Education must-reads: From charter politics still shaping LAUSD school board elections to an audit finding the state lottery is not putting enough money into Education, 10 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)
LA School Report | February 26, 2020
Your donation will help us produce journalism like this. Please give today.
Education Must-Reads is our daily roundup of the most interesting news articles and analysis surrounding students, schools and California education policy.
The majority of Los Angeles Unified school board seats are up for grabs next week, a pivotal election that will shape how the state’s largest school district approaches several key challenges.
The next school board will have to grapple with budget deficits, enrollment declines and achievement gaps for black, Latino, low-income and other underserved students. However, the biggest issue framing the March 3 primary, with four of seven board seats on the ballot, remains charter schools and how to handle efforts to expand school choice. A new state law giving districts a bigger say on whether or not to approve new charter schools takes effect in July. By Michael Burke, EdSource
Students protest suspension of teacher who sparked ‘American Dirt’ backlash, Los Angeles Times
Trump budget would slash, recast Ed. funding stream, Education Week
Coronavirus forces universities online, Insider Higher Education
Schools Should Prepare for Coronavirus Outbreaks, CDC Officials Warn , Education Week
Get the day’s must-reads, as well as new education news and analysis from across California, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the LA School Report newsletter.
See previous morning roundups below:
TUESDAY, FEB. 25:
Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to streamline the complicated web of agencies that support early childhood in California by creating a new state agency.
Not so fast, says the Legislative Analyst’s Office. On Friday the nonpartisan agency tasked with advising the legislature released a report recommending lawmakers reject the proposal. By Mariana Dale, LAist
San Diego prosecutors: Districts that authorized A3 charter schools should pay back oversight fees, San Diego Union-Tribune
Corporations hurt low-income and minority students by pulling school choice funding, The Washington Examiner
Teaching Children How to Reverse an Overdose, The New York Times
THURSDAY, FEB. 20:
Special education in California should be overhauled to focus on the individual needs of students, with better training for teachers, more streamlined services and improved screening for the youngest children, according to a compilation of reports released today.
Those were some of the recommendations proposed in “Special Education: Organizing Schools to Serve Students with Disabilities in California,” a package of 13 reports and a summary produced by Policy Analysis for California Education, a nonpartisan research and policy organization led by faculty from UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Southern California and Stanford University. By Carolyn Jones, EdSource
A new plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who struggled with dyslexia as a child, would pay for more screenings and services for the thousands of California students with dyslexia — a condition that advocates say has not received enough attention in schools.
The California Dyslexia Initiative, which the governor announced last week as part of his 2020-21 budget proposal, would set aside $4 million for screening, professional learning for teachers, research and a conference on dyslexia, a learning disorder that affects one’s ability to read and write. Although the amount is small compared to the overall education budget, it lays the groundwork for future investment and brings much-needed attention to the issue, advocates said. By Carolyn Jones, EdSource
West Valley board member faces two challengers in high-spending LAUSD election, Los Angeles Daily News
Delta sued again over jet fuel dumped on LA-area schools, Los Angeles Daily News
College is expensive; what will key 2020 candidates do about it?, Sacramento Bee
Cal State San Marcos executives leave university on eve of critical audit, San Diego Union-Tribune
Number of homeless students hits an all-time high, The New York Times
Education department investigating Harvard, Yale over foreign funding, The Wall Street Journal
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s bold plans for recruiting and preparing teachers, revealed in his budget proposal last month for the coming fiscal year, were widely acclaimed by teachers and other education advocates.
Newsom made recruiting and training teachers the biggest education priority of his proposed 2020-21 budget, allocating more than $915 million for staff development and recruitment — more than was spent in the previous five years combined, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. By Diana Lambert, EdSource
Teachers unions ask: Is it time to rethink school-shooting drills? Los Angeles Times
New Occidental College president hailed for diversity efforts, Los Angeles Times
Trump administration’s budget would eliminate federal funding for charter schools, U.S. News & World Report
TUESDAY, FEB. 11:
At least one in eight California high school seniors take community college courses while still in high school, an increasingly popular strategy that gives students a head start on their college careers, and has been shown to boost both high school and college graduation rates.
A new study from the Wheelhouse Center for Community College Leadership and Research at the UC Davis School of Education provides the most specific figures yet about how many students in California participate in so-called “dual enrollment” programs.
It found that 12.6 percent of high school seniors enrolled in these programs in 2016-17, the last year for which data was available. Researchers said they expect today’s rates to be even higher. By Louis Freedberg and Ali Tadayon, EdSource
Nearly every San Diego County school district may be spending more than it can afford, San Diego Union-Tribune
Bell High wins LAUSD’s 2020 Academic Decathlon, a first for the school, Los Angeles Times
High school ratings can mask groups of students who struggle, Hechinger Report
THURSDAY, FEB. 6:
The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating Los Angeles Unified School District board member Scott Schmerelson for a potential violation of economic disclosure regulations, as the West San Fernando Valley board member campaigns for reelection.
The commission is looking at discrepancies in Schmerelson’s disclosure of personal investments in tobacco corporate giant Altria Group. Financial disclosure forms appear to raise questions about when he first purchased the stock and whether it was reported accurately when he entered office in 2015.
An investigation was prompted by three complaints filed to the FPPC by former challenger for the Board District 3 seat Kenneth Ragsdale, a parent and education advocate affiliated with the group Speak Up Parents. Ragsdale did not garner enough signatures to qualify for the March 3 ballot. By Ariella Plachta, Los Angeles Daily News
California May Pause Student Fitness Tests Due to Bullying, Los Angeles Times
For Some High Schoolers, Summer Camp Is for College Prep, The New York Times
TUESDAY, FEB. 4:
One ballot this season is off-limits to the public but carries far-reaching ramifications for hundreds of thousands of youths and their families — the election of a new president and other officers for the Los Angeles teachers union.
United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl, who led 30,000 teachers in a strike that gripped Los Angeles last year, is barred by term limits from running for a third three-year term. His replacement will instantly become a major voice in the nation’s second-largest school system and the leader of a union that has long influenced education policy in Los Angeles. The winner also will confront internal challenges, including the mobilization of anti-union groups that seek to persuade members to abandon UTLA entirely. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
The importance of free transportation for students, Los Angeles Daily News
Could a Supreme Court case about tax dollars for religious schools affect California?, San Diego Union-Tribune
Privacy Law May Make Students Harder to Count for Census, The New York Times