L. A. School Board Fails to Heed Jackie Goldberg's Haunting Advice
What does the passing of the current LAUSD budget for 09-10 mean to schools with a high percentage of new teachers? These teachers will be fired and replaced with demoted/displaced workers from Downtown headquarters and Local District offices. Per LAUSD policy, positions created by the firing of new teachers must be reserved for displaced workers. Even if schools are able to buy back positions with the increased Title 1 funding, those positions will be offered to displaced workers first. L.A. Academy has dozens of new teachers who will no longer be serving our students, arguably some of the least served students in society, come July 1st.
Jackie Goldberg, a former school board member, vividly warned the current school board about approving the current budget cuts. Nonetheless, Marlene Canter, Yolie Flores Aguilar, Monica Garcia, and Richard Vladovic voted to approve the layoffs of thousands of teachers (Garcia saying it was in the name of the children) thus assuring that schools in South Central such as L.A. Academy, Jefferson HS, Bethune MS, 75th St., and newly built schools like Miguel Contreras Learning Center and Frank del Olmo School will bear the brunt of the budget cuts.
What does this mean for children? It means that teachers who have worked with these children, who know what their needs are and how to cultivate their potential, will not be around to encourage these children to be the best they can be.
The displaced workers chose to not work directly with students a long time ago, for varied reasons. Many were not around classrooms when standards-based education arrived, technology became embedded in instruction, and programs such as block scheduling and small learning communities were implemented. This is not to say they will not be successful, but to have to train dozens of workers at schools where professional development time is already a luxury, and where the new school year starts in 10 weeks, is a recipe for disaster.
The one school board who represents schools such as L.A. Academy, Richard Vladovic, voted to approve the budget cuts. If our own school board member fails to advocate for our schools, who is representing these children? Only public pressure will force our elected politicians to not let this educational catastrophe occur. Consider doing one of the following:
1. ATTEND THE RALLY/PRESS CONFERENCE THIS MONDAY, APRIL 20th, TO PROTEST RICHARD VLADOVIC'S VOTE CAST AT THE BOARD OF EDUCATION BUDGET MEETING ON 4-13-09. JOIN TEACHERS AND CONCERNED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AT WADSWORTH AVENUE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 981 E. 41ST ST. FROM 4:00 P.M. TO 5:30 P.M.TO PROTEST VLADOVIC'S AFFIRMING VOTE.
2. PLEASE, CALL THE LA SCHOOL BOARD AND TELL THEM TO CREATE SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR SCHOOLS WITH LARGE NUMBERS OF NEW TEACHERS.
School Board Members
Ms. Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte District 1 (213) 241-6382
Ms. Monica Garcia District 2 (213) 241-6180
Ms. Tamar Galatzan District 3 (213) 241-6386
Ms Marlene Canter District 4 (213) 241-6387
Ms. Yolie Flores Aguilar District 5 (213) 241-6383
Ms. Julie Korenstein District 6 (213) 241-6388
Mr. Richard Vladovic District 7 (213) 241-6385
Superintendent of Schools
Ramon C. Cortines
Address: 333 S. Beaudry Ave., 24th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90017
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3307 Los Angeles, CA 90051