LAUSD puts money and muscle behind 3 state bills that shackle charter schools
*UPDATED After passionate debate and pleas from charter school administrators and parents, the LA Unified school board voted 4-3 to support three teacher union-backed bills being considered by the California legislature that all restrict some of the autonomies given to public charter schools. The most contested bill, SB 808, was pulled by its author on Monday...
By Mike Szymanski | April 18, 2017 7:26 pm
Senate bill at the center of heated LAUSD debate was tabled by its author
The state Senate bill that was at the heart of Tuesday’s heated school board debate and which some charter advocates consider dangerous to the future of charter schools was pulled for discussion Monday by its author for two years. Pro-charter parents who met with State Sen. Tony Mendoza last Friday said they believed they helped...
By Mike Szymanski | April 18, 2017 5:28 pm
LA Unified considers supporting a state bill some say could ‘kill’ charters
*UPDATED A state bill that’s been labeled a charter killer could be supported by LA Unified’s lobbying capital if the school board passes a resolution on Tuesday’s agenda. School board vice president George McKenna, supported by fellow board member Scott Schmerelson, proposed the resolution that asks the school board to support the “swift passage” of...
By Mike Szymanski | April 17, 2017 2:38 pm
Are school libraries headed toward extinction? LAUSD principals are choosing other ways to spend limited budgets, but some board members want to change that
Five more LA Unified high schools may divert their funding for teacher librarians this fall as principals decide to spend their budgets on other pressing needs, meaning 15 of the 84 high school libraries would not be fully staffed. The state’s Local Control Funding Formula allows more autonomy for district schools, and library staffing is among the discretionary items. But...
By Mike Szymanski | April 16, 2017 9:16 pm
Black Girls 6 Times as Likely to Be Suspended as Whites. ‘Let Her Learn’ Looks to Reverse the Trend
High School Sophomore Wins Google Contest — and $30,000 Scholarship — With Diversity Doodle
The Political Parallels and Contradictions of the School Choice, Food Choice — Er, Food Stamps — Debate
For his next term, Zimmer wants to focus on school equity, charter cooperation, and attracting quality teachers
School board President Steve Zimmer said he has a lot of work left to do and plans to try to do it all in his next five-and-a-half-year term if reelected. It will be his last hurrah because Zimmer will be termed out and won’t be able to run for the board again. Zimmer said he...
By Mike Szymanski | April 12, 2017 4:58 pm
Mónica Ratliff endorses Kelly Gonez as an ‘independent voice’ to take over her seat
Outgoing school board member Mónica Ratliff announced Wednesday she is endorsing Kelly Gonez to take over her Board District 6 seat in the northeast San Fernando Valley. “I greatly appreciate that Ms. Gonez seeks to be an ‘independent voice on the school board,’” Ratliff said in an email to LA School Report. She made her choice after reviewing...
By Mike Szymanski | April 12, 2017 1:44 pm
Don’t do it: Zimmer warns fellow board members not to campaign against him
One of the toughest jobs for LA Unified school board President Steve Zimmer is keeping the seven disparate voices of the board on track and headed toward their stated goal of 100 percent graduation. But to maintain that unity, he hopes fellow board members won’t weigh in against him in his campaign to win reelection in...
By Mike Szymanski | April 7, 2017 4:33 pm
Is your school in the bullet train’s path? 17 LAUSD schools could be impacted by California’s high-speed rail line
As many as 17 LA Unified schools could be impacted by California’s bullet train, district officials reported Tuesday. The high-speed rail line, which was just approved last month to begin work in the Central Valley, is intended to take riders from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Depending on its route,...
By Mike Szymanski | April 4, 2017 5:31 pm
LA charter schools commit to students’ safety, join fight against Trump’s threat to sanctuaries
A coalition of Los Angeles charter schools announced Tuesday that they plan to join in the legal challenge against President Trump’s executive order to withhold federal money from “sanctuary jurisdictions” including LA Unified. They also reported that fewer seniors in their high schools are applying to college this year because of fears of their information being...
By Mike Szymanski | March 29, 2017 3:08 pm
JUST IN: Arne Duncan endorses Melvoin and Gonez in LAUSD races
*UPDATED Barack Obama’s former Education Secretary Arne Duncan threw his support Wednesday to two pro-reform candidates in the LA Unified school board race. Duncan, who was appointed secretary of education by Obama in 2009, endorsed Nick Melvoin who is running against school board President Steve Zimmer, and is backing Kelly Gonez against Imelda Padilla in...
By Mike Szymanski | March 29, 2017 10:52 am