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Morning Read: New law could make preschool universal in CA

LA School Report | March 27, 2014

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New legislation could bring universal preschool to California
When over 200 parents showed up for a recent informational meeting at Lynwood Unified’s school district office, Kavin Dotson was amazed. The district wanted to explain the enrollment process to families of prospective transitional kindergarten students. Dotson only expected about 40 parents. KPCC

California case challenges teacher job protection laws
Closing arguments were set to begin Thursday in a closely watched California legal case that could change the way public school teachers are hired and fired in the most populous U.S. state. The two-month trial focused on the question of whether five laws meant to protect teachers’ jobs are unfair to poor and minority children because, for a variety of reasons, they lead to instability at schools in troubled neighborhoods and protect the jobs of older teachers even if they are ineffective. Reuters

Education Technology Startups Raised Over Half A Billion Dollars In Q1
Education technology-focused startups raised over $500 million already in the first quarter of 2014, marking the single biggest quarter for capital committed to the sector in the past five years. What began as a trickle in 2009, with 20 companies raising over $64 million at the beginning of the year, is now a flood as funding leapt to $500 million in 99 venture-backed startups, according to CrunchBase data. TechCrunch

LAUSD nixes school relocation at Van Ness
Approximately three weeks after the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) proposed locating a charter school on the Frances Blend School/Van Ness Avenue Elementary School campus, the district opted not to follow through with the proposal. In a letter to parents dated March 12, a LAUSD Facilities Services Division representative stated that, due to its recently integrated program, Van Ness Elementary would not be offered as a Prop. 39 co-location for the 2014-2015 school year. Beverly Press

Uniform standards urged for reclassifying English learners
School districts have discretion in determining when English learners can be reclassified as proficient in English, meaning they no longer need help in gaining fluency. But the different criteria that districts use and wide disparities in reclassification rates among districts have prompted Sen. Alex Padilla, D-San Fernando Valley, to call for consistency. EdSource

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