RE: DISTRICT REFUSES TO RELEASE $300,000 2013-14 TITLE I FUNDS TO LACES
Greetings. We are LACES parents.
We are both saddened and outraged that our TITLE I funding will be cut for the 2013-14 year and that LACES has been categorized at 49.63% in the DISTRICT's TITLE I FY2013-14 Ranking. We know that the DISTRICT received LACES TITLE I applications in a timely fashion but for some unstated reason has refused to count 10 student applications in our total. If the DISTRICT would count these applications as required, LACES would, in fact, be four students above the 50% threshold. As a result of DISTRICT'S error, LACES is losing $300,000 in TITLE I funding and any Hold Harmless funding eligibility in 2014-15.
The DISTRICT acknowledges:
♦ LACES applications were filed on time;
♦ DISTRICT failed to process these applications when received prior to the deadline;
♦ LACES met and abided by eligibility deadline;
♦ LACES meets the TITLE I eligibility criteria; and
♦ DISTRICT is in error.
THE DISTRICT REFUSES TO ACCOUNT FOR ERROR,
CORRECT ITS MISTAKE AND RELEASE THESE FUNDS TO LACES
Losing our $300,000 TITLE I funds means no nurse, parent coordinator, math study groups, inadequate counseling support, etc.
We want our situation stated on the public record and urge the DISTRICT to correct this error. All LAUSD schools deserve adequate funding and support from the DISTRICT. LACES has the highest ranking API score for high schools in the DISTRICT and sends almost 100 percent of our graduates to college. Give us a break!!!! Why has this seemingly punitive action been taken against us? We try to do everything right and yet we face this reprehensible situation with the DISTRICT providing no remedy.
Like all LAUSD families and employees, we at LACES spend countless hours working to provide our children a better future, fundraising, and volunteering to make our schools work in spite of six years of continual cutbacks we have all faced in LAUSD. We follow the rules, vote, and pay our taxes. We are at a loss when faced with this inexplicable and unjustifiable situation. At your request, we all worked hard to pass Proposition 30, walking precincts, making phone calls, handing out literature, etc. to improve funding in our schools. We need the DISTRICT to keep its end of the bargain. LACES is legally and ethically entitled to and eligible for these TITLE I funds. Please correct this error and provide us access to these funds.
LACES stands together with all schools in the 40-50% TITLE I FY2013-14 ranking and wants you to find a way to restore their funds as well when you address budget matters this week. However, LACES' true ranking is greater than 50% in the TITLE I FY2013-14 category but for the DISTRICT's error.
We are proud LAUSD and LACES parents. However, we are deeply dismayed and angry that LACES has been treated so unfairly by the DISTRICT when this error is so glaring and indefensible.
PLEASE CORRECT ERROR AND RESTORE LACES $300,000 TITLE I FUNDS
LAUSD SUPERINTENDENT DR. DEASY'S RESPONSE ON THE PEITION
From: Carranza, Patricia [mailto:patricia.carranza@...] On Behalf Of Deasy, John
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 2:12 PM
Subject: RE: DISTRICT REFUSES TO RELEASE $300,000 2013-14 TITLE I FUNDS TO LACES
The District is aware of the academic success of LACES. I congratulate you on your continued investment in the academic success of students.
In response to your email I want to begin by reviewing pertinent dates in the National School Lunch Program. Meal applications were mailed to parents on July 15, 2012. While parents can submit applications all year, schools were notified that total enrollment, demographic data, and poverty enrollment would be captured as of State determined data date of October 3, 2012. Only students who were enrolled and who had a processed free-and-reduced meal application are included in the school's poverty percentage.
I have reviewed the data provided by Food Services. As of October 3, 2012, Food Services Division processed over 309,000 applications of which over 1000 were from LACES. Of the 1000 applications, many were duplicates. Food Services determined 813 students eligible for free or reduced lunch; 221 were either denied, incomplete or full price. There were 92 parents who applied and opted not to participate in the program and another 731 families who never submitted an application.
Please be reminded that it is a parent's right to decline to submit a meal lunch application for their child. Many of you have contacted the District regarding the processing of specific applications. Others have also expressed concerns in regards to being pressured to submit an application. These parents were reluctant given they knew they would be deemed ineligible for the program or did not want to provide confidential information. Staff assured parents this was their right and their decision would be respected.
I can assure you there has not been a punitive decision to withhold funding from LACES or any school. I have heard your concerns and have directed staff to bring forth a viable plan for the processing of the 2013-2014 meal applications.
It was also brought to my attention that some parents believe the school is being denied Hold Harmless funding. Hold Harmless is one-time funding for schools falling below the poverty threshold for the first time. Schools not meeting the threshold for a second consecutive year are no longer considered Hold Harmless and thus, ineligible for funding.
Adequate funding for schools is a priority which is why I endorse Governor Brown's Local Control Funding Initiative. These funds will allow a school district to make local decisions on behalf of all students with greater flexibility.
Dr. John E. Deasy, Superintendent
Los Angeles Unified School District