Good news on chronic absences and the budget, despite a ‘structural deficit’ — a wrap-up of board action
This Tuesday, the school board will meet in a non-voting session, called the Committee of the Whole. It will be the first meeting of the board since last week’s revelations of felony charges against school board President Ref Rodriguez. That news came just after last Tuesday’s board meeting, the second that Rodriguez presided over as...
By Mike Szymanski | September 18, 2017 7:37 pm
Instant Expert: The 10 things to know about the charges against Board President Ref Rodriguez
The day after a seemingly uneventful and smooth-running school board meeting that newly elected LA Unified School Board President Ref Rodriguez proudly ended at an earlier-than-usual 5 p.m., the district seemed to be shaken to its core. On Wednesday, Rodriguez was charged with three felony counts involving campaign contributions to his 2015 election bid. Rodriguez’s...
By Mike Szymanski | September 15, 2017 5:44 am
Cases settled in firing of Shakespeare teacher Rafe Esquith
LA Unified has settled three cases involving the firing of Rafe Esquith, a celebrated teacher who won many national and international awards, the district announced late Tuesday. The case ends a threatened $1 billion federal class-action lawsuit against the district by attorney Mark Geragos, who was representing Esquith about 2,000 other teachers in opposing the district’s...
By Mike Szymanski | September 13, 2017 4:58 pm
JUST IN: School board president Ref Rodriguez charged with felony campaign violations
*UPDATED LA Unified school board President Ref Rodriguez and his cousin were charged Wednesday with conspiracy and perjury felony counts and 25 misdemeanor counts in connection with allegedly improper campaign reimbursements stemming from his 2014 campaign documents. Rodriguez and his cousin Elizabeth Tinajero Melendrez were each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit...
By Mike Szymanski | September 13, 2017 2:25 pm
LAUSD’s graduation rate tops 80 percent, surpassing its own goals
LA Unified is heading faster than expected toward the stated goal of 100 percent graduation, with a surprise announcement at Tuesday’s school board meeting that the district hit an 80.2 percent graduation rate for the 2016-17 school year. That’s more than a year ahead of the aggressive graduation growth that Superintendent Michelle King had planned....
By Mike Szymanski | September 12, 2017 7:39 pm
Board members withdraw Title I revamp that would give a bigger chunk to poorest schools
A plan that could have hurt funding for magnet and affiliated charter schools was withdrawn as LA Unified leaders continue to debate the issues of equity in distributing money to schools in the poorest communities. A resolution proposed in June would have reshuffled the Title I money that the federal government allots for low-income schools. The realignment...
By Mike Szymanski | September 11, 2017 2:26 pm