A Tale of Two Back to School Nights

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Excitement and enthusiasm were in the air as teachers in my new high school in a middle class neighborhood prepared their classrooms by decorating their bulletin boards, displaying student work, and straightening desks. Welcome messages abounded, Remind.com messages were sent, and we opened our doors to meet the parents.
I have done these events for 24 years, four times a year at my former school in South Central L.A. But this year’s Back to School Night left me reflecting, and perhaps shedding a tear.
First, my new parents were fantastic. They were friendly, enthusiastic, and supportive of the new ideas I bring to the school. I knew in them I would have allies to incorporate my findings from my Fulbright exchange in Finland earlier this year. Parent after parent nodded their heads and strongly affirmed that break time was important to students, teachers, and workers in general. They were excited to hear about the summer travel programs I had prepared.
As I looked at their warm and s…

LAUSD Board Delays Vote on Budget

Board members expressed serious concerns about making important budget decisions without accurate information from Sacramento, so they  voted to delay decisionis until the next board meeting on  April 14th.  Superintendent Cortines made mention in an interview with NBC that he is tired of the Board making decisions based on getting "hundreds of emails convincing them to vote a certain way".  Apparently all the phone calls and emails expressing our concerns have been heard by the Board.

We respectfully disagree with Mr. Cortines' decision not to use a greater portion of the stimulus money in 09-10 to stave off layoffs.  Below are some areas readers have suggested be cut before teachers are fired:

1.  ROTC Program
2.  LEAD program
3.  World Language program
4.  Beyond the Bell

Readers have also encouraged the consideration of furlough days and/or pay cuts.  Some have even said they would not mind paying a higher medical co-pay if it means saving jobs.

Teachers in LA Academy and other South Central schools have received enormous community support and we want to thank you for recognizing that the most disenfranchised students are the ones who will suffer most from the proposed cuts and layoffs.

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