Morning Read: Outside Spending Soars in LAUSD Races

Outside spending in LAUSD race tops $2 Million
Outside spending for the Los Angeles Unified school board campaign has soared past $2 million – including $1 million in the contentious District 4 race that has shaped up as a pitched battle between reform and union interests. LA Daily News
See also: LA School Report


Huge Spending Gaps Between School Districts, Report Finds
Vast inequities still exist in education funding across the nation, contributing to an academic achievement gap that separates the students at well-funded schools from those who attend campuses with fewer resources, according to a report released Tuesday. LA Times


Superintendents in D.C. to Talk District Waiver With Duncan
Superintendents representing a coalition of 10 California school districts, including LAUSD, are scheduled to meet with U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today to make a personal pitch for a district waiver from provisions of No Child Left Behind, which they plan to formally submit next week. EdSource


Schools in Crisis, Reforms Not Working, U.S. Federal Panel Declares
A federal commission on Tuesday said the U.S. education system had “thoroughly stacked the odds” against impoverished students and warned that an aggressive reform agenda embraced by both Democrats and Republicans had not done enough to improve public schools. Reuters


Charter Schools’ Discipline Policies Face Scrutiny
As the number of charter schools continues to grow, one facet of their autonomy—the ability to set and enforce independent disciplinary standards—has raised difficult questions about whether those schools are pushing out students who pose behavior or academic challenges and how their policies affect regular public schools. EdWeek


Calpers Will Sell Its Investments in Gun Makers
The investment committee of Calpers, the biggest American pension fund, voted Tuesday to divest itself of its holdings in two manufacturers of guns and high-capacity ammunition clips banned in California. NY Times


St. Genevieve High Honors Former President Jimmy Carter
A statesman, author and diplomat, Jimmy Carter hasn’t often found himself at a loss for words.  But on Tuesday, facing a wall covered with photos and mementos of his friendship with the community at St. Genevieve High School, the nation’s 39th president found it difficult to express himself. LA Daily News


Abuse of School Meals Funds Target of Cannella Bill
Acting on the financial abuses by school districts that “literally take food from the mouths of children,” a state legislator has introduced the School Lunch Protection Act. The Californian


Federal Grant Prospect Reignites Kindergarten-Assessment Debate
A federal grant program in the works to help states jump-start kindergarten-entry assessments is renewing debate among early-childhood educators about the benefits and pitfalls of evaluating young children. EdWeek


Congressional Panel Calls for Larger Federal Role in Directing Schools
A white paper released Tuesday on improving educational competitiveness and closing the achievement gap called for a significantly larger federal role in the management of the nation’s public school system. SI&A Cabinet Report