LAUSD communities affected by Tuesday jet fuel drop return to school, but questions and anger remain
L.A. Unified schools on Wednesday opened as normal with communities still processing an emergency jet fuel dump the day prior that inflicted minor injuries on dozens of adults and children across six schools — five of them elementary schools. “We came out and we were playing, and the airplane was outside and we thought it...
By Taylor Swaak | January 15, 2020
Exclusive: Less than 25% of LAUSD seniors last year took the type of math/quantitative reasoning class California State University wants to make a requirement
As the country’s largest four-year public university considers adding a fourth-year math/quantitative reasoning requirement to its admissions standards, new data obtained by The 74 shows less than a quarter of L.A. Unified seniors last year took such a class. About 23.5 percent of seniors — or 8,472 of 36,124 — were enrolled in a fourth-year...
By Taylor Swaak | November 18, 2019
Advocates file appeal with the state charging LAUSD, county still not accounting for how more than $1B for high-needs students is being spent
The California Department of Education is being asked once again to intervene in a legal complaint that charges L.A. Unified and its county overseers with failing to ensure that high-needs students receive the more than $1 billion annually they are due in state funding. Public Advocates and the Covington & Burling LLP law firm —...
By Taylor Swaak | October 7, 2019
California has voted to expand its ban on “willful defiance” suspensions. A look at how an even more expansive 2013 reform has played out in L.A. Unified
Updated and corrected, Sept. 20 As California this month expanded a statewide ban on suspending younger students for defiant behavior, lessons on how this increasingly sweeping school discipline reform may play out can be found in Los Angeles, which barred such suspensions on an even broader scale six years ago. Previously in California, “willful defiance”...
By Taylor Swaak | September 18, 2019
‘I’ll make sure that they’re heard’: LAUSD’s new student board member outlines her priorities as the voice of 600,000
High school senior Frances Suavillo has always believed education is a right and not a privilege. She’s seen firsthand when it’s not. Born and raised in the Philippines until she was 9 years old, Suavillo saw deep-seated educational inequity in the Southeast Asian island country — how “money dictated who went to school and who didn’t,”...
By Taylor Swaak | September 9, 2019
Equity advocates push back at CSU hearing on new admissions requirement: “We’ll just be re-creating the same systemic inequities that already exist”
A California State University proposal to add an admissions requirement drew both interest and fervent criticism at a public hearing in Long Beach last week, highlighting the discord among education pundits and community members on how to fix educational inequity in the state. At question during the more than four-hour Board of Trustees committee hearing...
By Taylor Swaak | September 4, 2019
Back-to-school rundown: 5 things LAUSD parents should know as school starts
*Updated L.A. Unified’s nearly half-a-million district students are headed back to school on Tuesday for the 2019-20 year. While students were away, district officials and advocates began laying the groundwork for the upcoming year’s priorities. On the heels of a failed parcel tax bid, L.A. Unified will continue clamoring for more funding and proposing initiatives...
By Taylor Swaak | August 19, 2019
‘A pretty untenable plan’: As LAUSD moves to combine 5 student support programs into one, advocates fear ‘dilution’ of foster youth services
*Updated July 29 The Foster Youth Achievement Program has changed Skye Carbajal’s life. So the foster student left school early one day in late April to tell the L.A. Unified school board just that. Standing at the podium during an April 23 meeting, Carbajal recounted her accomplishments since she’d joined the program two years ago: She’s...
By Taylor Swaak | July 29, 2019
With less than half of LAUSD’s prospective graduates eligible for California State University system, college trustees eye adding another requirement
The California State University system this week is considering a new admissions requirement for incoming freshmen — a development that’s sparked opposition from L.A. Unified, where less than half of the prospective graduates are eligible to apply under current standards. CSU’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday will review an informal proposal to add a fourth...
By Taylor Swaak | July 22, 2019
In new legal complaint, parents say LAUSD is failing to ensure high-needs students are getting the funding they deserve
*Updated July 23: The California Department of Education on Monday declined to directly intervene, and sent the legal complaint to L.A. Unified and the L.A. County Office of Education to “promptly investigate.” The district and the county have until Sept. 20 to respond. See the CDE letter here. A June 28 version of L.A. Unified’s LCAP, which...
By Taylor Swaak | July 12, 2019