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LAUSD board inching closer to final 2014-15 spending plan

Vanessa Romo | June 9, 2014

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LAUSD board Meeting 5-20-14The pressure is on for LA Unified schools chief John Deasy and the board of education to work out the details of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local  Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), the most sweeping overhaul in how California schools are governed and funded in the last 40 years.

The state deadline for both is July 1, which means much of tomorrow’s school board meeting will continue the process of reconciling the wish-lists of a variety of stakeholders into a single, comprehensive budget and a justification of that plan.

“There is a lot we don’t know, and time is running out,” Sarah Bradshaw, chief of staff to board member Bennett Kayser told LA School Report.

“[Board members] still don’t have a final draft of the budget, and we’ve never seen a school by school breakdown of how much money each school is going to get,” she said.

While the board will not dive into the weeds of the 2014-2015 budget tomorrow, Deasy will present an updated and revised version of the district’s LCAP, which sets out its goals and priorities, with special attention to high-needs students, who are bringing in additional funds to the district as a result of LCFF.

The draft is the culmination of months of input from community groups, parents, students and even gadflies, who have expressed their spending preferences at public meetings and board meetings in over recent months.

In addition to Deasy, seven speakers will be heard on the topic tomorrow. Still more speakers will get the chance to weigh in on June 17, with board’s final vote for approval on the budget and the LCAP now expected to be taken on June 24.

Another LCFF related item before the board is the “Equity is Justice” Resolution, co-sponsored by board members Steve Zimmer, Monica Garcia and President Richard Vladovic. The resolution urges Deasy and the board to apply the “Student Need Index,” a data-driven, comprehensive tool for use in allocating funds that identifies precisely which schools suffer from the worst neighborhood learning environments.

If adopted, the Index would send millions in new education dollars to the highest needs schools in LA Unified — those with high concentrations of English learners, students from foster homes and those from low-income families — and could impact the allocation of billions of dollars in the coming years.

Officials with the Advancement Project, Community Coalition, and InnerCity Struggle expect “hundreds of student leaders from the city’s poorest neighborhoods to lead a major demonstration” outside LA Unified headquarters to encourage the board to approve the motion.

As usual, the board will consider a variety of other issues at the meeting, including facilities renovations, charter school revisions, renewals and one charter revocation hearing. The Charter School Division is recommending the board issue the “Final Decision to Revoke” the charter for Urban Village Middle School in Baldwin Hills.

Board member Monica Ratliff’s resolution to add new full-time custodial employees and restorative justice counselors by cutting the budget currently earmarked to expanding the district School Police Department is also up for action.

An issue not on the agenda but which is likely to gain some attention is the controversy surrounding the co-location of Citizens of the World Mar Vista at Stoner Avenue Elementary. Parents from CWC plan to show up en masse to protest the school’s eviction from the west side campus.

CWC school officials have been offered space at Horace Mann Middle School some 15 miles away, but they have rejected the idea. Parents and administrators hope to convince the board to reverse the Charter School Division’s decision to force a move.

For board agenda, click here.


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