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Morning Read: Delayed pension funds may cost taxpayers

LA School Report | March 20, 2014

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Delays would mean bigger costs for shoring up teacher pension fund
The longer California’s leaders delay shoring up the cash-strapped teacher pension fund, the more money it will cost taxpayers in the long run, according to an analysis presented to lawmakers on Wednesday. If lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown eliminate the fund’s $71-billion shortfall over the next 20 years, the extra contributions needed from the state, schools and teachers would total a little more than $180 billion in that time period. LA Times

Federal grant targets special education teachers, administrators
As part of a national effort to improve instruction for children with learning, behavioral, physical and other disabilities, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has been awarded a $200,000 federal grant for an intensive review of training for the state’s teachers and administrators – in both general and special education settings. EdSource

Districts will get extra funding for foster students, once state finds them
Under the state’s new school finance law, districts for the first time will receive additional funds based on the number of foster students enrolled in their schools. The law also requires that, by July, districts set academic goals for those students. But just identifying them by then is a problem. EdSource

Cancer scare at Malibu High turns messy
Nobody knows if Malibu High School is making people sick. But last October, Los Angeles media reported a possible cancer cluster involving three teachers allegedly diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The ensuing controversy was met with missteps by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District — and silence from the teachers union. LA Weekly

Weighted admissions lotteries: Will they reshape charter demographics?
New federal regulatory guidance that now allows charter schools to hold weighted admission lotteries in favor of disadvantaged students may affect a small number of charters now, but could have a greater impact in the future, experts say. EdWeek

No shortage of interest in career readiness grants
Competition for $250 million in career-readiness funding looks to be fierce as some 276 educational entities have signaled their intention to apply for one of 40 grants from the newly-created California Career Pathways Trust. That list includes community college districts, charter schools, K-12 districts and county offices of education – all of which have submitted a “letter of intent to apply.” S&I Cabinet Report

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