A Homegrown Advocate
Tanya Ortiz Franklin is an educator and leader who grew up in our community and has served the students of Los Angeles Unified for the past 15 years. As a child in 1963, her mother immigrated to the United States from Chihuahua, Mexico. Though she struggled with her own schooling, she was dedicated to ensuring Tanya had access to an education that would open diverse opportunities. In 1994 those opportunities were unlocked when Tanya was enrolled in LAUSD’s President Avenue Elementary in sixth grade. This decision began a unique set of experiences that have propelled Tanya to be an advocate for educational equity in Los Angeles for her entire career, continuing with the desire to serve as District 7’s representative.
A THRIVING CAREER
After attending Narbonne High School and graduating from Columbia University, Tanya came home and taught sixth grade - the very grade she entered LAUSD - at Stephen White Middle School. There she met some students who thrived in the current education system, and others who were not given the support or resources to meet their full potential. In the aftermath of the great recession and with only five years of teaching experience, Tanya was laid off with thousands of others in 2010. Determined to change the system for the countless students lacking support, Tanya attended law school at UCLA.
Tanya became an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow her first summer and was paired with the organization she continues to work at to this day, the Partnership for LA Schools. At The Partnership she has pursued her passion of changing the system by supporting many of our district’s highest-need schools with restorative justice, social-emotional learning, and the arts. As an educator and a lawyer, Tanya both leads professional development and strategic planning with teachers, advocating alongside community partners for more equitable policies and practices at LA Unified.