A group of fourth grade Golden Valley Orchard School advocates is feeling confident after speaking to San Juan School Board members during a packed school board meeting recently. After hearing other students give reports on how their schools were doing, this group of charter school students decided to do the same and began strategizing on how to build a relationship with board members.
The students wrote their own scripts and delivered handmade notes to the superintendent and school board members inviting them to their festive May Day celebration. This resulted in San Juan School Board President Michael McKibbin visiting the school and demonstrating to the students the power of their activism.
At a recent town hall meeting attended by 200 enthusiastic parents, funding inequities in Southeast Los Angeles schools and recent changes to immigration policies were the biggest topics of discussion.
Great Public Schools Now (GPSN) Director Myrna Castrejón gave a presentation and laid out evidence of school funding inequities in southeast LA public schools, both traditional and charter. The non-profit is dedicated to ensuring all students in LA receive a high-quality education by accelerating the growth of high-quality public schools. About 15 parents gave personal testimony of how their children are suffering under the current system.
LAUSD Board Member Ref Rodriguez responded by asking parents to act and fight back against the state legislature and LAUSD’s implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). He promised to meet with families again in June.
SB 808, a destructive bill nicknamed “charter killer” that would limit approval of charter schools, was riling parents up and down around the state. In Sacramento, 85 parents spent two days lobbying against the bill, introduced by Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia.Parents eager to speak out against it lined up during the Senate Education Committee hearings at the Capital to offer their testimony. They told heartfelt stories of how their children’s lives were being transformed by their charter school. In LA, more than two dozen parents met with Mendoza and made an impassioned plea to demand that he drop the bill.
Finally, after weeks from parents badgering Mendoza, the senator decided to not immediately pursue SB 808 and it was not put up for a vote during the education hearing.