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Community Groups Come Together To Support San Diego Schools

Evening Edition

Aired 2/27/14 on KPBS News.

A variety of local community organizations are joining together to form a coalition to promote community engagement and transparency in school districts across the county.

A variety of local community organizations are joining together to form a coalition to promote community engagement and transparency in school districts across the county. The groups that have formed The Coalition for Local Education Through Accountability of Resources gathered outside the Emerald Plaza building downtown on Tuesday to announce the coalition’s formation. Member groups include the League of Women Voters of San Diego, San Diego United Parents for Education, and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

Carol Green, a member of the Ninth District Parent Teacher Association said recent state changes to education funding and curriculum have influenced the coalition’s goals.

“The law that comes from the state says that they need to address eight different measures of success and we are here to try to make sure that the real community involvement and parent involvement is part of it,” Green said.

California’s new school funding formula was approved last year, and requires every district in the state to come up with an accountability plan and measurable goals to improve student success. It is also intended to help low-income students, English language learners, and foster youth overcome educational obstacles.

Sean Karafin is a member of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, and said communities supporting their schools is very different from the state just telling districts what to do.

“The community can get involved and help the districts to make sure that their efforts are successful,” Karafin said.

Moises Aguirre works for the San Diego Unified School District and said the district is very interested in hearing community feedback.

“We welcome any and all stakeholders, particularly students, parents, teachers, staff and community. We want to make sure that all voices are heard,” Aguirre said.

The coalition presented a specific four-point plan on Tuesday that outlines their concerns and goals.

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