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School Board Approves Student Empowerment Resolution (05-10-22)

CONTACT: Shannon Haber

May 10, 2022

School Board Approves Student Empowerment Resolution

Increases Participation in Los Angeles Unified’s Decision-Making Process

Los Angeles, CA (May 10, 2022) – The Los Angeles Board of Education approved the Student Empowerment Today resolution to increase student input in policy, budget and programming decisions.

As part of the resolution, the role of the student board member will be expanded to include giving regular reports during board meetings and providing guidance to all board members. The experience of students will be measured bi-monthly through an anonymous survey with results shared with Los Angeles Unified employees. 

“When students comprise the Los Angeles Unified population, they deserve to have a substantial impact on the actions of the school district,” Student Board Member Parishi Kanuga, the sponsor of the resolution, said. “For this reason, I have introduced ‘Student Empowerment Today!’ a resolution that aims to elevate student voice and bolster our role within the District. I am also excited to announce the establishment of the ‘My Voice Surveys,’ which will be launched for students through the Schoology platform.”

“In my 100-Day Plan, I call for empowering student voices,” Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “The lived experiences of our students are valuable indicators of how we can improve the quality of our schools. I fully support this resolution and look forward to the additional opportunities for student engagement from all grades and from every part of Los Angeles Unified.”

“I’m proud to co-sponsor this resolution, and I applaud Board Member Kanuga for identifying ways that we can better hear from our most important voice in Los Angeles Unified – the students we serve,” Board President Kelly Gonez said. “I’m looking forward to ensuring the ongoing feedback from students guides our decision-making to strengthen our programs and support.” 

“I am proud to support this resolution and the efforts of our talented Student Board Member to advocate for her peers,” Board Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “Hearing more student voices, ideas, and input will provide more perspective and help the District better serve our school communities as we embark on the new strategic planning process.”

“You would be surprised at some of the great ideas that come from our students, if only we would listen,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “Our students have bright futures as leaders of tomorrow.”

Thank you, Board Member Kanuga, for your voice and passion to serve the students of Los Angeles Unified,” Board Member Mónica García said. “Los Angeles Unified is strengthened when we incorporate and integrate student voices in every aspect of our work.”

“As we discuss critical issues facing our students at schools and in our communities, we need to do a better job at integrating the voice of students in our decision-making process,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “We must always encourage students to be civically engaged and make their voices heard on critical issues facing our District and nation. I support this resolution because it develops a platform to raise awareness about the surveys and shows our ongoing commitment to student empowerment.”

“Board Member Kanuga’s plan for improving the school experience through empowerment is excellent; I’m not surprised,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said. “Her smart, practical steps for amplifying student voices in policy, programming and budget decisions will have a huge impact. I can see how this will excite students to become more engaged in both their schools and their communities.” 

“The resolution’s commitment to centering student voice through direct input into our district decision-making is deeply important,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “I have seen firsthand the importance of having a Student Advisory Council to guide my decisions and understanding of how we can improve District policy, and I look forward to this best practice expanding across the District. I applaud our Board Member Kanuga for demonstrating scholar leadership today and paving the way for sustained student leadership going forward.”

"As a Los Angeles Unified parent and an educator, I am excited to have student voice inform and guide our continuous improvement work," Chief Academic Officer Alison Yoshimoto-Towery said. "I congratulate Board Member Kanuga for having the vision, leadership and insight to build a sustainable system that uplifts student voice in our decision-making."