LAUSD Loses Appeal in Settlement of Teacher-Layoff Lawsuit
The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to overturn an appellate court ruling invalidating a landmark settlement that would have exempted dozens of struggling Los Angeles Unified schools from seniority-based layoffs. Daily News
Ed Source has an excellent, 8-part infographic comparing Propositions 30 and 38, the competing ballot measures that would temporarily raise taxes to fund public education in California.
As you may recall, Proposition 38, sponsored by the well-to-do Molly Munger, would raise a bit more money than Prop 30, sponsored by Governor Jerry Brown, but wouldn’t avoid “trigger cuts” set up by Brown, which target public education.
Munger Pulls TV Ad Critical of Governor’s Prop 30
The wealthy activist behind Proposition 38 says her campaign is taking down its television ad that sought to portray Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 as a bad choice for voters interested in protecting K-12 education. News10
New Lottery Forecast Adds Badly Needed Dollars to Schools
State lottery sales could reach close to $5 billion during the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to an updated forecast from the California Department of Education. As a result, the CDE is increasing its projection for what schools can expect to receive in lottery support in the coming year from $150 per unit of average daily attendance to $154 per ADA. SI&A Cabinet Report
Yesterday we explained the unfortunate rift between ideological allies Jerry Brown and Molly Munger over Propositions 30 and 38, ballot initiatives that would increase education funding (Competing Ballot Initiatives Split Ideological Allies). Today’s news is that the conflict continues to heat up — and may only get worse between now and Election Day.
In recent weeks, Superintendent John Deasy has been warning about the dire circumstances confronting LAUSD if voters don’t approve one of the two measures to raise money for public education on the ballot in November. However, even if Governor Jerry Brown’s Prop. 30 and Molly Munger’s Prop. 38 both pass, only the top vote-getter will become law, setting them in direct competition.
The competition between the two is getting ugly. A few days ago, Munger appeared on NBC News to call Governor Brown’s advertisements “utterly deceptive.” She’s then released an ad bashing Prop. 30, something that Democrats have been afraid of (for more, see John Fensterwald’s post at Ed Source). Prop. 30 is slightly ahead in the polls and seems the more likely of the two to pass.
Deasy: LAUSD’s Future Rests With Voters
Los Angeles Unified is making significant progress in improving its academic achievement and graduation rates, but future gains will be in peril if voters reject a statewide tax hike to fund public schools, Superintendent John Deasy said Monday. Daily News
Campaign Launched To Promote Arts Education In L.A. Unified
The campaign, called “Arts Matter,” consists of messages on “hundreds of billboards, bus shelters, wall postings, mall media and bulletins,” according to organizers. Those signed up to tweet encouraging messages include singer Justin Bieber and entertainer/producer Ryan Seacrest. LA Times
A new Los Angeles Times / USC poll shows support for Governor Jerry Brown’s Prop 30 ballot initiative – which would temporarily raise income tax on high earners – has slipped to 54%, down 10 points from March. Despite the erosion, Democratic voters still overwhelmingly favor it, 69-20%. Meanwhile, Molly Munger’s competing tax measure, Prop 38, has the support of only 34% of voters.
This seems a good time for an update on the three initiatives that will have the biggest impact on LAUSD and public education in California: Propositions 30, 32 and 38. The expenditure data is from a nice interactive feature on the Los Angeles Times website.
Proposition30 The initiative, being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown, would temporarily raise income taxes on those making more than $250,000 (for seven years) and increase the sales tax by a quarter of a cent (for four years). The money would allow the state to avoid automatic “trigger cuts” – which were designed by Brown himself – that would fall mostly on public education, to the tune of $6 billion. Detractors say this measure won’t result in more money for schools.
Money raised in support: $39.8 million
Money raised against: $1.1 million
Biggest donor in support: California Teachers Association, $6.1 million
Biggest donor against: Charles B. Johnson, $200,000
Brown has worked hard to raise money to support the measure, but will it be enough to get it to the finish line?
• A tale of two headlines: Results of the California High School Exit Exam were released yesterday, and for LAUSD there’s good news and bad news, reflected in two headlines: The LA Times has it like this: “Two-thirds of sophomores pass exit exam, a record high for LAUSD”. Wonderful news! But the Daily News says: “LAUSD trails state for seniors passing high-school exit exam; sophomores taking test show major improvement”. Not very snappy. Of course, both headlines are true. About 12% of seniors failed to pass the test, which is actually an improvement on last year’s figure of 14%. Superintendent John Deasy is quoted in both pieces, and is pleased with the results in both of them. Also, KPCC has a map of how various school districts in the area did on the test.
• Student attendance grows at LAUSD: A slightly higher percentage of students within LAUSD enrolled in school compared to last year. Patch
• School closures, employee cuts, selling land debated by near bankrupt Inglewood Unified: School district staff are recommending the school board cut $14 million from their budget. The board has “taken steps to declare bankruptcy in January,” although it can avoid that if it cuts enough. KPCC
Federal Money For Low-Income Students’ AP Tests: California will receive $7.6 million from the federal government to pay for Advanced Placement tests for low income students. LA Times
PTA Endorses Munger, Not Brown: The California Parent Teacher Association has endorsed Proposition 38, Molly Munger’s ballot measure to raise taxes to pay for education, which it helped write. It has also decided to stay neutral on Governor Jerry Brown’s more moderate proposal, Prop 30. PTA
UTLA President Sets Record Straight: In response to an LA Times article suggesting that an agreement had been reached, Warren Fletcher reiterates that his union has not agreed to any evaluation system that includes use of students’ test scores. UTLA
Former Columbia Ed School Dean Calls For Smarter Testing: An op-ed in the Times from Arthur Levine argues for the development of “smarter testing,” like GPS: ”Tests should gauge what students are learning in real time and continually recalculate the instruction each student needs to learn it.” LA Times
• John Myers tweets that Molly Munger has sunk another $5 million into her Proposition 38 campaign, which would raise taxes to boost education funding in California. She has now given a total of $13.7 million. The Democratic Party and the teachers unions are backing Jerry Brown’s more moderate proposal, Proposition 30.
• Local blogger Paul Hatfield objects to LAUSD’s new teacher evaluation system (still in its pilot program phase), which at 30 pages is ten times longer than the old one. CIty Watch
• School starts August 14! LAUSD has posted its calendars here.