By Kevin Modesti, Los Angeles Daily News | http://bit.ly/1kkhOgx
Posted: 12/05/13, 9:11 AM PST :: Does the state education department really need L.A. moms and dads to fill out forms to prove there are a lot of poor school kids here who need help?
Los Angeles Unified is scrambling to meet a March deadline for parents to submit a form listing their household’s annual income. Our Barbara Jones reports that 22 percent of the forms distributed in November have been returned. At stake is up to $200 million in state money to supercharge the educations of low-income students, English learners and foster children under California’s new Local Control Funding Formula.
Other districts apparently aren’t having the same trouble as LAUSD in getting the forms filled out — and that should tell state officials something.
It’s different for LAUSD because this is a huge district; it’s harder for L.A. administrators to catch up after the state was slow in setting the new verification rules. Also, officials must recognize that LAUSD has many families with undocumented immigrants who may fear the consequences of turning in any kind of government form.
The government should already know, based on the data the feds use to determine eligibility for subsidized school lunches, that about 80 percent of L.A. Unified’s 600,000 students fall below poverty guidelines. LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy wants the state to use that data, and it should.
One California education official said allowing LAUSD to skip the paperwork “would deny much-needed funding to other students around the state.” That’s simply not true; the money is there, and it’s not as if cash unclaimed by LAUSD would be passed out to other districts.
At least for this first year of the new funding program, the state should give L.A. families a break. In helping disadvantaged kids, funds are more important than forms.
Let me get this straight. LAUSD needs a special waiver because it’s LAUSD when every one of the other 100o school districts in the state have been or will be able to meet the requirement?. Three extra months have already been added to the deadline.
“Other districts with large concentrations of low-income students say they aren’t having the same problem as Los Angeles Unified.
“Long Beach Unified is dealing with the issue at 11 schools and has been whittling away at the total, a spokesman said.
“Mark Skvarna, superintendent at Baldwin Park Unified, said about 92 percent of his district’s students are low-income, and nearly all have turned in their paperwork.
“’We’ve been very aggressive,” he said. “It’s been Job One for the last month. Anyone who didn’t file got a phone call, and we even walked them through the process.
“’We’re looking at a supplement of about $5 million,” Skvarna said. “For us, that’s big bucks.’” - LA Daily News http://bit.ly/1cqULQm
Superintendent Deasy and LAUSD is saying that they need this money to help poor kids …but are admitting that they really don’t know who the poor kids are.
Here’s my counter proposal: The Board of Ed sends a letter to the State saying that they realized that they wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline so they fired the superintendent who was irresponsible for the failure and could the please have some extra time for the interim superintendent to get up to speed and get the paperwork in.
They should’ve handled this superintendent’s failure to file mandatory reports of adult abuse of kids at Miramonte in a timely manner to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing that way …instead of allowing him to bury the commission with every piece of paper from every forgotten file cabinet in LAUSD while hauling the entire faculty at Miramonte off to teacher jail for a little self-examination and re-education.