Commitment to Prepare Students for a Multilingual Global Economy
February 13, 2013

On February 12, the LAUSD Board unanimously approved Board Member Zimmer's resolution to expand dual language prorams past elementary school and into middle and high schools. "These dual language programs are a key to both successful schools and successful students", said Zimmer.


Read the Resolution




Updating Charter Authorizing and Oversight
November 7, 2012

Board Member Zimmer has introduced a Board Resolution that aims to look at the issues raised by the fast paced growth of charters in LAUSD.

The 232 charters that have been authorized by LAUSD enroll over 110,000 students, representing 15% of enrollment.  Charter expansion in LAUSD is much faster than in surrounding school districts and anywhere else in the United States.

Charter schools were designed to be incubators for change, so innovative instructional practices could be shared and benefit all public school students.

The Resolution asks the Superintendent to prepare a plan that

  • Ensures Charter Schools share their curriculum and best practices with District schools so all children in public schools can benefit from their innovative practices;
  • Ensures Charter Schools and District schools share facilities in a way that balances the needs of all the students;
  • Ensures Charter schools provide LAUSD the data necessary for oversight and mandated by the state;
  • Ensures the District invests in and expands programs that have attracted families back to LAUSD




Summary of Resolution in Support of a Federal $23 Billion Education Jobs Bill
May 18, 2010

The Los Angeles Unified School District faces a $640 million deficit for the 2010-11 school year and a $263 million shortfall during 2011-2012. LAUSD has already cut $1.5 billion from its budget over the past two years, eliminating 2,000 teachers. Thousands of District employees have had their pay reduced through unpaid furlough days. The school year is shorter by five days this year and seven days in 2011. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enabled the District to save 7,000 teaching and other positions; those funds have run out. The House of Representatives passed the Jobs for Main Street Act in December, 2009, which allotted $23 billion for an education jobs fund upon Congressional approval. LAUSD’s share would be $225 million. The LAUSD voted to pass a resolution to support the legislation for $23 billion for education jobs. [UPDATE: In July 2010, Congress passed a $10 billion Education Jobs bill.]

Board Member Steve Zimmer discusses

potential federal funding with Natalie Price, policy staffer

for Congresswoman Lucile Roybal-Allard.

Resolution in Support of a District Haitian Earthquake Relief Program
January 26, 2010

The earthquake in Haiti caused devastation and loss of life at a scale unprecedented in the recent history of the Western Hemisphere. Schools and students were particularly hard-hit by loss and trauma. The return of regular school operations is essential to restoring a sense of normalcy to the children in Port-au-Prince and beyond. The schools, with the help of non-governmental and faith-based organizations, will provide the structure to address the trauma suffered by young Haitians. The LAUSD has some of the best practices in the nation in school-building projects as well as social psychiatric work at school sites. The Board pledged to stand with the Haitian people. It resolved to direct the Superintendent to identify a District point-person for Haitian relief efforts and encourage District unions to form a team; use the District campaign “Sharing Brings Hope” to collect aid for Haiti; investigate the possibility of deploying District Psychiatric Social Workers to provide training or on-the-ground intervention in Haiti; investigate a partnership between the District, the Los Angeles County Building Trades Council and the United States Agency for Economic Development (USAID) to rebuild schools or consult on their reconstruction. The Board also directed the District Human Resources Department to work with USAID to develop possible plans to offer the opportunity for laid-off teachers and other staff to help in Haiti to re-open schools.

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti in January,2010

Summary of Resolution to Make LAUSD a Hunger Free Community
December 8, 2009

One in eight residents of Los Angeles County suffers from hunger. The present economic downturn has spread hunger and food insecurity beyond the poorest communities, affecting a wider spectrum of people. This has a particularly devastating impact on children. The Los Angeles Unified School District has a critical role to play in a local emergency food distribution system because of our schools’ participation in Federal Nutritional Programs that provide lunches and breakfasts for low-income students. Seventy-eight percent of the District’s children qualify for free or reduced-fee meals. Yet many of the families eligible for food programs don’t participate; 48% of Los Angeles County residents qualify for food stamps but don’t use them. The District is in a unique position to connect eligible children and families to benefits they need.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its partners issued a “Blueprint to End Hunger in Los Angeles” that calls on local municipalities to become “hunger-free communities. “ The District has pledged to become a hunger-free community by:

  • Exploring new strategies to increase children’s participation in nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program;
  • Exploring ways the District can better coordinate with other government agencies, perhaps with simultaneous enrollments when a student signs up for school subsidized meal programs.
  • Investigating new collaborations with community organizations in order to open schools to feed hungry families during non-school hours.
Resolution in Support of the DREAM Act
September 22, 2009

The Los Angeles School District is home to immigrant children from all over the world, both with and without legal residency status. Those lacking documents frequently face obstacles to their dreams of going to college. Many have grown up in the U.S., attended local schools and demonstrated a sustained commitment to educational success. These young people are honor roll students, star athletes, talented artists and valedictorians and aspire to be tomorrow’s doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters, soldiers and political leaders. But they cannot legally work in those professions because current immigration law provides no avenue for these students to become legal residents. Representatives in both houses of Congress introduced the DREAM (the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act in 2009 to allow regular lawful status for undocumented young people who arrived before age 15 and who have graduated high school and met other achievement standards. The LAUSD board supports the DREAM Act and mandated that all high school counselors are to be properly trained in making students aware of their ability to attend California institutions of public higher education at in-state student tuition rates. [UPDATE: The DREAM Act has yet to be approved by Congress.]

Students demonstrating in support of the Dream Act

Dream Act
Photo by:Fabiola Inzunzar

Expand Sustainable School Yards and Environmental Initiatives and Curriculum (Noticed February 12, 2013, 9 a.m.)

Whereas, Numerous studies, including a 1999 study commissioned by The California Department of Education (CDE), has determined the educational efficacy of using the environment as an integrated context for learning;

Whereas, Studies prove students in environment-based education programs, such as the California Environmental Protection Agencies Education and the Environment Initiative Curriculum, score higher than their peers across all standardized academic tests and have higher grade point averages;

Whereas; Environment-based education employs natural ecosystems as platforms to teach curriculum mandated by state standards;

 Whereas, the LAUSD Board Resolution on Preserving and Sustaining School Gardens (September 25, 2007) established Board endorsement that school gardens are powerful instructional tools for teaching hands-on science, mathematics, social science, language arts, and visual and performing arts and also provide opportunities for academic achievement, environmental stewardship, work preparedness, an understanding and appreciation for the natural world, and family and community involvement in our schools;

Whereas, Research has found a clear connection between good nutrition (an essential lesson derived from the development and use of school gardens) and student achievement;

Whereas, The Los Angeles Unified School District has committed to strive to be the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly large urban school district in the country;

Whereas, school gardens and other sustainability initiatives are currently housed in the Facilities Services Division of LAUSD; now therefore be it

Resolved, The Governing Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District reaffirms its commitment to strive to be the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly large urban school district in the country by placing a high priority focus on establishing school gardens and greening projects for standards-based instruction;

Resolved further, The Board directs the Superintendent to establish a task force comprised of stakeholders from the following groups: educators, community members, (environmental and) sustainable landscape experts, and district staff;

Resolved further, The task force shall be charged with providing guidance and verification regarding procedure and program implementation in support of community initiated greening projects. It is also charged with developing goals and a comprehensive plan to bring  the development of sustainable school yards in LAUSD in compliance with guidelines modeled after pertinent California education code sections as well as county and regional level policies, with respect to development, access, maintenance and funding; and be it finally

Resolved, The Board directs the Superintendent to return in 30-60 days with a recommendation and report documenting the strengths and weaknesses of moving implementation (development rather than implementation) and oversight of sustainable school yards  and environmental initiatives and instruction from the Facilities Services Division to the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and School Support.


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