares con metas similares. En un campus del LAUSD por ejemplo, la persona a cargo de manejar las quejas de acoso “no estaba consciente de que había sido designada para esa función”, indica el informe. Asimismo, aunque se supone que las escuelas deben mantener registros de las quejas de intimidación, la mayoría de las escuelas auditadas no los mantenían o no estaban actualizados.

Una encuesta realizada como parte de la auditoría, según el periódico, encontró que:

– En las escuelas primarias, el número de niños y niñas que sufrieron intimidación era igual. En la secundaria, fue mayor la cantidad de niños que niñas;

– La intimidación disminuye un poco a medida que los estudiantes avanzan hacia los grados más altos;

– Alrededor del cinco por ciento de los estudiantes dijeron que habían intimidado a un compañero durante el año escolar actual, y más de un tercio de ese grupo dijo haber tomado parte en el abuso cibernético.

Alrededor del 83 por ciento de los estudiantes encuestados en las 228 escuelas respondieron todas las preguntas o parte de la encuesta, informó The Times. Un 61 por ciento, o 48,206 estudiantes, completaron la encuesta, permitiendo un análisis total.

LAUSD Sticks to Current School Calendar

January 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education Tuesday approved an instructional calendar for the 2017-18 school year that closely resembles the current one, with a one-week Thanksgiving break and a three-week winter break.

Classes will start in mid-August and end in early June of 2018.

The vote was 5 to 2, but board members asked Superintendent Michelle King to produce a report looking at potential changes in school calendars for the coming years.

“It has become extremely clear to me over the last several months that our students, schools and families have completely different needs and preferences when it comes to the instructional calendar, and I look forward to receiving more data on these various options,” said board member Ref Rodriguez.

“I will continue to advocate for a differentiated calendar – two separate calendars for our secondary schools and elementary schools, with overlapping Thanksgiving and winter breaks – because I believe our district can innovatively provide an option that is not simply a one-size-fits-all approach and is actually more responsive to what we’ve heard on the ground.”

Board member Monica Ratliff said she was “glad that the board voted to provide stability and continuity to our families and staff by maintaining the early start calendar for the next year, but I believe that the calendar should have been set for three years to allow for planning and to stop this continual calendar debate.”


Mayor Garcetti, LAUSD Officials Address Students’ Deportation Fears

November 23, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Unified School District officials met with students at Roosevelt High School Monday, hoping to allay their fears about immigration and the possibility of deportation in light of Donald Trump’s election as president.

“I think like a lot of Americans, the election recently has left many of them anxious, afraid, confused — some angry,” Garcetti said after the meeting.

Thousands of LAUSD students took part in a series of protests and walkouts last week, with many expressing concerns about members of their families or friends being deported — given Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration.

“A lot of them are scared for their families if their parents are undocumented, et cetera,” one student told ABC7. “You know, they’re scared (about) what’s going to happen.”

After meeting with the students, Garcetti reiterated his stance that the city will maintain an arms-length relationship with federal immigration officials.

“Immigration is the responsibility of our federal government, and we’ve been very clear it’s not the responsibility of the LAPD,” Garcetti said.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has repeatedly said in recent weeks that the department would maintain its existing policies regarding immigrants — refusing to turn over low-level offenders to immigration authorities and prohibiting officers from approaching people solely to determine their immigration status.

The LAUSD Board of Education last week adopted a resolution re-stating its position that campuses are safe spaces for students.

Garcetti dismissed what he called “threats” that the federal government might withhold funding for the city over its policies toward immigrants.

“I think anything that would take away federal aid would cause social economic and security problems and so I’m hoping that we can have those conversations separate and without threats,” Garcetti said. “… We participate all the time with our federal immigration authorities, and we will continue to do so. We just require, as the courts have decided, that there be a warrant.”


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