For immediate release:
LAUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION: VOTE NO ON A CHARTER SCHOOL MORATORIUM
Indigenous students in Los Angeles Unified have been largely left behind...and decades of English-only, high stakes testing and NCLB driven curricula have created a structural deficit within the LAUSD and other government school systems tail spinning into crisis.
BIllions of dollars in school construction and millions of dollars on shifting federal and state mandates, test prep curricula like Open Court and Pearson textbooks systems have yielded an educational ecosystem hostile to Indigenous students in LAUSD.
Indigenous students, parents, communities and nations have a right to educational options that are autonomous and centered upon culturally rooted, relevant and relational curricula and pedagogies.
Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states:
"1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.
3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effective measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly children, including those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and provided in their own language."
We reaffirm our right to autonomous, autochthonous and self-determined education that advances Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination and nation building.
Neither the LAUSD nor the State of California have any standing to deny this right. LAUSD is a government bureacracy that has been underfunded by the State of California since the days of white flight and gentrification set in decades ago. This latest version of saving public schools to "Make America Great Again" is a fallacy our community will not support. Transform public schools now - democracy in education means parents, teachers and students share control over ALL aspects of our education.
AFTER OVER 500 YEARS OF COLONIZATION, WE ACCEPT NO MORATORIUM ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.
We are concerned that while LAUSD’s existing Charter Schools policy and “District Required Language” as well as the proposed Moratorium on Charter Schools in Los Angeles Resolution poses foreseeable negative impacts upon our school specifically as it relates to due process, local performance indicators, special education and governance, we are even more troubled that both charter policy and the proposed moratorium on charter schools fails to address the needs of the sizeable presence of self-identified American Indian/Native Alaskan children and youth in LAUSD charter schools.
Based upon publicly available data, almost 30% of all American Indian/Alaska Native students in LAUSD are enrolled in charter schools. Additionally, tens of thousands more students of Indigenous origin from Mexico, Central and South America enrolled in the District also remain invisible.
We are additionally disturbed that in light of the absence of meaningful participation in the development of policy and curriculum to address the linguistic, cultural and academic needs of American Indian/Indigenous students in LAUSD, the decisions of American Indian/Indigenous parents and students are in effect being criminalized by the accusation of “privatization” as if we could be complicit in the colonization of our own children in the face of over 500 years of “privatization” of Indigenous lands, people and cultural resources by the settler states and their agents.
Recalling that according to the Title VI Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education of Federal education law (ESSA), it is the policy of the United States to fulfill the Federal Government's unique and continuing trust relationship with and responsibility to the Indian people for the education of Indian children, we emphasize that the Federal Government is obligated to work with local educational agencies, Indian tribes and organizations, postsecondary institutions, and other entities toward the goal of ensuring that programs that serve Indian children are of the highest quality and provide for not only the basic elementary and secondary educational needs, but also the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of these children so that such students can meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards as all other students are expected to meet.
Noting moreover that the ESEA, Section 8538, CONSULTATION WITH INDIAN TRIBES AND TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS, further requires affected local educational agencies (LEAs) such as LAUSD to consult with Indian tribes, or those tribal organizations approved by the tribes located in the area served by the LEA, prior to submitting a plan or application for covered programs including all federal entitlement grant programs in both traditional and charter public schools.
This requirement is designed “to ensure timely and meaningful consultation on issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native students.” The consultation must be done “in a manner and in such time that provides the opportunity for such appropriate officials from Indian tribes or tribal organizations to meaningfully and substantively contribute” to plans under covered programs.
LEAs are required to conduct their consultation in advance of making significant decisions regarding plans or applications for covered programs, to ensure an “opportunity for appropriate officials from Indian tribes or tribal organizations to meaningfully and substantively contribute” to an LEA’s plan (section 8538(a)). In order to ensure that consultation is meaningful, LEAs should provide Indian tribes, or those tribal organizations approved by the tribes located in the area served by the LEA, an opportunity to provide input and feedback to the LEA on plans for any covered program. An LEA should consider providing a list of issues or questions on which the LEA seeks input, or provide draft plans for this purpose, in advance of the consultation. An LEA should consult before it makes a final decision on significant and substantive issues related to the content of the plans.
The Charter School policy that was approved by the entire Board on April 3, 2018 without consultation is already in violation of this requirement. Similarly, Dr. Vladovic’s proposed resolution today calling for a moratorium on charter schools in Los Angeles Unified School District would also violate the obligation to consult with Indian Tribes and Tribal Organizations in advance.
As of the 2018-19 academic year, LAUSD has no staff or programming in its American Indian Education programs any longer due to a failure on the part of the District to search and serve American Indian/Indigenous students.
It is time for LAUSD to do the right thing for the right reason. No moratorium and no termination. Policies that interfere with or reverse the rights of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination and autonomous education cannot also claim to be in our “best interest”. Violations of our right to free, prior and informed consent, especially concerning our children and the future of our nations can only be seen as a continuation of the settler ideology that we are “merciless Indian savages” and less than fully human.
A los medios publicos, nuestra comunidad y al mundo
A LA MESA DIRECTIVA DEL LAUSD:
VOTA NO EN MORATORIO SOBRE LAS ESCUELAS CHARTER
Los estudiantes indígenas en el Distrito Unificado de Los Ángeles se han quedado atrás en gran parte ... y décadas de pruebas de alto riesgo, la imposición de inglés como idioma dominante y los planes de estudio impulsados por el gobierno federal han creado un déficit estructural humano dentro del LAUSD y otros sistemas escolares del gobierno que continúan en crisis.
Miles de millones de dólares en la construcción de escuelas y millones de dólares en los cambios de los mandatos federales y estatales y sus planes de estudio de preparación como los sistemas curriculum Open Court y el monopolio de publicaciones de Pearson han generado un ecosistema educativo hostil para los estudiantes indígenas en el LAUSD.
Los estudiantes, padres, comunidades y naciones indígenas tienen derecho a opciones educativas autónomas y centradas en currículos y pedagogías culturalmente arraigadas, relevantes y relacionales.
El artículo 14 de la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre los derechos de los pueblos indígenas establece:
"1. Los pueblos indígenas tienen derecho a establecer y controlar sus sistemas educativos e instituciones que imparten educación en sus propios idiomas, de una manera adecuada a sus métodos culturales de enseñanza y aprendizaje.
2. Las personas indígenas, especialmente los niños, tienen derecho a todos los niveles y formas de educación del Estado sin discriminación.
3. Los Estados deberán, junto con los pueblos indígenas, tomar medidas efectivas para que las personas indígenas, especialmente los niños, incluidos aquellos que viven fuera de sus comunidades, tengan acceso, cuando sea posible, a una educación en su propia cultura y se les proporcione su propia cultura e idioma."
Reafirmamos nuestro derecho a una educación autónoma, autóctona y autodeterminada que promueva la soberanía indígena, la autodeterminación y la construcción de la nación.
Ni el LAUSD ni el estado de California tienen ninguna autoridad para negar este derecho. LAUSD es una burocracia gubernamental que ha sido financiada por el Estado de California con fondos insuficientes desde los días de de la huida de los anglosaxones del centro de la ciudad y la llegada de gentrificación como táctica de dominación en décadas atrás. Esta última versión de salvar las escuelas públicas para "Make America Great Again" es una falacia que nuestra comunidad no apoyará. Transformemos las escuelas públicas ahora: la democracia en la educación significa que los padres, maestros y estudiantes comparten el control sobre TODOS los aspectos de nuestra educación.
DESPUÉS DE MÁS DE 500 AÑOS DE COLONIZACIÓN, NO ACEPTAMOS NINGÚN MORATORIO SOBRE LOS DERECHOS DE LOS PUEBLOS INDÍGENAS.