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Parent panels now reviewing LA Unified’s next spending plan

Vanessa Romo | April 16, 2014

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images-3Parents involved in setting spending priorities for LA Unified have a lot of homework to do over the next two weeks.

Members of the Parent Advisory Committee and the District English Learner Advisory Committee have been instructed to “take home and live with” Superintendent John Deasy’s proposed Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) before providing feedback in time for the school board to adopt the 2014-2015 budget on June 17.

The two groups, which include more than 100 parents and guardians elected onto the committees by other parents, met with district officials last week.

It brings the district one step closer to fulfilling the state’s requirement for local participation in drafting the final LCAP — essentially, a budget explaining how LA Unified will disperse funds from Gov. Jerry Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

Rowena Lagrosa, executive director of the district’s Parent Community Services Branch, said the committees met over two days for 10 hours. But they’re not ready to weigh in on the budget just yet.

“These first two days were really an overview of the LCAP because we really felt in order for parents to really be able to provide comment, we really wanted them to digest it, to really look at the format,” she said.

Representatives from a variety of district services were on hand to answer questions, including personnel involved with special education, the office of instruction, multilingual/multi-education and foster youth.

Lagrosa said now that members are armed with “the foundation of what the LCAP is,” they are expected to review the documents on their own. They can also solicit input from teachers or parents at their local school sites, Lagrosa said.

The parent groups will then submit their comments and recommendations to the superintendent at the end of the month.

The public will also have an opportunity to weigh in on the LCAP at the next board meeting, May 13, during a public hearing session.

A final public hearing is scheduled in June, but that lands on the day the board is set to vote on the final plan, rendering any testimony given then almost moot.

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