LAUSD keeps hiring as enrollment declines and financial crisis looms
LA Unified officials persistently wring their hands about losing students year after year, but meanwhile the number of employees continues to rise. In their latest tally, school district employees rose from 59,563 in the 2014-2015 school year to 59,823 last year and 60,191 in the 2016-2017 school year. (A final accounting of the actual hires will be available...
By Mike Szymanski | August 29, 2016
El Camino Real Charter teachers voice strong support for school, meet with union reps; LAUSD makes correspondence public
A $1,139 dinner at a steakhouse. A $95 bottle of fine Syrah wine. A $73 bill for flowers. Those charges and others made by staff of a successful charter school were cited this week at an LA Unified School Board meeting and led the district to take the first steps to revoking the school’s charter. El...
By Mike Szymanski | August 26, 2016
These 20 LAUSD schools are among the state’s lowest performers
A total of 20 schools—14 district schools and six charter schools—that fall under the LA Unified umbrella are among the bottom 5 percent of low-performing schools in the state of California. The schools are eligible for School Improvement Grants (SIG) money that can result in $2 million a year for five years if the school administrators...
By Mike Szymanski | August 25, 2016
Zimmer expresses frustration over credit recovery, graduating with D’s and academic counselor shortage
While the latest academic reports from the LA Unified school district were positive overall, school board President Steve Zimmer expressed frustration at some of the data presented at Tuesday’s board meeting and said he foresees potential problems ahead. Zimmer asked for a breakdown of how many students are graduating with D grades and in what subjects. “How many...
By Mike Szymanski | August 24, 2016
LAUSD board takes up health benefits, teacher hiring, school calendar, charter considerations
Hiring more teachers, moving the school year to start after Labor Day, training workers to fix air conditioners and offering health benefits for teachers assistants and playground aides are some of the items on the list for the Tuesday afternoon’s LA Unified School Board meeting kicking off the new year. The school board will also be...
By Mike Szymanski | August 22, 2016
LAUSD’s graduation rate a record 75 percent, Michelle King announces at her first State of the District address
Michelle King announced a record 75 percent graduation rate at her first State of the District address as superintendent of LA Unified, “a district on the move,” she proclaimed Tuesday. King noted that the 75 percent rate is based on “preliminary data” as she addressed 1,500 principals, assistant principals and district administrators at the annual kick-off to the school...
By Mike Szymanski | August 9, 2016
LA Unified reopens all district libraries — but forgets about the books
For the first time since some school libraries were shuttered during budget cuts in 2008, all of the LA Unified school libraries will be back up and running when school starts again on August 16. But according to the latest district estimates, the majority of students across Los Angeles will still be forced to rely...
By Mike Szymanski | August 4, 2016
Forum panel discusses how segregation in LA Unified schools is worse than ever
Parent and anthropologist Courtney Everts Mykytyn surprised some charter and traditional LA Unified educators at her lectures last weekend when showing that schools in Los Angeles and across the country are more segregated than at any other time in the nation’s history. Mykytyn noted that Latino and African-American students in LA Unified are more segregated...
By Mike Szymanski | July 28, 2016
New life for Ethnic Studies Committee and a fresh push for required courses
The Ethnic Studies Committee, which LA Unified unceremoniously disbanded last year, has been renewed by the district, and members agreed to meet for up to three more years with a goal toward incorporating ethnic studies as a graduation requirement, according to Derrick Chau, director of secondary instruction at LA Unified. “We are moving ahead with districtwide ethnic...
By Mike Szymanski | June 20, 2016
LAUSD administrative staff jumps 22 percent even as enrollment drops
Despite projected budget deficits reaching nearly half a billion dollars and steep enrollment declines, LA Unified’s certified administrative staff has increased 22 percent in the last five years, according to a superintendent’s report. The number of teachers has dropped 9 percent in the same period. And teachers and certified staff are aging toward retirement, heading toward...
By Mike Szymanski | May 18, 2016