Opinion: LAUSD continues its broken promises

imageLAUSD continues to break its promise to our community by closing adult education. Adult Ed. is one of the few places our students and community can have a second chance at receiving their high school diploma, make up a class they might have missed while in high school, improve their English skills, or simply to learn a new trade in industrial arts. Adult Ed. helps our economy by providing thousands of hard working adults and high school students with the skills they need to enter a new career.

LAUSD breaks its promise to our youngest children by planning to eliminate early education. These are pre-K classes that help children get a head start in school. Study after study show that students who are enrolled in early education classes perform better throughout their educational career; it’s a wise investment in the children’s future.* Working class parents especially depend on early education as they do not have the resources to enroll their children in expensive private schools, art and other enrichment programs.

LAUSD breaks its promise to educators by forcing them to take unnecessary furloughs this school year. In fact, teachers and health and human services professionals agreed to make a sacrifice and take up to 6 furlough days for the 2011-2012 year if California State budget projections fell short. Educators made this sacrifice to stop the increase of class sizes, shorten the school year and prevent the loss of thousands of jobs. Once December budget numbers were released, it was clear that the district received enough money to avoid furloughs for the year. However, LAUSD has continued its plans for furloughs and has not kept its promise of avoiding unnecessary furloughs. Moreover, it is doing so WITHOUT the agreement of the teachers union, UTLA.

LAUSD breaks its promise of a quality education to all our children. By shortening the school year, ending essential programs that give students and parents a second chance, and closing early education, LAUSD continues making and breaking promises. This especially affects the working class and communities of color in Los Angeles who depend on these programs for economic survival and success. LAUSD’s broken promises lead down the road to continuing poverty and the widening of the achievement gap.

It is time LAUSD keeps its promises with the community, parents, student and teachers.

What can you do?

Please call or email your school Board Member today and tell them to keep their promises. You can contact them by clicking here.

Also, join teachers, parents, various community groups and UTLA for a planned protest rally in front of LAUSD School Board on:
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Jose Lara is a Social Justice Educator at Santee High School in South Los Angeles. He also serves as Secretary of the South Central Neighborhood Council and is very involved in educational and economic justice issues is South LA.

*For study on benefits of early education click here.

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