Assembly Member De León Urges State Board of Education to Protect Over $50 Million for Los Angeles Area Students

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Assembly Member Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) urged the State Board of Education to take action today to approve the three Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) waiver requests that were submitted by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD):

“Bottom line, these funds belong to the students—these students were selected for the QEIA program, and they should not be penalized because they have the opportunity to transfer to new, state-of-the-art facilities that are opening in their neighborhoods.”

“Even during these difficult economic times, LAUSD has taken great strides to address the achievement gap—which is essentially an opportunity gap—that separates low-income and minority students from their peers.  With the community’s support, the district has been building new schools to relieve overcrowded classrooms, phasing-out year-round schedules and restoring the traditional school year, and working to develop smaller learning communities.”

“LAUSD has also committed to meet all of the QEIA requirements for both transferring QEIA students and non-QEIA students at the new schools, which would result in even more students benefiting from class size reduction, improved teacher and principal training, and lower counselor-to-student ratios.”

“If the State Board rejects these requests, nearly 11,000 students in Los Angeles will lose over $50 million in education funding over the next five years, and it will be a major setback for all of the progress that’s been made.”

The Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA), also known as Senate Bill 1133 (Torlakson), was enacted in 2006, and implements the terms of the California Teachers Association, et al. v. Schwarzenegger settlement.  This program provides approximately $2.9 Billion over eight years to the selected low-performing schools that are ranked in deciles 1 and 2 of the Academic Performance Index (API).

The State Board of Education will be considering the QEIA requests submitted by LAUSD as part of its March 10-11 meeting agenda.