A School Board Member’s Latest Attack on Special Education

Nick Melvoin’s plans for an exclusive new middle school include displacing children with special education needs from Fairfax High School.

Carl J. Petersen
4 min readNov 25, 2019
Protesters state their opposition to Melvoin’s plan. (Photo by Cynthia Liu)

I don’t want to move, I don’t want to move

- Agitated students at CTC — West

When the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced plans to make school buildings more accessible for those with disabilities, it was met with a lawsuit from the California Charter School Association (CCSA). These publicly funded private schools serve a lesser percentage of children with special education needs than their public school counterparts and, therefore, did not have a vested interest in the district spending money correcting atrocious conditions on aging campuses. Instead, they wanted to divert funds to their own organizations to benefit their various real estate schemes.

As revealed in confidential documents uncovered by Michael Kohlhaas dot org, Board Member Nick Melvoin and his senior advisor, Allison Holdoroff Pothill, held a private meeting with representatives of the charter school industry where they “passed on a great deal of privileged information about LAUSD’s legal strategy to [them]. He also agreed to intervene with LAUSD’s lawyers to further CCSA’s interests.” By assisting the CCSA as they pursued lawsuits against the District Melvoin ignored his responsibility to the 80% of students that attend public schools, the moral obligations to the most vulnerable in our society, the ethical responsibilities of his law license and possibly the legal requirements of the Brown Act.

From the CTC West website

Thus far, Melvoin’s fellow board members have ignored calls for a complete investigation of his actions. Seemingly emboldened by this lack of action, Melvoin has set in motion a new attack on students with special education needs. In order to open a new middle school that “would have an enrollment preference for elementary schools serving



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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