Welcome but complicated — Mayor Garcetti, Gov. Newsom and the pressure to end the LAUSD teacher strike
*Updated Jan. 18 With pressure building to end the Los Angeles teacher strike, Mayor Eric Garcetti is now mediating contract negotiations between L.A. Unified and its union — a move education pundits say is welcome but possibly complicated by his prior disconnect and his actions this week backing educators. Education observers say Garcetti, elected in...
By Taylor Swaak | January 18, 2019
‘Painful truth’: 9 numbers haunting LAUSD as strike continues
*Updated Jan. 18 L.A. Unified reports losing a net $75 million in the first week of the teacher strike from low student attendance, stretching its finances further as the district struggles to remain solvent. While the district tries to satiate the teachers union’s demands, it’s teetering on a proverbial “fiscal cliff” — shouldering more than...
By Taylor Swaak | January 17, 2019
LAUSD could lose control of its finances if it agrees to a teachers contract that depletes reserves, county warns
*Updated Jan. 14 L.A. Unified could lose control of its finances if it signs off on a heftier contract agreement with its teachers union that drains its reserves past the mandated minimum level, County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo told LA School Report. “If [L.A. Unified and UTLA] did come to an agreement that was...
By Taylor Swaak | January 11, 2019
Experts: Crippling long-term debt isn’t leaving L.A. schools much wiggle room to avert a teacher strike — and may doom the district to takeover
*Updated Jan. 14 The looming teacher strike in Los Angeles, no matter how it’s sliced, comes down to money — but not the salary raises and cost of new hires that have kept the district and its teachers union apart during nearly two years of contract negotiations. The real money problem, experts say, lies with...
By Taylor Swaak | January 9, 2019
LAUSD, UTLA back to the bargaining table & more: 8 teacher strike updates you might have missed over winter break
*Updated Jan. 7 As nearly half a million L.A. Unified students return from holiday break on Monday, the district and its teachers union plan to sit down for a last-ditch attempt to avert a strike. If there’s no agreement, United Teachers Los Angeles intends to strike Thursday. There are more than 30,000 UTLA members who...
By Taylor Swaak | January 3, 2019
A day after mediation panel backs LAUSD’s salary offer, UTLA sets a January strike date
*Updated United Teachers Los Angeles will strike Jan. 10 if L.A. Unified doesn’t take “a dramatically different approach” to negotiations, the union announced Wednesday. “[By] refusing to invest in our schools, the district has disrespected our students and disrespected us,” Alex Caputo-Pearl, the union’s president, said at a morning news conference. “We’ve reached the point...
By Taylor Swaak | December 19, 2018
New look for the California School Dashboard is ‘an improvement’ — but it’s still not geared toward parents, advocates say
The much-anticipated redesign of California’s maligned school dashboard is live — but some education advocates aren’t convinced it went far enough to improve usability for parents. The California School Dashboard is a state-run platform that rates districts, schools and student groups on indicators such as test scores and student suspensions — and, as of this...
By Taylor Swaak | December 11, 2018
LAUSD parents stuck ‘in the middle’ as Los Angeles braces for a likely teacher strike
*Updated Dec. 10 As L.A. Unified and its teachers union ratchet up preparations for what is increasingly looking like the first teacher strike in 30 years, district parents are torn — and frustrated that the two sides can’t negotiate a solution. While parents love and appreciate their teachers, they also don’t want their children’s education...
By Taylor Swaak | December 9, 2018
‘Just handing out diplomas’? New study shows California students are enrolling in ‘credit recovery’ programs at a rate 60 percent above the national average
California high schoolers who have failed classes take makeup courses in larger numbers, and at higher rates, than most of their peers nationwide, a new study finds. About 12.9 percent of the state’s high schoolers attending schools with so-called “credit recovery” programs are enrolled in them. That’s 60 percent higher than the national average of...
By Taylor Swaak | November 29, 2018
Telfair Elementary: The heart of LAUSD’s homeless crisis could become ground zero for change
*Updated Nov. 28 If LA Unified’s growing student homeless crisis had an epicenter, Telfair Elementary in the northeast San Fernando Valley would be it. Last year the school had the highest percentage of homeless students; so far this year, it’s tied for first place. And as the district explores expanding support for its estimated 16,000...
By Taylor Swaak | November 27, 2018