Here’s what happened at the 11/14 meeting of the Board of Education

You can see the agenda here and the materials hereHere’s the video of the meeting.

I was so proud that our students from Van Nuys Middle School led us in the pledge of allegiance.  Watch them in this video.

  • The Superintendent recognized “The Last Repair Shop” documentary about the Districts Music Instrument Repair program.  The short documentary was honored with the Critics Choice Awards. You can see the trailer here, and the documentary here.

  • Board President Jackie Goldberg recognized Evelyn Gratts for her life’s work and Congresswoman Diane Watson on the occassion of her 90th birthday.

The following investments in BD3 schools were approved:

As part of the Facilities Division Strategic Execution Plan-

  • El Camino Real Charter High School – Gym bleachers upgrade ($1,506,290)
    • Will replace old gym bleachers with new motorized gym bleachers
    • Begins Q3 2025 and will finish Q4 2025
  • Burbank Boulevard Elementary School will get an outdoor learning project that removes asphalt and replaces it with granite, log benches, and green space. Project budget is $150,000
  • Calabash Charter Academy project to install parking lot swing gates:  Project budget is $54,550 and will begin Q2 2024 to finish Q3 2024
  • Approval of the California Community Schools Partnership Program Grant Award $30 million funding over 5 years at Northridge MS. Grant through January 2028.

SEEDS Grants

  • Burbank Boulevard Elementary School – Construct an outdoor learning environment of approximately 3,600 square feet. Includes removal of asphalt, and the addition of new decomposed granite, salvaged log benches, boulders, stepping stones and native planting areas with shade trees.  The school will provide the drought tolerant shrubs and plants.  Total budget $150,000

The Board also approved the following Resolutions that I sponsored:

Commemorating Diwali and Celebrating South Asian text press release

Among other actions, the resolution establishes that:

  • the Superintendent will update or create reference guides and resources to inform students, teachers and staff so that proper age appropriate discussions of Diwali can happen in our school sites and classrooms.

I am proud to have worked with the Indian and South Asian community around Los Angeles to bring forth this resolution ensures the district stays ahead of the curve in recognizing Diwali, India, and our South Asian Community, and the more than one billion people who observe this essential holiday.”

Celebrating Substitute Educators Day 11/17 text press release

Among other actions, the resolution:

  • encourages the Superintendent to develop and update reference guides and development training for substitute educators similar to what is currently available to all other educators;  

“We want substitute educators to know that we think highly of them. Substitute teachers ensure that, whatever the situation, there will be quality educators ready to take over and support students. This is why we are making investments to ensure that these educators get the same training and support as all other LAUSD educators. As principal, I personally, along with the main office staff, thanked them on Substitute Educators Day. We also treated them to coffee and pastries to honor them.”

And I consponsored the following resolutions:

With Board Member Gonez, the resolution Celebrating National Special Education Day (12/2) and Calling for Increased Special Education Funding text

Among other actions, the resolution establishes that:

  • the Board commits to continued advocacy for additional resources that will adequately resource and sustain the instructional programs and services for our students with disabilities, such as increasing California’s funding allocations to meet the increases in special education costs, particularly for students with moderate to severe disabilities. and the Superintendent is directed to develop more regular opportunities for parents and families of students with disabilities to engage with the District to provide meaningful feedback, opportunities for continuous improvement and strengthen partnerships and resources.

“As chair of the Special Education Committee, I find it absolutely necessary to increase funding and support for our most vulnerable student population. I am honored to co-sponsor this resolution, knowing full well that, while improvements are being made, we must also enhance how we provide these services.”

With Board Member Dr. George McKenna, the Homeless Youth Awareness Month Resolution, which (among other actions):

  •   commits to increasing awareness of the issues impacting these students and will continue to support and explore programs, partnerships, and legislation that combat homelessness and remove barriers to success for homeless youth.

Statistics show that the poverty rate is rising particularly among young children in Los Angeles. This is why, with great urgency, I am co-sponsoring this resolution, to help recognize the struggles of families in Los Angeles. While the circumstances may be difficult, we want to remind our students and their families that if you have a housing issue, LAUSD has resources to help in these challenging times.”

With Boardmembers Melvoin and Goldberg, the Excellence in Expanded Learning in LAUSD, which, among other actions, asks that:

  • the District will develop continue to strengthen before and afterschool program coherence, quality, developmental appropriateness, and accessibility. Progress towards implementing the District’s Strategic Plan in this area, including an articulation of the broader goals for before and afterschool programs and metrics of success will be presented to the Board in a public meeting within 120 days.

“After-school programs are crucial to our lower-income communities. They not only provide activities for students that help nourish their academic and social standing, but they also help parents who may not be available to pick up their children from school. A safe and welcoming environment is what LAUSD tries to provide with these programs and they should be expanded so more students can take advantage of them.”

With Board Member Ortiz Franklin, Celebrating Read LA! Day Resolution, which among other actions,

  • proclaims November 14 as “Read LA Day” and encourages all Los Angeles leaders and stakeholders, including early education providers, schools, parents, civic leaders, community organizations, policymakers, and funders to recognize and prioritize early literacy as a cornerstone of our children’s educational journey.

“Reading is fundamental for the development of all people, most importantly, our young learners. I am glad to co-sponsor this resolution because I have always been an advocate for fully funded libraries and library aides. Supporting this will promote healthy reading habits and prioritize early literacy.”