Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For Immediate Release
"One of the best outcomes in public education is when a dropout drops back in." With those words parent activist and current LA County Parent/Community Volunteer of the Year Scott Folsom returned to the campaign for LAUSD Board of Education Seat #5 - representing Northeast and Southeast Los Angeles.
"I left the race because I couldn't justify the amount of money I would need to raise to make a decent showing in a traditional campaign...and I'm returning because the political fundraising to date has left decency far behind as it veers towards obscene." Folsom said.
"Recent revelations about downtown developers pouring money into the campaigns of Board of Ed candidates favored by Mayor Villaraigosa - and the on-again/off-again endorsements by the teachers' union point out the reality that the current campaign is all about securing endorsements and raising money ...not successful young people."
"I think it's time to Raise Issues, Raise Awareness ...and perhaps Raise some Hell," Folsom said.
"This will be a write-in campaign, as such it will be uphill - it will be done without a lot of money but with a lot of passion. A true independent campaign to put an independent on the board of education.
"I am also concerned about the hardball politics played in some of last week's so called "community advisory votes" in the Public School Choice process - choosing operators for new schools across the District. I saw for myself that a charter school operator bused-in pro-charter voters from across town to one polling place. I now understand that the buses made additional stops and that bused-in voters voted multiple times at multiple school sites. Democracy may not be pretty ...but that is not democracy.
"I don't think our schools should be operated by "operators" - schools should be run by teachers and principals and parents - supported by by professional and accountable administrators - and overseen - but not controlled - by the superintendent of board of education.
"Charter schools should be run by their local boards in the communities they serve in an open, transparent and accountable manner," Folsom said. Not by corporate boards meeting behind closed doors - in essence becoming public schools operated on a private agenda.
"School leaders and elected officials and parents - all of us - need to teach and to model Civics and Ethical Behavior four our children. We need to conduct ourselves on the honorable side of legal and ethical - and I don't see how selling the naming rights to a yet unbuilt football stadium and using the money to buy seats on the board of education serves the best interest of Los Angeles schoolchildren. I am for pro football in LA; I used to own Rams season tickets back in the day - but I'm unwilling to swap seats on the Board of Ed for seats on the sideline.
"I have served on the LAUSD Bond Oversight Committee for nearly a decade; in that time we have successfully avoided becoming embroiled in the kind of politics practiced involving builders and developers that have historically plagued Los Angeles politics. The movie "Chinatown" was fiction - but fiction is something that didn't happen - not something that isn't true. The film was a metaphor for how Los Angeles land development and politics have been entwined since the early days of our city. For the most part we have kept politics and corruption out of the current school building and modernization process and we need to take that success and practice and apply it to the governance of this school district..
"In the next five weeks I will reach out to parents and the community and teachers and educators and school staff -- to anyone who will listen - and hopefully to those who will vote - about raising the bar together -- about how LAUSD, fairly-or-unfairly maligned as it is, is all of us, working together for our kids.
"Finally, today is Groundhog Day. In the movie of that same name the lead character was doomed to relive the same miserable day of his life until he got it right. I am back in this race this time to get it right because our children really only have one shot at education, one shot at the grade they're in - one try to learn what they need to learn today. We don't have enough money in the budget to do it the way we'd like to do it - but we need to get it as close to right as we possibly can - so that tomorrow we and they and all-of-us-together can get it better.
"It's about learning and teaching. And for the next five weeks part of the lesson is spelling. S-C-O-T-T F-O-L-S-O-M"
Scott Folsom for Board of Education Seat #5
committee in formation
Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and is Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and represents PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee. He is a Health Commissioner, Legislation Team member and a member of the Board of Managers of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served as a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the United Teachers Los Angeles /American Federation of Teachers 2009-2010 "WHO" ('We Honor Ours') Person-of the Year Gold Award for his support of education and public schools • The names of the organizations above are for identification only - no representation is made or implied regarding endorsement. •