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We've been on this story since July, 2013.  Superintendent John Deasy's iPad disaster has resulted in some of the best investigative reporting by area Los Angeles journalists since anyone can remember. With $1 billion of 25-year school facilities bond funds diverted to buy iPads that'll last 3-5 years, it's no wonder Los Angeles voters feel they've been sold a bait-and-switch.

Support the re-appointment of the citizen watchdog, architect Stuart Magruder, who's been calling out things that don't add up in the iPad deal as part of the Bond Oversight Committee! LAUSD's school board wants to remove him because he's been too effective!

Sign and share this petition to have him re-appointed now! http://bit.ly/1r1xgHf

(This is a great op-ed in the LA Times if you want a quick briefing on the issues -- it's by Steve Lopez of the LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0615-lopez-magruder-20140615-column.html)
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Open Letter to President #Obama -- The One Book You Should Read on Public Education: Reign of Error, by Diane Ravitch http://bit.ly/18JzlOx
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K-12 News Network

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If you're in the USA: please urge Senator Al Franken/your own Senator to support S. 195, the Mental Health in Schools Act, and ensure that children have access to mental health professionals in their schools so they can grow emotionally and socially. Prevent and treat violence done to self or others!

Mental health must be emphasized even as we review and strengthen #gunsafety laws in the aftermath of #Newtown , CT. Please #demandaplan now.
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#gunsafety #demandaplan #newtown

We must have better mental health support for children K-12 in their schools even as we insist on stronger gun safety laws. Tell Senator Al Franken/your own Senator that you want to see S. 195, Mental Health in Schools Act 2013,  move forward.
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Watch at wh.gov/live or the live Google + hangout below.

#nowisthetime to reduce gun violence. We want #gunsafety and if that means strengthening #gunsafetylaws , then let's do it.
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Please sign & share! We now have Senator Barbara Boxer proposing essentially the NRA's plan (federal funds toward armed police on school campuses) to Joe Biden, and Obama making noises like he agrees. WTF??? Other lawmakers are now suggesting that teachers be armed and trained to use firearms. My petition asks Congress to REJECT these kinds of proposals, and work on making sure gun owners have passed mental health checks, are properly licensed, close gun show loopholes, limit high-capacity magazine sales, and other gun reduction and safety policies.

#gunsafety  

http://bit.ly/Wz5HQn
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Here are our questions:

Vice President Biden: I feel we're leaping too quickly to the one-size-fits-all solution of having more police in the schools. My focus is prevention.

1. Many of our neighborhoods already experience far too much gun violence and at-risk children subjected to "zero tolerance" discipline policies can end up in the schools-to-prison pipeline. School Resource Officers will not reduce this pipeline, but increase it. How about a shift to "restorative justice" models and better counseling with at-risk youth?

2. Community schools with clinics on-site are already set up to receive additional funding for mental health services to students. Community-based clinics apart from schools that were authorized under the ACA could also offer this. Can we increase the numbers of licensed counselors at each school? Bullying also causes/stems from mental health issues and can escalate to physical or gun violence.

3. How can we strengthen the parent-teacher relationship so children sending out warning signals can be taken seriously, and given the treatment they need? Parents with troubled children are sometimes overwhelmed and ignored, and teachers who spot problems aren't listened to.
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K-12 News Network

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Open Letter to President #Obama -- The One Book You Should Read on Public Education: Reign of Error, by Diane Ravitch http://bit.ly/18JzlOx
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Open Letter to President #Obama -- The One Book You Should Read on Public Education: Reign of Error, by Diane Ravitch http://bit.ly/18JzlOx
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#gunsafety   #demandaplan   #newtown  

We must have better mental health support for children K-12 in their schools even as we insist on stronger gun safety laws. Tell Senator Al Franken/your own Senator that you want to see S. 195, the Mental Health in Schools Act 2013,  move forward.
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Join us over at +K-12 News Network if you believe public education is slowly being eroded by corporate profiteers who use "teach to the test" to commodify and narrow coursework, push "data-driven" solutions based in discredited corporate policies like stack-ranking on teachers and students, and suck the life out of learning with scripted curriculum and endless worksheets. The more public schools "fail," the more privatizers flourish. UGH.

Fight back with a broad curriculum and deeper learning where the arts/STEAM, history, music, and PE all have a place in a child's day. Only we can strengthen and improve our public schools from the ground up and from the inside out.
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Thanks for asking our question over at K-12 News Network, +Kimberley Blaine! I'm so glad you are an advocate for mental health and prevention. Thank you for using the bully pulpit so well, and letting Vice President Biden know what questions some parents have.

If folks on this page are concerned that creating funding for increased police presence can have really bad, unintended consequences, please sign our K12NN petition to the Obama administration: http://www.k12newsnetwork.com/2013/01/no-teachers-with-guns-no-police-in-schools/

What might some of those unintended consequences be?

1. Increased police presence --> more at-risk kids pushed into the school-to-prison pipeline. See: http://www.aclu.org/racial-justice/school-prison-pipeline

2. "Militia"-style vigilante activity at or near schools with an agenda other than school safety: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-23/news/sns-rt-us-usa-arizona-possebre90n01g-20130123_1_america-s-toughest-sheriff-school-patrols-posse-member

3. Day-to-day, more children subjected to gun accidents through the human fallibility of armed guards instead of horrendous, random mass shootings: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/18/newly-hired-school-guard-leaves-unattended-handgun-in-student-bathroom/

4. Flawed proposals to arm teachers, who are already tasked with the important job of teaching (listen to the wisdom of these Oklahomans, many of whom are experienced gun owners): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/17/guns-in-school_n_2499499.html

Let's do the sane thing and emphasize prevention and better delivery of mental health treatments to youth at schools themselves, and in our community health clinics.

I'd also add that the brave Haller family, who lost a dear nephew in the Newtown shootings, have taken the step of looking at what can be done to make schools safer. They propose funding for review of school safety plans, as opposed to making funding available outright for School Resource Officers as the Obama administration appears to want. Take a look at the Haller family's proposals here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_pUicax-KhiMHg3MklzenR5ZWc/preview?pli=1
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We're forwarding stories of children who'll be harmed by proposed federal education cuts scheduled to take place in January, 2013 ("sequestration," or the "fiscal showdown"). Please use our PopVox interface to tell your story -- it'll go directly to members of Congress who are monitoring the public response to education cuts. Make your voice heard!

http://www.facebook.com/K12NN/app_150910028257528
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Have them in circles
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Grassroots education news from parents, educators, and students in support of public education
Introduction
Cynthia Liu, PhD, is CEO/Founder of the grassroots education news and civic tech site K12NewsNetwork.com, a "MoveOn" for supporters of public education. In 2011, she received the BlogHer.com / HTC 2011 Innovator Award for co-producing the California School Funding Map Tool, a map-based tool that highlights the impact of statewide budget cuts on K-12 public education as sorted by school and state legislative district. This year, K12NN also mobilized parent activists to successfully petition the governor to sign into law curriculum reform in California, and featured grassroots school board candidates who won against big money incumbents in local 2011 elections. In 2012, she worked to help register over 15,000 in-person and online new voters from low-income, non-English speaking, immigrant, and parent/youth communities in Santa Clara County and extended the reach of the site into the national elections by running a PSA video contest for youth to encourage youth to vote. Subsequently, she's provided tech platforms outfitted with online organizing tools to enable public education supporters to renew their community's parcel tax, call upon the Mayor of Anaheim to make their city the first Partnership for 21st Century Learning city, urge the Anaheim school board to fund school repairs and close the digital divide, and rescued/rebuilt an important national resource for parents who want to end high stakes testing after it was hacked.


Cynthia is a political blogger since 2003 (and part of a women's group blog credentialed to cover the 2008 Democratic National Convention in 2008), as well as a social media savvy mom to an elementary school kid. She is a strong advocate of the social web's ability to provide tools and information for maximum parent and civic engagement benefiting the nation's schools.