Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 10, 2012
Nearly 500,000 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students are eligible to transfer out of low-performing schools through a mostly-unknown federal program called the No Child Left Behind – Public School Choice (NCLB-PSC), but less than 1% use the option made available at LAUSD through its CHOICES program for a number of reasons that range from parents’ fears of sending their children long distances outside of their community to loyalty to the neighborhood school. In fact, only 311 of nearly half a million eligible LAUSD students applied for the program for the 2011-2012 school year.
The program is available to students who reside within the boundaries of LAUSD and attend local schools that have not met federally mandated targets for two consecutive years, and are designated Program Improvement schools (PI) or At-Risk for Program Improvement. These schools may have met state targets (Academic Performance Index-API), but have been unable to meet federal targets for all students. Under the NCLB-PSC program, families can transfer their children to non-PI schools (schools that meet federal academic targets) with free transportation provided by LAUSD, based on District guidelines.
“This is a federally-mandated program that very few parents are taking advantage of,” said Oscar Cruz, President and CEO of Families In Schools, a non-profit organization that works to involve parents and communities in children’s education. “LAUSD and FIS are working together to ensure that parents understand that they have options, which can have an enormous impact on their children’s future. The District is embracing a culture of choice because of decreasing student enrollment, and to that end has made the NCLB-PSC program more accessible to students and their parents. We encourage parents to take advantage of this new opportunity to explore as many schools as possible as they move their child from elementary to middle school, and from middle school to high school,” added Cruz.
Parents can complete the CHOICES brochure application online at http://echoices.lausd.net or pick up a brochure at all LAUSD schools, Educational Service Centers, Parent Community Service Branch, District Headquarters, or all Los Angeles City Public Libraries between October 8 and November 16, 2012. The completed application can be submitted online or by U.S. mail on or before the November 16th deadline. “It is important for parents to identify the best learning environment for their children, each school year. Completing the CHOICES application on time and applying for NCLB-PSC is one way to insure they have school options,” said LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia.
Parents interested in learning more about the No Child Left Behind – Public School Choice (NCLB-PSC) program can visit the LAUSD website at http://echoices.lausd.net. They can also call a toll free FIS Information Line at 1(866) 747-2275 to learn about events in their neighborhood where more information can be found.
Media interested in interviewing Families In Schools staff, and/ or parents who have benefited from NCLB-PSC, can call Evelyn Aleman at (818) 881-7976 (office) or (818) 943-2481 (cell).
About Families In Schools (FIS)
Families In Schools (FIS) is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles whose mission is to involve parents and communities in their children’s education to achieve lifelong success. For more information about FIS, visit http://www.familiesinschools.org.
LAUSD has identified FIS as an experienced and valued community resource to help reach parents, and create awareness about the No Child Left Behind – Public School Choice (NCLB-PSC) program.
LAUSD No Child Left Behind-Public School Choice (NCLB-PSC) 2012 CHOICES Program
The NCLB-PSC program is available to students who reside within the boundaries of LAUSD and attend local schools that have not met federally mandated targets for two consecutive years, and are designated Program Improvement schools (PI) or At-Risk for Program Improvement. Under the NCLB-PSC program, families can transfer their children to non-PI schools (schools that meet federal academic targets) with free transportation provided by LAUSD. This year’s NCLB-PSC sign-up period runs from October 8 through November 16, 2012.