LAUSD Charters Would Lose Funding Under Gov. Jerry Brown’s Budget
Wilbur Elementary got $230,000 in state grants when it converted to a charter last fall. Now, administrators at Wilbur and other affiliated charters, nearly all of them in the San Fernando Valley, are struggling with the news that they stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants if lawmakers approve Gov. Jerry Brown’s new formula for funding public education. LA Daily News
Try a Different tack: Hold Teachers Responsible for Education Quality
The logic of the reformers seems to be that teachers unions are so wrongheaded, and the citizenry sufficiently tired of fights about seniority and teacher evaluation, that putting forward a slate of school board candidates is the way to change the balance of power in the school district and mute the pesky union. But the strategy hasn’t worked. EdSource Opinion
Obama wants the government to fund a free year of pre-kindergarten, but studies don’t back up his claims of long-term benefits. LA Times Opinion
Local Votes of Confidence: Most Bonds, Parcel Taxes Pass
Proposition 30, raising statewide taxes to support education, was a nail biter, struggling to get a majority of voters behind it. But that wasn’t the case for most K-12 parcel taxes and school construction bonds on the ballot Tuesday. Ed Source
The Prop 30 Windfall – Not Yet
In its first year, more than $2 billion of Prop 30 funds will be used to start paying off the nearly $10 billion in deferrals, those late payments that forced cash-strapped district to borrow money. Those payments should free up funds so in 2013-14, districts will start to see some real money. Ed Source
On Friday, the first hearing will be held in the Vergara v. California, the lawsuit that, in terms of its massive size and scope, one union lawyer described “Doe v. Deasy on steroids.”
Brought about by an organization called Students Matter, which is funded by wealthy tech entrepreneur David Welch, the suit takes aim at five laws in California: one that grants tenure to teachers after 18 months, three that make it extremely difficult to fire teachers with tenure, and the so-called “Last hired, first fired” [LIFO] law that mandates seniority based firing. You can read the full complaint here. See also: Firing the Bad TeachersLA Weekly).
The State of California has filed motion to dismiss the suit, on which the judge is expected to rule on Friday. If the judge agrees to hear the case, the trial is probably still at least a year away. LAUSD superintendent John Deasy, who was named as a defendant in Doe v. Deasy, gave a deposition in favor of the plaintiffs’ argument and, when we spoke to him in August, said he expected to be deposed in Vergara as well.
Not many people would recognize David Holmquist, general counsel for the LA Unified School District (pictured below). But Holmquist serves as an important role, overseeing all labor negotiations, and representing the district in over 1,000 lawsuits – including attempts by LAUSD to recover overpayment from 600 employees and dismiss more than 120 teachers.
We spoke last Wednesday in his office on the 24th floor of LAUSD headquarters about what actions LAUSD is preparing to take unilaterally if the teacher evaluation negotiations with UTLA remain unresolved, the recent LA Times lawsuit, his role in the Ramon Cortines sexual assault allegations, the ongoing legal fallout from the Miramonte scandal, and LAUSD’s version of the infamous New York City “rubber rooms” where teachers are housed while investigations against them are pending.
There are some fun parts to this novelty video put together by some filmmaker parents at LAUSD’s Aldama Elementary, including the chorus (“Our budget’s been cut, school’s hitting the skids, We’re coming for you, and we’re bringing our kids.”)
Obviously, these parents want voters to support increased funding for schools proposed in some of next month’s propositions. Click here to watch it again or read the lyrics.
Gloria Romero to Antonio Villaraigosa: We’re not removing you from Prop 32 ad SFGate: LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was ticked that the pro-Prop 32 folks were using his name and comments “out of context” in an ad. He asked them to remove his name/comments from the ad promoting the measure on the November ballot that would ban unions and corporations from using automatic payroll deductions to fund political campaigns. On Monday, the pro-32 folks responded to his request: Uh, no.
Miramonte lawsuits are on hold, attorneys hope to settle KPCC: Attorney Luis Carrillo is the one who pushed for the stay. He says the temporary delay gives his clients a chance to engage in settlement discussions with the school district. The talks would be facilitated by a mediator and could begin as early as November.
The creation of these new schools is being touted by LAUSD and, according to a new study from UC Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller, has been associated with higher achievement for elementary students. But with many riches come many problems, and equitable distribution of school space among district and charter schools has been — and continues to be — a major headache for charter proponents and Superintendent Deasy. Blame it on Prop. 39, passed in 2000, and a judge’s new ruling that has thrown the situation into further disarray and uncertainty.
• Scott Graham filed a lawsuit against former superintendent Ramon Cortines, “accusing him of making repeated unwanted sexual advances.” Graham has apparantly turned down $200,000 (plus lifetime health benefits!) settlement offered by LAUSD. City News Service.
• Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, died yesterday at 61. In addition to being an astronaut, the Encino-born Ride also worked to “inspire young people, especially girls, to become interested in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” Curriculum Matters
LAUSD to fight judge’s ruling in charter case, and more.
LAUSD is fighting a court order to give more space to charter schools. The district says enforcement would lead to school busing. LA Times, KPCC
RiShawn Biddle argues that the NAACP should get on board with public school choice
All sorts of media outlets are reporting, incorrectly, that the entire staff of Miramonte elementary was fired. LA Weekly
When did “a teacher being accused of lewd acts” become as routine a phrase as “a suspect wanted for questioning?” Gawker has good video of the Kip Arnold denouement. One more question: anyone know why some outlets are calling him Kip and others are calling him Kyp?
When allocating space to charter schools, the law requires the district to look at all space at a school site, look at the total number of students served at that site, and make an equitable offer to charter schools based on the same allocation, said Ricardo Soto, the general counsel for the Charter Schools Association.
Superintendant John Deasy was not quoted in either the KPCC piece or the LA Times piece, although he is said to disagree with the ruling.