Julie Korenstein has over thirty-five years of experience as an education advocate and is a Member of the Los Angeles City Board of Education. She began working in education in 1968 as a parent volunteer, became a paid teacher assistant in 1970 and continued as a substitute teacher for the LAUSD until launching her tutoring service for at-risk youth. Tutoring in the areas of social studies, remedial reading, English and mathematics, she began to focus in on what has become for her an educational priority -- dropout prevention strategies.
While working as a teacher during the 1980's at Chatsworth High School, Ms. Korenstein taught a model program, Exploratory Community Service, that provided students with volunteer opportunities in various fields. Ms. Korenstein was one of the early initiators of service learning. The aim of the program was to help students gain the work experience and insight that would help them make decisions about future careers, technical training or higher education as well as the intrinsic value of volunteering. Today high schools, community colleges and universities are establishing service learning programs as a part of their ongoing curriculum.
Ms. Korenstein was first elected in 1987 to fill an unexpired term, representing district 4 (West San Fernando Valley) and won the seat again in 1989. In 1993 she won the seat for district 6 (West San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks, and Sunland/Tujunga) and was reelected in 1997. She was reelected in 2001 for district 6 (Arleta, Pacoima, San Fernando, Sunland/Tujunga, Van Nuys and Sylmar). She is the board's senior member.
Ms. Korenstein is a major proponent of local control and decision-making and helped develop the Shared Decision Making/School Based Management proposal. She also believes that it is extremely important to be accessible to her school communities and has worked very closely with her schools to resolve ongoing problems and concerns. Since 1987, she has had a Parent Community Advisory Committee and a Teachers Advisory Committee working with her to resolve problems and implement solutions.
Since 1989, Ms. Korenstein has provided funding for the Kindergarten Intervention Program (KIP) which addresses the needs of at-risk children experiencing academic, social or emotional problems. This model dropout prevention program targets children in kindergarten and in the first grade and uses trained volunteers to assist in activities that improve academic performance.
Ms. Korenstein is also in the forefront on school safety issues. In 1989, Ms. Korenstein
established the School Safety and Security Task Force to study how to make LAUSD
schools safer for children. Many of the recommendations resulting from this in-depth study
were adopted by the board and are in operation today. In 1999, Ms. Korenstein was also
instrumental in helping to bring about a new Integrated Pest Management Policy to phase
out the use of dangerous pesticides and herbicides. Ms. Korenstein currently chairs the
School Safety and Campus Environment Committee, which examines matters involving
inter-group relations, student affairs, and school safety, including environmental issues. Ms.
Korenstein provides annual funding for a San Fernando Valley Youth Summit, which allows
the opportunity for over 700 LAUSD students to participate in a day of dialogue on
Ms. Korenstein chaired the Business and Operations/Facilities Committee for ten years, which reviewed strategies for the best use of district facilities, monitored the building program and reviewed business operations such as recycling, purchasing, health and safety, insurance, transportation and food services.
Ms. Korenstein developed the District's Food Donation Program, which involves many of our schools and non-profit organizations and the nationally-renowned LAUSD Recycling Program, which has saved the District millions of dollars.
Ms. Korenstein served on the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee, which is responsible for reviewing business operations, audit findings and issues regarding technology in 1999 2000. The Budget, Finance and Audit Committee monitors the District's implementation of Management Audit recommendations. The Audit Committee also monitors the District's implementation of information technology, including the Integrated Financial System and preparation for the Year 2000.
In the 1997-98 school year, Ms. Korenstein was chosen by her colleagues to serve as Board President. During that time LAUSD began to see an increase in student achievement. Test scores and attendance began to improve. The dropout rates decreased and intervention programs were developed. This marked the beginning of the reform movement. Ms. Korenstein played an integral role in creating a 3-year labor contract with LAUSD unions resulting in positive employee relations during this time period.
Ms. Korenstein is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council at California State University Northridge and a member of Senator Jack Scott's Education Advisory Committee.
Ms. Korenstein was appointed in 1999 by Governor Gray Davis to serve on the Board of Governors for the Community College District. In this role she has been able to expand her educational experience into the community colleges linking K-12 education with higher learning. She helped to develop and initiate a program where high school students can attend community college classes and earn both high school and college credits concurrently. Ms. Korenstein is presently developing a Teacher Training Academy High School with CSUN to encourage students to enter the teaching profession.
Ms. Korenstein attended schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and received her B.A. Degree in history from California State University (Northridge) in 1971. She received her elementary teaching credential in 1972 and her secondary teaching credential in 1974. Born in California, Ms. Korenstein has been a resident of the San Fernando Valley for over 35 years. All three of her children graduated from LAUSD schools. Ms. Korenstein is the grandmother of 4; 2 boys, one granddaughter under one year of age and another granddaughter who is attending a district school in the San Fernando Valley.
Board Member, District 6
Los Angeles City Board of Education
333 S. Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor 11/02
Los Angeles, California 90017