LBUSD is the third largest school district in California – with an annual budget of over $1 billion and a diverse group of almost 78,000 students. From 2011 to 2015, suspensions decreased by 41 percent in California schools, and by 53 percent in LBUSD. This good news begs the question – what are schools doing differently to account for the decline in suspensions? Are a greater number of students ultimately accessing instruction in a positive and engaging learning environment instead of getting pushed out of their schools? Or are students experiencing a different kind of alienation from their school communities that has replaced suspensions?
Untold Stories Behind One of America’s Best Urban School Districts focuses on recent education equity and racial justice trends in LBUSD related to school climate. The report explores how students, especially students of color and high-need students–low-income, English Learner, special education, and foster youth–have been impacted in recent years by exclusionary school climate practices. The findings and recommendations in this report seek to encourage more district-community collaboration that supports student learning and a universal pathway to college and career for LBUSD students–particularly high-need students.