Deasy’s Community Meetings Take $2 Billion Funding Fight Public
Chase Niesner | August 29, 2013
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The fight over the $2 billion LA Unified is getting under a new state funding program moves onto a public stage at 5:30 tonight when Superintendent John Deasy meets with a community group at Inner City Struggle in Boyle Heights.
As the first of three scheduled meetings this month sponsored by CLASS, a coalition of community based civil rights, parent, and teacher organizations, the meeting gives Deasy a chance to hear how parents, teachers and students would like to spend the money, which is part of Gov. Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula.
It could also provide Deasy ammunition in negotiations with United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers’ union, which wants to use the money to rehire teachers who were dismissed when the 2008 recession hit.
“One neighborhood might want to use the LCFF to buy back teaching positions,” said Ryan Smith, director of Education Programs and Policy at United Way LA, a member the coalition. “But another might find it more prudent to hire more social workers.”
Smith said that parents, students and teachers know their own schools better than most city officials know them.
Deasy also plans to attend meetings Sept 12 at San Fernando Middle School and Sept. 24 at R.F.K. Community Schools near MacArthur Park.
Jason Mandell, a United Way spokesperson, said that his organization places a high value on any meeting that attracts disparate groups within the community, along with politicians. Board member Monica Garcia is scheduled to attend tonight’s session.
“We’re trying to ensure that the spirit of local control is really carried out in the community,” Mandel said. “Members of the community should decide how this money is spent and we tend to think these types of budget decisions concerning the LCFF dollars should be left to local schools.”
Tom Waldman, the LAUSD spokesman, said in an email the issue of allocating the money will be discussed publicly at the September 10 board meeting.