Easy funding source for schools gets complicated
Neighborhood councils in Los Angeles have served as easy and reliable sources of funds for public schools. The councils have $37,000 a year to dole out to the community, and many have set aside a portion of their budgets specifically for schools. But recently some of the councils have learned of a restriction that would tie their hands in...
By Mike Szymanski | March 22, 2016
More concussions reported among LAUSD athletes, but also better monitoring
Rising concussion numbers have spurred LA Unified to examine how to better monitor head injuries and ensure the safety of student athletes. “I love football,” said board member Richard Vladovic, who noted that this week the NFL for the first time recognized a link between football and brain disorders. “But I’m very concerned about long-term effects on...
By Mike Szymanski | March 17, 2016
Fight over weapons in LAUSD not over, group says
A civic group protesting the military-style weapons once held by LA Unified police said they will continue to disrupt meetings and hold demonstrations until they get answers and action. The group, Fight for the Soul of the Cities, took over a committee meeting at the LA Unified school board headquarters last month, and this week...
By Mike Szymanski | March 11, 2016
LAUSD turns up the heat on the national chicken industry
LA Unified is making no bones about wanting to change the chicken industry, and federal officials visiting the district Thursday say they’re on their way to doing it. LA Unified became the first large school district in the nation to contract for antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken and turkey in a vote Tuesday. On Thursday, visiting...
By Mike Szymanski | March 10, 2016
Nearly half of LAUSD students now eligible for free school lunches thanks to new program
Mikelah Wynn, 11, looked skeptically at the tall man in the suit who sat down with her and her friends as she opened up her breakfast Thursday morning. The man was Kevin Concannon, USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, who came from Washington, D.C., to her fifth-grade class in Winnetka to celebrate the...
By Mike Szymanski | March 10, 2016
Charter school scores hard-won approval despite objections by board staff, president and superintendent
To help a model charter school expand into high school, the LA Unified school board took unprecedented steps Tuesday night to cobble together a plan, concocting at least half a dozen proposals and amendments during a lengthy and at times contentious discussion. District staff had recommended that the board reject the school’s petition. Ultimately, the charter...
By Mike Szymanski | March 9, 2016
LAUSD has returned weapons, protesters learn as they disrupt board meeting
LA Unified has returned the last of the military-style weapons it received under a controversial federal program. The news was released in a letter Tuesday, which stated that as of Feb. 5 the last of the weapons, demilitarized rifles, were back in federal custody. The letter from LA Unified Police Chief Steven Zipperman was addressed to Eric Mann,...
By Mike Szymanski | February 23, 2016
What does it mean that LAUSD is a ‘safe zone’ from immigration officials?
The second largest school district in the nation went on record last week saying it won’t allow law enforcement agents looking to deport those without documentation into any of its 1,274 schools without a review process. The LA Unified School Board voted unanimously to make the district a “safe zone.” The district is not the first. Across the nation...
By Mike Szymanski | February 18, 2016
How this math teacher helps kids get perfect scores
It was cause for celebration when 17-year-old Cedrick Argueta was one in 12 students in the entire world to ace one of the toughest college-level calculus tests. But it wasn’t just one test. Cedrick also earned perfect scores on the English and math sections of the American College Testing entrance exam. And it wasn’t just...
By Mike Szymanski | February 12, 2016
Exclusive: It’s ‘all hands on deck’ as LAUSD says nearly 1 in 2 seniors not on track to graduate
Only roughly one in two LAUSD high school seniors is currently on track to graduate, and the district is scrambling to get extra assistance to an estimated 15,000 students in danger of being left behind this June. According to internal district reports obtained by LA School Report, an estimated 54 percent of seniors are on track to...
By Craig Clough | February 11, 2016