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Morning Read: In race for school chief, money is close

LA School Report | May 23, 2014



Top candidates for state schools chief in close money race
The top contenders to be the state’s public schools chief are neck-and-neck in campaign funds leading into the June primary, according to finance reports filed Thursday. Current state superintendent Tom Torlakson has just under $200,000 in the bank for the final stretch of the campaign. Torlakson, a Democrat who is running for his second term, raised slightly more than $300,000 between March 18 and May 17, and spent nearly $700,000 in that time. LA Times


L.A. school board race may actually be riveting
A special election June 3 to replace LAUSD District 1 board member Marguerite LaMotte, who passed away last year, is shaping up to be a different animal altogether. Meaning, this could actually be interesting. Really! At stake is the LAUSD board’s political balance, currently dominated by independents who like the headstrong reformer, Superintendent John Deasy, but want to keep a handbrake on his ambitious agenda. LA Weekly


LA County schools, cities fight over slice of $20m tax pie
A California judge on Thursday impounded $20 million in Los Angeles County property taxes as the Los Angeles Unified School District and other local entities decide how to distribute the funds, which the school district won in a seven-year battle over billions of dollars in public funds. Law360


Panels OK $1.2b for Common Core, pre-K expansion
Key legislative panels approved Thursday $1.25 billion for helping schools transition to the Common Core State Standards and another $650 million to support expanding pre-kindergarten to all low-income four-year olds. The actions, taken separately by budget subcommittees in both houses of the Legislature, are not binding but suggest that Democratic leaders are interested in spending a big share of the state’s unanticipated revenue on public school programs. S&I Cabinet Report


Lawmakers open to reprieve from big payments for teacher pensions
Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to immediately start paying off the $74 billion shortfall in funding for teacher pensions was, for school districts that would bear the brunt, the big May budget surprise. On Thursday, two key lawmakers responded to districts’ calls for total relief next year by urging legislators to meet them halfway. EdSource


Legislators move to restore child care funding
Three proposals put forth today during budget subcommittee meetings in the Assembly and Senate would restore tens of thousands of publicly funded child care slots in the 2014-15 state budget. The proposals would restore at least 40,000 child care slots for children from low-income families. Proposed costs range from $439.5 million to $650 million. The California Child Care Resource and Referral network has created a chart comparing the three proposals. EdSource

 

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