Monday, November 10, 2008

Apologia (or not!)

Harry Shearer in his syndicated radio program reads corporate apologies weekly, with the Wings song “We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert” playing in the background. 4LAKids isn’t quite that sorry.

Here is an actual facsimile of School Board Member Galatzan’s e-mail newsletter sent to her subscribers last week – and picked up in the Sunday Nov 9 4LAKids:



In a message dated 11/10/2008 12:50:14 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Deborah Ernst Director of Federal and State Education Programs at LAUSD wrote 4LAKids:

Hi Scott,

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to correct misinformation that appears in 4LA Kids.  For the record, there is not a prohibition on using Title I to reduce class size imposed by the District. In fact, Title I Schoolwide Program schools have been able to use Title I resources to reduce class size since 2003.  This information has been made available to schools numerous times in both budget and program communications. Page A-26 of the 2008-09 Program and Budget Handbook for Title I and Economic Aid (EIA) states the following: 

“Title I Schoolwide schools may purchase (using Tile I or EIA funds) the services of a highly qualified, register carrying teacher to reduce class size in literacy, mathematics, science and social studies classes.”

Based on an analysis of student achievement data, schools are asked to identity the grade level or department that would benefit from reorganizing or restructuring utilizing class size reduction.  This need is described in the Single Plan for Student Achievement and approved by the School Site Council.  Attached are the pages that provide direction to schools and the form to be submitted with the budget adjustment request to the local district for this expenditure.

I am sure you agree with me that this flexibility is an example of freedom to be innovative as well as forward thinking on the part of the District.  Thanks in advance for sharing this information with interested groups. 582 of the 615 Title I schools are operating Schoolwide Programs and can choose to fund additional positions to reduce class size.


Debbie Ernst

Deborah S. Ernst

Director, Federal and State Education Programs

333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 16th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90017


4LAKids responds:

Dear Debbie:

Thanks for responding to the 4LAKids Newsletter, and I will publish your correction on the 4LAKidsNews Blog.

However I'm gonna respectfully cop a plea here: The information published was verbatum from School Board Member Galatzan's E-newsletter - and she is in turn quoting Senior Deputy Superintendent Ramon Cortines - so the misunderstanding goes far deeper - and further up the food chain - than I!

Onward -


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