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Los Angeles Unified Approves Effort to Encourage Family Involvement in Schools (06-25-19)

Shannon Haber, 213-241-6766   

Los Angeles Unified Approves Effort to Encourage Family Involvement in Schools

 Eliminates Fees and Reduces Paperwork for PTO, PTA and Booster Clubs

 Provides additional workshops for families

LOS ANGELES, June 25, 2019 – Today, the Board of Education voted to approve a series of proposals that would make it easier for families to be involved in their student’s schools.

“Parent engagement in schools helps students, schools and the entire community, so we are reducing the bureaucracy to make it easier for families to engage in their student’s education,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “This action continues a series of steps we are taking to reduce the bureaucracy, which started with eliminating the fees and paperwork parents and guardians had to endure to volunteer at their child’s school. In the weeks and months ahead, we will look further into the role schools play as the center of communities by looking into broader uses of our school sites and building upon school partnerships.”

The proposals include: eliminating facility and application fees for PTO, PTA and Booster Clubs that are looking to fundraise for our schools and students, allowing PTO, PTA and Booster Clubs to use their school’s mailing address, and offering parents and families additional workshops.

“Family involvement is directly linked to student achievement,” Board President Mónica García said. “Los Angeles Unified must do everything possible to remove barriers for families, parents and partners. Today’s action is another helpful and crucial step!”

“I really appreciate that the District has listened to feedback from parents about how much red tape exists to support their children’s schools and is taking this step toward bringing families in rather than pushing them away,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “There are at least two issues underlying the action we took today. First, the District needs to re-examine its Leasing Department and how its policies work with parents and partners providing services for children on our school sites. We must generate revenue where we can from valuable real estate, but not penalize partners supporting our mission of educating kids. Second, we want to specifically make sure that parents feel welcome and involved as partners in educating their kids. I’m looking forward to a more comprehensive, revised parent engagement policy that addresses volunteer opportunities, parent trainings, and the active solicitation of parent input to inform priorities, and one that ensures that the resources to support parent engagement are spread equitably across the district.”

“We want to hold up the guiding principle of equity as we make policy decisions that impact our students, parents and families,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said.

“Streamlining the process and improving customer service for parent fundraising is an issue that is very important to me,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “I hope this no-fee pilot will complement the training that we are already providing our families and administrators in Board District 3 to increase options, for parents and school communities, to support our students.”

“Helping students in our deeply underfunded schools has always been the goal of PTAs, PTOs and Booster Clubs,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “Today’s action will enable them to more easily continue to raise funds for students’ needs, school needs and for more student activities.”

“Today, we took a first step to help our families and communities support our schools,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “I would like to see continued progress on how we welcome partners who help our students, including volunteers who raise funds and hold events that benefit our kids. We must ensure we have a fair and transparent process for working in partnership with our communities.”

“I’ve said for many years now – we need to lower barriers for parental involvement and community support,” Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “We are in no position to turn away help from anyone looking to help our schools and kids. Our schools belong to our students and their families, the District should function to support them not create more obstacles.