VOICES FROM THE COMMUNITY

Bassett Street Elementary School thought they had repelled a co-location from Citizens of the World charter schools. Unfortunately, they haven’t.

“Adding to this pain, was the fact that COTW’s colonizing aggression was taking place during a pandemic…It was a cruel place to be in, but then charter schools are never shy in creating opportunities out of other people’s hardships and struggles, even during Covid.”

- Angie Romo

When the Citizens of the World (COTW) chain of charter schools requested space at Bassett Street Elementary School under California’s PROP-39, they knew the damage this would cause to the students. After all, representatives from these publicly funded private schools had toured the campus under false pretenses and mapped out the rooms that…


Mother’s Day

Parenting is a sometimes thankless job made even more difficult when the spotlight is stolen by a partner who does not always pull their weight.

I am the maker of rules

Dealing with fools

- Lyrics often quoted by my mother

When tales are told around the dinner table at family gatherings, my father has three advantages over my mother:

  1. He is no longer alive.

Death tends to sanitize memories so that we focus on the positive sides of the ledger. Perhaps it is our mind’s way of protecting people who mean a lot to us after they are gone or a sense of fairness that people who cannot defend themselves should not be held accountable. …


SILENCING PARENTS

The LAUSD School Board was forced to backtrack on plans to change the school calendar after failing to obtain consensus on the issue. What now?

“Six extra days of class time and four days of teacher professional development was an insufficient measure to address the trauma of the last year and a half. This is the time to address critical needs and begin prioritizing the allocation of funds towards real mitigation measures for learning inequities, increasing mental health services, and creating smaller class sizes.”

- Nicolle Fefferman, Parents Supporting Teachers

The block of LAUSD Board Members supported by the charter school industry has a long history of making changes to the school calendar against the wishes of parents. Many parents were blindsided when this group…


SILENCING PARENTS

Kelly Gonez says that parents have enough of a voice while defending her decision to prevent the LAUSD Parent Engagement Committee from meeting.

“We have heard from parents more frequently this year than in the past, due to the intentional inclusion of our standing parent committees in our regular Board meetings.”

- LAUSD Board President Kelly Gonez

Stakeholders from throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have been contacting Board President Kelly Gonez to express their disapproval with her decision to keep the Parent Committee silenced. One of them received a response from Gonez and posted it on the Parents Supporting Teachers Facebook Page. …


#AnotherDayAnotherCharterScandal

California’s AB 1316 would hold charter schools to the same standards as their public counterparts. Their supporters say this is “anti-charter.”

In short, [AB 1316] does the following:

Creates new auditing and accounting standards to create parity between school districts and charter schools. Requires training for auditors and creates an Office of Inspector General in the Department of Education, among other things.

- Charter School Capital

Granada Hills Charter School describes itself as the largest charter school in the country and provides an example of the limits of the current system of auditing publicly funded private schools. For years Granada has used the same auditor to fulfill the state’s requirement that an “independent” accounting firm annually review its financial operations. Either…


SILENCING PARENTS

LAUSD Board President Kelly Gonez reneges on plans to restart Parent Engagement Committee after pressure from Melvoin, Garcia, and Franklin.

“Board members serve their communities not the other way around.”

- LAUSD Board Candidate Marvin Rodríguez

One of Kelly Gonez’s first acts as president of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board was to keep the Special Education and Parent Engagement Committees from having meetings. In response, board members were swamped with phone calls demanding that these important opportunities for community input be reinstated. Several neighborhood councils also passed resolutions calling for Gonez to allow these committees to begin meeting again. …


LAUSD Superintendent Search

The largest public education advocacy group in Los Angeles also looks for the public to play a role in the search for a successor to Austin Beutner.

“As stakeholders of the LAUSD, we want to make certain that Superintendent Beutner’s successor holds an education background, maintains and sharpens the focus on safety and resources for the Fall school year, and adheres to the bargaining commitments made on behalf of teachers, staff and families.”

- Parents Supporting Teachers

It would seem logical that the leader of the second-largest school district in the country would be a professional educator, but Austin Beutner, the current superintendent of the LAUSD, had no previous professional experience in public education when he was appointed to the position in 2018. Instead of hiring Acting…


I never used those words but you are free to pretend that I did.

It is curious that you write that ending the filibuster is a way of "writing the rules to ensure that they never lose power," but you say nothing about Republican majorities in red states changing the voting laws to keep themselves in power.


Public School Teachers

For years, those claiming that they want to reform education have savagely attacked the teaching profession. The pandemic proved them wrong.

All the adults in the family are simultaneously committed to employment or college courses and cannot provide the consistent supervision required for R.B.’s daughter.

- Aannestad Andelin & Corn LLP

We live in a society that has deprioritized the needs of children. The days of a parent being able to stay home to raise their offspring are long gone and an appropriate work-life balance is out of reach for most Americans. Decades of trickle-down economics have frayed the social safety net leaving too many children hungry and homeless. Even for those with access to good health insurance, mental health services…


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…

Carl J. Petersen

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store