JUST IN: LAUSD remains a huge water waster as state conservation efforts continue to slip
As the state reported today that Californians’ conservation efforts are slacking off, millions of gallons of water are still being wasted each year by LA Unified because of unnecessary flushing of the water fountains, a report revealed Tuesday. Plans to end the practice won’t take place until the end of the 2017-18 school year, but board...
By Mike Szymanski | October 5, 2016
A push in LA for 3 education-related initiatives on crowded November ballot
Make sure you complete your ballot. That’s the message that came from LA Unified school board members at a committee meeting Tuesday night. During the meeting, the board’s Budget, Facilities and Audit Committee heard a presentation from Pedro Salcido, the district’s co-director of government relations and legislative affairs, on key initiatives related to the school...
By Sarah Favot | October 5, 2016
Resolutions as the LAUSD board’s work-around: Too many with too little impact on classrooms, some say
Some frank talk among the LA School Board members recently led to questions about how many resolutions the board creates and how effective they are. But they’re also one of the best ways to get things done, members said. Every school board meeting at LA Unified has a flurry of resolutions: It’s National Disability Employment Awareness...
By Mike Szymanski | October 4, 2016
School board concedes they don’t have much to do with what goes on in the LA classroom, considers changes
Some school board decisions get ignored, all board meetings are too long and most decisions have nothing to do with what goes on in the classroom. That’s some of the conversation that came out of an all-day session Tuesday with the LA Unified School Board and superintendent. The meeting, led by a private facilitator, was held...
By Mike Szymanski | September 30, 2016
Strategic plan lacks clear mission, so board agrees to champion ‘100 percent graduation,’ but how?
LA Unified’s three-year strategic plan lacks a clear mission statement. That was the consensus of an all-day school board session Tuesday. So the seven board members decided to fix it, landing on the goal of a 100 percent graduation rate. Yet the draft of the strategic plan remains light on exactly how to accomplish it. Because...
By Mike Szymanski | September 28, 2016
Charter supporters to ‘Rally in the Valley’ Saturday
Over 2,000 parents, students and supporters of charter schools are expected to attend a “Rally in the Valley” on Saturday to advocate for pro-charter policies, as well as to celebrate the 25th anniversary of charter schools coming to LA Unified. The first several charter schools to open in the district were in the San Fernando Valley,...
By Craig Clough | September 13, 2016
LAUSD tries to make it easier for charter families to address the school board
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. School Board...
By Mike Szymanski | September 12, 2016
LAUSD throws away the equivalent of 200 elephants in food waste each week
LA Unified throws away an average of one ton of food per school every week. That’s the equivalent of 600 tons of organic waste for the entire district each week, or “equivalent to 200 elephants of waste a week,” said Robert Laughton, director of the school district’s Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Laughton gave...
By Mike Szymanski | September 8, 2016
Imelda Padilla, who found inspiration in LAUSD schools after personal struggles, enters board race
Children called her “crooked legs” when she attended school in the east San Fernando Valley. She overcame her crippling rickets after six months in a cast while being homeschooled by LA Unified teachers. When she returned to school, it was one of those teachers who inspired her to smile more and shed the anger she carried....
By Mike Szymanski | September 7, 2016
El Camino Real Charter teachers voice strong support for school, meet with union reps; LAUSD makes correspondence public
A $1,139 dinner at a steakhouse. A $95 bottle of fine Syrah wine. A $73 bill for flowers. Those charges and others made by staff of a successful charter school were cited this week at an LA Unified School Board meeting and led the district to take the first steps to revoking the school’s charter. El...
By Mike Szymanski | August 26, 2016