The federal funding that 506 forms generate is crucial to our Native communities. These forms help allocate money and develop programs for Native students in our District. Education about the 506 form should be thorough, widespread, and clear. The federal government should distribute the forms so they dependably arrive at households with Native students. The forms themselves should be simple enough to complete so that families can reliably submit them with little support and with minimal rejection rates.
However, Native families in L.A. Unified and elsewhere find that the 506 form, while intended to create opportunities, often creates confusion and stress. The government rejects these forms because they are incomplete. Legitimately Native families have difficulty verifying their heritage. In some cases, Native families are unaware of the form and its purpose entirely.
Board District 5 (BD5) is seeking a motivated, curious, and engaged coalition of parents with whom we can collaborate to address these issues with the 506 form.
Since February of 2018, BD5 has supported four parent groups from schools in several regions of Los Angeles. Our parent leaders engage in a dynamic problem-solving process, while we support these parents in their development of sustainable action plans to transform Los Angeles public schools.
We want to work with parents to apply this problem-solving framework to the issues surrounding the 506 form. What are their stories? What does the data say? Do their experiences overlap? Do they point to a larger issue beneath the surface? How do we solve that problem below the surface?
The BD5 team will work with parents, training them on problem-solving skills, providing reliable and insightful data, collaborating on data analysis, and building a culture of problem solving and collaboration. While our staff will facilitate the process, the parents who join this group will lead the way: The actions they take, the specific problems they address, and the success they achieve will all be the result of their dedication and problem-solving work.
We are inviting parents to help us improve distribution, completion, and public knowledge of 506 forms for Native students in LAUSD.
We invite parents to work through the problem-solving process, with our support, to develop a specific, actionable understanding of the problem and, through that process, conceive of and execute an action plan based on that understanding of the problem. We want parents to take action on a solution they are confident is the correct action.