It's the first week of school after the holidays for LAUSD students (welcome back), and board members will also be returning to work with today's first board meeting of the new year.
A few scheduled highlights:
• Supt. John Deasy will give an update on the district's budget situation. This was supposed to be the day Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his proposed 2012 budget. But with its accidental release last Thursday, today's meeting is going to instead deal with the response. LAUSD spokesman Tom Waldman said we should hear about some ways the district is looking to raise revenue.
• The board will also deal with two resolutions that both seek to remedy the district's declining enrollment numbers.
One resolution (which will be introduced today in advance of a vote next week) proposes to do away with the enrollment boundaries for L.A. Unified neighborhood schools to give parents more flexibility and allow them to select a school within the district that fits their child's needs.
The other resolution, which will be voted on today, would look at expanding enrollment in magnet, pilot, dual immersion and IB programs, as well as allowing families the ability to choose multiple magnet schools (instead of just one) during the application process. If one school is full, the student could then be put in another. There are nearly 20,000 students currently on magnet waiting lists and close to 5,000 are enrolled in charter schools, private schools or other districts, according to the resolution.
The resolution would also ask the superintendent to conduct a comprehensive review of GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) testing and identification. Steve Zimmer (the resolution's co-sponsor) is planning to request it be revised so that every child is tested for the program instead of only those whose parents or teachers ask, said Zimmer's chief of staff Sharon Delugach.
Off agenda, a group of parents are planning to protest the meeting and speak against the board's December decision to raise the threshold for what qualifies as a Title I school (and therefore receives those federal funds). School board member Tamar Galatzan was the only member who voted against the decision; she sent a letter outlining her outrage on the issue to Chatsworth Patch.