I wonder what would happen if we all felt a sense of ownership for our nation’s public schools? I am certain that education in our country would improve greatly if each one of us felt invested in the cause of public education. If as a nation we decided to collectively take action, speak up, vote and truly become engaged in the issues facing education today, a transformation would occur. All children, regardless of their socio-economic background, would be provided with the opportunity to attain an excellent education. I started this blog as a platform with a twofold mission–to encourage and inspire parents to live happy and balanced lives and to engage parents, educators and community members alike in education.
Yesterday was very interesting and newsworthy day in Los Angeles as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Board decided to hold a special election to replace the late Marguerite LaMotte’s vacant seat in District 1. I do not live in District 1 so a friend of mine who follows me on Facebook asked me why I was so concerned about this issue. I told her that as a parent with a child who attends a public school in Los Angeles, each one of our 7 School Board members matters to me. I explained that the discussions, debate and, ultimately, the decisions that are made at the School Board level will affect all children in Los Angeles public schools. LAUSD is the second largest school district in the nation. Take a second to let that sink in! Over 640,000 children in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools and 187 public charter schools come to school each day. The boundaries of LAUSD spreads over 720 square miles and includes the mega-city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities plus several unincorporated sections of Southern California.
The sheer size of LAUSD makes many parents feel like their voices can’t possibly be heard but yesterday’s Board decision to hold a special election is proof that organized parents and community members really can make a difference! A petition was circulated on http://www.empowerdistrict1.com that received over 1,100 signatures. I’m convinced that social media tools like online petitions, Facebook posts, Twitter and traditional forms of advocacy like calling and emailing School Board members made a difference. I want to thank everyone who has been following this story on my blog and Twitter feed and for encouraging their friends and neighbors to get involved as well. Your dedication inspires me to continue writing and encourages me in my effort to spread awareness about what is happening in education in Los Angeles (and across the nation) today.
Thank you for your support of my blog and more importantly, for joining the conversation about education. I welcome your comments, thoughts and opinions! I am convinced that when we work together as parents, educators and community members, we can create a lot of good for our children and our schools in the cities, suburbs and small towns that we all love and call home.