Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alatorre and film producer Moctesuma Esparza have announced that a community educational group will hold leadership training sessions this year for Latino high school students as one way to lower the school dropout rate.
Both Alatorre and Esparza attended similar conferences in the late 1960s and early '70s. The goal of the conferences, Esparza said, will be to motivate and train students who have demonstrated leadership ability and students who might be on the verge of dropping out of school.
Alatorre and Moctesuma are members of the governing board of the National Hispanic Arts, Educational and Media Institute, which will sponsor a Latino music special Aug. 3 to raise funds for the leadership conferences.
At a Los Angeles press conference on Wednesday, the two also unveiled an "educational bill of rights" and called for more effective teaching methods, better teacher-student ratios, bilingual and bicultural programs, greater financial support and other programs.