POLITICIZING COVID-19

If successful, the suit would reduce social distancing and prohibit the district from requiring COVID-19 testing as campuses are reopened.

Many LAUSD students reside in low-income communities of color that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

- Aannestad Andelin & Corn LLP

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second-largest school district in the country with “nearly 600,000 students in grades transitional kindergarten through 12”. Parents for seven of these children are suing the district to loosen the safety procedures as campuses begin to reopen after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. If the court rules in their favor, the LAUSD would not be allowed “to enforce mandatory 6-foot distancing provisions” or require “mandatory…student COVID-19 testing provisions”. Without…


They are not against the bill, they say that it includes important elements. There are, however, parts that they would like to see removed.

The fact is that with the filibuster in place this law will not pass in any form. Without the filibuster, the progressive Senators can work to strip the bad provisions while keeping the desperately needed protections.


EDUCATING OUR MOST VULNERABLE STUDENTS

To prevent parents from sharing what services are available for children with special education needs, the LAUSD requires confidentiality.

I commit to working closely with LAUSD OGC to understand and to modify any part of this policy (or practice) that is shown to be unfair to our most vulnerable students.

- Scott Schmerelson on confidentiality clauses

Following a hiatus of over a year, the LAUSD’s Special Education Committee met on March 25th. After a very full agenda that included presentations by the Division of Special Education, a principal, a school psychologist, and the Community Advisory Committee (CAC), members of the public were given the opportunity to speak. Parents and activists weary from negotiating the bureaucracy during the COVID pandemic…


Voices From The Community

LAUSD Teacher Angie Romo asks why the victims of charter school takeovers are usually students in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

“There is a moral question that needs to be asked; is it right for Citizens of the World to be given the ability to harm their host school students?”

- Angie Romo

In her contribution to the Voices From The Community series, Francine Matthews-Flores shared her experience of having Hollywood money used to take space from public school students for the benefit of the Citizens of the World (COTW) nationwide chain of charter schools. …


Voices From The Community

LAUSD parent Audrey Wauchope Lieberstein details the reasons why she chose her neighborhood school when enrolling her child in kindergarten.

“I stole a look over at my husband, nervous he would be comparing this school with its peeling corner paint to the fancy private school campus. He wasn’t. Instead, he whispered ‘The kids look happy. Let’s go here’”

- Audrey Wauchope Lieberstein

In the first four articles of the Voices From The Community series (here, here, here, and, here), representatives of constituencies throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) expressed their concerns about the district and detailed how they would like to move forward. …


POLITICIZING COVID-19

As groups opposed to public education continue to demonize United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), “Parents Supporting Teachers” pushes back.

What was a family

Is now a shell

We´re raising kids now

Who raise themselves

- The Offspring

Since the shutdown began, Plaintiff A.S.’s son’s opportunities for physical exercise have also been restricted, and as a result he has gained 30 pounds. This unhealthy weight has caused Plaintiff A.S.’s son other health problems, such as difficulty breathing.

- Freedom Foundation, Olympia, Washington

For months, Nick Melvoin’s Speak Up and other groups have been demanding that the LAUSD ignore the risks of COVID-19 and reopen school campuses. While these groups claimed that they were speaking for a majority of parents…


Voting Rights

The “rights” of the minority party should not come at the cost of minority rights. H. R. 1 must be passed to defend against voter suppression.

The calendar has moved on but the demands remain the same (Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash)

“Republicans Slam Dems Using Race To Attack GA Law”

- Fox “News” Headline 3/29/21 9:28 AM

In the most generous definition of the filibuster, the objective of the procedure is to ensure that the party controlling the majority in the Senate consults and compromises with the minority. In times where both parties are willing to work together, this moderates legislation and is good for the country. …


#AnotherDayAnotherCharterScandal

LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia talks a lot about how the children of the district deserve equity. Will she back those words up with action?

The key is equity. Equity means offering individualized support to students that addresses possible barriers, like poverty or limited transportation.

- Waterford.org

At an LAUSD Board meeting last week, Monica Garcia called for a resolution to indefinitely suspend all committee meetings. At the same time, she asked the board’s president to create a committee that would address equity in the district. While most committees met monthly and the Special Education and Parent Engagement Committees met every other month before the pandemic, Garcia proposed that an Equity Committee should meet every week. …


Politicizing COVID-19

Many parents remain cautious about physically returning to school while groups pushing a forced reopening get an outsized voice in the media.

She plans to proceed with her ‘Open Schools/ rally being held this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ted Watkins Park, where she’s giving away free backpacks to the first 250 kids who attend.

- Speak Up

Nick Melvoin says that he is a Democrat, but his Astroturf group, Speak Up, advocates for issues that are decidedly not in line with the Democratic party. Through Speak Up, Melvoin promotes the privatization of public education, which was a plank in the last Republican party platform. The group is also strongly anti-union, at least when it comes to teachers’ right to organize. …


SILENCING PARENTS

The block of board members elected with the financial support of the charter school industry is battling back against reinstating the Parent Engagement Committee.

I move that we continue suspended committees.

- LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia

While parents in Los Angeles scored a big victory last week with the resurrection of the Special Education Committee, the future of the Parent Engagement Committee is less certain. According to a source within the district, an agreement was secured to allow Board Member Scott Schmerelson to resume chairing meetings of these two committees on alternating months. This seemed to be confirmed when a Special Education Committee meeting was placed on the board’s calendar last week. …

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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