Two new members and a re-elected one took the oath of office to join the LA Unified School District board. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez says the three implored the school district find a way to improve education despite a looming budget deficit.
Venice High School’s choir performed for the new board members. The ensemble’s director said she hoped the lyrics’ message about conquering hills and valleys would resonate with them.
Longtime teacher, counselor and new board member, Steve Zimmer, urged the board to seek input from outside schools and district headquarters.
"Schools are families, familias, mishpacha, that’s Yiddish," said Zimmer, "And so must this district be. So must this district be if we are to meet this challenge. This district can’t be a collection of me, it must be a symphony of we."
Nury Martinez is also new on the board. She told the packed board chamber that she remembers growing up as a latchkey daughter of immigrants whenever she sees young women walking in the San Fernando Valley.
"What are we going to do to ensure that she has a safe place to learn?"said Martinez, "What are we going to do to ensure she has safe routes to school? What are we going to do to ensure that her family situation at home is one that is going to allow her to grow, to grow into a four-year university and to be a productive member of our society and of our community."
People inside and outside the school board chamber criticized its members for approving teacher layoffs that take effect this week.