LOS ANGELES (Oct. 2, 2013) – Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent (LAUSD) John Deasy expressed deep disappointment again today, with the leadership of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, for its refusal once again to sign the District’s application for $30 million in Race to the Top funds to provide personalized learning supports for over 20,000 high-needs students.
“Though this year’s application included even more detail about what positions would be created and what types of professional development would be supported with these funds, if granted," Deasy said. “Union leadership still refused to sign the application, a condition for consideration by the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, our grant will not be reviewed and students will be automatically denied the opportunity to benefit from millions of dollars to directly support learning in the classroom.” The Superintendent noted that the Board of Education voted unanimously to submit the application.
Last year, UTLA took the same position, which means that UTLA opposition now has denied the District the chance to receive a total of $70 million in much-needed federal dollars over the past two years. Earlier, UTLA also opposed the state of California’s bid for $700 million in Race to the Top funding.
At a time when the district has hit an all-time low with regards to its counselor to student ratio, the Race to the Top funds would have provided a full-time counselor at each participating middle school in addition to support from instructional coaches, each of whom would have been shared among three schools. Had the grant been approved, this would have translated into thousands of additional one-on-one hours of counseling and advisory time for participating middle school students. These are considered highly effective strategies that both personalize education for middle school students and build readiness for them to successfully undertake high school coursework.
Had UTLA agreed to sign off on the application, participating school sites would have received the following by way of additional personnel, support staff and fully funded discretionary professional development time:
- A total of $150,000 in discretionary professional development funds over the term of the grant.
- A total of 54,000 hours of teacher release time at $59- per-hour, plus fringe benefits over the term of the grant.
- A total of 11,800 hours of counselor release time at $59 per hour, plus fringe benefits over the term of the grant.
- A total of 11,800 hours of release time for administrators over the term of the grant.
- A two-week summer-bridge program for at-risk 9th graders entering high school.
- Fifteen middle schools would have received a fully funded counselor for 2 years.
- Five middle school instructional coaches over the term of the grant.
- Comprehensive CityYear program in all 15 middle schools, providing at-risk youth
wraparound support services over the term of the grant.
Deasy added, “I hope a day comes soon when the leadership of UTLA supports its teachers and our students by being a partner in bringing much needed resources to LAUSD.”
Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766