2022 LAUSD Elections

María Brenes: Maintaining The Status Quo For Special Education

Monica Garcia’s hand-picked successor refuses to answer questions about special education. Her website shows she won’t bring needed changes.

Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness
Published in
4 min readAug 20, 2022

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When we say $1.4 billion for special ed and we only have $700 million from the federal government and the other $700 million are coming from every child in this district, I’m not about defunding special ed. I just know that we have a serious issue to [sic] how can we serve our own kids?

- LAUSD Board Member Monica Garcia

This is the seventh article in a series on serving students with severe special education needs. Please read the first part for an introduction to the issue.

For parents in Board District 2 who have children with special education needs, the November board election brings a chance to change the way these students are viewed by the district. The current board member, Monica Garcia, has said that those receiving special education services drain funding from “our kids”. Will her replacement share this view?

The two finalists in the November runoff election for this seat were sent questions about some of the issues that parents in the district are facing, but only Rocio Rivas responded. Her detailed answers showed an attitude that was the direct opposite of the board member that she seeks to replace. Her empathy and understanding of the needs of students with moderate to severe disabilities suggest that she would be likely to address the concerns of their parents.

Since her opponent, Maria Brenes, refused to answer these same questions, voters have no way to compare the views of the two candidates. Even an indirect comparison is difficult as Brenes has very little information about Special Education on her campaign’s website:

There are about 64,500 students in the district with special education needs enrolled in the LAUSD, and Brenes dedicated only 218…

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Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com