Dear LAUSD board members and community:
We are the Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) coalition. Our 12 organizations share a fierce commitment to education equity that centers the voices of our most underrepresented communities throughout the LA region. We are a coalition of parent, student, educator, community-based and civil rights organizations, who are all dedicated to ensuring that all students in Los Angeles Unified School District receive an equitable, high-quality public education. Our coalition of advocates of color, through its 12 core organizations and over 70 network partners, represents over 150,000 constituents including families and students of color in the Los Angeles region.
We write today to lift up criteria important to us in the search for LAUSD’s new superintendent. With the announcement of Superintendent Austin Beutner’s departure, we have an opportunity to have a new leader that will center our highest needs communities including black and brown, low income, english language learner, foster, and LGBTQ youth. Additionally we request that the search for superintendent includes a process that includes family and student engagement and input on what they hope to see in the new superintendent.
We are advocating for a leader committed to not returning to the pre-pandemic status quo that was failing our communities. A leader committed to reimagining and rebuilding a LAUSD that is transformative and racially just in partnership with students, parents and communities most historically marginalized and excluded from decision making and meaningful engagement.
In the immediate, we look for a leader that can successfully navigate the recovery from the pandemic in a way that incorporates input and engagement of ALL stakeholders including parents, students, teachers and other key partners as well as centering learning recovery and the social emotional supports that our students and their families need in order to successfully return to school. Our families, particularly low income Black and brown families have been the hardest hit and live in areas where Covid numbers were higher than the county wide tier as well as with less access to vaccinations. Families faced insurmountable odds and trauma during the pandemic and the racial uprisings while showing their relentless resiliency and determination for their children.
Criteria and priorities that we want to see in the new superintendent include:
A background in education, someone that understands the multilayered, multi stakeholder complexities of LAUSD and its strengths and challenges
Demonstrated commitment to educational equity. A strong focus and experience with equity frameworks and policies, including but not limited to: focus on equitable budgets, curriculum, supports
A goal of providing social emotional learning supports equitably and in alignment with those schools serving the communities most impacted by the pandemic
Centering racial justice and prioritizing students historically marginalized in the policies and practices of the district
Commitment to providing professional development to teachers that includes implicit bias training, meaningful connection with students
Prioritizing english language learner supports, they were some of the most impacted through the pandemic with language limitations navigating technology
Instruction and Learning recovery that includes learning acceleration, teaching at grade level and providing the supplemental support to meet the grade level, not coming from a deficit perspective that can place students in a constant "catch-up"
Commitment to supporting the students that were hardest hit by the pandemic: students with disabilities, homeless, recently arrived youth ,and foster students.
Ongoing commitment to equitable budgeting efforts including Student Equity Needs index (SENI), Student Centered Funding (SCF) and Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
Commitment to meaningful parent and student engagement and feedback on a regular basis that includes information flow both ways. Students and families adapted by taking on new, bigger roles in their homes and communities, mastering new technology, and expanding how and where they learn. We want a superintendent that will build off these new skills and make sure every student is re-engaged through meaningful learning and relationship building that recognizes their struggles and growth over the past year.
We thank you for your time and consideration and are prepared to support the district in its search for a superintendent that will put at the center the needs of our historically disinvested communities, families and students.
The CLASS coalition: