EDITORIAL: State and Local Resources And Support For Our School Districts
By Suzan Solomon
Note: The opinions expressed in this editorial are solely those of the author and do not represent KHTS News or any other entity of the station.
March 6, 2012, a news item reporting local activity involving parents organizing around the Our Children Our Future initiative made reference to both the California Department of Education (CDE) and the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), inferring that they are responsible for the budget issues in education: “Fingers are being pointed, not at the local school boards, but towards the California Department of Education and the Los Angeles County Office of Education.”
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I thought about that statement for a while and decided to clarify it because it is wrong in terms of where “fingers are being pointed” when referring to the state budget for education. It is neither the CDE nor LACOE, but rather, as I originally mentioned, the State.
I want to take this opportunity to expand on my thoughts on the programs and services provided by both the CDE and LACOE. Both are essential to the collaborative efforts and partnerships it takes to provide a world-class education to California’s diverse student population.
The CDE is a significant resource for school districts, educators and parents. The CDE makes available information on state education policies, curriculum for K-12 schools, resources for family engagement, state education initiatives on health and arts education, Title I, technology, testing, special education, finance and grants, bullying and hate-motivated behavior prevention. The list goes on and on. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has made it a priority to have the CDE be an accessible resource for educators, parents, students and anyone interested in public education.
LACOE and the County Board of Supervisors, including our own 5th District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, support our schools in multiple ways. LACOE, for example provides academic and financial services that help support the 80 school districts across L.A. County. Information is available to parents, educators, and anyone interested in the areas of health and safety, resources for schools, school statistics, charter schools, technology services, special education services, vocational education programs and juvenile court schools, to name a few areas. LACOE, through its staff support of the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association, provides school board members support and professional development opportunities.
Our local superintendents meet regularly with Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Arturo Delgado to again share resources, share what is happening at schools across the county, and digest what is being handed down by the state. Additionally, Dr. Delgado and staff meet regularly with PTA and parent leadership for the same purpose as superintendents.
On a more local and personal note, LACOE and Supervisor Antonovich are quite supportive and helpful as local school districts work through charter school situations.
Additionally, Supervisor Antonovich has provided significant assistance in matters related to the construction of new schools in our valley. His support for our local students is also demonstrated by his participation in such programs as “Dr. Seuss Read-along Days,” family-themed programs, and distinguished school recognition ceremonies. Supervisor Antonovich has shown unwavering support for our valley’s schools.
I reaffirm that it truly does take collaborative efforts and partnerships to provide our state’s students with the world-class education they need and deserve.