LAUSD Candidate Forum: Special Education

Would these School Board candidates prioritize improving how the District delivers required services to its most vulnerable students?

Carl J. Petersen
Dialogue & Discourse
4 min readOct 20

“I just want to reiterate that we must move away from the District’s ‘one size fits all’ approach. Special Education services must be tailored to the needs of individual students.”

– BD5 Candidate Fidencio Joel Gallardo

Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash

This is the second installment in the 2024 Candidate Forum series. CLICK HERE for the candidate’s answers in the first round of questions which was focused on PROP-39 Co-Locations.

Special Education directly affects approximately 16% of the students enrolled in LAUSD schools. These 70,000+ students rely on the District to provide them with services that will help them reach their full potential.

Even families who do not have children with IEPs or 504 plans feel the effects of poorly executed Special Education programs. When students who have differing needs are forced into general education programs or fail to receive the support that they need, the entire classroom can be thrown into turmoil.

A lack of funding for Special Education services also affects the LAUSD’s general fund. While the District spends more than $1 Billion providing these services, the state and federal governments only cover about half the cost. When the District does not target this money properly, all students pay the price. The millions spent litigating instead of cooperating with parents further depletes the money available to ensure that all students are educated properly.

Before going to the polls, voters deserve to know how School Board Candidates will approach the education of the District’s most vulnerable students. To assist, I sent each of the candidates who are registered with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission for the 2024 election the following five questions:

  • Question 1: If you were on the Board, would you sponsor and work for the passage of the…



Carl J. Petersen
Dialogue & Discourse

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