Petitions Demand LA Schools "Put Students First"

Community groups demand that the district provide additional funding for kids in need.

By Whitney Irick
|  Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014  |  Updated 6:17 AM PDT
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Petitions Demand LA Schools "Put Students First"

A community group hands over a stack of petitions on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, to the Los Angeles County Board of Education.

Families and teachers on Monday delivered 7,000 petitions to urge LA schools to spend money earmarked by the governor on the children with the most need.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown created the Local Control Funding Formula which will provide $1 billion to the nation’s second-largest district over the next seven years. The plan was intended to help boost education in low-income communities.

This year, the Los Angeles Unified School District will get $330 million from the plan. Some families and teachers are demanding the money go where it is intended.

School Board Member Monica Garcia said in a statement that she accepted the signatures and acknowledges the "voices that have demanded investment, quality and justice from LAUSD for decades."

"Every child in California deserves more investment and support for their academic journey," she said. "Our students with greatest needs deserve our greatest support. We must embrace the opportunity to lead and get to 100 percent graduation."

"Do the dollars go to support the large bureaucracy in general or is there a good clear plan to make sure the dollars are best used for the purposes that our kids need them the most?" asked Hernán Vera, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm, in an interview with City News Service.

Families and teachers organized by Communities for Los Angeles Student Success a rally outside LAUSD headquarters where they handed school board members their petitions.

Jason Mandell, a spokesman at United Way of Greater LA, said he hoped the money would go to low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

Those at the rally timed it as LAUSD officials plan to unveil a spending plan.

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