Bishop Johnny J. Young, Ph.D, president IUSD board
Arnold Butler, IUSD school board member
The Inglewood Unified School District believes that through its educational programs, it has the possible answer to California–and maybe the U.S.–ailing economic woes
Education in the State of California is presently ranked in the lower 25 percent of the United States and that does not bode well for the most populous state in the nation, with an economy that is in the top ten in the world–a larger economy than many sovereign nations.
The California educational programs have been on a roller-coaster ride over recent years and that has caused the state to experience a slump from being the nation’s leader in educational reform and program development. California is now being given the opportunity to again take the lead not only in improved curriculum strategies but also the lead in efforts of overhauling the educational infrastructure and some of its outdated school facilities.
Bishop Johnny J. Young, Ph.D, president of the Inglewood school board who has served the city and the district as a religious leader and a school board member respectively for almost 38 years, has combined his civic responsibilities and his ministerial duties. Recently, he issued the following statement, “We are thankful and grateful for the partnership between the Inglewood Area Ministers Association and the Inglewood Unified School District and the leadership roles they played.”
The combined leadership team of Bishop Young and Arnold Butler, school board member and the immediate past president of the school board stated, “When we have healthy districts, we can then go to work in fulfilling our commitment to our California communities by providing the best facilities and programs possible for the students.”
The school districts of many local communities are focused in partnering with state and federal governments in developing programs that will be critical to enhancing the state’s economy, and by extension the local economies of which the school districts play a vital role.
An excellent example of this type of partnership is being developed in the South Bay area, sponsored and supported by our local congressional representatives and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to mitigate the high noise level from the airplane traffic that negatively impacts the schools surrounding the expansion of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). According to available financial data, these local/state/federal partnerships can pump over $300 million into the communities for jobs, supplies and materials.
Bishop Young continued, “We are building partnerships and through those partnerships, we are going to have the ‘Education Sunday’ where all the churches are involved with the school districts and the employees in their area. This will include the public and the private sectors. We are thankful and grateful for the partnership between the Inglewood Area Ministers Association and the Inglewood Unified School District and the leadership roles they played.”
Butler added, “What we are saying is that (President) Obama’s program to improve the schools will work in the State of California, and we have several programs that are going on right now to show what can be done to prepare the schools to be state-of-the-art (facilities). At the same time this will improve the quality of education for our children.” He went on to show how the improvements will allow the children to compete in the global system. “By bringing the schools up to proper standards,” he continued, “will allow the children particularly those in the early years to make the transition to higher education, and will also help the teachers do a better job.”
Many local communities have already shown the way to help both the economy and the schools by passing a number of bond programs in order to raise the needed capital to improve and maximize the aging school sites. The schools in the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD), scattered throughout the city of Inglewood are located directly in the pathway of the constant flow of LAX airplane traffic. That makes it (IUSD) the ideal partner to combine with the FAA to mitigate the high noise level–and that is only one aspect of the proposed partnership. Overhauling the aging schools’ infrastructure and facilities are of equal importance.
Under the leadership of Bishop Young and Butler, the school board has a vision that this private/public effort in California has an entire infrastructure and capacity to implement this project. They believe that it can be done by streamlining the regulations and processes–and putting the funds (private and public) to work on school programs that are on hold due to lack of funds.
“Our theme for this year is ‘Embracing the Vision…Going beyond before.’ Our Superintendent, Mr. Gary McHenry, has shared with our congregation ‘The benefits of church and school partnership in these crucial times.’ And he has already consented to be our keynote speaker for Education Sunday 2012!” stated Bishop Young.
Furthermore, Butler believes that by improving the infrastructure, it will have a direct positive impact on the state’s economic system, “And this effort that we have put forth will provide a strong stimulus shot to our economy; it’ll be a win-win situation,” he concluded.
The other members of the IUSD board are Alena C. Guardina, Carol Raines-Brown and Trina L. Williams.