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Dr. Brann is committed to the Latino students in Inglewood Unified School District

IUSDDr. Don Brann can’t turn around the gentrification that’s led many families to move out of urban neighborhoods. And Inglewood Unified has not attracted philanthropists the way L.A. Unified has.

“My focus is on the revenue side of the budget – trying to build enrollment, connect with philanthropists, grants, foundations, and bring money in, dwelling on that rather than on making cuts,” he said.

Then there are the nearly dozen Inglewood-area charters schools that have been taking students and the state funds that follow them. They now make up 17 percent of the district’s enrollment.

The KPCC reporter mentioned to Dr. Brann that the African-American families are leaving IUSD in favor of charters.  To which Dr. Brann replied

Brann said he wasn’t aware of that. He said his strategy will be to focus on hiring more Spanish-speaking staff to better serve the district’s mostly Latino students.

Despite a demographic shift to a Latino majority, African-Americans are more politically powerful in the city. They’re also the loudest voices calling for school reform.

Is Dr. Brann going to focus on mandating that Latino parents learn English?  It is really draining sitting through back to school night, or any assembly, where an additional thirty minutes is spent on translating.  Is there any room in the budget for those cool headphones like the United Nations utilizes?

LaTanya Kirk-Carter is giving our money away to developers.  She got around to answering my concerns on TELACU receiving Measure K funds at this weeks board meeting, and she responded:

The Telacu invoices should never have been charge to Measure K,  I am making sure those and any others that may have been charged to Measure K get reversed.   Apparently, before, in the District,  all of the LAWA expenditures that the previous board deemed LAWA was charged to Measure K.   A large amount was paid to BASE Architects,  under the guise of that it will be reimbursed  some will but a large part of it won’t.     The total Base Architects fees, will be on the final report that Christy will prepare for Jack Wolfberg.     Anyhow,  I was not clear with staff that this was not to be the case with TELACU,  all fees were to be funded by the general fund then reimbursed by LAWA at that time.    If TELACU helps the District with anything other than LAWA,  Like architect selection or project backup then that would be Measure K but that has not happened and is not the case.

I’m waiting patiently for the meeting minutes to come out and see if the $43k payment was authorized as a Measure K expenditure or not.  More importantly, when did TELACU ever do business with IUSD prior to October 26th?  Kirk-Carter requested approval for them to BE A VENDOR in October 2012.  Doesn’t Kirk-Carter put together business service items for the agenda?  How did she miss that?

As soon as LaTanya Kirk-Carter took over as interim, within days she recieved a proposal from TELACU (listed under action item #5) that she requested.  Why wasn’t it put out to bid?

(see 2UrbanGirls timeline showing how TELACU got on the IUSD payroll)

Remind me again, who is looking out for the African-American students?  Was additional money put in the GATE budget?  Do we still matter?


6 Responses so far.

  1. Bravo One says:

    The statement “commitment to serve Latino students only” is deceiving in that it infers that said person is only interested in serving Brown students. But if one intelligently looks at it Brann’s quote can more accurately be described as a committed focus to bringing balance to the stubborn and intentional neglect to share decision making power in the IUSD. Your inferences are divisive and your culturally insensitive “mandating Latino parents learn English” statement wreaks of white supremacy rhetoric. You’re mentality is not helping to empower Black or Brown community relations at all.

    • UrbanGirl says:

      Its not wreaking supremacy to dictate they learn English, the reverse is also true. Why would we have to cater to those who either refuse or don’t want to learn English by hiring staff to accommodate them? That would also imply employment discrimination by not hiring a qualified English only speaking teacher in favor of one solely because they speak Spanish.

      It was reckless for the leader of the district to publicly comment that he was giving preference to one demographic of the student population without better explaining himself.

      What would prevent a parent from wanting to learn English, if it would better help their child? Homework comes home in English, how are they able to assist with completing if they can’t read/comprehend what’s on the page?

      A better compromise is to teach Spanish to all children, beginning in middle school, as an elective. Once we can understand each other, it wouldn’t be perceived as someone speaking Spanish to speak negatively about those who don’t know the language.

      Urban Girl

  2. No1Blogger says:

    At IUSD the majority is the Latino population which we do not get enough representation. The percentage of students that attend IUSD is 59% Latino, 39% African-American, and 1% other ethnicity. It is true “Despite a demographic shift to a Latino majority, African-Americans are more politically powerful in the city. They’re also the loudest voices calling for school reform.” I believe that community has the loudest voice, I attend IUSD meetings before and I see that all board members are African American, and previous Superintendents were African American as well. So what are you trying to say to the community…I do attend IUSD meetings and voice my concerns. I believe reforming in education that why I write or email to my representatives. The whole community wanted change since IUSD was not progressing nor making improvements from previous predecessors. The Latino community has the majority, but they have the minority vote. If the “…African-American are more politically powerful…” Where do the Latinos, Whites, Asians, and others stand. We must work together to make our voices louder.

    • 2UrbanGirls says:

      There was a Latino on the ballot for school board this year and it was reported she dropped out of the race.

      The issue is all students should be his priority, not singling out one group to publicly focus on.

      It is a ploy to gain votes. Nothing more. If black and brown came together, they would lose their reign of terror on us, the poor people.

      With the amount of money the district received for Title III, why aren’t the Latino parents demanding English classes? We have to hire teachers who speak Spanish because the parents are too lazy to learn English?

      • No1Blogger says:

        Wow, Thank you for your comments. I voted, I read about this Latino individual did drop out the race, and I wonder why? did you interviewed him/her why he/her REPORTED out of the race? If it wasn’t for the under privileged students we would not get a big chunk of money. Many parents do ask for English classes, but depending on the school sites budget. Many are not just lazy, parents just work a lot to meet the needs of his/her child. You also mention “Was additional money put in the GATE budget?” see Special Board of Education Agenda, July 24, 2013 Page B-I0
        01.0 00070.0 8590 0000000 GATE $94,636.00
        and the list goes on.

        • 2UrbanGirls says:

          IUSD has made it difficult for parents to get fingerprinted in order for them to volunteer.

          The GATE program having $94k is NOTHING considering it has to be split over 20 schools.

          Parents at Parent have enjoyed using an on-line system to interact with the teacher and view grades, while the rest of us parents have to wait additional weeks. That affects black and brown equally.

          While we are addressing foreign language, the reverse is true for non Spanish speaking children. Foreign language should be introduced at middle school level so kids get (6) years instead of only (2).

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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