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Education must-reads: From LAUSD teachers back to work to parents’ anger at the strike’s small gains and the move to limit school choice, 9 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)

LA School Report | January 23, 2019



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

LAUSD Teachers Strike Is Over. Here’s What’s In The Deal

After nearly two years of failed negotiations and a six-day strike, the Los Angeles teachers union’s contract dispute with the nation’s second-largest school district is finally over. Negotiators for both United Teachers Los Angeles and the L.A. Unified School District reached a tentative agreement on a new contract early Tuesday morning, following a 21-hour negotiation that lasted until nearly sunrise. By evening, union leaders announced that enough members had voted to accept the tentative agreement. They said teachers union members will return to their classrooms tomorrow, and school days will return to normal for LAUSD’s more than 484,000 students. By Kyle Stokes, LAist

Angry Parents Say Small Gains Did Not Justify Strike, While Move To Limit Parent Choices Harms Kids, Speak UP

Los Angeles Teachers, School District Announce Deal to End Weeklong Strike, Wall Street Journal

LA teachers strike may be over, but in Sacramento, the debate has just begun, CALmatters

In teachers’ strike settlement, public support for education was the best news, Los Angeles Times

End of LAUSD teachers strike puts athletes back in action starting Wednesday, Los Angeles Daily News

Will helping fix the teachers strike help Eric Garcetti become president?, Los Angeles Daily News

No Supreme Court Action on DACA Leaves in Place Protections for ‘Dreamers,’ Complicates Negotiations to End Shutdown, The 74

Denver teachers vote to strike for first time in 25 years, CNN

More strikes ahead? Teachers say they love their jobs but can’t pay their bills, poll shows, USA Today

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See previous morning roundups below:

 


TUESDAY, JAN. 22:

LAUSD teachers will stay off the job Tuesday

Signs late Monday night pointed to a probable settlement of the Los Angeles teachers’ strike, but not in time to get teachers back into classrooms on Tuesday. Settlement or not, teachers are expected to picket and rally — either to continue their walkout or to celebrate its end. If an agreement was reached, they would need time to vote on it. Both sides reported that talks were productive. They just hadn’t moved as fast as hoped — forcing the first L.A. teachers’ strike in 30 years to move into a sixth school day. The first major sticking point was the contract itself. If this were a normal negotiation, without an ongoing strike, the parties might have been able to take a few days off to work out some details or ponder next steps. That was not really an option. By Howard Blume and Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times

Parents Fed Up By UTLA’s $45 Million Decision To Keep Teachers Out Tuesday, Even If A Deal is ReachedSpeak UP

It’s wrong to blame charter schools for LAUSD’s mess, Los Angeles Daily News

Denver Teachers Likely to Okay Strike Today, Union Negotiator Believes, Denver Westword

Second executive at L.A. charter schools network Celerity charged with conspiracy, making false statements, Los Angeles Times

Inspiring Boyle Heights teacher gets her inspiration from students, Boyle Heights Beat

If the Strike Goes Into a Second Week, Teachers Say They’re Ready, Los Angeles Magazine

Fuller: Call It ‘Ed Reform’ or Don’t — the Fight to Make Schools Work for Our Poorest Families Must Go On. To Stop Is to Dishonor King’s Memory, The 74

San Francisco gives kindergartners free money for college. Could it work statewide?, CALmatters

Required tests roadblock for many California teacher candidates, EdSource

 


FRIDAY, JAN. 18:

LAUSD Principals Ask District To Close Schools During Strike

The head of the union representing L.A. Unified School District principals has urged the district’s leadership to close schools for the duration of the ongoing teachers strike. If LAUSD leadership cannot close schools, Associated Administrators of Los Angeles union president Juan Flecha is calling for more resources and assurances for the principals who’ve shouldered much of the burden of keeping schools running for thousands of students during the teachers strike. Flecha sent these demands in an email to district officials on Wednesday afternoon. He said he’s received hundreds of emails and calls from his members — the principals — who are concerned about campus conditions and personal safety. “It is the members, who have more than once repeatedly said, ‘This is untenable, this is dire, I’m afraid for my health and safety, I’m afraid I’m not going to go home to my family, and the schools need to shut down,'” Flecha said in an interview. By Kyle Stokes, LAist

LAUSD teachers’ strike, Day 4: Talks reopen, attendance falls, losses mount, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD teachers strike, Day 4: With attendance slumping, talks resume at City Hall, to ‘get our kids back to school,’ Los Angeles Daily News

UTLA Vows to Stick With Talks, ‘Grind This Out Until We Get An Agreement,’ Speak UP

Why does the L.A. teachers union want to limit the options for poor children?, Washington Post

Navigating LAUSD strike is especially tough for parents of students with special needs, Los Angeles Times

County oversight will add wrinkle to LA Unified’s teacher contract talks, EdSource

Who could come out strong in the LAUSD teachers’ strike when all is said and done?, Los Angeles Times

With little learning happening inside strike-humbled LAUSD schools, high achievers feel the pressure not to fall behind, Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. Schools Leader Says, ‘Strike Is a Rallying Cry, but What Does It Lead To?’, New York Times

With Teachers’ Strike, L.A.’s Long-Simmering Charter-School Battle Comes to a Head, New York Magazine

A D.C. School Meant to Inspire Teachers and Students, The 74

School choice must prevail in California, OC Register

Are California Schools the Worst in the Nation?, Mother Jones

New teacher’s guide on ‘comfort women’ to be distributed across California schools, NBC News

Should children attend full-day kindergarten? California law may soon require it, Sacramento Bee

California does not have to start from scratch in building new education data system, EdSource

 

 


THURSDAY, JAN. 17:

Teachers union and LAUSD to return to bargaining table Thursday at City Hall

The Los Angeles teachers union and the school district will return to the bargaining table at noon Thursday at City Hall, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday night. Union leaders had announced earlier in the evening that they were ready to resume talks with the Los Angeles Unified School District on Thursday — the fourth day of their strike — and to take up Garcetti’s offer to mediate. “Following discussions with the leadership of UTLA and LAUSD, both parties have agreed to resume bargaining tomorrow at noon at City Hall. The mayor’s office will facilitate these negotiations,” that office said in a statement. UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl called on students, teachers and parents to remain on the picket line and show up for a rally in Grand Park on Friday to send the bargaining team into what could be a full weekend of negotiations leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. By Sonali Kohli, Hannah Fry and Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times

The Class Size Conundrum At The Heart Of LAUSD’s Teachers Strike, LAist

What would a deal to end the LAUSD teachers’ strike look like?, Los Angeles Times

Beyond higher pay and smaller classes, charter debate is undercurrent of teachers strike in Los Angeles, EdSource

Loyal high school seniors are missing out on memories due to LAUSD teachers strike, Los Angeles Daily News

How the teachers’ strike is playing out at the school with the most homeless students in the district, Los Angeles Times

The LAUSD teachers strike proves we’re failing a generation of students, Los Angeles Daily News

Bored in Class: A National Survey Finds Nearly 1 in 3 Teens Are Bored ‘Most or All of the Time’ in School, and a Majority Report High Levels of Stress, The 74

 


WEDNESDAY, JAN. 16:

L.A. teachers bask in support for strike, but pressure grows to settle amid financial losses

It’s been a heady two days for striking Los Angeles teachers and their union leaders. Rain failed to fizzle huge rallies. People brought free tacos and “Tofurky for Teachers” to the picket lines. And their strike became a cause celebre of liberal politicians such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It was all that L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner could do to get in a cautionary word in about the harm he said the strike was doing to the nation’s second-largest school district and its students. But as the strike enters its third day — and a likely fourth and fifth — there will be increasing pressure for the union to settle as teachers lose salary, L.A. Unified loses money and the thrill wears thinner for families worried about lost learning time and how to balance childcare with work, politics with pragmatism. By Howard Blume and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times

Tale of two schools: Though separated by just 9 miles, effects of the strike on these campuses are far apart, Los Angeles Daily News

For moms at a shrinking South L.A. school, the teachers’ strike is about survival, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD teachers strike, Day 2: Beutner urges teachers to get back to classroom, says district lost $25 million on first day of walkout, Los Angeles Daily News

Parents Left to Wonder if Kids Are Learning as LAUSD Teacher Strike Enters Day 2, KTLA

Making the LAUSD strike bearable: Schools tap movies and the internet, Los Angeles Times

Teachers strike at L.A. charter schools too, a first for California, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD Magnet Parent and Former Teacher: Union’s Anti-Charter, Us-Versus-Them Mentality Won’t Help Kids, Speak UP

How Arizona Is Building Its Own Talent Pipeline to Solve the Stubborn Teacher Shortages Hitting State’s Low-Income Schools, The 74

Unions in La-La Land, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike Takes Aim at Wall Street, Bloomberg

Oakland Unified looks to higher teacher pay to improve student learning as teachers threaten to strike, EdSource

As California community colleges gear up to teach less remedial math, one college shows how it can be done, EdSource

 

 


TUESDAY, JAN. 15:

The kids are all right: As L.A. teachers strike, students take off around the city

Who knows how many rules they were breaking, this rogue Advanced Placement biology class from a high school that shall remain nameless? There they were, huddled under the bright lights of the Northridge Fashion Center food court Monday, the first day of the teachers’ strike. Four heads of dark shiny hair bent over rapidly filling notebook paper. Four pens scribbling fast. As their teacher — yes, their striking teacher, fresh from the picket line, resplendent in #RedForEd — lectured about RNA and DNA and lactose and proteins, cytoplasm and ribosomes. “I told you guys that we’re ‘randomly’ meeting here,” the teacher told the giggling scholars. “It’s purely coincidence,” responded Alina, a 16-year-old junior from West Hills, breaking into a big smile. Technically speaking, members of United Teachers Los Angeles who are striking for smaller classes and bigger paychecks should not be explicating the finer points of “central dogma and gene regulation” with their students. Technically speaking, Los Angeles Unified School District students should be on campus on an official school day, strike or not. Otherwise, they are technically considered truant, and the financially strapped district loses money. By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times

It didn’t fix the L.A. teacher strike, but Newsom’s pension idea would help schools, anyway, CALmatters

Day 1 of LA teachers’ strike: Newsom pushes for more transparency of charter schools, CALmatters

These Are The Democrats Supporting The LA Teachers Strike, Huffington Post

Will students who stay home during LAUSD strike be penalized? Your questions answered, Los Angeles Times

The long-term problem at L.A. Unified that a strike can’t fix, Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

‘Like Minority Report but in Real Life’: Post-Parkland, Schools Turn to Controversial Artificial Intelligence Surveillance to Thwart Potential Shootings, The 74

Will The LA Teacher Strike Inspire Texas Teachers To Walk Out? Probably Not, KUT 90.5

L.A. teachers’ strike: It’s not too late to avert disaster, Los Angeles Times

 

 


MONDAY, JAN. 14:

LAUSD teachers go on strike

Los Angeles teachers walked off the job Monday morning in their first strike in 30 years, leaving half a million students and their families with difficult choices. Schools will be open but it’s unknown how many students will head to classes in the nation’s second-largest school system. Some will be joining their teachers on the picket line. For those who go to school, the day is unlikely to follow routines as volunteers, an estimated 400 substitutes and 2,000 staffers from central and regional offices fill in for 31,000 teachers, nurses, librarians and counselors. At 10 schools, nonteaching employees will take part in a sympathy strike, which will create additional headaches as administrators struggle to manage such tasks as preparing and serving meals. During the last teachers’ strike in 1989, which lasted about nine days, roughly half of the district students went to school. The plan at many schools for this strike is to gather students into large groups, so they can be supervised by fewer adults. It’s not clear how much learning will be going on outside of the real-time civics lessons happening on the streets. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD Teachers Go On Strike Today, LAist

Parents’ and Kids’ Lives Thrown Into Disarray As UTLA Goes On Strike ‘For As Long As It Takes’, Speak Up

LACOE Chief Explains LAUSD’s Financial Crisis, Decries Unions’ ‘Racist and Sexist’ Attacks As ‘Unacceptable, Inappropriate And Frankly, Something We’re Not Going To Tolerate’, Speak UP

Standoff between Sacramento City school district and teachers flares up, Sacramento Bee

As teachers threaten to strike, Oakland Unified looks to higher teacher pay to improve student learning, EdSource

LAUSD BD5 Candidate Heather Repenning: ‘I Think 100 Percent, Parents Should Have A Seat At The Table’, Speak UP

Newsom’s higher education budget would boost aid, freeze tuition and repair campuses, EdSource

This Week in Education Politics: With Shutdown in Background, Congress Focuses on Disaster Aid for Districts, Higher Ed Regulations, School Choice & More, The 74

Absenteeism, teacher stress, and school safety: school climate factors to watch in 2019, Education Week

Cross section of CSU leaders praise Gov. Newsom’s budget proposal to add to university system’s budget, Long Beach News

Newsom Proposes $144 Billion California Budget With Focus On Education, Building Reserves, Capital Public Radio

The Community School Comes of Age, New York Times

Sometimes, advanced classes can slow a child’s progress, Washington Post

 

 


 

FRIDAY, JAN. 11:

Windfall for California K-12 schools, more spending from early to higher ed in Newsom’s first budget

School districts laboring under higher mandated expenses would receive a surprise windfall — pension-cost relief — in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first proposed state budget for 2019-20, which will also provide big spending increases for early and higher education.

Using surplus money from the state’s General Fund, Newsom would wipe out $3 billion of districts’ rising obligations to CalSTRS, the pension fund for teachers and administrators, including $350 million each of the next two fiscal years. If the Legislature passes the budget as proposed, districts will be able to spend that money as they want. The remaining $2.3 billion would reduce districts’ liabilities beyond 2020-21.

The governor is also proposing $576 million more for special education — another fast-rising expense that has eaten into districts’ spending. And, with $10 million in one-time money, he would kick-start a project that Jerry Brown, his predecessor, had resisted: creation over time of a statewide database linking student information from early education programs through K-12 schools to post-secondary education and into the workforce. By John Fensterwald and Zaidee Stavely, EdSource

School districts will be required to verify they’re fixing California’s lowest-performing schools, EdSource

It’s Official. LAUSD Teachers Are Allowed To Strike On Monday, LAist

‘Struggling’ with LAUSD teachers’ strike means starkly different things depending on your income, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD Superintendent Beutner Meets with Local Black Press to Push for Education Amid Talks of Teacher Strike, Los Angeles Sentinel

How People Are Planning To Feed Students If LAUSD Teachers Strike, LAist

How the Debate Over Charter Schools Is Fueling the Looming Los Angeles Teacher Strike, TIME

Parents Scramble After Learning Preschools Will Close During Strike, But Governor’s Budget Offers Glimmer Of Hope, Speak UP

Pre-Strike Chaos: County Sounds Alarm About LAUSD’s Budget And Strike Date Is Now Moving Target, LAist   

Principled Stand or High-Stakes Standoff? For a Second Year, Houston Thumbs Its Nose at a Popular Texas School Innovation Law and Risks Takeover, The 74

Deadline Looms for Input on New Sex Ed and Gender ID Education in California, NBC Los Angeles

Gavin Newsom wants more bathrooms for kindergartners, CALmatters

State to districts: Remove special-needs students from school where boy was restrained, later died, The Sacramento Bee

 

 


THURSDAY, JAN. 10:

LAUSD teachers’ strike could disrupt a delicate life balance for some families

On his first day back from winter break, 11-year-old Merwinn Rojas got a taste of how his life could change during a teachers’ strike. The after-school robotics league he participates in three days a week at Foshay Learning Center, about five miles south of downtown Los Angeles, was canceled Monday, so he walked home with his mom in near silence. The shy sixth-grader knows some of the reasons why his teachers are poised to walk the picket line starting Thursday. They have told him their movement is akin to the civil rights crusades of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. He wants them to get paid more and be treated better. But Merwinn, whose big brown eyes peek out from behind an overgrown bowl haircut, is concerned about what will happen to him and his mother if about 31,000 United Teachers Los Angeles union members go on strike. Across the vast Los Angeles Unified School District, which encompasses some 900 schools and 500,000 students, families are beginning to consider all the ways that a teacher walkout would affect their daily lives. For many, school is about much more than formal education. By Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times

LA Teachers Union Has Pushed Possible Strike Date To Monday, LAist

As teachers’ strike looms, L.A. schools aren’t failing us. We’re failing them, Los Angeles Times

Parents Call Potential LAUSD Strike Plan ‘Phenomenally Irresponsible, NBC Los Angeles

An L.A. Unified strike will make a messy situation even worse, Los Angeles Times

A strike teaches the wrong lesson to our students, Los Angeles Daily News

Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending, The Washington Post

UTLA Delays Strike Until Monday, As LAUSD Pleads With State Leaders For More School Funding, Speak UP

Strike FAQ for Parents, Speak UP

As L.A. teachers threaten to strike, union leaders are fighting a controversial school reform strategy, Chalkbeat

What’s driving these LAUSD teachers to strike, Los Angeles Times

15 award-winning Los Angeles teachers: We don’t want to strike, but this is why we must, The Washington Post

Union Report: Are Teachers Quitting at Record Rate? Actually, They Leave Their Jobs at Lower Rates Than Almost Everyone Else, The 74

Governor Dad: How Gavin Newsom’s kids are about to shape California, CALmatters

Retiring State Board President discusses funding, data and a critical need for more training, EdSource

SF schools’ move to delay algebra shows positive results, district says, San Francisco Chronicle

These 5 Trends Will Dominate STEM + Education in 2019, Forbes

 

 


WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9:

Gov. Newsom wants universal preschool for low-income children in California to be phased in over three years

Within days of being sworn in as California’s chief executive, Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to put forward a three-year plan to achieve universal preschool in California for all low-income 4-year-olds, in an attempt to implement a campaign promise pledging a major expansion of early education programs. What’s more, the ambitious plan will call for full-day preschool, according to a document provided by a source close to the Newsom transition team. In 2014, the Legislature declared that “it is the intent of the state to provide all low-income 4-year-old children from working families with full-day, full-year early education and care.” Each year since then, it has provided funds for additional subsidized full day preschool slots, but most slots are still part-day ones. By Louis Freedberg, EdSource

Latest LAUSD Offer Won’t Prevent A Teachers Strike — But Talks Will Continue, LAist

Lawyers wrangle over teachers’ strike date while school board eases volunteer rules, Los Angeles Times

As strike looms, Los Angeles teachers push for more community schools, Education Dive

More Talks Scheduled For Wednesday After LAUSD Sweetens Offer On Hiring and Class Sizes, Speak UP

A Guide For LAUSD Parents In The Event Of A Teachers Strike, LAist

‘A lot of people are looking to California’: What L.A. teachers are thinking about as a strike looms, Chalkbeat

State board of education president, and governor’s ally, leaves mark on California education, EdSource

Elected School Board Members Are Most Likely to Be White, Wealthy & Republican, New Study Finds, The 74

Some of America’s poorest college kids are in financial aid limbo, thanks to disruptions at the IRS, The Washington Post

When Do States Have to Release Their ESSA Report Cards?, Politics K-12

6 K-12 trends to watch in 2019, Education Dive

 

 


TUESDAY, JAN. 8:

Los Angeles Braces for Major Teachers’ Strike

There are 900 schools, 30,000 teachers and more than 600,000 students in the Los Angeles public school system. By the end of the week, a teacher strike could throw them all into crisis.

After months of failed negotiations, teachers are expected to walk off the job on Thursday, in a show of frustration over what they say are untenable conditions in the second-largest school system in the country.

Teachers and other employees in the Los Angeles Unified School District are demanding higher pay, smaller class sizes and more support staff like counselors and librarians. But district officials say that they do not have the money to meet all of the demands and that the strike would do more damage to schools than good.

A strike in Los Angeles would offer a new stage for the national teacher protest movement, which in the last year has driven walkouts against stagnant pay and low education funding in six states. A walkout in staunchly liberal Los Angeles would also signal a major shift in a movement that has spread mostly in conservative or swing states with weaker unions. By Jennifer Medina and Dana Goldstein, New York Times

No agreement to avert L.A. teachers’ strike after a long day of bargaining, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD and its teachers make no progress on negotiations, will go to court to determine strike date, Los Angeles Daily News

Highly paid substitutes, lessons in large spaces — how L.A. Unified is preparing for a teachers strike, Los Angeles Times

If there’s an LAUSD teachers strike, non-union substitute teachers could be highly paid, Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. schools have bigger problems than a looming teachers strike, Los Angeles Times

The economy is booming. Why are so many California schools broke?, Sacramento Bee

Teachers have a choice: kids or picket lines, San Bernardino Sun

Governor Dad: How Gavin Newsom’s kids are about to shape California, CALmatters

Consistent to the end, Jerry Brown says it’s all about teachers and students, EdSource

Expectations are high for newly sworn-in state schools chief Tony Thurmond, Los Angeles Times

Tony Thurmond sworn in as new state superintendent of public instruction, EdSource

D.C.’s High Teacher Turnover Rate Hurts Educators as Well as Students. Blame the District’s Pension Plan, The 74

Context on LAUSD’s Potential Teacher Strike, TeacherPensions.org

XQ’s 19th Super School Is an Oakland Diverse-by-Design Charter High School Founded by a Local Teacher, Education Post


MONDAY, JAN. 7:

LAUSD Teachers Strike May Be Delayed By A Few Days

Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District may not be able to begin their strike, as planned, on Jan. 10 — the date they had picked to begin their work stoppage if they hadn’t yet reached a contract deal with district management.

Instead, the strike may be delayed until Jan. 14. That’s because of a disagreement about when and whether United Teachers Los Angeles officials filed the right paperwork giving formal notice of its intent to strike, according to a statement from the union sent Sunday.

In the statement, UTLA leaders said they plan to “proactively” go to court in the coming week to ensure its members — more than 30,000 LAUSD teachers, counselors, nurses and social workers — can strike on January 10 as planned. Union officials believe their original strike date should still stand. By Kyle Stokes, LAist

L.A.’s Teachers Union Can’t Do Simple Math, Wall Street Journal

Teachers Strike Looms for a Half-Million Children in Los Angeles, Wall Street Journal

Looming teachers’ strike complicates a Garcetti presidential bid, Los Angeles Times

Judge denies L.A. school district’s bid to block teachers strike, Los Angeles Times

Coaches and athletes will be among those most affected by an LAUSD teacher strike, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD teachers may go on strike this week for the first time since 1989: Here’s what you need to know, Los Angeles Daily News

Two years into a fierce contract battle, LAUSD, UTLA can’t agree on a common set of facts, Los Angeles Daily News

LAUSD teacher strike: Guide for parents, ABC 7

The nation’s wave of teacher strikes may hit L.A. this week. But here’s how ours is different, Los Angeles Times

Judge Rejects LAUSD Effort To Protect Kids With Special Needs During Strike, As UTLA and LAUSD Set Last-Ditch Monday Meeting, Speak UP

Alex Caputo-Pearl: Why Los Angeles teachers may have to strike, Los Angeles Times

San Ysidro School District offers employees early-retirement plan amid budget woes, San Diego Union-Tribue

This Week In Education Politics: Navigating the Shutdown, New School Cases Possibly Headed to SCOTUS, Superintendents of the Year & More, The 74

Restorative justice reduces suspensions in elementary grades but not middle school, study shows, EdSource

As Newsom inaugural events begin, he unveils more state budget promises on education and paid family leave, Los Angeles Times

Heather Repenning Campaigns for LAUSD Board of Education, L.A. Weekly

BD Candidate, Principal Cynthia Gonzalez: ‘People Have To See Kids Of Color As Important To Invest In,’ Speak UP

 

 

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