LAUSD’s ‘signs of fiscal distress’ trigger two new warnings, including risk of going broke within three years
*Updated Nov. 9 LA Unified’s budget has been approved for now by its county overseers, but they gave the district a new deadline for it to address its structural deficit or face a takeover. In a letter delivered late Thursday, the Los Angeles County Office of Education said the district’s continued use of deficit spending —...
By Laura Greanias | November 9, 2018
Saturday school and 1,000 Rams tickets — how LAUSD is trying to turn around a stubborn attendance problem
*Updated Oct. 17 LA Unified is continuing to lose about $630 million a year because students aren’t coming to school. So this year, district officials are rethinking strategies and trying new ones, including Saturday school to make up lost days and handing out 1,000 tickets to Los Angeles Rams football games for students with excellent...
By Laura Greanias | October 17, 2018
Los Angeles moves one step closer to a teachers strike
*Updated Oct. 12 with UTLA’s statement Los Angeles moved one step closer to a strike Friday when mediation efforts ended and LA Unified filed an unfair labor practice charge against United Teachers Los Angeles for refusing to participate in good faith. The two sides now move to a process called fact-finding. Each side has five...
By Laura Greanias | October 12, 2018
LAUSD details 15% job cuts in central and local district offices to satisfy its financial overseers
LA Unified will eliminate $43 million in administrative salaries as part of an emergency cost-cutting plan to stave off its fiscal overseers. The cuts won’t be at school sites this year, but rather at the central and local district offices. The number of jobs that will be lost will be left up to each department,...
By Laura Greanias | October 9, 2018
California’s only gubernatorial debate mostly ignores education, even though a new poll finds parents of color place a high priority on improving the state’s public schools
Parents of color want California’s next governor to place a higher priority on improving public schools, a new poll finds. But as the two gubernatorial candidates held their first and perhaps only debate Monday, education barely came up. Republican businessman John Cox three times mentioned that the state’s schools are failing children, but there was...
By Laura Greanias | October 8, 2018
LAUSD sweetens its offer on teacher raises, continues to call for a new category in evaluations to identify highly effective educators
*Updated Sept. 27: After today’s first mediation session, LA Unified announced that the next session is set for Oct. 3. LA Unified sweetened its salary offer to the teachers union just before Thursday’s first mediation session, but it did not back down on teacher quality demands — including a call for a new category in...
By Laura Greanias | September 26, 2018
As LA’s teachers union prepares to strike, here’s something that could be a bigger hang-up than raises: how to identify great teachers
As LA Unified and its teachers union enter into mediation this week and the union prepares for a strike, their differences over how teachers are evaluated could be harder to resolve than how much pay raises will be. The district wants to add a new category of teacher ratings, called highly effective, as part of...
By Laura Greanias | September 24, 2018
What’s the value of being able to identify highly effective teachers? Q&A with Daniel Weisberg, education advocate and chief executive of TNTP
LA Unified currently has three tiers in rating teachers: below standard, meets standard, and exceeds standard. Last year, 96 percent of teachers met or exceeded standards, with about 22 percent in the top category. Just under 4 percent, or 295 of the district’s 7,623 teachers, were rated below standard — a percentage that has risen...
By Laura Greanias | September 24, 2018
How LAUSD’s superintendent intends to make every school ‘a place of great teaching’
As the Los Angeles teachers union is poised to strike amid stalled contract negotiations, LA Unified’s new superintendent, Austin Beutner, held his first big policy speech Thursday before about 100 parents in the library of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. Beutner outlined what needs to change in the nearly 570,000-student district, as well as...
By Laura Greanias | September 18, 2018
It gets worse for LAUSD: This week both the county and the state showed up to say, ‘Get your fiscal house in order or else we’re taking over’
LA Unified board members were jolted last month when a top county official showed up unannounced to say, You’re spending more money than you make and the savings you’ve been living off of are about to run out. It got worse this Tuesday, when she came back and brought a top state official with the...
By Laura Greanias | September 12, 2018