Want to see Mónica García’s 15 Minutes of Infamy come to an end?

Donate 15 to Recall Monica GarciaWant to see Mónica García’s 15 Minutes of Infamy come to an end?

Want to see the schoolboard member most responsible for privatization and cuts to services crucial to immigrant and impoverished families get her own personal pink slip? All it will take is FIFTEEN of your Dollars, FIFTEEN Hours of your time, and for you to Tell FIFTEEN of your Friends.


Donate 15 Dollars to the recall campaign

Of course we won’t be mad if you add a zero or two to that figure, but we’ll take what we can get. It costs money to print petitions, and we don’t have any “big funders” like Mónica García does. Donate now at recallmonicagarcia.com. If you want to donate offline, we can do that too.

Donate 15 Hours to the recall campaign

We need volunteers to collect signatures, help organize, and a host of other tasks. If you are a registered voter, we’d love to have you circulate the recall petitions. We have a bunch of jobs that need community members driven by their pasion to restore School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP), Early Education Centers (EEC), Elementary Arts, and the Division of Adult and Career Education (DACE). Sign up as a volunteer at recallmonicagarcia.com

Share the recall campaign with 15 friends

Share the recall website recallmonicagarcia.com, our facebook page, and our twitter account. Talk to your friends, colleagues, and family members. If you’re an activist or educator in District 2, let parents know that people are fighting back against the budget cuts and privatization. The more people we can get to give 15, 15, and 15, the better chance we have of successfully recalling the Board President.

This campaign is about sending a clear message!

The recall campaign isn’t about García as an individual. Instead it’s a repudiation against budget priorities and policies that are not in line with our community. All of the LAUSD Trustees need to know that they will be held accountable for decisions that are harmful to the ninety-nine percent. We want LAUSD to answer to every nieghborhood, not just 10900 Wilshire Boulevard!

Recall Campaign of LAUSD President Mónica García Announced by Activists

She has failed to listen to our voices, the students, and she refuses to see any of us to hear our stories. — Mary Ann Reyes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 saw nearly three dozen parents, students, and activists hold a press conference in front of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board Room announcing the start of an official recall campaign for LAUSD Board of Education President Mónica García.

Speakers announced Ms. García had been served with a Notice of Intent to Recall on April 7, 2012, and the City Clerk of Los Angeles was provided appropriate papers as part of the protocols for recall. While Ms. García’s privatization policies and wrongheaded budget priorities have long been an anathema to social justice activists, the recall proponents cited Ms. García’s recent unconscionable cuts to critical programs including School Readiness Language Development Program, Early Education Centers, Elementary Arts, and Adult Education, while the district holds over $700 million in reserve as the final straw. The text of the Notice of Intent follows:

NOTICE OF INTENT TO RECALL MÓNICA GARCÍA, DISTRICT 2 TRUSTEE, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

Vera Padilla, Maryanne Reyes, José Lara, Ken Montenegro, Robert D. Skeels

STATEMENT OF REASONS
Mónica García has consistently ignored the voices and needs of our parents, students and communities, employing repression to stifle legitimate dissent. Under García’s leadership, tens of thousands of teachers, librarians, and health and human service employees have been subjected to reduction in force notices. While some of these educators have been rehired, the net effect has been teacher demoralization; a disincentive to enter the teaching profession; a disruption and marginalization of impoverished schools; and arguably illegal classroom overcrowding. Under García’s watch, hundreds of millions of dollars in LAUSD properties and resources have been given to privately managed charter school corporations, systematically starving public schools of resources. García has overseen several destructive school reconstitutions and closures, despite warnings from scholars that such drastic “reforms” do nothing to improve outcomes. García has been a party to handing public schools over to charter corporations which are documented to perform worse than the schools they replaced. The hallmark of García’s tenure has been hundreds of millions of dollars squandered on unnecessary tests, consultants, and questionable hiring priorities. This budget mismanagement has led to the current situation where programs critical to poor and immigrant families including: The School Readiness Language Development Program, Early Education Centers, Elementary Arts, and Adult Education have been cut, while the District holds $700 million in reserve. Under García, LAUSD has taken Federal Title I and Title III funds (supporting low-income students and English Language Learners respectively) away from school sites. We believe García’s abysmal failure to address the needs of LAUSD District 2 stakeholders leaves us no option but to demand her recall.

AVISO DE INTENCIÓN DE DESTITUIR A MÓNICA GARCÍA, MIEMBRO DEL CONSEJO DE ADMINISTRACIÓN DEL SEGUNDO DISTRITO, DEL DISTRITO ESCOLAR UNIFICADO DE LOS ÁNGELES (LAUSD)

Vera Padilla, Maryanne Reyes, José Lara, Ken Montenegro, Robert D. Skeels

EXPOSICIÓN DE MOTIVOS
Mónica García continuamente ha ignorado las voces y las necesidades de nuestros padres de familia, estudiantes y comunidades, usando la represión para sofocar la legítima disidencia. Bajo el liderazgo de García, decenas de miles de maestros, bibliotecarios, empleados de salud y servicios humanos han recibido cartas de despido.  Aunque algunos de estos docentes han sido contratados de nuevo, el resultado neto ha sido la desmoralización de los maestros, la falta de incentivos para cursar la carrera magisterial, la interrupción y marginalización de escuelas en áreas con altos índices de pobreza, y podría decirse el hacinamiento ilegal de los salones de clase. Bajo la vigilancia de García, cientos de millones de dólares en propiedades y recursos del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles (LAUSD) se han canalizado a empresas de gestión privada que operan las escuelas “charter”, mientras que se quitan recursos de las escuelas públicas de manera sistemática. García ha supervisado la reorganización y cierre de múltiples escuelas a pesar de las advertencias de expertos que indican que éstas “reformas” drásticas no hacen nada para mejorar el rendimiento de las escuelas. García también ha tomado parte en la entrega de escuelas públicas a empresas “charter” las cuales están documentadas de tener un peor desempeño que las escuelas a las que sustituyen. El estandarte de la presidencia de García ha sido cientos de millones de dólares despilfarrados en exámenes innecesarias, consultores y cuestionables prioridades de contratación. El mal manejo del presupuesto nos ha traído a la situación actual en la que programas esenciales para familias de bajos recursos y inmigrantes como el Programa de Preparación del Desarrollo de Lenguaje Para la Escuela (SRLDP), Centros de Educación Temprana, Arte para las Escuelas Primarias y Educación para Adultos han sido recortados, mientras el Distrito mantiene 700 millones de dólares en reservas. Bajo la dirección de García, el Distrito ha quitado a fondos federales de Título I y Título III (fondos de apoyo para estudiantes de bajos recursos y estudiantes cuya primera lengua no es el inglés, respectivamente) de las escuelas. Creemos que el fracaso abismal de García de atender las necesidades de las partes interesadas del Distrito 2, parte del Distrito Escolar Unificado de Los Ángeles, no nos deja otra opción más que exigir su destitución.

모니카 갈시아, 엘에이 제2구역 교육위원, 퇴진을 위한 공고문

Vera Padilla (베라 파딜라), Maryanne Reyes (메리앤 레이스), José Lara (호세 라라), Ken Montenegro (켄 모테네그로), Robert D. Skeels (로버트 디. 스킬즈)

퇴진해야 할 이유 진술문
모니카 갈시아는 학부모, 학생, 그리고 지역사회의 필요한 요구사항과 의견들을 끊임없이 무시해 왔으며, 모니카의 의견에 법적으로 반대하는 사람들을 억압해 왔습니다. 모니카의 강압에 의해, 수많은 선생님들, 도서관 직원들, 보건과 복지사업 종사자들이 해고 통지서를 받았습니다. 몇몇 교육자들이 재취업 되는동안, 선생들의 사기를 저하시키고, 선생님이 되고 싶어하는 사람들의 의욕을 꺾었으며, 교육의 질을 낮추면서 혼란을 가져오고, 불법적으로 한 학급에 많은 학생을 두게 했습니다. 모니카의 지배아래, 몇 백만 달러의 엘에이교육위원회 재산과 자원들이, 모니카의 개인적 관리아래, 조직적으로 공교육을 무시하고 기업이 운영하는 챠털스쿨을 지원하고 있습니다. 교육 전문가들은 모니카가 추구하고 있는 교육 개혁안들이 교육발전에 아무런 기여도 하지 못한다고 경고했습니다. 그럼에도 불구하고 모니카는 기존의 제도를 무너뜨리고 여러 학교들을 폐교시키는 파괴행위를 자행해 오고 있습니다. 모니카는 정치적인 마인드를 가지고 공립학교들 (public schools)을 기업이 운영하는 챠털학교 (charter corporations)로 넘겨 주고 있습니다. 그러나 보고된 자료에 의하면 챠털학교의 교육의 질이 공립학교 교육에 비해 훨씬 떨어진다고 합니다. 모니카가 재직하고 있는 동안에 수백만 달러가 필요없는 시험, 상담 그리고 의문스러운 사람고용에 사용되고있습니다. 교육위원회가 700만달러를 보유하고 있으면서도, 예산을 잘못된 곳에 사용하면서도, 저소득층 학생과 이민자 가족, 즉 언어읽기 발달능력 프로그램, 조기 교육센터, 초등학교 예능교육, 성인교육(어덜트스쿨)에게 예산을 없애는 심각한 상황을 초래하고 있습니다. 모니카의 지도아래, 정부직함1과 직함2 (저소득층 학생과 영어습득자들을 위한 지원금)을 학교 웹페이지에서 삭제했습니다. 우리는 모니카가 최악의 지도력으로 엘에이 제2구역 교육 이해당사자의 당연히 필요한 요구와 의견을 무시한 것을 선언하고 퇴진할 것을 공고합니다.

The five proponents of the recall are all long-time LAUSD District 2 residents comprised of one student, one teacher, and three community activists. Two of the proponents were participants in the highly successful OccupyLAUSD campaign that brought the abject truth to the consciousness of the Los Angeles public that members of the one percent including Philip Anschutz, Stephen Bing, Eli Broad, Jerry Perenchio, and Bill Gates control LAUSD.

The recall campaign was started in response to hundreds of poor and immigrant families wanting to see a LAUSD budget that puts their needs ahead of wasteful and unnecessary testing that degrades their children and deprofessionalizes teaching. Many Adult Education students, qualified to collect signatures on the recall petitions, have already volunteered for the campaign. The media coverage at the press conference was extremely favorable, and activists vow to bring their issues to the forefront of the education debates that until now have excluded those most affected by LAUSD policies.

Currently the proponents are on schedule to begin circulating petitions in late April or early May. They welcome any and all support from grassroots community members, progressive organizations, and organized labor. If successful in gathering the signatures of 26,608 registered voters in LAUSD District 2, then a special recall election will be scheduled.

Learn More and Get Involved
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National Coalition for Literacy: On adult education’s critical role in social justice

“It’s also important to note that adult education serves an important social justice role in that it allows people to improve their lives despite a system that benefits from their remaining underprivileged.” — Robert D. Skeels

Save Evans Adult School and all of LAUSD DACE Photo by Yoon Jung Lee.
Photo by Yoon Jung Lee

My latest essay entitled On adult education’s critical role in social justice was published March 13, 2012 on the National Coalition for Literacy’s site as part of their discussion series on “Cut the Excuses, Not Education! How SaveAdultEd.org Is Fighting the Proposal to Eliminate Adult Education in L.A.”

The article series featured students, educators and activists engaged in the struggle to save Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Adult and Career Education from the designs of neoliberalism. Speaking on behalf of my fellow activists, we genuinely appreciate the National Coalition for Literacy bringing our struggle to a national audience. What happens in Los Angeles is often a bellwether, and we can only hope that our struggles won’t be in vain and inspires people to stand up to what Freire called “neoliberal fatalism.”

National Coalition for Literacy‘s mission is to advance adult education, family literacy, and English language acquisition in the U.S. by increasing public awareness for the need to increase funding and programs; promoting effective public policy; and serving as an authoritative resource for the field on national adult education issues.

Published 2012-03-13 on National Coalition for Literacy, please read it there and share widely.

Save Pre-School in LAUSD Rally and Press Conference!

Please join the parents of 28th Street, Roberti and Trinity Early Education Centers, along with UTLA Central Area as we protest to Save Pre-School in LAUSD. We cannot allow LAUSD to close down our Early Education Centers and SRLDP programs.

What: SAVE PRE-SCHOOL IN LAUSD Rally and Press Conference

When: Thursday, March 1st 2012, 3:00pm

Where: LAUSD Building, 333. S. Beaudry Ave. Los Angeles CA 90017

Who: Parents, Teachers, and Community Groups and you!

March 1st is also a National Day of Action to Save Public Education. Many Universities will be staging walkouts, teach-ins, and other actions. We join in solidarity with these student activists as we know that the road o college begins at Preschool!

Communities and Families Resisting Proposition 39 Charter Colocations

The struggle to save LAUSD’s adult education program

First published on Schools Matter

“I’m an adult ed teacher, and I just want to say thanks to those of you outside of adult ed who understand the importance of what we do, and are willing to stand with us as we fight to survive this year. When I go back to work tomorrow morning and greet my class full of ADULTS studying basic math, GED prep, and high school subjects, I will feel better knowing that you who work in K-12 understand the importance of what we do for families and communities. Parents who can’t read or do arithmetic can’t help their kids learn.” — Michelle Cohen

Join the struggle to save LAUSD's adult education programsFrom regular high school students in need of credit recovery, to students working to obtain their diplomas after life circumstance altered their ability to obtain it in four years, to English Language Learners, to immigrants working on their citizenship, to students wanting access to career programs now that community college tuitions have skyrocketed, Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Adult Education programs represent a literal lifeline for tens of thousands of Angelenos and their families.

After years of devastating annual cuts, LAUSD announced the possibility of eliminating adult education altogether. This would shatter the lives and opportunities of thousands of students enrolled in these programs. It would be particularly devastating to the poor and immigrant communities, many of whom rely on LAUSD adult education. Given that California’s economy is the eighth largest economy in the world, it’s unconscionable that continual cuts now threaten programs like adult education. Instead of cuts, we need to demand tax justice. According to the California Budget Project, the bottom fifth of California income earners pay 11.7%, while the top one percent only pay 7.1%. Just raising the rate of the top to equal that of the bottom would make this discussion moot, and taxing the upper quintile at a fair rate wold eliminate all budget issues in California.

The following is from the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles (AALA) newsletter in response to the proposed closure of the program.

AALA has been informed that LAUSD leadership is seeking Board approval to close the District’s Division of Adult and Career Education (DACE) programs next year and redirect tens of millions of dollars in funding to offset General Fund shortfalls. Can the District afford to prevent high school students from participating in adult education classes to earn credit for graduation? Can the District afford to eliminate educational opportunities for thousands of parents and community members who depend upon adult education to learn English and earn American citizenship? Can the District afford to cut high-quality apprenticeship programs that lead to decent jobs?

We believe that such an ill-conceived plan should be scrapped to avert a political and educational debacle. The District needs to recognize that DACE programs, in fact, do not encroach on the General Fund. While providing critically needed basic education and career training for the community at large, Adult and Career Education pays its own way through both direct and indirect assessments levied by the District against their severely limited resources. Additionally, the District sweeps every dollar left in Adult and Career Education accounts at the end of each year.

DACE administrators carefully manage their programs including the successful AEWC dropout recovery program and labor union-supported apprenticeship programs and have a long history of successes on a shoestring, including:

  • More than 10% of last year’s high school dropouts were enrolled in Adult and Career Education courses on norm day 2011, thus reducing the District’s 2010-2011 dropout rate by 10%. The previous year’s reduction was also 10%, and nearly 9% the year before that. Clearly, LAUSD’s dropout rate would increase dramatically if DACE programs were not available to these students.
  • Approximately 1,500 former dropouts were graduated from DACE programs in 2010-2011. These graduates were reported in ISIS, further reducing the District’s dropout rate.
  • In 2010-2011, 88,200 high school students took Adult and Career Education courses to make up credits and keep up with their cohorts. Reducing accessibility for these students would simply transfer educational costs to the General Fund at a higher per-capita cost.
  • In 2010-2011, 51,844 high school students took courses at occupational centers and in ROP. Reducing accessibility to these programs would cause students to be transferred back to their home schools and would increase costs to the General Fund, again at a higher per-capita cost.
  • In 2010-2011, 58,147 parents took DACE courses.
  • AALA fully understands LAUSD’s budget problems. We strongly believe, however, that the District cannot afford to shut down the District’s Adult and Career Education programs. Doing so would have the unintended consequence of increasing General Fund costs, increasing dropout rates and eliminating valuable educational services to tens of thousands of needy parents and community members District-wide.

Activists are currently organizing to rally behind the call to save LAUSD Adult Education. Let it be understood that the very same neoliberal forces at play in Los Angeles are everywhere, and we must continue to organize or see all of our public institutions eliminated or privatized.

United Way’ Elise Buik’s Myopic One Percent Policies

“By what logic does United Way engage in an activity that is shunned by all the other charities?” — Professor Ralph E. Shaffer

Occupy United Way! Group founded and manifesto publishedUnited Way of Greater Los Angeles’ CEO Elise Buik’s total compensation in 2010 was $286,985. Entering that figure on http://www.globalrichlist.com/ provides the following insights:

  • You’re in the TOP 0.001% richest people in the world!
  • You are the 107,565 richest person in the world!

With that in mind, is it any wonder that United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ policies to help the homeless consist of criminalization and marginalization? Buik works with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce to find homeless “solutions” that are wildly popular with downtown developers gentrifying everything in sight.

Is it any wonder that Buik personally argued to kill the PSC parent and community vote? Advocates privatized charter-voucher schools at every opportunity? Laundered Gates Foundation money to pay for the discredited NCTQ LAUSD report? Co-founded the right-wing Don’t Hold Us Back Coalition to attempt and dictate terms to UTLA in the midst of labor contract negotiations? Is it any wonder that the Don’t Hold Us Back Coalition hasn’t uttered a single word about trying to save School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP), Adult Education, and Busing in LAUSD, but wants the district to spend more to give public schools away to private corporations?

No, it’s no wonder at all.

A campaign to divest and discontinue all donations to the United Way is a must. Join Occupy United Way and OccupyLAUSD to fight for social justice!

LAUSD Austerity Budget Approved: 8000 pinkslips; programs slashed (100% of SRLDP & Adult Ed)

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education voted yesterday (December 13, 2011) to cut $532 Million, resulting in 8,000 jobs eliminated for 2012-2013, and entire programs wiped-out like Adult Education. Here is the budget:

Fiscal Stabilization Plan Budget

source: http://www.laschoolboard.org/files/FiscalStabilizationPlan.pdf