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Morning Read: Counties going easy on districts’ spending plans

LA School Report | April 21, 2014

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County offices to cut districts some slack for now on their LCAPs
State and county education officials are seeking to reassure school districts that might be worried that county superintendents will reject the new accountability plans they’ll submit by July 1 for the 2014-15 year. Tighter scrutiny will come, just not for the initial plan. EdSource

Mentoring group gives L.A. Unified students an extra way to connect
City Year has partnered with L.A. Unified for seven years, dispatching corps members — easily identifiable in their bright yellow jackets — to 22 elementary, middle and high schools. Corps members assist students in three main areas referred to as the ABC’s: attendance, behavior and course performance. LA Times

LAUSD to allow retired teachers to coach
Effective July 1, LAUSD schools will be allowed to hire and pay retired teachers as coaches. The move comes after the district’s human resources division changed its rule interpretation and came up with a plan following requests and a presentation by several retired coaches, according to the LAUSD athletics office. LA Times

Republicans See Political Wedge in Common Core
The health care law may be Republicans’ favorite weapon against Democrats this year, but there is another issue roiling their party and shaping the establishment-versus-grass-roots divide ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries: the Common Core. New York Times

Survey shows big jump on online learning enrollment
The number of K-12 districts and charter schools offering online learning opportunities is growing, and more students are taking advantage of those courses than ever before, new survey results released today show. While the number of local educational agencies who say they offer some form of virtual or blended online learning increased in 2013 by 7 percent, more noticeable is the 39 percent jump in the number of students enrolled in those programs this school year. S&I Cabinet Report

The Battle to Educate Our Children
The words “battle” and “education” seemingly should not go together and yet, for most of African American history in the U.S., seeking an education that would develop the whole person as well as prepare one for future responsibilities has been exactly that. The battle continues today with efforts to secure representation on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. LA Sentinel

Teacher tenure vs. kids
Commentary: Nine California students are in court challenging that state’s teacher tenure laws as subjecting low-income and minority kids to subpar educations. Root for the kids — and hope the lesson applies here. Under California law, teachers are eligible for bulletproof job protection after 18 months on the job. Dismissing a terrible tenured teacher is an endless and all-but-impossible mission. If budget pressures demand layoffs, the most recently hired are first out the door, regardless of quality. NY Daily News

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