Action Not Words

The LAUSD Superintendent Is Failing At Supporting Special Education

With about 62,500 students in the LAUSD having disabilities, Alberto M. Carvalho needs to develop a more inclusive plan to meet their needs.

Carl J. Petersen
5 min readJul 25, 2022

the feeling that students with Special Needs are at most an afterthought is now a reality for many parents. I am one of those parents.

- Vicky Maronyan

The LAUSD allocates over 20% of its budget toward educating children with disabilities. In the 2019–2020 school year these expenditures amounted to about $1.75 billion. With the federal government not funding these efforts at the levels required by law, providing special education services puts significant pressure on the rest of the budget. Unfortunately, a lot of this money is wasted by the Beaudry Bureaucrats as they ignore the input of parents and teachers and implement the latest education “reform” fads.

An example of the lack of attention provided to Special Education programs can be found in Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho’s 100-day plan presented at the beginning of this his tenure. While there are about 64,500 students in the LAUSD with disabilities, the words “disabilities” and “disability” only appear a total of five times. The 18-page document only mentions the phrase “special education” twice.

It is also telling how the subject of special education is addressed within the 100-day plan. The first use of the words “special education” is in a section that explains how the district will seek to “re-engage students and families” enrolled in independent study in order to convince them to shift “back to in-person learning.” This includes “an awareness campaign to communicate to families that the District is ready to provide a safe environment for in-person instruction.” No mention is made of the fact that this campaign would be unnecessary if the LAUSD had not abandoned many of these children during the height of the COVID crisis.

The only other mention of “Special Education” is in a section calling for “increased inclusion opportunities for…



Carl J. Petersen

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