School Board Approves Board Member García’s ‘Equity is Justice’ Resolution that Urges Greater Investment in Schools with the Highest Needs

LOS ANGELES (June 10, 2014) - The Los Angeles Board of Education today passed the Equity is Justice Resolution, directing Superintendent John Deasy to develop an “equity-based” index that identifies the neediest schools to guide the state’s allocation of new supplemental funds. 
 
At issue is the distribution of money provided by the Local Control Funding Formula earmarked to improve the academic achievement of California’s lowest-income students, foster students and English Language Learners.
 
“Congratulations LAUSD and community leaders on passing the ‘Equity is Justice’ Resolution. Let's build a district where all students succeed! Let's begin by moving towards equity and invest first where there is greatest need,” said Board Member Mónica García. Her resolution was co-sponsored by Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic and Board Vice President Steve Zimmer.
 
"Today, the Board of Education graduates from the fiction of fairness to the promise of equity to the reality that conditions matter, that we must transform to ensure equality of outcomes. This can be so if we truly create asset-rich and asset-supporting environments. This can be so if we create the schools that all students deserve and we create these schools first, where we know the needs are the greatest,” stated Board Vice President Steve Zimmer.
 
L.A. Unified stands to gain more than $800 million in revenues, according to projections from Proposition 30, which voters approved last year. Every school is expected to benefit from those funds; some more than others.
 
These funds must also be spent based on state priorities such as student achievement; student engagement, access to core services and to courses; implementation of the
 
Common Core State Standards; parental involvement and a decline in suspensions and expulsions. Under the guidelines, each school district will also be held accountable for spending decisions and results.

"We applaud the Los Angeles School Board for taking a historic step forward in ensuring LCFF dollars are equitably allocated for the highest-need schools. The passage of the Equity is Justice Resolution will ensure that schools with a high concentration of English Learners receive additional resources. This policy will support our schools to achieve a 100% graduation rate. Thank you Board Member García for your leadership!” stated Maria Brenes, executive director of InnerCity Struggle.

“This is a historic vote for LAUSD and a game-changer for the district’s high need students – just as Brown vs. Board of Education was a watershed moment for school desegregation, this is a watershed moment for equity-based budgeting,” stated Marqueece Harris-Dawson, president and CEO of Community Coalition.

“At the Advancement Project, we believe that data and evidence should drive policy decisions -- today the LAUSD board did just that and we congratulate them,” said John Kim, managing co-director of the Advancement Project.
 
The resolution cites the intent of Gov. Jerry Brown, who said, “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.”
 
The 2014-15 school year is the first in which these dollars will be made available to school districts. This special allocation from Prop. 30 is scheduled to continue for six more academic years.

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Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766