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Proposed Resolution Gains Support

The community weighs in on why the “Improving Special Education Within The LAUSD” resolution should be adopted. Have you added your voice?

By Carl J. PetersenPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
From the LAUSD Brochure: Are You Puzzled?

“Resolved, that the District will allow parents to decide how the ‘maximum extent appropriate’ applies to their child. District staff can advocate positions counter to the parent’s wishes during the IEP process but cannot force them into compliance”

- Proposed LAUSD Resolution

Far too many families who need access to Special Education services often feel that they have an adversarial relationship with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Instead of partnering with parents, the district’s vast bureaucracy pushes its own agenda, leaving a lingering stench of frustration. The students who should be at the center of every decision that is made are instead going without the services that they need.

In an effort to fix this broken system, I have proposed the passage of the “Improving Special Education Within The LAUSD” resolution. This proposal is a result of my experiences shepherding my two daughters who are on the autism spectrum through the bureaucracy as well as my conversations with parents throughout the district who are angry, frustrated, and tired. It provides a foundation through which meaningful change can be made to how Special Education services are provided.

Last month, the Northridge East Neighborhood Council passed a motion asking the Los Angeles City Council to support the passage of the proposed resolution. This shows community support that I hope will be repeated by other neighborhood councils throughout the city.

This week, LAUSD parent Ingrid C. Levy provided the following comment to the LAUSD special education committee:

My name is Ingrid Levy and I am the parent of two LAUSD students, one of whom has an IEP and requires many Special Education services in order to access his education. I am also a parent member of the CAC, and through that work have met many families of students who require a wide range of Special Education services.

I appreciate all of you who dedicate your time to improving education for all students, and recognize how vital it is that their Individualized Education Programs help them reach their highest potential. And so I ask you to please give your support to a very important resolution- Improving Special Education Within the LAUSD.

This resolution addresses the challenges that too many families like mine face within the current system. So much of our students’ valuable time is lost due to bureaucracy, lack of transparency, and lack of options, but this can change. It is time to do more for our most vulnerable students, and actually offer more individualized and appropriate placements, and truly include them when making strategic plans and addressing learning inequities and supporting their futures beyond LAUSD.

The committee also received this message from my daughter, Sydney Thiroux:

As someone with two sisters on the Autism spectrum, I support this resolution because all students with special needs deserve individualized care and support. There is no one size fits all solution to special education. Students should be supported to their full potential, whether it leads to college or not.

You can make your voice heard by adding your name to the petition asking for the board to take action on this proposed resolution. Please make sure to share it with other concerned members of the community.


Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with special education needs and public education. He was elected to the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and is the Education Chair. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Dr. Diane Ravitch has called him “a valiant fighter for public schools in Los Angeles.” For links to his blogs, please visit Opinions are his own.

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About the Creator

Carl J. Petersen

Carl Petersen is a parent advocate for students with SpEd needs and public education. As a Green Party candidate in LAUSD’s District 2 School Board race, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action. Opinions are his own.

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