As the election for Governor of California heats up, it seems that Republican candidate Meg Whitman has some 'splaining to do. Los Angeles Unified School Board President Monica Garcia is calling on Whitman to be clear on her inconsistent approach regarding Latino students. In an electronic newsletter sent on Wednesday, Garcia released the following:
"Meg Whitman is running a new TV ad saying she wants to help Latino students," said President García. "But her campaign is led by Pete Wilson, a man who wanted to kick the Latino children of undocumented parents out of our public schools with Proposition 187."
"Whitman has also advocated for rounding up and prosecuting 'illegal aliens' in every city in the State, for denying state services to the undocumented, and for blocking our undocumented students from attending state and community colleges," said García.
"I am trying to reconcile Meg Whitman's terrible record on Latino students with her current rhetoric. It just doesn't add up," said García.
"If Meg Whitman truly wants to help our Latino students, she has got to stop attacking immigrant students and start understanding that the best way to help our Latino students, regardless of their parents' residency status, is to give each and every one of them the opportunity to get a quality education in our schools and become productive members of our society," she added.
Whitman's Spanish Language Ad for Latinos, "Mejor Educación":
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the largest school district in California and is the second largest district in the nation, following New York, in k-12 education, servicing approximately 725,000 students. 2008-2009 district numbers by ethnicity indicate the district is comprised of 74% Latino, 11% African American, 9% White, 4 % Asian, 2% Filipino and less than 1% Native American and Pacific Islander students combined.
For the 2010-2011 school year, LAUSD faced a nearly $470 million budget shortfall, which resulted in teacher layoffs, arts and after-school program elimination and an overall reduction of the school year, all issues that have a severe impact on Latino students.
While LAUSD along with the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have all denounced anti-immigrant rhetoric and Arizona's SB1070, Whitman is not the only gubernatorial candidate associated with Prop. 187.
Working with Democratic candidate Jerry Brown is Don Sipple, a controversial political consultant from the Republican Party. Sipple was the key mastermind behind Pete Wilson's vicious Prop. 187 commercials that embedded fears in voters, with images subtitled "They Keep Coming" as immigrants crossed the Mexican border.
Sterling Clifford, a spokesperson for Brown, has stated that while Sipple is working on the campaign, he is unpaid.
But at this point, paid or unpaid, how is Sipple advising Brown? And really, what's the difference?
Pete Wilson's 1994 Prop. 187 ad: