LOS ANGELES–The Los Angeles Unified School District Board–on Monday–Sept. 15–acting on a resolution submitted by Board member Jeff Horton–approved the creation of an Armenian Education Commission by a vote of 6-0. This commission–funded by the LAUSD–is designed to address the special needs and concerns of the more than 15,000 Armenian-American students currently enrolled in the LAUSD and is scheduled to begin operations in January 1998.
The creation of the Armenian Commission culminates two years of intensive work led by the coordinated efforts of the Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools–the Armenian National Committee as well as several other community organizations and advocates.
"I am pleased to announce that our community will finally have an efficient mechanism that can swiftly and effectively address the concerns faced by our students–their parents and the teachers and administrators of the district. The challenge is now for Armenian-Americans to maximize the commission’s potential for the well being of our most precious commodity–our children," stated Vicken Kabakian–Director of CASPS and a driving force behind the creation of the Commission. "The Armenian-American community owes a debt of gratitude to LAUSD Board Member Jeff Horton for his strong leadership in passing this important measure," added Kabakian.
In 1996–the Superintendent’s Task Force on Armenian Issues was created through the joint efforts of Board Member Horton–CASPS and the ANC to deal with the needs and concerns of Armenian students and their parents until such time as a more permanent structure–such as a commission–could be established.
Parsegh Kartalian–co-chair of the Superintendent’s Task Force and an integral part of its success stated–"The establishment of the Armenian Education Commission is the culmination of years of pooling our resources and contacts–developing a long term strategy for the Armenian students of the LAUSD–and–of course–a fair amount of hard work and sacrifice."
Seven similar commissions currently exist in the LAUSD–including commissions for African-Americans–Mexican-Americans and learning disabled students. The newly created Armenian Education Commission will be composed of 29 Commissioners as well as one full time salaried director and an administrative assistant.
Immediately after the historic Board vote to create the commission–ANCA-WR Board Member–Avo Donoyan–another member of the Superintendent’s Task Force who made significant contributions toward the establishment of the Armenian Education Commission remarked–"One important reason we pushed for the creation of this commission was to allow the Armenian students of the LAUSD to spend more time with their noses in their books and less time trying to resolve administrative problems. We firmly believe that no sacrifice is too great when ensuring that our students receive the best education available. After all–it won’t be too long before these young Armenia’s will assume leadership positions and we must give them every opportunity to excel–prosper and grow along with our community," Concluded Donoyan.
Other members of the Superintendent’s Task Force are Shakeh Avakian–Vergine Jarakian–Onnik Keshishian and Anahid Terjimanian.