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Morning Read: LAUSD music instruction to be cut in half

LA School Report | February 26, 2014

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Teachers: LA schools’ arts budget ‘a step in the wrong direction’
A plan by the Los Angeles Unified School District to cut the time elementary school children are taught orchestra in half is angering teachers – many of whom learned about it only after KPCC reported on the arts budget, which was released unexpectedly at a committee meeting last week. KPCC

Lawmakers seek to streamline financial aid applications
Lawmakers announced a new bill Tuesday that would streamline the college financial aid application process, in hopes of increasing high school students’ access to higher-education cash. LA Times

Call to fix or phase out school transportation
With the Legislature set to tackle a remake of California’s 67-year-old school transportation funding system, the Legislative Analyst on Tuesday offered up three options ranging from a complete phase-out of the program to covering an increased share of reimbursement costs for districts receiving less than the state average. SI&A Cabinet Report

SF Unified eliminates ‘willful defiance’  to expel or suspend
Administrators in San Francisco Unified will no longer be able to use “willful defiance” as a reason to suspend or expel a student, beginning in the 2014-15 school year. San Francisco’s school board voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate the controversial category, which has been used disproportionately to suspend African American students in that district and also statewide. EdSource 

What do teachers think about the Common Core standards?

The more teachers get to know the controversial Common Core State Standards, the more they like them, according to a teacher survey published this week. And even as many states debate whether to stick with the standards, the survey suggests that the Common Core is already being taught at most schools in the 45 states that adopted it. Hechinger Report

Common Core for schools: Boon? Horror? You tell me
Commentary: You would have thought that after 45 states leaped forward to adopt the Common Core curriculum standards for their schools, the only issue going forward would be how to make this big change happen in the smoothest and most successful way. LA Times

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