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Morning Read: Insurance costs boosted superintendent pay

LA School Report | April 18, 2014



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Insurance premium subsidy boosted superintendent’s pay to $772,457
An embattled South Bay school district leader, under investigation for his high compensation, now has a new issue to deal with: insurance premiums that should have been counted as taxable income, but were not. The Centinela Valley Union High School District is being investigated by federal and state authorities for paying Supt. Jose Fernandez $674,559 last year — a figure derived from Fernandez’s own calculations. Now, it turns out that he mistakenly understated his taxable earnings. LA Times


California fails to adequately educate youth inmates, report says
California and other states are largely failing to adequately educate most of the 70,000 youth locked up at any given time in juvenile detention facilities, according to a national report released Thursday. Most youth fail to earn any course credits or complete their high school diploma or equivalency degree while in custody, the report by the Southern Education Foundation found. Yet these young inmates are highly troubled – usually struggling with drug abuse, anger and lagging academic achievement. LA Times


Wanted: early adopters of new science standards
The California Science Teachers Association and the nonprofit education research and development agency WestEd are seeking a half-dozen school districts to take the lead in implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. In exchange for committing to making science a core subject and participating in a new K-8 California Next Generation Science Standards Early Implementation Initiative, the districts would receive funding to train teams of teachers and administrators in the new standards over the next four years. EdSoure


A Win for Los Angeles kids
More than 770 poor Latino kids caught a break this week when the Los Angeles County Board of Education unanimously voted to overturn the L.A. Unified school board’s decision to close their charter schools. Alas, charter-school opponents are if nothing else persistent and will likely pursue other means to deny students better educational opportunities. Wall Street Journal


After complaints, LA school leaders abandon plan to cut orchestra
The Los Angeles Unified School District is reversing course on an unpopular proposal to reduce its elementary school orchestra program from a full year to just one semester. A district spokesperson confirmed that schools receiving orchestra instruction next year will get it the entire school year – though the district is considering changing how schools are chosen. KPCC


Nonprofits get nearly $1 mil to train parents as advocates
Two Los Angeles area non-profit groups received grants of about $900,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to train families of young children in the Los Angeles Unified School District to advocate for their children in the hopes of improving educational outcomes. The UCLA Labor Center and the Advancement Project, were among 30 winners nationwide to share $13.7 million to implement “family engagement” projects over three years. KPCC

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