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Morning Read: Groups Want Funds Now for High-Needs Kids

LA School Report | July 25, 2013

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Advocates: Start Spending New Money Now on High-Needs Students
Two dozen organizations advocating for disadvantaged students wrote county and school district superintendents and charter school administrators Wednesday, reminding them that the new funding formula directing more money to low-income kids and English learners is now the law even though the initial regulations for the system are months away. The message: Start spending money on your high-needs children this year; don’t make commitments that might encroach on future obligations to these students. EdSource 

LAUSD Parents, Teachers Fight Mainstreaming of Disabled Kids
Waving signs and chanting “Our kids, our choice,” scores of Los Angeles Unified parents and teachers protested the looming transfer of hundreds of disabled students from special-education centers to traditional schools, as the district complies with laws to integrate students who have physical and developmental challenges. LA Daily News

Arcadia School District Settles Transgender Discrimination Case
The resolution, which the Arcadia school board passed unanimously Tuesday, closes an investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights into whether the district prohibited a student, who was born female but identifies as a male, from accessing boys restrooms and locker rooms because he is transgender. LA Times 

California Seeks Records from San Diego Operator of 2 Colleges
As part of a wider investigation into for-profit and online colleges, the California attorney general Wednesday moved to obtain potential evidence about the telemarketing, enrollment and financial practices of two schools owned by a San Diego company. LA Times 

Senate Approves College Student Loan Plan Tying Rates to Markets
The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan plan that would tie interest rates for college student loans to the financial markets, bringing Congress close to finally resolving a dispute that caused rates to double on July 1. NY Times

State Education Officials: We’re Sticking with Common Core
As the political debate swirls in some statehouses over the Common Core math and reading standards, most state education officials responsible for implementing the new K-12 standards are confident that their states will stick with the program, according to a survey released Wednesday.  Washington Post

Obama Promises ‘Aggressive Strategy’ for Higher Education
President Obama vowed Wednesday that he would soon unveil a plan to promote significant reform in higher education — with an emphasis on controlling what colleges charge students and families. NPR 

Gates Announces $15M in Professional-Development Grants
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is expanding its already significant teacher-quality work to include on-the-job teacher training. Its education wing today announced the awarding of more than $15 million in “Innovative Professional Development” grants over a three-year period. The funds will be split among the Fresno, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif; and Jefferson County, Colo., districts, with each receiving about $5 million. Edweek 

Charters Struggle in Search for Affordable Space
Unlike regular public school systems, which can seek taxpayer-backed bonds for school construction and renovation, many charter schools have no mechanism in place to offset their facilities costs. And while some of the larger charter networks have more experience and financial track records to fall back on, startup charters are hit particularly hard when seeking loans and other financial assistance because of their lack of a financial history. Edweek 

Obama Budget Threatens Popular STEM Education Initiatives
The Obama administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget lays out a sweeping restructuring intended to consolidate STEM education in the U.S. into three agencies—the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution—and to cut down on the inefficiency of overlapping initiatives. Funding overall for STEM programs is actually slated to increase by 6 percent, to $3 billion, under the proposal. Scientific American 

Study: Career-Based Teaching Leads to More Motivated Students
Students who attend a high school where study plans are based on preparing for a specific career are more likely to graduate and continue on to postsecondary schools than their public school counterparts are, according to a recent study by UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access. KPCC 


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