President, Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
Mónica García is the President of the Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school District in the nation. With her bold call for “Diplomas for All,” Board President García has galvanized the LAUSD school community to take aggressive action to reach 100% graduation.
Since her election to the Board in June 2006, Ms. García has successfully championed school reform models that offer students smaller, more personalized settings and that give school sites the autonomy they need to prepare all students for college or career. To date, more than 95,000 students are now served in this growing portfolio of reform models, which include charter schools, single-gender academies, partnership schools and in-district “pilot” schools operating under a reform labor contract.
District-wide, Ms. Garcia led the campaign to pass a $7 billion school bond, the largest in US history. She has increased accountability by spearheading the development of School Report Cards, which are now distributed each year to every parent in the District. She has led an aggressive effort to increase equity through a groundbreaking “per pupil” funding strategy that ensures dollars follow the student to school sites. Her focus on the needs of English Learner students, who make up 40% of LAUSD’s student community, has yielded a deep shift in the District’s instructional approach.
Board President García was elected to the Board of Education in June 2006, becoming the third Latina to serve on the Board in its 155-year history. She is currently serving her fourth term as President, a position to which she was elected by her fellow Board Members. Previously, Ms. García served as an Academic Advisor in South Los Angeles at Foshay Learning Center and Edison Middle School during her six-year tenure with Volunteers of America’s Educational Talent Search Program. Though her work as a guidance counselor, she solidified her belief that every child CAN learn, when adults offer opportunities and supports.
Immediately prior to joining the Board of Education, Ms. García served as Chief of Staff to LAUSD Board President José Huizar during his four-year tenure. Her efforts in that role helped lay the groundwork for construction of 160 new schools and adoption of a new policy that guarantees every student in the district has access to a college-preparatory curriculum.
Ms. Garcia was born and raised in East Los Angeles. She attended local schools and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A degree in Chicano Studies and Political Science. She earned her M.S.W. from the University of Southern California.