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Morning Read: $1 Billion Needed for LAUSD Priorities

LA School Report | October 2, 2013

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L.A. Unified can’t afford $1-billion budget wish list, official says
L.A. Unified will need more than $1 billion to pay for additional teachers, a longer school year and other items favored by Board of Education members — but the chance of acquiring such funds is zero, the district’s financial chief said Tuesday. Board members had passed a measure in June asking the district to present a three-year strategy to pay for their priorities. LA TImes

Los Angeles Unified discussing 200-day school year
Los Angeles Unified, the state’s largest school district, is discussing extending its academic year by 20 days, a $300 million proposal that would give Los Angeles the longest school year, at 200 days, of any large urban district in the nation. Extending class time and the length of the school year is gaining increasing attention as educators seek new ways to improve student performance, and any extension would put Los Angeles at the forefront of the national effort. EdSource

New glitches surface in LAUSD’s iPad project
Los Angeles Unified’s ambitious iPad project hit another snag Tuesday, as officials conceded that some schools have temporarily stopped using the tablet computers, and the school board scheduled a special meeting to get its own questions answered about the status of the rollout. LA Daily News

Head Start hit hardest by federal shutdown

For the short term, most schools will likely be unaffected by the federal government shutdown that went into effect today. But if the impasse in Congress lasts a long time, schools may feel the financial squeeze. The shutdown is a result of the House and Senate’s failure to agree on a funding bill, which forced more than 800,000 federal employees into furlough Tuesday morning. Hechinger Report 

State readies millions in funding for school energy projects
As early as November, school districts could begin seeing the first batch of millions in state tax dollars approved to help them make their facilities more energy-efficient. But under guidelines released late last week governing the distribution of up to $550 million annually in Proposition 39 funds, districts would also face a December deadline for submitting reports detailing how they plan to use the money to save energy. SI&A Cabinet Report

New LGBT-specific history lessons planned for L.A. County schools
The Black Cat raid, protests and other events in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history will be included in new lesson plans to be integrated into history curriculum at Los Angeles County high schools in the coming months, according to Project SPIN, a partnership between the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and Los Angeles Unified School District. LA Times

Rollout of School Meals Option Popular, Report Says
A new school-meals-eligibility option authorized by Congress in 2010 is proving popular with high-poverty schools and is significantly increasing student participation in school lunch and school breakfast programs funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a report being released this week by two national anti-poverty advocacy groups. EdWeek

Crisis in California’s schools: 250,000 schoolchildren need glasses
Commentary: There is a crisis in California’s schools. More than a quarter of a million children, most of them from poor and minority backgrounds, lack the technology they need to succeed in school. But what they need has nothing to do with mobile devices or educational apps. It’s a technology nearly 800 years old: eyeglasses. LA Times

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