LAUSD Board Opposes Federal Bill Targeting Campus Health Centers

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 11, 2012) – The Board of Education today voted to oppose a federal bill that would bar federal funding for on-campus health centers, including those in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which provide medical education, information or services deemed unacceptable in the legislation.

By a 5 to 2 vote, the board disapproved of the Pro-Life Act, which was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in July. Board Member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte also opposes the federal bill, but voted against the school board resolution because she felt excluded from participating in a pre-planned presentation on the issue. Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic, who also opposed the board’s declaration, said, “The work Planned Parenthood and other similar organizations carry out at our schools is highly appreciated because they are ensuring we have healthier youth in the classroom ready to achieve. I also believe in equality, but not all Board Members were asked to be in the video as displayed by a selected group and I was concerned that Ms. LaMotte was excluded from voicing her support."

“This resolution is about supporting our Los Angeles students who need on-campus health clinics for their primary health care,” said Board Member Tamar Galatzan, who introduced the resolution.

“We stand by organizations such as Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Dept. of Health Services, and all the groups who partner with LAUSD to bring health clinics to our students and our schools,” she added. “We will not limit the information or the services available to our students and our families because of the misogynistic, fear-based thinking of some our politicians in Washington D.C.”

Board Member Nury Martinez, a co-sponsor of the resolution, added: “At a time when women's healthcare choices and reproductive care are being viciously attacked, we need to value, more than ever, our school health services, including Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. My daughter, and all our students deserve, the educational advantages that accompany access to school-based healthcare.”

In a video shown during the meeting, several board members cited the District’s long-standing practice of offering health courses to students, as well as a long-standing relationship with health service providers. As a result, students receive a wide-range of information that helps them understand their health options.

“When we bring health services to school sites and make it available to students, it becomes part of their everyday life and it supports the students with their growth and development,” said Board President Mónica García, who also co-sponsored the resolution. “LAUSD has had a long history of partnering with health partners and we continue to look forward to making health services accessible to students and their families.”

Contact: Thomas Waldman (213) 241-6766