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Bypassing media, LA schools fundraiser creates blog for news, discussions

Philanthropist Megan Chernin runs the LA Fund for Public Education.
Philanthropist Megan Chernin runs the LA Fund for Public Education.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy's nonprofit launched a new blog Friday that promises to offer news, opinions and a forum for discussions on what's happening in the nation's second largest school district. 

"We want to hear from people who we don’t always hear from amidst the cacophony of voices clamoring to be heard above the rest," said Megan Chernin, CEO and co-founder of Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, in the first post.

LA Fund is perhaps best known for its work on L.A. Unified's "breakfast in the classroom" program, an initiative that mades headlines for opposition by teachers and parents. 

Deasy co-founded the organization in 2011 and remains on the board.

The blog launches at a time when other local government agencies and nonprofits are experimenting with bypassing the media and take their policy initiatives straight to the public through blogs and social media. 

LA Fund's publishing venture comes on the heels of another blog devoted to the district, LA School Report, founded in 2012 by another LA Fund board member, Jamie Alter Lynton.

Last school year, the district's own media and communications arm touted the $1 billion iPad project on a series of public television talk shows that aired on KLCS, a station owned by the district. They were aired at a time that KPCC and other local media covering the program's rocky rollout and pricey purchases. 

In LA Fund's first post, Chernin paints the media as divisive.

"It can often seem that every study comes with a predetermined point of view, every article has an agenda to advance, and every opinion piece is immediately classified as being pro-this or anti-that," she wrote.

Chernin makes no claims to objective reporting, but does offer a focus of coverage. "We do want to support ideas that fit squarely into our mission:  those that strive to make a dramatic and direct impact on the lives of students."