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History and Governance

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On August 25th, 2009 the Board of Education in Los Angeles Unified School District passed the Public School Choice Motion which gave an opportunity to teachers and other stakeholders to create their own school to improve education at struggling schools and new schools. With a new school, Esteban E. Torres High School opening up, a small but dedicated group of teachers decided to write a proposal to open up the Social Justice Leadership Academy (SJLA) at Torres. SJLA is a pilot school that is autonomous from LAUSD policies in the areas of: budget, staffing, calendar/schedules, curriculum and governance.  Through tireless planning and collaboration the proposal was approved and SJLA began had its first day of on September 13, 2010.


Social Justice Leadership Academy Councils








  • Approval of the Single School Plan.
  • Approval of the school’s entire budget (including categorical funds).
  • To set and maintain the school’s mission and vision.
  • Selection and Evaluation of the Principal.
  • Reviewing and approval of the Election to Work agreement.
  • Managing the school’s Internal Appeal’s progress.
  • Establishing a relationship with the school’s assigned director. 
  • Monitoring compliance with federal and state laws.
  • Monitoring school’s progress through data.
  • Other major school policies. 


  • 3 Parents or Community Members
  • 3 Students
  • 4 Teachers
  • 1 Outside the classroom personnel
  • 1 principal






This council involves parents, teachers, and students in the planning of the school’s program and budget resources for the Title I program. 

  • 2 students and 2 parents.
  • Parent members of CEAC constitute a 51% percent or more of the membership
  • 49% percent are made up of community members, faculty and /or students.








The function of ELAC is to advise and make recommendations in writing to the principal and Governing school council on the implementation and evaluation of the school’s Master Plan programs and services for English Learners.


  • 2  parents
  • Parents of English Learners  must constitute 51% or more of the membership
  • Other members must not exceed 49% of the overall membership and can include parents of non English Language Learners, community members, teachers, and classified staff. 



The function of the student council is to cooperate with the school faculty and to involve our student body in the decision making of our school in an advisory role. Examples would be input on bell schedule and uniforms.    

  • 4 students, made up of a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. 
  • Other students are members of our SJLA leadership team and represent each grade of SJLA.   



How the three councils work together:

  • The Governing School Council approves the Single Plan for Student Achievement with input from ELAC and CEAC.
  • The ELAC advises the Governing School Council on the development and implementation of an effective supplemental program and/or services for students identified as English Learners and on the Parent involvement program for parents of English Learner students.
  • The students council also advises the Governing School Council on how the students feel about particular issues such as bell schedule and uniforms.    
  • The CEAC advises the Governing School Council on the development and implementation of an effective supplemental program and/or services that meet the needs of Title I students.  CEAC develops the parent involvement policy and home school compact.