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Morning Read: Education Money Will Flow, Even With Shutdown

LA School Report | October 1, 2013

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What would federal shutdown mean for California education?
Federal money for education will continue to flow into California, with some caveats, even with a government shutdown. The big-ticket federal education programs in California – $1.8 billion a year for low-performing schools and $1.4 billion a year for special education – will be unscathed, according to a memorandum from the U.S. Department of Education. Those programs, along with grants for Career and Technical Education, would be deemed “a necessary exception” to a spending halt and would receive their scheduled Oct. 1 funding distribution. EdSource

L.A. Unified takes back iPads as $1-billion plan hits hurdles
Los Angeles school officials have taken back iPads from students at Westchester and Roosevelt high schools and possibly other campuses as well until further notice, the latest fallout from student hacking of the devices. The move is another complication in efforts to provide an iPad to every student as part of a $1-billion technology plan in the nation’s second-largest school system. LA Times

LAUSD magnet-school applications accepted Oct. 1-Nov. 15
Applications will be accepted beginning Tuesday for Los Angeles Unified’s popular magnet schools, which use a priority point system to admit students to its 191 theme-based programs. Information and applications for the 2014-15 school year are available at Applications will be availale at local schools, city libraries and LAUSD headquarters, and must be filed by Nov. 15. LA Daily News

LA Unified’s backlog of broken musical instruments ‘like a war scene’
As his third period beginning band students sat and waited, teacher Dan McNamara pulled a plastic lighter out of his pocket and lit the flame over the mouthpiece of a flute. It’s not a science experiment — McNamara is sanitizing the flute. On any given day, McNamara said, a third to half of his students’ instruments aren’t working properly. Several alto saxophones, clarinets and flutes he sent off for repair have been gone for months. KPCC

The charter school mistake
Commentary: Los Angeles has more charter schools than any other school district in the nation, and it’s a very bad idea. Billionaires like privately managed schools. Parents are lured with glittering promises of getting their kids a sure ticket to college. Politicians want to appear to be champions of “school reform” with charters. But charters will not end the poverty at the root of low academic performance or transform our nation’s schools into a high-performing system. LA Times

New Data Demands in Calif. Seen as Onerous by Districts
To satisfy demands of California’s state K-12 database and a brand-new system for education finance, the state has asked many schools for data on each individual student, including a count of those who qualify as low-income based on their eligibility for federally subsidized meals. But this fundamental shift in how California handles student information has caused consternation and confusion among many districts serving large populations of needy students. EdWeek

States struggle with how to fund online schools
Online learning is growing quickly and more and more schools are embracing online education system, but in the US, states are running into operational problems. The main issue for all states seems to be how much money from the state education budget should be spent on online courses. Sunny Deye, a senior policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said the issue of funding online schools is “huge” and “ongoing” and concerns are growing over how to fund online education in a fair and equitable way. Education News

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