Asleep at the Switch?

In response to this very unexpected action, the district has assembled a team to provide support to students and families as they transition during this difficult time, just one month after the start of the district’s traditional school year”.

-LAUSD

The charter industry has a propensity for manipulating data to meet their propaganda needs. For example, a recent press release stated that “more than 2,000 families [had] marched in support of charter schools”. However, the first sentence of the release told a completely different story. Instead of families showing support of these private schools operating with public funds, “more than 2,000 charter school teachers, students, families, supporters, and local representatives joined together” had participated in the march. Unless families had been prevented from sending more than one representative to the march, the headline was clearly misleading.

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Resolution: Improving LAUSD Performance as a Regulatory Agency for Charters

Whereas, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is “the largest district charter school authorizer in the nation, with about 250 independent and affiliated charter schools serving over 130,000 students”;

Whereas, the 1992 law that created charters specifically states that these publicly funded private schools would “provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools”;

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What is the Opposite of Transparent?

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The records you have requested are exempt from disclosure pursuant to California Government Code §6254(f) as they are the subject of an on-going investigation.

-LAUSD Office of the General Counsel

It has been almost two years since David Binkle was removed from his position as LAUSD’s Food Services Director.  A draft audit by the Inspector General found that the food services department was “at a minimum being mismanaged and at worst being consistently abused.” While this draft was “expected to be completed by early summer” 2015, the District still maintains that the investigation is “on-going”.

It has been more than a year since Binkle grew weary of his stay in Food Services Director Jail and retired from the District. However, the facts of the case are still relevant. While the report accused him “of failing to report payments from vendors to attend school food conferences”, Binkle has stated that his “actions were approved and encouraged from senior district officials, general counsel or the ethics office”. These senior officials include John Deasy and Michelle King, who was later promoted to be the District’s Superintendent. If Binkle is, in fact, a fall guy and his actions were approved and encouraged by Deasy and King, why is it that he alone has paid the price?

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Resolution: Promoting Transparency by the LAUSD

Whereas, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is accountable to all of its students, including the more than 640,000 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, the parents who entrust the care and education of their children to the District and the taxpayers who fund its operation;

Whereas, being accountable requires the LAUSD to be transparent in its operations;

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No action from charter school board as lavish spending concerns loom

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How messed up is California’s charter school sector? You won’t believe how much.

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Who Does The LAUSD Board Serve?

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.”

-LA School Report

Despite the stated goal of the LAUSD to have “parent and community engagement”, it is clear that the public is the furthest thing from the Board’s mind when they schedule their meetings. Most are held during the day when working parents, teachers and students cannot participate. The Board Room only holds 155 people, often leaving many people waiting outside or attempting to hear the proceedings in Beaudry's employee cafeteria amidst the din of food service. The marathon meetings often last past 8:00 PM, leaving parents with cranky, hungry children as they wait for their turn to speak.

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Resolution: Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public

Whereas, it is a stated goal of the Los Angeles Unified School District to have “parent and community engagement”;

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A Letter to the LAUSD Charter School Division

This morning I sent this email to atatioss@lausd.net and Jose Cole-Gutierrez the LAUSD Charter School Division. El Camino Real Charter High School must act with transparency and publically release the report that they commissioned with public funds from Oracle Investigations Group.

Unfortunately, El Camino Real Charter High School continues to thumb its nose  at the Brown Act. As stated in a Los Angeles Daily News article published on Saturday, the Governing Board is scheduled to receive the report from Oracle Investigations Group at its September 21, meeting. Unfortunately, they are planning to retreat into closed session to do so.

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The Unrepresented

The_Unrepresented.jpgGerrymander: “manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.

-Oxford Dictionaries

If one wants to see a visual representation of “gerrymandered”, the map of LAUSD District 5 is a good place to start. In an effort to carve our Hunger Game like districts, the mapmakers at the Los Angeles City Council took two larger sections and connected them with a long, thin ribbon that is sandwiched between District 2 and the LAUSD boundary.  Unfortunately for the residents of this ribbon, this creative mapmaking can mean that they do not have a democratically elected representative for the schools that their children attend.

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