Commentary: Reflections on my final day of covering LAUSD
On my last day with LA School Report I’d like to take a minute (or ten) to do some navel gazing — reflect on the things I’ve learned as an education reporter covering this behemoth school district, a job for the most part I have truly enjoyed. First, the things I won’t be missing about...
By Vanessa Romo | July 2, 2015 3:27 pm
Next up for LA Unified board: the search for a successor to Cortines
With a recently balanced $7.8 billion budget in place, two new board members sworn in and Steve Zimmer elected as the new president, the LA Unified board is turning to the hiring of a superintendent to follow Ramon Cortines as, perhaps, its highest priority. The pronouncement to start the search was among the first orders of...
By Vanessa Romo | July 2, 2015 9:04 am
Zimmer wins unanimous approval to serve as LAUSD board leader
One week after it appeared Richard Vladovic was destined to serve as president of the LA Unified board for a third consecutive term, the members unanimously today elected Steve Zimmer as its new leader, giving the district its most teacher union friendly president in more than a decade. Zimmer, who began his career with the district...
By Vanessa Romo | July 1, 2015 4:28 pm
A day of pomp, circumstance and politics awaiting new LAUSD board
Get ready for some pomp, circumstance — and politics. The first half of tomorrow’s LA Unified school board meeting, starting at 10 am, will be a swearing in ceremony for four newly elected board members by people or, in some cases, groups of people, of their choice. Scott Schmerelson, Ref Rodriguez, George McKenna and Richard...
By Vanessa Romo | June 30, 2015 2:55 pm
In-coming LAUSD board members getting their priorities in order
* UPDATED Ref Rodriguez is in the market for new friends. Specifically, friends on the LA Unified school board, which he’ll officially join tomorrow for a five-year term ending in 2020. “I know I need to build some relationships with certain communities that may not trust me because of the campaign,” he told LA School...
By Vanessa Romo | June 30, 2015 10:39 am
LA Unified board contemplating rule changes on vote for president
If Ref Rodriguez and Scott Schemerelson had any hope of a slow and easy introduction to LA Unified board politics, they’re in for a jolt. Shortly after they’re sworn in as the board’s newest members next week, they might be asked to cast votes on a rule that determines who can or can’t be board...
By Vanessa Romo | June 25, 2015 5:03 pm
Improved credit for Magnolia schools opens door for expansion
Just one year after LA Unified attempted to shut down two of Magnolia Public Schools campuses over fiscal mismanagement, the embattled organization received a positive credit rating from Standard & Poor’s. The largest credit agency in the country lifted Magnolia’s rating to BB and revised its outlook from “negative” to “stable.” “This is wonderful news...
By Vanessa Romo | June 24, 2015 2:11 pm
LAUSD board approves $7.8 billion budget, providing gain and pain
The LA Unified school board yesterday approved a $7.8 billion budget that includes raises, pension increases, sustained health benefits, more money for school maintenance and expansion of programs for targeted students that nearly became extinct over the recession years. But in doing so, the district broke its one-year streak of no layoffs. Despite an increase of...
By Vanessa Romo | June 24, 2015 10:36 am
Emotional board sendoff for Kayser, but not a word for Galatzan
Two members of the LA Unified school board, losers in last month’s elections, joined their colleagues for the final time today, as Bennett Kayser got a 90-minute heartfelt and emotional sendoff and Tamar Galatzan walked away without so much as a goodbye or thank you from any of the remaining five members, including the out-going president,...
By Vanessa Romo | June 23, 2015 7:02 pm
A rally for more LAUSD focus on restorative justice programs
A small coalition of community organizations rallied at LA Unified headquarters today, urging district leaders to invest in more restorative justice programs and alternative schools. The Dignity in Schools Campaign joined with leaders of the parent group, CADRE, Public Counsel and the teachers union, UTLA, to celebrate, what they called “a minor victory.” Beginning next...
By Vanessa Romo | June 23, 2015 12:30 pm