20 Aug 2014
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Education Activists Question How LAUSD Proposed Budget Meets Needs of Low-Income Students

The budget for the 2014-15 school year will be formally presented to the Board of Education Tuesday, with final approval expected by June 17.

Education Activists Question How LAUSD Proposed Budget Meets Needs of Low-Income Students

More than 100 education activists today demanded "equity now" for students in criticizing the Los Angeles Unified School District's recently released budget as not providing enough detail on how it will meet the needs of low-income students and English learners.

The protesters, which included parents, teachers and community leaders, called on Superintendent John Deasy to adopt a "Need Based Index" to better address its highest need students. The index was created by community groups to help inform the district's $6.8 billion budget, which was released Friday, according to Marqueece Harris Dawson, president of the Community Coalition.

Dawson said he reviewed the budget, but that it only showed funding for categories.

"It's very difficult to see how that money follows students with the highest needs or schools with the highest needs," Dawson said. "... We want something that is very clear, that the average voter who voted for Prop. 30 can see how it is benefiting the kids with the most need."

An official said the district did not have a response to the activists' demands.

The budget for the 2014-15 school year will be formally presented to the Board of Education Tuesday, with final approval expected by June 17.

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown created the Local Control Funding Formula, which allows school districts with high concentrations of low-income students, English learners and foster youth to allocate millions of state funds.

The district is required to put together a Local Control Accountability Plan.

In a letter to school board members attached to the budget proposal, Deasy wrote that new funds would not be enough to fully provide youth with a "justice-based education," but that it was a start.

"This budget is about a set of new investments and the maintenance of many current investments, which serve as a series of investments in justice," Deasy wrote.

In addition, the union that represents Los Angeles teachers, United Teachers Los Angeles, is seeking a 17.6 percent salary increase.

—City News Service

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