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Morning Read: Major policy changes ahead for state

LA School Report | January 7, 2014

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EdWatch 2014: Top 12 education issues in the new year
The new year is ushering in some big changes in public education, from a revamp of school funding to uncharted territory in student testing and new educational standards. Here’s a glance at issues to watch this year that will define California education in 2014. EdSource

L.A. Unified should appoint a successor to LaMotte

Commentary: There’s been an empty seat on the Board of Education since South Los Angeles representative Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte died unexpectedly last month. On Tuesday, board members are expected to decide how to fill her spot. Their options are straightforward: The board can appoint someone to fill out the remaining 18 months of LaMotte’s term. Or it can leave the spot vacant and let voters pick her replacement in an election several months from now. LA Times

Report: LA Schools’ wifi networks may not be ready for tests
As the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District considers a request by Superintendent John Deasy to buy 67,500 more iPads so students can take new digital state tests in the spring, a committee found that even if the fleet of testing tablets is purchased, most schools wifi networks may not be ready. KPCC

California Democrats to push for free preschool

A top California lawmaker on Tuesday is expected to unveil a proposal to fund free public preschool for all children in the most populous U.S. state. The plan by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, to offer a pre-kindergarten program to four-year-olds in the western state comes as he and other Democratic legislators try to push California Governor Jerry Brown to increase spending on social services, including education, in next year’s budget. Reuters 

Preschool, teacher training, health funding needed to offset child poverty
It’s far too soon to tell if the state’s new education law will improve outcomes for the neediest students, but more investment in the public school system, including quality preschool, teacher training and student health care, is necessary to offset the burden of poverty on California’s children, according to a report released Tuesday. EdSource

No more excuses: As California rebounds, invest in kids
Commentary: Even as California heads into 2014 with lots of good news – a rebounding economy, a stable state budget and a functional state government – state spending on children’s health and education continues to lag far behind the rest of the nation. EdSource

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