2022 LAUSD ELECTIONS
A Lack Of Engagement
If those seeking a seat on the LAUSD School Board aren’t willing to engage during a campaign, is there any hope they will do so if they win?
“how can the district approach equity and justice with honesty and integrity if it neglects and excludes the voices of the very communities it seeks to empower when these voices matter most?”
- Board District 6 Candidate Marvin Rodriguez
A near-constant complaint about the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is that those who run the district do not listen to the constituents who are affected by their decisions. It is not unusual to watch board members play on their phones as the public attempts to express their concerns during meetings — if those elected officials even bother to sit in their seats at all. This was true when I started attending board meetings in 2015 and it is true today.
While inattentiveness during board meetings is symbolic of the difficulties that parents face as they try to be heard, it is not the only issue. The COVID-19 crisis has magnified the feelings of detachment that stakeholders feel, especially as decisions were made that seemed to ignore the needs of the most vulnerable students in favor of placating a vocal minority pushing an anti-mask, anti-vax agenda.
To understand how the candidates facing the voters on June 7 view issues regarding engagement, I sent the following questions to the email addresses that they have on file with the Los Angeles City Clerk:
- LAUSD Board meetings are currently scheduled during the same time that schools are in session which means that teachers and students, as well as most working parents, cannot engage with their representatives during these meetings. The Board Meeting Accessibility to the Public resolution was proposed to the board in 2019 and board members who were present at the meeting promised to look into these changes. However, no further action…