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Morning Read: Rising truancy draws Capitol attention

LA School Report | March 11, 2014

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Rise in elementary school truancy prompts raft of bills
Warning that truancy has reached a crisis level in California elementary schools, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and half a dozen lawmakers proposed a raft of bills Monday aimed at keeping kids in school. Harris said 30% of elementary school students were truant in the 2012-13 school year. LA Times

Truancy bills propose to revamp data collection in CA schools
New state legislation that would standardize public school attendance records and track truancy interventions was announced by California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday. Her office estimates 1 million elementary students were truant at least one day last school year, costing schools $1.4 billion in lost funds. KPCC

Gov. Brown again takes aim at testing overload in schools
Governor Brown took aim at excessive testing in the schools – an ongoing theme of his governorship – and warned lawmakers in Sacramento and Washington not to burden teachers with more demands than they are already experiencing in forceful remarks at the California Democratic Convention in Los Angeles over the weekend. EdSource

Advocates see parent engagement key to LCFF
For school administrators working on the compliance details surrounding the Local Control Funding Formula, community organizer Oscar Cruz has a message when it comes to parental engagement – a minimal effort won’t do. Cruz, the head of Families in Schools, nonprofit advocate for low-income and minority families, is already working with parents in Fresno, the Inland Empire and Los Angeles to prepare them for the spring budget season. SI&A Cabinet Report

Head Start accrues most benefits to kids with little home stimulation
Head Start preschool programs make a difference to children who get little academic stimulation at home, according to a new study from U.C. Irvine. For children who are rarely read to at home, or whose parents don’t work with them on letter and number recognition or word pronunciation, daily Head Start classes matter, the report found. KPCC

The watchdog at L.A. Unified
Commentary: Amid allegations of overbilling, environmental hazards and spiraling costs at the Belmont Learning Center in downtown L.A. in the late 1990s, the state Legislature created a separate investigative office within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The new inspector general was authorized to issue subpoenas, and charged with examining operations in the district with a piercing and unimpeded eye. LA Times


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