As we recently reported on our radio program, Say What?!, compared to teachers and students the percentage growth of school district bureaucrats over the last twenty years has grown exponentially. Between 2000 and 2019, school district administrators increased 87.6%, compared to 8.7% for teachers and 7.6% for students. Say What?!
As the Wall Street Journal has noted, “…U.S. school districts have become so large and unwieldy that parents and taxpayers feel they have no ability to influence them.” As a remedy the Journal advises breaking large districts up into smaller ones that would be more accountable to parents and community members. Don’t hold your breath.
In the meantime, large school districts (e.g., Los Angeles, New York, Chicago) spend from $17,000 to $28,000 in taxpayer money per student. These are amounts that rival private school tuitions. The question is, are we getting our money’s worth? OK, that was rhetorical. Needless to say, parents, and especially those with children still in the K-12 public-education system, should take every opportunity to make their voices heard.
Such an opportunity now presents itself.
Every three years California school districts go through a process called LCAP, which stands for Local Control Accountability Program. It might also be known as LCFF– Local Control Funding Formula: https://www.cde.ca.gov/re/lc/ Other states have similar processes. Regardless, California school districts take LCAP seriously because their funding is based on how well they score on certain metrics, including “community engagement” and “communication with parents.” Is my local school district accountable to its local stakeholders? Do they seek out parent opinions? Do they listen to them? That’s what LCAP is supposed to measure.
LCAP is happening now, and we encourage parents to contact their local school district and request instructions on how to comment during the process. The more comments the better. In this regard POK’s good friend, Brenda Lebsack, has some pertinent advice. Brenda is a current teacher and former school board member in the Orange Unified (CA) school district. She knows the system! She’s also a fierce advocate for parent and child rights.
With regard to the LCAP process, Brenda offers the following ideas to make your voice heard. These suggested comments/concerns are applicable to ALL California School Districts:
- “Non-binary” is a new gender category on student data forms including the special education information system (SEIS); however, districts have failed to communicate to parents the definition of “non-binary” which, according to the CDC is “gender creative,” meaning kids can create or make up their own genders. This needs to be disclosed to parents ASAP, especially since this definition contradicts many of our communities’ cultural and religious values. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/terminology/sexual-and-gender-identity-terms.htm
- The National Suicide Hotline is being given to students according to SB-316. This violates EdCode 51513 because the National Suicide Hotline is surveying kids about personal matters (such as sexual practices) without parental consent or knowledge. Here are screen shots: https://brenda4kids.com/index.php/our-media/national-suicide-hotline-surveys-kids-about-their-genders-and-sexualities
- The Trevor Project Hotline that is being used in our schools and endorsed in AB 2246 Section 1(d) betrays parental trust. Why? It recommends that kids enter the Trevor Space which mixes minors with random unvetted adults to explore their genders and sexualities in on-line chat spaces without parent knowledge or consent, thus putting them potentially in harm’s way of sexual predators. https://brenda4kids.com/index.php/our-media/chat-spaces-through-schools-k-12-nationwide-to-explore-genders-and-sexualities
- Parents are not being told who has access to their children through outside partnering agencies via MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support), either in person or on-line. In the resource, Teenline.org, where teens counsel teens in support of AB-1767, teens are advising teens that they can identify as ANYTHING based on their feelings, including Vampire Cats. Here’s a sample of advice given on Teenline.org. https://brenda4kids.com/index.php/our-media/vampire-cat-gender-identity-affirmed-text-crisis-conversation.
- As a parent, I should be informed about laws and district policies that impact my rights. This includes policies passed by teacher unions. The district has failed to communicate these changes, such as a school being able to change a child’s gender category on CALPAD Data Forms without parent knowledge or consent. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ds/sp/cl/calpadsupdflash158.asp. Another example is the California Teacher Union (CTA) passing a policy in 2020 saying students should be able to get “gender affirming care” (aka: puberty blockers / hormone therapy) without parent knowledge or consent. https://www.cta.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SC-Report-June-2019-For-Web-1.pdf (R-1, R-2).
- In Sex Ed classes, our students are being taught that their sex is simply “assigned” at birth. This idea of sex being merely “assigned” by a doctor, rather than divinely ordained by a Creator God, discriminates against many families’ and students’ religious beliefs, which is a violation of EdCode 220.
- Finally, parents need full disclosure of any new library books coming into our schools including those in the library data bases that teach anything dealing with gender identity, sexual orientations, political activism, or controversial ideologies.
Feel free to copy and paste these comments. Please share this blog other parents or school employees.
Thank you Brenda!
Are you frustrated about the lack of accountability in our local schools? So is POK. The LCAP process gives you an opportunity to make your voice heard where it most counts.