LA’s Best is a program that was created in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and LAUSD to offer after school programs for children such as homework assistance, science and computer activities, sports, theatre, visual arts, reading for recreation and field trips. All of this cost nothing for parents. This is a program that needs to be implemented in all of Los Angeles. It works. Children report feeling significantly safer in the program than in their neighborhoods and there is a 64% reduction in reported school-based crime at long-running LA’s Best programs.

This is an example of how the City Council can partner with the School District, private foundations and community based organizations. San Jose, Sacramento and San Diego have modeled programs after LA’s program due to the tremendous success Los Angeles has experienced.

When elected I intend to implement a project called “Friends of the School Board” which will incorporate projects such as LA’s Best in order to create a permanent partnership between the School Board, community based organizations and the City of Los Angeles.

Friends of the School Board will:

Increase participation in LA’s Best
Apply for grants to supplement educational monies for the school district
Increase funding from the DWP for projects including the greening of schools
Author a “UTLA Appreciation Day” proclamation that will create greater public awareness of the importance of teachers in Los Angeles
Continue funding the bond program to assist teachers in purchasing homes in Los Angeles
Assist in subsidizing purchases of unused buildings to be used as schools

Where will the money come from? Ending corporate welfare to large companies that are doing little or nothing to benefit the public is a good start. In addition, a tremendous amount of money has been spent by the City for LAPD lawsuits. This can and must be avoided. (See position paper on LAPD for more information.)

Los Angeles Unified School District needs to be broken up into smaller more manageable districts. Currently it is deadlocked and largely ineffective. There are over 700,000 students and only 5 school board members. I strongly support a charter amendment in order to create this change.