Improving Our Schools

Mónica García’s effective leadership on the school board is a major reason why tests scores and graduation rates at neighborhood schools are increasing and the dropout rate is down. She has secured funds to reduce overcrowding and improve the quality of education by upgrading outdated classrooms and science labs, repairing deteriorating schools to improve student safety, and creating new, smaller neighborhood schools so students are better prepared for college and to get the job skills they need to work in a 21st Century economy.

Mónica was elected six years ago to reform our schools and, as our school board member, she successfully took on the school bureaucracy. She fought to give parents more choices of where they send their children to school; increased local control and decision-making to empower parents, teachers and principals; and is working to increase teacher accountability. García also cut wasteful spending and reduced bureaucratic staff by nearly fifty percent so more of our money goes into the classroom.

And Mónica García is working closely with prosecutors, children’s advocates, and State Senator Alex Padilla to enact legislation that protects students by making it easier to fire school employees suspected of crimes, including child abuse. A broad coalition that includes Los Angeles school police officers, parent groups, community-based organizations, and local labor unions support Mónica García because she is committed to keeping our children safe.

Thanks to Mónica’s leadership, the district has taken many steps towards transforming our schools for the better.

• Mónica established the policy that every Los Angeles Unified student have access to a college track education, which requires clear academic achievement standards for core English, math and science.

• She improved coordination between teachers, guidance counselors, and school police officers to keep at-risk students in school and away from gangs and drugs.

• She implemented a pilot program that is recruiting and training more qualified teachers for our schools.

• She spearheaded the creation of 32 teaching academies – providing greater flexibility and local control, and more teacher training.

• She led the effort to secure funding to repair deteriorating classrooms, bathrooms and electrical wiring; and upgrade science labs and computer technology; improve job training programs; and upgrade fire alarms to improve student safety at every neighborhood school.
• She led the effort to reduce the school district’s bureaucracy and central district staff by 48 percent over the past four years.

• She is working with parents, school nurses, school police officers and local law enforcement to identify and quickly remove or fire teachers and other school employees suspected of child abuse.

• She spearheaded the creation of School Report Cards, distributed each year to all parents in the district to increase accountability in every neighborhood school.

• She has made it a priority to expand career education programs so students have access to computers and technology training needed for 21st Century jobs.

• She has been a strong advocate for local schools by fighting for our fair share of state and federal education funds.

• She has been a leader in creating partnerships between local schools, businesses, colleges and universities, and labor unions to improve classroom education – and to provide students with opportunities to develop job skills and gain real world experience

• She has successfully enacted reforms that have created new charter schools, academies, and schools using non-traditional curriculums for more than 200 thousand students.

• She has been a leader in helping parents and community-based groups create new neighborhood schools with specialized curriculums in math, science, technology and the arts.

THE RESULTS: LAUSD is the fastest-improving school district in California

• Graduation rates have increased by 16 percent since 2007.

• The percentage of 3rd graders reading at grade level has increased by 17 percent.

• Forced busing has been ended by building 129 new schools with 160,000 new seats for students.

• Over-crowding in classrooms has been reduced, and year-round school schedules have virtually been eliminated, from 227 campuses to 3.