Are LAUSD’s School-Site and ELAC Committees Violating the Greene Act?
Transcript of Public Comments: September 13, 2022, 1 p.m.
Click the link to view the September 13, 2022 LAUSD Board Meeting video public broadcast — Public Comments by Maria Luisa Palma.
This is a transcript of public comments provided to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education on September 13, 2022, addressing potential violations of open meeting laws at school sites.
My name is Maria Luisa Palma. I respectfully address the Board, the Superintendent, and the public. I will discuss the lack of transparency and lack of compliance with state law, regarding School Site Councils and English Learner Advisory Committees at school sites.
I ask you to keep in mind that I am merely the messenger, an engaged member of this community and the parent of an LAUSD student. I am the bearer of bad news, but please remember that I did not create the situations I will describe. Please keep an open mind, take care in your fiduciary roles, and take action with integrity to remedy the potential violations of law. Rest assured; I will provide supporting documentation directly to your email addresses that supports these findings.
I’ve recently attempted to participate in district-level and school-site committees, an exercise in futility and frustration. Information on schools’ websites on the SSC and ELAC meetings is obscure and requires an intensely focused effort to locate any information.
- I reviewed your Policy Bulletin BUL-6745.5 dated August 29, 2022, titled Guidelines for the Required School Site Council and English Learner Advisory Committee.
- Your policy states Orientations and Elections will be held solely via Zoom.
- Your policy states, “The SSC and ELAC operate under the California Open Meeting Law provisions of the Greene Act, which means that the meetings must be conducted as public meetings with agendas posted 72 hours before the meeting…”.
- The policy continues: “A council or committee may only act on or consider an item when it has been properly included on the agenda at the time of posting”, and “If action is taken on an item that was not listed as an action item on the agenda, the action taken is invalidated”.
- I performed an informal review of six high schools’ websites, one in each Local District, looking for upcoming SSC or ELAC Orientation and Election meetings within 72 hours.
- I found only one of the six schools had a meeting agenda posted online.
- Only four of the six schools included a Zoom meeting code.
- One school had no information whatsoever on SSC or ELAC meeting dates.
Given these pervasive, flagrant deficiencies and apparent lack of compliance with the Greene Act in this tiny sample size, a reasonable person could conclude that district compliance with the law is not subject to review, that controls, if any exist, have failed, and that a general culture of non-compliance exists.
Therefore — historically, if agendas have not been made public, then according to your own policy, actions taken at those meetings are invalidated. And parent engagement has surely suffered.
Under these unacceptable circumstances, I respectfully demand that you direct a comprehensive investigation and independent audit to assess compliance with the Greene Act as it relates to parent committees that are public meetings under state law.
(Presented by Maria Luisa Palma in person at 1:23:42–1:27:03)
Link to transcript and video of subsequent Public Comments provided on September 27, 2022:
Will LAUSD Remove Obstacles to Parent Engagement in District Culture?
Transcript of Public Comments: September 27, 2022, 1 p.m.
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