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Morning Read: Education primary focuses on reform and spending

LA School Report | June 3, 2014

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This Primary election in education: Reform and spending
Voters in today’s primaries are faced with a laundry list of education issues as they head to the polls. School boards from some larger districts have vacant seats that are set to be filled, and bond measures ranging from $60 million to $650 million for school renovations will be decided on throughout the state. The key race in education, however, is that for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, which could be a close call. Though incumbent Tom Torlakson, a former teacher and veteran lawmaker, is backed by the California Teachers Association, one of his opponents, Marshall Tuck, has an impressive array of well-heeled backers. S&I Cabinet Report

Students at seven schools sue CA to get more instruction time
Eighteen students from seven low-performing schools in California filed a class-action lawsuit against the state and its top education officials last week, claiming that they have not been given the same amount of time to learn as students in wealthier areas. Pro-bono law firm Public Counsel and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California filed the case, Cruz v. State of California, in Alameda Superior Court. The plaintiffs’ schools and all located in low-income, urban communities. Edweek

Standardized ethnic-studies curriculum for high schools to be studied
Students in Santa Monica High School’s ethnic-studies class took on a touchy subject recently when they analyzed enrollment in Advanced Placement courses. Despite the school’s diversity, most of those taking the college-level classes were predominantly white and from affluent backgrounds, the students found. Their findings didn’t come as a complete surprise. The students had studied racism in education and housing, and they suspected that all ethnicities wouldn’t be equally represented. The next step was to find a way to change it. LA Times

Local schools receive grants
Orange and Los Angeles county schools are the big winners of a $250 million pot of money from the state designed to provide students with more work experience in high-demand industries. The state’s Career Pathways Trust will fund programs that prepare students for real-world jobs in industries such as health care, technology and engineering. The California Department of Education announced the recipients Friday. OC Register

School evacuated after teacher’s aide allegedly runs amok on campus
Van Nuys Elementary School was evacuated after a teacher’s aide grabbed and kicked fellow staff members and threw chairs that injured three students, officials said. The employee was arrested on suspicion of assault. After arriving at the school Monday morning, the aide ran from her car onto campus, banged on classroom doors, threw papers in the air and climbed on top of a table, witnesses told KTLA. Students said she was screaming at the wall, her arms flailing. LA Times

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