An anonymous parent sent this informative Op Ed.
Have you noticed how Tamar Galatzan is stuffing your mailbox?
Where is Tamar getting all this money?
Tamar Galatzan, running for Board District 3, has been a disaster for LAUSD. In 2011, she authored a resolution to increase technology and took full credit when disgraced former superintendent John Deasy’s response was the 1.3 billion dollar “tablet for everyone” program. I urge you to look at your property tax bill and ask yourself if you thought you were voting to repair and modernize our crumbling campuses? Unfortunately, John Deasy, with full backing from Tamar Galatzan, felt otherwise and decided the health and safety of children in schools with broken water fountains and toilets, leaking roofs and broken cement on playgrounds, lack of earthquake upgrades, etc., etc., should take second place to providing an iPad for each student to take home while having to accept NO financial responsibility if the iPad is broken, stolen or lost.
Last Friday, present Superintendent Cortines declared that the district simply “cannot afford computers for all”. He also stated that the initial plan did not address where the money would come from to replace the devices when they wear out, and how the district would pay for tech support, ongoing professional development, educational software and network costs.
Perhaps, if Ms. Galatzan, as an official member of the Common Core Technology Committee, had found the time to attend just one meeting, she could have assisted fellow board member Monica Ratliff in addressing the gaps in the project. But, Ms. Galatzan, as a part time board member and full time city prosecutor, couldn’t or wouldn’t find the time. She also failed to attend LAUSD Committee of the Whole meetings. When she finally did speak up, it was to remove Bond Oversight Committee member, Stuart Magruder, the iPad project’s most vocal critic. All media outlets reported this event and slammed Ms. Galatzan for attempting to craft a Bond Oversight Committee that would rubber stamp Deasy’s projects. Due to great pressure, Mr. Magruder was reinstated. Only a few months later, when KPCC published district emails, Mr. Magruder’s concerns were more than validated.
We do not need Tamar
We need board members who will commit to this job as their first priority and who do not accept donations from outside corporations that profit greatly from public education dollars. These are the same entities that tried but failed to elect Sanchez and Anderson in the 2013 board election and who also failed to defeat incumbent Tom Torlakson, CA Superintendent of Public Instruction. You can follow the money on the Los Angeles Ethics Commission website.
The following statements were included in a 2/27/15 KPCC article.
“When public schools were created in the United States, local communities were given control over their governance. Outside money “undermines the relationship between community members and their local public institutions,” according to John Rogers, an education professor at UCLA. “It undermines their sense that they own those institutions, and those institutions are theirs to be shaped,” he said.
The electorate has spoken loud and clear. They want homegrown board members who owe their allegiance to the electorate and not to corporate or political interests. They also want a board member who will not abandon her board position to run for city council as Ms. Galatzan did half way through her first term. They also want a board member who stays clear of ethics violations such as those that were filed against her in 2009 and in the present board race.
Please look over the five excellent opponents who are running against her. The League of Women Voters is a great source for candidate interviews. All five candidates have brought similar concerns to several forums. However, Ms. Galatzan failed to attend the last two therefore avoiding having to publicly defend her questionable record.
Of the five, my personal favorites are parent Carl Peterson and retired teacher/principal Scott Schmerelson who has a stellar record. You can understand why I am supporting Scott, a career educator who knows the ins and outs of the school district and can hit the ground running. He has also received the endorsement of Dr. Diane Ravitch, this country’s eminent education scholar whose latest two books and education blog have demonstrated the consequences of abandoning a democratic education system. Unless and until this country addresses the 25% of children living in poverty, no education fad foisted upon us by non-educators will make any difference. The one example is the Common Core State Standards, created by non-educators which requires that yearly tests be given on computers. School districts, like LAUSD, are diverting hundreds of millions of dollars to provide technology just to meet the criteria of this testing. It should be no surprise that state after state is pulling out , realizing that schools are being starved of basic resources just to meet this testing requirement. The days of No Child Left Behind are also waning, with a re-authorization in the works. Both Democrats and Republicans are realizing that testing is not teaching and that school districts are financially drowning under the weight of these unfunded mandates that have failed miserably to demonstrate any evidence of success.
Please feel free to respond if you have any further questions.
To summarize, we need to reject Galatzan’s destructive record and keep in mind that she:
– took responsibility for the “tablet for all” iPad project
– fully endorsed disgraced Superintendent John Deasy and his corporate-driven policies
– attended the bare minimum of meetings
– failed to attend even one Common Core Technology Committee meeting
– failed to attend even one Committee of the Whole meetings.
– stayed silent when KPCC revealed inappropriate emails between LAUSD officials and vendors prior to the procurement process
– was accused of ethics violations in her 2009 run for city council and in the present LAUSD board race
– accepts large donations from outside organizations, corporations and individuals who promote the privatizing and monetizing of public education
– downplayed the seriousness of the FBI investigation into possible felony bid rigging at the highest level of LAUSD bureaucracy
– is not concerned with where the money will come from to sustain the iPad project
– hasn’t addressed the present horrific conditions of our school buildings while at the same time championing the diverting of hundreds of millions of bond dollars towards iPads
Finally, the one most egregious failure is her disregard of the general public’s loss of trust in how LAUSD spends tax dollars resulting in their vow to NEVER AGAIN vote for another school bond.