At least half of CA’s districts are closed due to coronavirus. A look at LAUSD’s plans to teach, feed students — and how community members reacted on Day 1 of shutdown
Updated, March 17 L.A. Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner in a letter to families late Monday announced that the district at this time is unable to open 40 family resource centers as initially planned, as “state and local health and public safety officials cannot assure us it will be safe for the children and adults.” There...
By Taylor Swaak | March 16, 2020
After record spending and an ongoing union vs. charter power struggle, at least two L.A. Unified board races appear headed to a run-off
*Updated March 6 At least two competitive L.A. Unified school board races are likely headed to a November runoff following the most heated and costly primary season on record and a campaign that once again became a proxy fight over the future of charter schools. As of early Friday, no one candidate in Districts 3 or...
By Taylor Swaak | March 4, 2020
Cal State University approves plan to add new admissions requirement — but delays making formal change before studying impact
California State University overwhelmingly decided Wednesday to move forward with a new admissions requirement, but will delay making formal alterations to state regulations until the consequences of the change are studied. Until last week, the CSU Board of Trustees were expected to cast votes on Wednesday either greenlighting or rejecting a controversial addition to admissions standards:...
By Taylor Swaak | January 29, 2020
For the first time in more than 20 years, LAUSD is in full control of its special ed system. As parents worry about accountability, the district shifts its focus
This month marks a notable milestone for L.A. Unified: For the first time in more than two decades, it’s now in full control of its special education system. Until this month, the nation’s second-largest school district had unique court-ordered mandates to improve and expand services for its nearly 62,000 special education students, stemming from a 1996...
By Taylor Swaak | January 22, 2020
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