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L.A. Community Groups Urge District to Spend New School Funds on Poor Students

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A coalition of local community groups wants the Los Angeles Unified School District to allocate most of its $1 billion in new state school funding on programs to support its neediest students rather than salary increases.

Almost 200 parents, students, teachers, and community activits held a rally in front of LAUSD's headquarters Tuesday and submitted a 10,000-signature petition outlining their demands, according to a story in LA Weekly. 

The coalition, Communities for Los Angeles Student Success, is made up of more than 50 community, educational, and civil rights groups, according to a Los Angeles Times story. The coalition is requesting that an additional $50 million be allocated for foster-care students and $25 million for English-language leaners. The Times reports that the group also wants the district to hire more counselors, social workers, and academic support staff to meet the needs of low-income students.

This year, California is implementing Gov. Jerry Brown's new school funding system, which provides school districts with additional dollars for foster youth, English-language learners, and poor children. School districts are required to seek community input while developing their budgets this year.

LA Weekly reports that Los Angeles school board members are facing pressure from teachers' union activists to use the additional state funding to increase teachers' salaries. The board is expected to finalize its budget sometime in April, according to the story.

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