A charter’s sudden and chaotic closure draws attention to the fact that these publicly funded private schools lack adequate oversight.

My daughter did call me while I was at work and informed me that some people, she didn’t specify if it was staff or the board or anybody. She just said ‘some people came in cursing at us and they pushed and shoved two kids.’

Just like any other day, parents dropped off their children at the Public Policy Charter School in South L.A. with the expectation that the publicly funded school would keep them safe while providing them with an education. Unfortunately, there were no classes provided for their students earlier this week. Instead, there…

A Family Album

Traveling out of state on the weekend before my birthday I find myself reminiscing, taking stock of the present, and looking into the future.

Holdin’ on to sixteen as long as you can

I am starting off the week of my birthday soaking in a hot tub under a crisp sky in the mountains of Washington State. As the jets turn off I am struck by the complete silence that envelops me. Then I begin to hear nature’s soundtrack; the breeze blowing through the trees, the song of birds, other noises that I cannot even identify. The only man-made sound I hear is that of an airplane flying high above…


The Charter School Division’s enforcement falls between inconsistent and non-existent, creating potential legal liabilities for the LAUSD.

we recognize that our ultimate clients are the students of the District and their families

On September 8, 2021, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board scheduled a Special Board Meeting so that they could “conference with Legal Counsel” about “anticipated litigation.” While the Brown Act allows these types of meetings to be held in closed sessions, the public entity must first hear comments from the public. The following are the prepared remarks that I delivered to the members of the board:

Before the board ducks behind closed doors to discuss…

Melvoin Watch

Nick Melvoin is accused of diverting LAUSD resources meant to help students in an attempt to gain an advantage in his re-election campaign.

As our district works to meet our goals of high academic achievement and success for all students, we know that it is vital to build the trust of our stakeholders and our greater public

Incumbent officeholders have a built-in advantage in seeking reelection as their position gives them ready access to the press, name recognition with the electorate, and the ability to generate goodwill by being generous with the public’s money. Ethics rules provide some guide rails to prevent overt abuse including the prohibition on using government funds to directly benefit officials seeking reelection. …

Democracy Under Fire

38th Assembly District representative Suzette Martinez Valladares promotes the falsehood that recent elections were fraudulently conducted.

“Recent elections have made clear the need to protect California’s elections from interference.”

Despite having an advantage in registrations, Democrats were unsuccessful for years in their attempt to flip California’s 25th Congressional District. This changed in 2018 when Katie Hill defeated the incumbent, Steve Knight, and turned the district blue. As an added bonus, Christie Smith also flipped the overlapping 38th State Assembly District. The victory was short-lived.

While Republicans stand behind their members when they are accused of serious crimes, or even promote them, Democrats have no backbone when it comes to standing…


Nick Melvoin was the voice for those who wanted to open school campuses prematurely. When will he start putting “kids first?”

Nick Melvoin

“Over the past year, Nick has fought to safely reopen schools for full-time instruction”

Last January, as Los Angeles plunged into the depths of the post-holiday COVID-19 surge, LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin made one of his many appearances on FOX11. The subject of his conversation with host Elex Michaelson and initial COVID-19 denier Dr. Drew centered not on how to keep children and their families safe, but instead on why campuses were not open. Ignoring the pain of families mourning loved ones lost in the pandemic, Melvoin used the appearance to talk about how…


Former California State Senate majority leader Gloria Romero ignores Larry Elder’s documented misogyny in endorsing his candidacy.

According to a lawsuit that Gloria Romero filed against Scholarship Prep charter schools, the former California State Senator has personal experience with gender discrimination in the workplace. During a meeting that I had with her last year, she explained how she had been forced from her position at the charter chain she helped found due to what she called “gender bias.” According to her description, she had been…


José Cole-Gutiérrez, the head of the LAUSD Charter School Division, ignores his own words while refusing to hold Citizens of the World charter school accountable.

The Director of the LAUSD Charter School Division would have you believe that a community can encompass almost a hundred square miles and nine different zip codes. In an email sent to explain why his subordinates are not requiring the Citizens of the World East Valley franchise to obtain approval from the district before moving into a private facility in Valley Village, José Cole-Gutiérrez claims that the “authorized community CWC 4 [is] intended to serve” includes the area from Sun Valley to Sherman Oaks. Given the differences in the demographic and economic makeup of these many different areas, this seems…

Commoditizing Education

The elected school board has not voted to implement the Student-Centered Funding scheme, but the LAUSD website says it is beginning in 2022

From the movie poster for “Backpack Full of Cash”

Every one of our children should have a backpack full of cash strapped on their back and our schools should vie for the privilege of educating our kids and having that backpack turned over to them.

The bureaucrats at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) say that beginning in the 2022–23 school year, they will change the way that schools are funded so that the money will be given directly to principals based on the number of students enrolled in their schools. Children will become “backpacks full of cash” with school sites competing for students who…


Early in the 2022 race, Kelly Gonez has spent a lot of money on campaign consultants. Is she trying to shore up support or bury the competition?

“Big money pull a million strings”

Kelly Gonez

By all early indications, LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez should be facing an easy re-election campaign next year. Besides having the usual advantages of incumbency, she holds the board’s presidency which gives her easy access to the media. Unlike Nick Melvoin, her charter industry ally on the board, she has not been caught in any scandals. Also, only one of her three competitors, Marvin Rodriguez, has declared that they have raised any money, in the amount of $ 6,920.00.

Even with all of these advantages and the primary election seven months…

Carl J. Petersen

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com

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