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Morning Read: LAUSD to Pay Millions Over Abuse Lawsuits

Samantha Oltman | March 13, 2013

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LAUSD to Pay Nearly $30M to Settle Miramonte Sex Abuse Lawsuits
Los Angeles Unified will pay nearly $30 million to settle claims by 58 children who say they were victims of former Miramonte Elementary teacher Mark Berndt, the veteran educator charged with committing bizarre acts of sex abuse against students, attorneys said Tuesday. LA Daily News
See also: LA Times, KPCC, AP, LA Times Now Live

LAUSD Charters Would Lose Funding Under Gov. Jerry Brown’s Budget
Wilbur Elementary got $230,000 in state grants when it converted to a charter last fall. Now, administrators at Wilbur and other affiliated charters, nearly all of them in the San Fernando Valley, are struggling with the news that they stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants if lawmakers approve Gov. Jerry Brown’s new formula for funding public education. LA Daily News

L.A. Charter School Aims to Toss Out Students With Fake Addresses
Officials at Carpenter Community Charter, a top-notch elementary, think 120 children are enrolled fraudulently. They want to make room for students who live in the neighborhood. LA Times

Try a Different tack: Hold Teachers Responsible for Education Quality
The logic of the reformers seems to be that teachers unions are so wrongheaded, and the citizenry sufficiently tired of fights about seniority and teacher evaluation, that putting forward a slate of school board candidates is the way to change the balance of power in the school district and mute the pesky union.  But the strategy hasn’t worked. EdSource Opinion

Over-Praising Preschool
Obama wants the government to fund a free year of pre-kindergarten, but studies don’t back up his claims of long-term benefits. LA Times Opinion

L.A. Schools Falling Apart, Literally
Years of budget cuts have meant many repairs simply aren’t getting done. There are at least 35,442 unresolved calls for service and repairs, with about 1,100 more coming in each day. LA Times Column by Steve Lopez

State Board to Discuss Districts’ Request for NCLB Waiver
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction and members of the State Board of Education will speak publicly this week for the first time on the effort by a consortium of California school districts to seek their own waiver from some regulations and consequences of the federal No Child Left Behind law. EdSource

Sequestration Special Education Cuts May Put Disabled Californians at Risk
The potential impact the sequester will have on the daily lives of the more than 36,000 K-12 students with disabilities in California show how the across-the-board budget cuts can have harrowing implications for millions in the U.S. HuffPo

Defining Bullying Down
The March 3 death of Bailey O’Neill, a 12-year-old boy in Upper Darby, Pa., was widely attributed to bullying, based on allegations that a classmate hit the boy in the face in January. NY Times Op-Ed (Emily Bazelon)

No Pay to Play or Learn at Public Schools
Public schools must provide the clay used in art class, but they can charge a student for taking home his or her finished sculpture. Playing sports is considered part of the educational mission, so schools have to cover all the costs – including uniforms – but attending a game is just for fun so students can pay admission. EdSource

Brown’s School Funding Formula Lauded, Then Picked Apart at Hearing
To a person, every Assemblymember at a committee hearing Tuesday and the six superintendents who testified at it praised the principles behind Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed school finance reforms: simplicity, clarity and equity ­­– more money for the state’s neediest children. EdSource

Waiting for Recovery: U.S. Public Schools Continue to Lose Jobs
Since the peak in local public school employment in July 2008, about 361,000 jobs in the sector have been eliminated, roughly half of the 725,000 government jobs lost overall in the same period, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Reuters

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