For LA’s next superintendent, school board members want a unanimous choice
LA Unified’s school board members want a new superintendent they can all support. They would like to get a unanimous decision, as it was with Michelle King’s selection two years ago. They also want public input on the choice and to have a new leader in place by the time school starts in August. “Yes,...
By Mike Szymanski | January 17, 2018
LAUSD’s school board can begin superintendent search; Ekchian is named interim head
LA Unified’s school board can begin the search for a new superintendent immediately, the district’s lead attorney said Tuesday, and the board president said members will hold weekly discussions as they move to bring stability to a district that has had nine superintendents in 20 years. The school board held its first meeting of the...
By Mike Szymanski | January 9, 2018
‘Disappointing but not surprising’ — California’s ESSA plan gets some of the harshest feedback yet from Washington
California’s plan to improve its schools received some of the toughest criticism in the nation from the federal Department of Education, which came as no surprise to parents and education advocates, who will get another chance this week to tell the state how they want their schools improved. On Tuesday, the state has invited the...
By Mike Szymanski | January 8, 2018
LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King, on medical leave as she fights cancer, will retire by end of June
Updated Jan. 5 LA Unified Superintendent Michelle King announced Friday afternoon she will be retiring from the district by the end of June as she undergoes treatment for cancer. King, 56, has been on a medical leave of absence since Sept. 15 after feeling weak during a long school board meeting three days earlier. In...
By Mike Szymanski | January 5, 2018
Some LA parents say paperwork and new fees are forcing them to quit volunteering at their schools and jeopardizing extracurricular programs
Parents and teachers have become so frustrated with excessive paperwork, filing fees, and unexpected costs to use school rooms that holiday events have been canceled, fundraisers postponed, and special programs tabled throughout LA Unified. The district cracked down this fall on long-overlooked procedures meant to protect its liability, after an internal report last June showed...
By Mike Szymanski | December 19, 2017
A little good news on the budget — and 6 more things to know about LAUSD’s school board meeting
At their last meeting of 2017, the LA Unified school board beefed up sexual harassment policies, reversed support for a state bill that charter schools considered a threat, discussed how to handle upcoming retiree costs of nearly $14 billion, and got a little good news on the budget. BUDGET NEWS More cash is coming from the...
By Mike Szymanski | December 13, 2017
Easy money for LA schools: Get every kid to class one more day a year and generate $30 million
*UPDATED It’s a daunting task to try to figure out how LA Unified can save money, but an advisory group came up with a surprising statistic: If the district can get every student in the district to come to school at least one more day, then it will be ahead by $30 million because of...
By Mike Szymanski | December 8, 2017
Los Angeles schools could lose tens of millions of dollars for fire-related closures — but state will likely cover the bill
*UPDATED — Schools to reopen Monday, plus lunch and support sites available on Friday and Saturday. More than one-third of LA Unified schools closed this week because of raging fires in the San Fernando Valley and the Sepulveda Pass. No students in all those seats could mean a loss of tens of millions of dollars...
By Mike Szymanski | December 7, 2017
LAUSD agrees to more consistency when tacking on additional requirements to charter renewals
LA Unified’s charter division agreed this week to be more consistent when making additional requirements of independent charter schools during their renewal process. School board vice president Nick Melvoin requested the change at Tuesday’s board meeting because he said the added requirements, known as benchmarks, were being applied unfairly to some schools that were showing...
By Mike Szymanski | December 7, 2017
Vegan lunches could be coming to every LAUSD school next year
Carolina Sagrero, 16, is neither vegan nor vegetarian, but she sure likes the new vegan chili that’s joined the Roosevelt High School lunch menu this year. “Everyone loves the vegan chili,” said Sagrero, a junior on the volleyball team. “It got me thinking about my diet, and so I’ve tried more of the vegan options....
By Mike Szymanski | December 3, 2017