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Morning Read: Pilot Schools Expand in LA

Samantha Oltman | March 21, 2013

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Incubator School in L.A. Sparks Discord Over Location, Teachers
The pilot middle school, which is slated to open next year but lacks a site, will teach students how to launch a business in addition to academics. LA Times

Sun Valley’s Francis Polytechnic High to Convert to Innovative Pilot School
Francis Polytechnic High in Sun Valley will become the first LAUSD campus to convert to a pilot school, which offers greater freedom in scheduling and instruction but also requires teachers to commit annually to the reforms taking place. LA Daily News

LAUSD Teams up With Other Districts to Serve Cheaper, Healthier Lunches
The Los Angeles Unified School District has teamed up with five other large school districts to save money and serve a higher quality menu to students. CBS LA

California Teacher Fund Needs $4.5 Billion Yearly Boost
The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s $73 billion unfunded liability may be the state’s “most difficult fiscal challenge” and lawmakers should increase funding for the second-largest U.S. pension, the Legislative Analyst’s Office said. Bloomberg
See also: AP

LAUSD Preschools to Get $7 Million in Security Upgrades
More than six dozen Los Angeles Unified preschools will get safety upgrades, including security gates equipped with video cameras, under a $7 million plan approved Tuesday by the school board. LA Daily News

More States Consider ‘Parent Trigger’ Laws
So far, outside of California, no school has been the subject of a parent-trigger petition in any state. (In California, a bill is under consideration to expand the number of schools eligible for the parent trigger.) EdWeek

New Teacher Assessment: Much Promise, Many Questions
Even if you follow education issues closely, you may have missed the rapid rise of this new assessment to evaluate prospective teachers. EdSource Commentary

New California Public School Reading List Includes LGBT-Friendly Books
The California Department of Education this week released its latest list of recommended reading for K-12 students, including some newly published works that address immigration and sexual identity issues. LA Daily News

Ed Committee Backs Crackdown on Interest-Deferred Bonds
Despite opposition from several education organizations, the Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday voted 6-0 for a bill that would severely restrict school districts’ ability to float construction bonds that would saddle future taxpayers with huge balloon payments. EdSource

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