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‘Rally the Valley’ hoping to give parents a voice in funding

Chase Niesner | January 15, 2014

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Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 12.49.36 PMA new San Fernando Valley organization is seeking a greater role for parents in future LA Unified funding decisions, now that parents are part of the state’s new approach to education support, known as the Local Control Funding Formula.

Heather Thompson, a parent at Hesby Oaks Leadership Charter in Encino and acting spokeswoman for last night’s Rally the Valley, said she became concerned back in November when the LAUSD board failed to pass Tamar Galatzan’s resolution to lower the Title I threshold from 50 percent to 40 percent, a policy that denies support to many Valley schools with large populations of low-income students but not quite half. Thompson says she’s worried the same type of thinking will be reflected in the District’s LCFF.

“Our goal is to see the funding follow the child,” Thompson told LA School Report, noting that the Education Service Center North, which represents the San Fernando Valley, has the second largest population of foster youth in LA Unified.

Though the new funding formula provides additional money for low-income students, English learners, and foster youth, it remains unclear if money from the LCFF will flow to areas with high concentrations of poverty or follow low-income students to their respective schools.

What is clear is that districts, for the first time, are required to give parents a voice.

“We’re trying to build a network of one parent per Valley school, so that anytime there’s an action or discussion we can mobilize our collective influence,” Thomson said.


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