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LAUSD Previews Proposed Black Student Achievement Plan

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education is holding a special meeting Tuesday to address the digital divide, COVID-19, changes to the school police department, and how to better support Black students.

Not only will the board discuss how to implement the $25 million cut from the school police budget passed narrowly last June, it will also consider how to reinvest that money.

Superintendent Austin Beutner gave a preview of the district’s Black Student Achievement Plan during his Monday address to the school community. The district would focus these efforts on 53 schools with the highest needs and the most Black students.

“We’ve been systematically failing Black children as a country,” Beutner said. “Schools must be part of the solution, because a great education is the most important part of the path out of poverty.”

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If passed as presented, the plan would include:

“The question might be asked, ‘how can we afford this,’" Beutner said in Monday’s address. “The answer is: ‘how can we afford not to?’”
$25 million in funding could come from the cuts to the district’s school police budget. As my colleague Caroline Champlin noted in her story about those cuts:

Critics of the budget reduction, including some board members, accused proponents of too quickly bending to public opinion, without considering long-term ramifications, while activists decried administrators for leaving them out of negotiations. Stakeholders on all sides have given public comment throughout the process, but the board itself has only discussed the cut publicly a handful of times.

In the weeks after the motion was passed at the end of a 13-hour meeting on June 30, Superintendent Austin Beutner organized a task force of former school administrators, lawyers and public policy experts to work through those questions. To the dismay of some community groups, the team did not include any current students.

You can read the $36.5 million Black Student Achievement plan as proposed by district staff for the board’s consideration in Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

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