LAUSD approves expensive health benefits contract but vows to be tougher in negotiations going forward
*Updated Feb. 15 Despite parents’ pleas to deal now with a coming deficit that could require huge cuts, a narrow majority of LA Unified’s school board on Tuesday approved a new contract that commits the district to paying for its employees’ generous health benefits at current levels for the next three years. The contract passed 4-2, with...
By Mike Szymanski | February 14, 2018 5:01 pm
12,000 kids will leave LAUSD this year: Los Angeles school board weighs options for how to fill looming financial hole
As LA Unified continues to lose 12,000 students every year, administrators will be notified of expected job losses, restrictions could be made on how to spend one-time funds coming from the state, and labor partners will be called on to be part of the solution. Next year’s projected enrollment decline was reported Tuesday by Chief Financial...
By Mike Szymanski | February 7, 2018 8:37 am
These parent volunteers are bringing school libraries back to life with color, comforts, and — most of all — books
* Updated Feb. 9 Kids rarely stepped foot in the library at Washington Elementary in Compton. “It was dusty and damp in there, it was not very welcoming for kids at all,” Principal Diana Phillips said. “We had a lot of very old books that children were not interested in and none of the modern...
By Mike Szymanski | February 5, 2018 3:25 pm
Exclusive: LAUSD plans to use same search firm to find a new superintendent — and it gets a break on the cost
The LA Unified school board is set to confirm the same search firm that helped them pick Michelle King as superintendent in 2016, which will save the district at least $160,000. In the contract signed last time with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates of Rosemont, Ill., there was a two-year window clause that says, “If the Superintendent departs...
By Mike Szymanski | February 1, 2018 10:29 am
LAUSD board seeks ‘disruption’ from next superintendent
In the context of the search for its next superintendent, LA Unified’s school board is asking existential questions about how hard it should be pushing to disrupt the status quo in a system that serves more than 700,000 students. While none of the conversations came particularly full-circle in a special meeting of the board on...
By Mike Szymanski | January 31, 2018 7:17 pm
California schools could see the most money ever, but it won’t keep LAUSD from falling off its fiscal cliff
* Updated Jan. 25 The California governor’s new budget proposes giving more to schools than ever before — $78.3 billion — but it’s not going to keep LA Unified from driving off its fiscal cliff in three years, according to the district’s chief financial officer. With steady enrollment declines and crushing pension debt, the...
By Mike Szymanski | January 24, 2018 12:33 pm