LAUSD Board Moves Closer to Including Student Representative

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Publish Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
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 LAUSD Board Moves Closer to Including Student Representative 
 Members Approve Amendment Calling for a Report on Establishing the Position 

 LOS ANGELES - By a 5-1 vote, the Los Angeles Board of Education approved an amendment Tuesday, calling on the Superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District to submit a report in 120 days regarding the establishment of a formal student voice on the board. 
Board Member Mónica García offered the amendment, formally called Student Leadership for the Los Angeles Unified School District, in response to a petition submitted to the board that supports adding a non-voting student representative. The state Education Code stipulates that if at least 500 high school students sign a petition endorsing such a position, the District is required to comply, pending verification of the signatures. 
“Today, the Board of Education accepted the petition calling for student representation at the board level and directed the superintendent to make recommendations in 120 days”, said Board Member García. “As we rebuild this district with new investment and new possibilities, we welcome the opportunity to formalize student voice and leadership at the board level.” 
 She added: “Student leaders have been part of the turnaround in this district. They have been part of the building and modernization of school programs, improving the school lunch menu and creating A-G classes for all. Student leaders are alive and well in Los Angeles. This effort is an extension of student empowerment, and another step toward embracing the leadership that exist in our communities. It is so important that our young people participate in all aspects of civic life and exercise their leadership in helping LAUSD get to 100% graduation.” 
The petition was presented at Tuesday’s meeting to Board Member Steve Zimmer. 
“Although I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to agree to the process the students had proposed,” Zimmer said, “I’m proud that next year at this time there will be a student on the school board because of the efforts of our students today.” 
Tamar Galatzan, whose two sons attend district schools, said: “As the only LAUSD member who is also a parent, I value the input of students on board decisions that directly affect them. 
I’m glad that we’re taking the time to set up a thoughtful and effective process for creating the student seat, and the best way to fill it.” 
The board recommended that the report include information on costs and logistics, such as transporting the student representatives to and from their home school.
“It has been impressive to see so many students advocating for what they believe,” said Board Member Mónica Ratliff. “Today's vote demonstrated the board's support for student voice in LAUSD's governance.”