Sold-out crowd expected at King’s best-practices sharing session on Saturday
A groundbreaking summit that plans to share best practices between LA Unified traditional school and charter school educators is at capacity with more than 350 people signed up for the Saturday event planned by Superintendent Michelle King. From the moment she was appointed to the position in January, King said she planned to find ways to...
By Mike Szymanski | July 20, 2016
6 top education news stories in Los Angeles in the first 6 months of 2016
The first half of 2016 brought high stakes and high drama to Los Angeles’ education scene, from dire budget predictions to heated charter debates to attempts at overhauling teacher tenure laws. There were anniversaries to celebrate along the way — 25 years for both charter schools nationwide and Teach For America — and comings and goings of superintendents, plus the...
By Laura Greanias | June 30, 2016
LA Unified school board approves $7.6 billion budget, including a 14 percent hike for school police
The LA Unified school board on Tuesday unanimously approved a $7.6 billion balanced budget for 2016-17, with some of the most passionate objections devoted to the 14 percent increase for school police. The passing of the budget became much simpler after the state notified the board last week that it would have an extra year...
By Sarah Favot | June 22, 2016
Preliminary data show 74 percent of LA Unified seniors met new graduation requirements
*UPDATED Preliminary data show that 74 percent of LA Unified high school seniors met new graduation requirements, the first class required to pass college preparatory classes, the district announced Tuesday. Superintendent Michelle King made the announcement during a morning ceremony with the school board celebrating Class of 2016 graduates. “This is the first class that stepped up...
By Sarah Favot | June 21, 2016
‘Doomsday scenario’ cutting health benefits and increasing class sizes at LA Unified may be averted
The self-described “Doomsday scenario” laid out by LA Unified’s chief financial officer at Tuesday’s school board meeting could have resulted in the loss of 2,000 teacher and administrator jobs by next spring, an increase of up to nine students per classroom, and a halt to saving for teacher retirement benefits. But then, like the cavalry...
By Mike Szymanski | June 15, 2016
School board pays emotional tribute to Orlando victims and LGBTQ students
All seven of the LA Unified school board members, along with Superintendent Michelle King and Executive Officer Jefferson Crain, read the names of the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting massacre at the opening of the school board meeting Tuesday afternoon before each board member then read part of a resolution re-emphasizing their commitment to...
By Mike Szymanski | June 14, 2016
LAUSD reviews saving $112 million or more, but no decisions yet
In a series of special meetings to address looming deficits, the LA Unified school board on Tuesday reviewed potential savings of $112 million or more, but no action was taken. The all-day discussion was the third off-site meeting held by Superintendent Michelle King to address recommendations by the Independent Financial Review Panel to stave off deficits that could reach nearly half...
By Mike Szymanski | June 1, 2016
Still listening, no big plan yet: LAUSD chief Michelle King wraps up community tour for the school year
As Michelle King wrapped up her “listen and learn” tour in her first semester as LA Unified superintendent, she said she still has more listening to do before announcing her priorities, a strategy that some experts said could make her more successful than her predecessors. Many people have been asking her about her plans, but “It’s...
By Sarah Favot | May 26, 2016
LAUSD administrative staff jumps 22 percent even as enrollment drops
Despite projected budget deficits reaching nearly half a billion dollars and steep enrollment declines, LA Unified’s certified administrative staff has increased 22 percent in the last five years, according to a superintendent’s report. The number of teachers has dropped 9 percent in the same period. And teachers and certified staff are aging toward retirement, heading toward...
By Mike Szymanski | May 18, 2016
Special ed: a big drain on the district’s budget, but a potential for attracting more students
Special education students present one of the biggest costs for LA Unified, but administrators are considering ways to capitalize on the district’s successes with that population. Half of the school board’s all-day special budget session at USC on Tuesday was spent discussing the costs of dealing with students with mild and severe disabilities. Special ed is identified...
By Mike Szymanski | May 18, 2016