Parental Engagement

By Carl J. Petersen

Education issues as seen from a father's eyes.

As Strike Looms, LAUSD Special Education Practices Come Into Focus

With District leaders openly hostile towards the needs of students in special education classes, can the union extract essential changes to these programs?

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KLCS Dismissed

The television station owned by the LAUSD fails at providing unbiased coverage of Tuesday's public School Board meeting.

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The NRA Misses the Target with Their "Good Guy with a Gun" Strategy

While others struggled to flee the Borderline Bar and Grill, Ventura County Sergeant Ron Helus and a still unnamed California Highway Patrol officer ran towards danger. As Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told reporters: “Both Sgt. Helus and the CHP officer knowingly and willingly went into what can only be described as a combat situation, risking their own lives to save many others”. The two officers were the ultimate good guys with guns; Helus was a 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the CHP officer was a nine-year veteran of the CHP and had a military background. At the end of the encounter with a mass-murderer, the CHP officer pulled Helus’ dying body out of the building. The coroner later revealed that it was his gun that likely delivered the bullet that ultimately ended Helus’ life. Neither police officer managed to hit the shooter.

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Dismantling Our Public Schools

The District representatives were not helpful in suggesting remedies

- Cheryl Ortega

Under what circumstances should the police be called on a five-year-old child? According to parents at Mayberry Elementary School in the Silver Lake/Echo Park area of Los Angeles, the principal has called the Los Angeles Police Department about students under her charge on six different occasions. In one incident, a kindergarten student was questioned by police after he “pulled his pants down to a playmate”. When the boy’s mother, Britney Ingram, attempted to find out what was happening, she was told by the officers that the matter was a “confidential problem”, that she could not “be present while they questioned her son” and “that if her son did not testify they would take him to the police station.” Another parent who attempted to record the events was removed from the school at the direction of the principal despite the fact that she “was a registered [school] visitor at the time this happened”.

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The LAUSD Widget Factory

All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall

- Roger Waters

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) School Experience Survey is an opportunity for parents and guardians to grade the District’s performance. Included in this questionnaire are important statements  such as “Reports of bullying are taken seriously at this school” and “This school encourages my child to explore different career choices.” These apply to all students and are benchmarks on which all schools deserve to be judged.

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LAUSD's Board District 5 Is Still Unrepresented

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We are living at a time in our nation when democracy and true representative government is being attacked and eroded at every level of leadership

- LAUSD Board Member Scott Schmerelson

It has been almost three months since the LAUSD School Board rejected Board Member Scott Schmerelson’s “Providing a Voice and a Vote for the Constituents of Board District 5” resolution. As a result, the seat vacated by Ref Rodriguez has remained empty as the LAUSD careens towards a teacher’s strike. One-seventh of the LAUSD’s stakeholders have had no voice while Superintendent Austin Beutner is working on a secret plan to make another attempt at reorganizing the District’s bureaucracy. Parents had no one to turn to as yet another under-regulated charter school within Board District 5’s boundaries closed down in the middle of the school year.

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LAUSD Increases Salary Offer, Teachers Hold Out for Students

Salary: 6% on-schedule raise, including 3% retroactive for 2017-18, plus 3% raise for 2018-19

- LAUSD

The LAUSD has already signed contracts with their other major unions that included raises totaling about 6%. It was, therefore, unclear why the District’s initial offer to the teachers was to only raise their salaries by 2%. This seemed to be especially insulting after Board Members received a raise of at least 174% and Superintendent Austin Beutner was given a contract with a base salary of $350,000 after his supporters initially told the Board that he was willing to work for free.

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Supporting Parents and Students

We stand with our teachers’ union, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), in calling for a real investment in our neighborhood public schools, so that all students have an equal opportunity.

- Northridge East Neighborhood Council

The Northridge East Neighborhood Council (NENC) is one of 99 Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles. These Councils “are advisory bodies who advocate for their communities” and are comprised of “City officials who are elected by the members of their local communities”. They are designed to be “the closest form of government to the people.

On October 17, 2018, the NENC considered two resolutions proposed by the Education Committee. Both were passed with overwhelming support and have been forwarded to Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu, Chair of the Health, Education, and Neighborhood Councils Committee.

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Tony Thurmond Feels The Heat

I believe that it’s time to make our public education system in California among the greatest in the nation, and I have a plan to take us there.

  • - Tony Thurmond


Like a lot of other politicians who have been labeled “anti-charter school,” Tony Thurmond has not called for the end of these publicly funded private schools. In fact, he directly states that he “will support students in all schools, public, and charter”. What he has supported is “legislation to increase accountability and transparency in charter schools, and to ensure charter schools do not cherry-pick students and push out students with special needs.” The charter school industry does not want to be held accountable for the public funds that they receive. They have, therefore, unleashed $5.2 million is spending to oppose Thurmond, often in unethical ways.

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Unanswered Questions in the Race for California State Superintendent of Education

“We are largely unable to accept new offers to complete questionnaires”

- Marshall Tuck Campaign


The California Charter School Association and their allies have provided Marshall Tuck with enough cash to flood the airwaves with misleading ads, but with less than a week to go before the election, a whopping 16% of the electorate are still undecided or will not vote on the question of who will become the next California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. This should not be unexpected in a race where the goal has been to obscure the facts in favor of creating fear. It is a favorite tactic of the charter school industry.

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