Progress made in LA school buildings, but they need $60 billion more
School overcrowding is down and buildings are safer and updated. But according to a recent report, there’s still $60 billion worth of work needed on LA Unified schools. Since 1997 an unprecedented series of bonds approved specifically for school buildings to ease overcrowding has provided the district with $19.5 billion. While the district has completed 20,000 modernization...
By Mike Szymanski | March 1, 2016
No real secret to why those LAUSD school days off are ‘unassigned’
It may seem arbitrary, but there are usually half a dozen days off in the LAUSD school calendar that are called “Unassigned Days.” They are not for an official state or federal holiday, but somehow they usually coincide with a religious holiday. So, the first Unassigned Day of the year fell on Sept. 14 when teachers...
By Mike Szymanski | September 22, 2015
LAUSD board allocates $20 million to get the lead out of water
Allocating nearly $20 million to eliminate lead from drinking water at LA Unified schools seemed like a slam-dunk for the school board, but the discussion on Sept. 1 opened floodgates of concern over how to do it. As the district tries to eliminate any trace of lead, plans are underway to remove school fountains that...
By Mike Szymanski | September 4, 2015
Final report asserts mismanagement at 2 Magnolia charters
* UPDATED LA Unified today finally released a report that confirming that two charter schools, Magnolia Science Academy 6 and Magnolia Science Academy 7, were operating with insufficient funds and for years and have been financially mismanaged. The 78-page report, prepared by an outside firm for the district’s Office of the Inspector General, concludes that...
By Vanessa Romo | October 8, 2014
Top ten LAUSD schools with riskiest vaccination rates
Celebrities are often the trendsetters around the country and LA, as health and spiritual movements like yoga, Kabbalah and diet fads get widespread media attention due to their famous adherents. But there is one celebrity-led health trend that has state and LA officials alarmed, and that is the plunging number of children receiving vaccinations against...
By Craig Clough | October 1, 2014
LAUSD places 9 schools among top 25 in county ‘Challenge Index’
Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews took an in-depth look at Los Angeles County this month when he applied his Challenge Index rankings and came up with a list of the top 75 private and public schools. The results may surprise some, as Mathews noted that only six schools on the list are private, and...
By Craig Clough | September 26, 2014
4 LAUSD elementary schools in pilot to improve safety for kids
Getting safely to and from school can be tricky in a rough neighborhood. To make it easier, City Attorney Mike Feuer launched a pilot program earlier this month at four LA Unified elementary schools, aimed at keeping kids safe. The Neighborhood School Safety Program targets schools in areas with high “quality of life” crimes, including...
By Vanessa Romo | September 25, 2014
Galatzan calling for probe into computer system snafus
* UPDATED Concerned by a slew of problems with the district’s new student management computer system, board member Tamar Galatzan said today she is asking the district’s Inspector General to conduct an audit of the defective rollout. “I demand to know what happened and how this got so messed up,” she told LA School Report. “Because until it...
By Vanessa Romo | August 15, 2014
Teachers union says computer glitch cost students first day
Officials from LA Unified’s teachers union said today hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students missed the first day of school today due to flaws in the district’s new student data management system, which is designed to enroll and assign students. Colleen Schwab, a UTLA vice president, held up a picture of an empty classroom taken earlier...
By Vanessa Romo | August 12, 2014
A few new looks for LAUSD as another school year opens
School starts again today. Another year of hoped for higher graduation rates, lower dropout rates, higher academic achievement, lower temperatures between district and teacher union officials negotiating a new bargaining agreement. So what’s really new this year in LA Unified? 1. More digital devices are coming. They’re not going to be all iPads. Thanks to...
By Vanessa Romo | August 12, 2014