Dr. V’s prescription for a healthy school district
He doesn’t have all the answers, but Richard Vladovic, fondly referred to as “Dr. V,” said he believes he has some of the answers. This month Vladovic celebrates 50 years in education, serving as a teacher, many times as principal, a superintendent and now as an LA Unified school board member since 2007. He says...
By Mike Szymanski | January 13, 2017
Richard Vladovic celebrates 50 years in education, sees much yet to be accomplished
Richard Vladovic remembers the days when he was juggling his military career with teaching. “I would leave on Friday after staying to watch a school football game, jump on a plane and go to Fort Lewis, Washington, and do maneuvers in a Jeep all weekend and then come back to school by 7 in the...
By Mike Szymanski | January 12, 2017
Charter schools located on multiple LAUSD campuses are down, but it’s still disruptive, families say
The number of charter schools that will be located on multiple campuses in LA Unified next year will be down from 24 to 22, and the number of schools located on three different campuses will go from eight to four. But that’s not enough and co-located campuses continue to be disruptive to the communities and the...
By Mike Szymanski | January 11, 2017
The LAUSD school calendar is final — but for one year only
After flip-flopping on the school calendar a few times to try to start the school year closer to Labor Day, the LA Unified school board voted Tuesday to solidify their school calendar for at least one more year. But they’ll wait for data to approve a calendar for more years. Next year, school will start in mid-August, there’s...
By Mike Szymanski | January 10, 2017
Zimmer, Melvoin condemn District 4 phone survey that brings up LAUSD child molestations
A telephone opinion survey being conducted in LA Unified’s School Board District 4 that repeatedly links child molestation and sexual abuse cases in the district with incumbent Steve Zimmer is being roundly criticized by Zimmer and contender Nick Melvoin. Presented as a nonpartisan and unbiased poll, the survey focuses almost exclusively on Zimmer and Melvoin,...
By Mike Szymanski | January 6, 2017
Flavored milk is turning out to be a budget boost, early results from LAUSD pilot program find
Only one month’s worth of data is in, but if it holds true, bringing flavored milk back to the schools could offset some of LA Unified’s budget deficit. At Tuesday’s Budget, Audit and Facilities meeting — the first official LA Unified committee meeting of 2017 — new Food Services Director Joseph Vaughn discussed the preliminary numbers collected...
By Mike Szymanski | January 4, 2017
Bracing for Trump, LA school officials continue to pass resolutions opposing feared policies
Fear and anxiety of what lies ahead with a new Donald Trump administration, particularly for DACA students, led LA school officials to pass two new resolutions this week. A sweeping resolution calling for “safe zones” last month wasn’t enough. Two more resolutions specifically mentioning the new regime were passed this week. Also, the teachers union is...
By Mike Szymanski | December 16, 2016
LAUSD notifies county and state of $1.46 billion deficit
By the end of Thursday, LA Unified will be letting the state and county governments know that the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations in upcoming years because it faces a cumulative deficit of $1.46 billion through the 2018-2019 school year. Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly gave the unsettling news to...
By Mike Szymanski | December 15, 2016
School calendar switches back to its current schedule as board members cite competition from charters
It’s back to square one. After voting in the fall to start school closer to Labor Day against the superintendent’s recommendation, enough school board members changed their minds Tuesday night and reverted the calendar to this year’s schedule, citing the need to fight decreasing enrollment and the competition from charter schools. That means starting the school year again...
By Mike Szymanski | December 14, 2016
Is LAUSD giving schools too much local control? Understaffing of libraries prompts board concerns
LA Unified officials say the district has bent over backward to give schools as much local control as possible over discretionary positions and funds. But has it backfired? Are schools filthier, counselors scarce and financial bookkeeping in disarray because principals can juggle staff resources and choose which positions to fill? That’s what school board members are now...
By Mike Szymanski | December 9, 2016