These are my notes from the May 16th meeting w/ Tamar Galatzan for those of you who couldn't make it.
THE GIST OF THE MEETING WAS TO GET NON-TITLE ONE SCHOOLS, THEIR PARENTS, THEIR TEACHERS AND ADMINISTRATORS TO BAND TOGETHER AND FORM ONE GROUP THAT TACKLES THE ISSUES AS ONE "POLITICAL UNIT."--
There has been some progress this year, we're getting some extra money in the form of Title II funds for 4th ,5th, and 6th grades. Also for 9th - 12th.-- Title One schools with 65%-100% poverty will receive $919 per student (combined Title One and Stimulus), schools with 40%-64.99% will receive $629 Per student. Those schools with under 40% poverty will get none of those funds. We were going to get $50 per English Learner, but they changed their minds and took that away.
--Peggy Barber from the State Legislative Office spent some time explaining Title One, its history, purpose and how it has changed over the years.
-- The intended purpose of T1 is to give each and every child access to a quality education and close the achievement gap.
-- ESEA --stands for Elementary Secondary Education Act. It has evolved into what is now "No Child Left Behind"-- At the state level, Title One is based on the concentrated # of students living in poverty.--Title II - is for teachers- based on the # of Title One students (this can be used to buy back teachers, reduce class size - it funds "Highly Qualified Teachers"-- Title III is for English Learners-- LAUSD has 2 1/2% of the population of poor children living in California.-- California has 6% of the nation's English Learners.
--The federal government uses a formula to figure out how each state will be funded. It is based on two factors: Equity and Effort. California is good for Equity - poor for Effort. Equity is not determined by poverty. It means that the level of funding is distributed equally throughout the state. Effort is determined by the amount of money spent per pupil. California used to be #6 in the nation. Now we are #49 or 50! Our schools get 1/2 as much per student as schools in say Conneticut or New Jersey.
-- 2010 Census is extremely important to California and to the district. The higher the Census count, the more money we get. That is how money is allocated to the different school districts.
-- No such thing as Title One children, only Title One schools.
-- Title One schools are determined by where the district places its cut-off. LAUSD places ours at 40%. By law it can be as low as 35% but will have more restrictions.
-- There are two types of programs for Title One: Targeted and Schoolwide. Targeted is when you only spend the money on the students who qualify. You can't use the money to benefit other students who don't qualify. For ex: you can't spend it on reducing class size, b/c that benefits all students. Schoolwide programs, on the other hand are not limited to spending only on poor students. They can use the money for everyone as long as it is towards something that will raise student achievement. All schools are considered targeted for the first year they receive Title One money. After that it is determined by the percentage of students living in poverty for each qualified school.
-- No Child Left Behind requires accountability but doesn't provide the funding for it.-- At the federal level, School Improvement Funds are Title One funds but not limited to Title One students. The money goes to the state and is determined by the # of poor children in the district.--Federal Title II funds- The district spreads equally across the board - all schools in the district get the same amount of money per pupil. But not limited to poor students.
-- Reauthorization of NCLB is coming up sometime in the near future.
-- District is cutting State Legislative Office -Peggy Barber's office which is the office we would go to for help lobbying for our cause.-- Unfotunately for our children, California is so far in debt that we don't even have enough money to run our schools. These compensatory funds are supposed to be "additional" funds on top of the basic school funds, but our schools have to use it for things like buying back teachers and reducing class size. Other states get to use theirs for all of these innovative programs and we get stuck using ours to cover bread and butter, well , those who are lucky to get these additional funds. The problem with California is that in the State Assembly you need a 2/3 majority to get anything passed. That's why we can't get a budget passed.
-- California needs to fund education at a reasonable level. CA funds far below rest of the Nation.
-- NCLB took out the Follow-the-child part of the Title One bill.
-- For Title II money, whatever you spend on Non-Title One schools you have to spend equal amount on Title One schools. Special Ed money spent only on Special Ed.
TAMAR GALATZAN URGED US TO START THINKING OF A MESSAGE FOR OUR CAUSE. SHE THINKS WE SHOULD STEER AWAY FROM, THE TITLE ONE AND NON-TITLE ONE LABELS BECAUSE WE ARE MARGINALIZED ENOUGH AS IT IS.
MOST PEOPLE DON'T THINK SCHOOLS LIKE OURS EXIST - POOR SCHOOLS IN RICH NEIGHBORHOODS. THERE ARE A LOT OF MISCONCEPTIONS THAT WE WILL HAVE TO BE READY TO ADDRESS.
WHAT WE NEED TO DO: ADVANCE OUR MESSAGE BY CHANGING PUBLIC OPINION AND COUNTERING MISCONCEPTIONS. FIND ALLIES AT LAUSD - BOARD AND DISTRICT. FIND THE ONES WHO HAVE EMPATHY ANT TURN IT INTO ACTION. WE ARE A SMALL MINORITY. KEEP AWAY FROM "US VS. THEM" SENARIOS. WASHINGTON AND SACRAMENTO - DON'T RECOGNIZE OUR SCHOOLS AS A SEPARATE GROUP OR COMPONENT. THAT IS WHY WE MUST COME TOGETHER AS A SINGLE DRIVING FORCE.