Will LAUSD Revise Policies to Improve Transparency and Parent Engagement?
Transcript of Public Comments: October 11, 2022, 1 p.m.
Click the link to view the October 11, 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 October 11, 2022, on revising policies to allow for parent connections and communication with parents elected to committees:
Good afternoon, board members and superintendent. My name is Maria Luisa Palma.
Over the past month I presented public comments at your meetings on the the ongoing topics of parent engagement, committees and district culture. This week, I bring these topics together to respectfully request a change to policies to get one step further toward achievement of your Strategic Plan Pillar #3: Engagement and Collaboration.
I previously discussed:
- The lack of transparency on existence of state-mandated district-level and school site committees and parents’ rights to participate,
- The lack of consistency, lack of compliance with state law, and systemic failures in controls in how local districts and school sites provide public access to committee agendas and meeting documents,
- Barriers to communication and collaboration between parents who are active in such committees, and
- The perception of secrecy, disrespect, plus parents’ outcomes of frustration and futility.
In all such committees, members and officers are elected by their peers. However, after their election, there is no transparent process for peers to connect with them. For example, the district’s website includes names of officers serving on the PAC and DELAC, but their contact information is not provided. Aren’t unelected parents their constituents?
I respectfully request revisions to district policies to achieve the following:
- When parents become members of committees, offer an “opt-in” choice to obtain an LAUSD-issued email address (or use of their own personal email), for publication together with their names (if they elect), as members of their respective committees.
- Require all school sites to maintain a dedicated, standard webpage clearly visible from the main school website with up-to-date links to all school-site committees and parent-sponsored groups, including the names of all parents serving on each, to include the School Site Council, the ELAC, the Local School Leadership Council, PTAs, and any other parent-sponsored school booster clubs.
- Require local districts and PCS to maintain similar visible webpages with up-to-date links to all local and district-level parent committees, elections, study groups, parent meetings and events. Include names and contact information for parents elected to all such committees.
- Require staff to conspicuously provide, within a reasonable time prior to the meeting, for all committees and meetings (not just when state-mandated) all meeting materials, the time, the location, and online meeting codes.
I respectfully ask, Board members and Superintendent, will you work with us parents to remove obstacles? Will you agree to these requests?
I remind you of words from your Strategic Plan:
“We must model for our students what collaboration and respect for others looks like by creating transparent and empowered systems of engagement to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute.”
Thank you for your consideration.
(Presented by Maria Luisa Palma in person at 1:22:14 — 1:25:31)
A substantially similar written request was emailed to all LAUSD Board Members and the Superintendent on October 10, 2022, together with transcripts to three additional public comments provided on September 7, September 13 and September 27, 2022. No response or acknowledgement has been provided thus far.
Links to prior Public Comment transcripts and videos referenced in this transcript:
Are LAUSD’s School-Site and ELAC Committees Violating the Greene Act?
Transcript of Public Comments: September 13, 2022, 1 p.m.
Will LAUSD Remove Obstacles to Parent Engagement in District Culture?
Transcript of Public Comments: September 27, 2022, 1 p.m.
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