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Grant Gives $4M For LAUSD Classrooms

Parents will allocate a $4M grant to LAUSD teachers

Parents of the L.A. Unified School District will get a chance to participate in their children’s education with the assistance of a new funding initiative.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Wasserman Foundation announced a $4 million grant to support Los Angeles School District and charter teachers. $2 million of the grant will be distributed through $15 gift cards to 600,000 LAUSD parents to apply to a classroom project of their choosing over the course of two years.

“Through the generosity of the Wasserman Foundation parents and teachers have an amazing opportunity to provide resources to cash-strapped classrooms.  At a time of continuing, massive budget cuts to public schools, this program gives a desperately-needed boost to our efforts to provide a quality education to all of our students,” Superintendent John Deasy said in a statement.

LAUSD teachers will receive additional funding for projects as the district undergoes a one year plan to cut spending. For the current school year the district expected a $408 million dollars deficit. Deasy outlined a plan to the Board of Education in April as steps aimed at saving $304 million next school year. The 12 furlough days it would require would likely save LAUSD $144 million. Other cuts included unpaid holidays, underfunding necessary district accounts, like workers' compensation, to realize another $60 million in savings.

"Every single [teacher goes] into their pockets to do something that, frankly, school districts and states [should] do, but because of thie commitment and dedication, they go into that pocket every single day. DonorChooseLA is a opportunity to join those teachers," Villaraigosa said.

Under the Wasserman Foundation grant, classroom projects will receive half of the requested funded amount from distributed gift cards while other philathopists must supply the remaining balance. Once the project reaches its funding goal, donors receive photos of the project taking place, a thank you letter from teacher and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent

Later this winter, customers who visit participating Starbucks locations will receive a gift card, enabling them to become education micro-philanthropists and engage with their public schools in a simple, accountable and personal way.


The teachers needing the most assistance right now are the career substitutes. Our jobs have been given away to far less experienced teachers (the RIf'd-reduction in force). Some of the RIF'D teachers had been hired, but never had spent even one day teaching in the classroom. They have been given work, despite our having seniority. AT LEAST 7 CAREER SUBSTITUTES HAVE DIED BECAUSE THEIR MEDICAL COVERAGE THEY HAD WORKED FOR OVER MANY YEARS HAS BEEN CUT OFF. Career substitutes must be made a priority in the DONORSCHOOSELA project. (I used to work over 225 days in a school year, because of year round campuses, and in 2011-2012 I have only worked 17 so far-I am going to lose my house).

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