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Education must-reads: From charter bill’s narrow passage in state Assembly to LAUSD superintendent’s long-anticipated plan to reshape the district, 14 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)

LA School Report | May 23, 2019

Education Must-Reads is our daily roundup of the most interesting news articles and analysis surrounding students, schools and California education policy.

Charter school curbs pass Assembly, but drama foretells compromise

Legislation that would give local school districts more control over charter-school authorizations narrowly passed the California State Assembly Wednesday in a dramatic vote that served as an initial litmus test for a package of consequential, union-backed charter regulation bills.

For nearly an hour, Assembly Bill 1505 stood just shy of a handful of the 41 votes required to advance to the Senate, in part because of concerns the bill went too far in limiting the ability of charter schools to appeal authorization denials from local school districts to county and state education boards.

Moderate Democrats in particular were reluctant to support the measure. When the bill finally passed 42-19, it was with an assurance from  Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, the bill’s author, that the bill would be amended to include a “fair” appeal process.

“We knew this was going to be a fight because this is a heavily political matter,” O’Donnell said following the floor vote. “Charter schools have a lot of resources that public schools don’t on the political front, and they employ them in the state Capitol, and we saw that today.” By Ricardo Cano, CALmatters

Parents Enraged by Passage of State Assembly Bill to Kill All Charter Schools in California, Speak Up

LAUSD Superintendent’s Big Plan To Improve Schools Pins Its Hope On Principals, LAist

Jackie Goldberg pushes parcel tax measure at LAUSD board swearing-in ceremony, EdSource

Mass-shooting insurance? It’s not real, but LA youths’ ‘Mad Men’-style ad campaign aims to make you think about guns in our country, Los Angeles Daily News

A charter school moratorium won’t help California schools, CALmatters

New Analysis Confirms Charters Do Not Cause District Financial Problems, Speak UP

Glendale Unified selects city resident as first female, Armenian American superintendent, Los Angeles Times

Cal State application fees expected to rise to $70 per campus amid access concerns, EdSource

Opinion: Imagining Los Angeles without charter schools, Los Angeles Daily News

California Community Colleges will extend chancellor’s contract through 2023, EdSource

They’re Trying to Ban Charter Schools in California. Here’s Why That Matters, Education Post

Keleher: As Puerto Rico’s Education Secretary, I Fought for the Island’s Students. Now, My Successors Must Take Up the Battle, The 74

Counselors Blast College Board’s Plan to Assign Students a ‘Disadvantage’ Score, Education Week

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See previous morning roundups below:



Lawsuit challenges use of restraint, seclusion in California special education school

Four special education students and their parents or guardians filed a lawsuit last week against the state of California claiming they were emotionally and physically harmed when they were illegally put in restraint holds and secluded during behavioral interventions at their Concord school.

The four students attended Floyd I. Marchus School, operated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. The public school offers special education services and integrated counseling to 85 children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Students are referred to the school from districts in Contra Costa County and neighboring counties.

The class-action suit, alleging battery, negligence and civil rights violations, also names the California Department of Education, the Contra Costa County Office of Education and members of the staff at Marchus School as defendants. The suit also names State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in his official capacity as state schools chief, although the incidents occurred before he took office in January. By Diana Lambert, EdSource

Celerity charter school founder who misspent $3.2 million gets 30 months in prison, Los Angeles Times

California’s school accountability laws have quietly become defunct, Voice of San Diego

Oakland Unified’s budget woes now include loss of two fiscal officers, EdSource

Teachers strike: Second day of picketing planned at Union City, South Hayward schools, Mercury News

Trump judicial nominees and ‘Brown v. Board of Education’, NPR

How cities are convincing voters to pay higher taxes for public preschool, Hechinger Report

Cortez: ‘In the Room Where It Happens’ — Parents Assuming Formal Authority to Drive Change, The 74

This school district outsourced many of its high school courses to an online program. But it’s not clear students are learning, Chalkbeat

What the Education Department Inspector General Discovered About Betsy DeVos’ Emails, Politics K-12



Drowning in debt from employee benefits and unwilling to reform, LAUSD looks for lifeline in Measure EE

Los Angeles Unified estimates more than half of its general fund will be needed to pay down pension and health benefit debt by 2031, leaving little for students in a district already struggling against declining enrollment and competition from charter schools.

But district officials are hopeful a remedy will come from Measure EE, the 16-cent-per-square-foot parcel tax on the June 4 ballot that promises to reduce class sizes, retain quality teachers and provide services and programs to students.

The initial draft of the ballot measure prohibited the use of the tax dollars for “funding long-term healthcare or pension liabilities.” Two days later, the final draft quietly removed that language, replacing it with “legal settlements and liabilities” instead. By Jason Henry, Los Angeles Daily News

Majority of California voters favor tax increase on millionaires to fund schools, poll finds, EdSource

A year in, can LAUSD chief Austin Beutner help save a school district in distress?, Los Angeles Daily News

Bernie Sanders Wants New Limits on Charters, but Impact May Be Less Than Revolutionary, The 74

California’s complex formulas limit options to close funding gap, EdSource

Transgender Students, Athletics, Bullying: What the Equality Act Would Mean for Schools, Politics K-12

How Many Schools Are Low-Performing Under ESSA? Here’s Some Answers, Politics K-12

The Reasoning Behind the SAT’s New ‘Disadvantage’ Score, The Atlantic

Sick Teachers Paying for Substitutes: Where and Why It’s Happening, Education Week



Experienced teachers key in California districts that ‘beat the odds’

Research released this week identified 156 California school districts with higher test scores in math and English language arts than expected for African-American and Hispanic students, and found that teacher experience was the common factor that contributed to the higher results.

“The research finds that providing students with qualified, fully prepared teachers is a critical component for raising student achievement,” said Anne Podolsky, lead author on the report, “California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds,” by the Palo-Alto based Learning Policy Institute. Other co-authors included Sean Reardon, professor at the Stanford University School of Education, and the institute’s CEO and president, Linda Darling-Hammond. Hammond is also the newly appointed president of the State Board of Education and an adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The study looked at 435 districts with at least 200 African-American or Hispanic students and 200 white students and compared the actual scores of the student groups with their predicted scores, based on a formula that includes districts’ median family income, poverty rate and parents’ education levels. By John Fensetrwald, EdSource.

He couldn’t speak as a child. Now this autistic student is giving a commencement address, Los Angeles Times

UC regents approve tuition hike for non-Californians – but with aid available, EdSource

Teachers union delays strike at Sacramento City Unified, The Sacramento Bee

Teachers strike imminent in Union City after contract talks break down, Mercury News

Superintendent, union leader team up to attract families to California district, Education Dive

The Untold Stories of Brown v. Board at 65: Five Lawsuits Merged Together to Make Supreme Court History — Meet the Unsung Heroes Who Risked Everything for Their Kids, The 74

Do Democrats’ School Diversity and Integration Ideas Match What Advocates Want?, Politics K-12

Bill de Blasio, Who’s Expanded Pre-K, Sparred on Education, Seeks Presidency, Politics K-12

SAT to Give Students ‘Adversity Score’ to Capture Social and Economic Background, Wall Street Journal

Schools turn to apps, other tech to guard against shootings, Washington Post


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