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Just in: LA Unified board postpones vote on graduation requirements

Vanessa Romo | May 12, 2015

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LAUSD board graduationIn a surprise move today, the LA Unified School Board postponed a vote on a resolution to fix the implementation of college prep graduation requirements, called A through G.

The resolution co-sponsored by board members Mónica García and Steve Zimmer was delayed after members complained that they didn’t have enough understanding of the latest amended version of the resolution and what the budget impact could be. The latest version, adding specific language about graduation requirements, was submitted and distributed to board members late yesterday. That lead several board members, including George McKenna to request more time to analyze the impact of changes.

“I just found out this morning that we had a special meeting about this,” McKenna said, clearly exasperated about the changes to the document. “And reading it is not the same as analyzing it.”

Among the changes McKenna opposed is the requirement for students to get a grade of “C” or better in all college-prep courses.

“I am opposed to the requirement of a C grade to get a diploma,” he said. “A ‘D’ is a passing grade no matter what UC or Cal State [schools] say.”

McKenna was joined in voting to postpone consideration of the measure to June by Bennett Kayser, Mónica Ratliff and board president Richard Vladovic.

“We have a crisis where 30 percent of our kids are not on track,” Vladovic said, referring to the district’s latest graduation rate projections should it adhere to the guidelines of A through G. He argued that more time would allow the district to consider allocating additional revenue to summer school programs that would help students in need.

“I need to find that money and we’re going to have to do it, so I wanted some time to do that,” he said to applause from the audience.

The board had scheduled consideration of the measure at 4:30 and several community organizations supporting the resolution had planned a rally. They estimated a crowd of about 500 would show up in support.

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