Monday, April 23, 2012

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Lottery fever not a big windfall for local schools

Last month's $640 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot ---- and the ticket-buying fervor that led up to it ---- poured big bucks into the state's educational coffers, but won't have much of an effect on local classrooms, officials said.

LAUSD chief wants to keep health class as graduation requirement

Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy said Friday that health-education class should remain a requirement for high-school graduation, overruling a recommendation by his staff.

Budget cuts force LAUSD's KLCS Channel 58 to hold first-ever pledge drive

Known for 40 years as "The Education Station," KLCS-TV is embarking on its first-ever fundraising drive in an effort to replace the $1.4 million cut by its owner, the cash-strapped Los Angeles Unified School District.

Mt. Diablo school board may extend top administrator contracts on Monday

Mt. Diablo Unified School District board President Sherry Whitmarsh is pushing on Monday to renew contracts through June 2015 for the superintendent and other top administrators. Trustee Cheryl Hansen has repeatedly asked to place an item on the agenda that would delay contract extensions until after the November election, so new trustees could play a role in selecting district leaders.

Claremont school board approves new therapist program

A new occupational therapist program was created by the Claremont Unified School District on Thursday night to help save about $1.8 million in the next 10 years.

Is school district push for political action illegal?

San Diego schools have launched a website and are sending email blasts urging residents to take certain positions on state issues. Officials say the effort is necessary because of the district’s budget woes, but the effort raises legal issues about the use of public resources for political purposes.

Inland Empire district charts its own course to success

Corona-Norco Unified gives teachers the freedom to experiment instead of prescribed lesson plans, boosting scores and graduation rates in the heavily Latino, low-income district.

Suspension, expulsion numbers prompt reform efforts

Recent disclosure that minority students in many California schools are disproportionately subject to suspension and expulsion has prompted a spate of legislation aimed at restricting the sanctions. The news has also prompted new guidance from advocacy organizations for employing best school disciplinary practices.

Local projects languish as state support for school construction runs dry

Just last week, the Romoland School District held a ceremonial ground-breaking for a new middle school it has been planning to build for almost seven years. It was, however, a purely symbolic gesture as earlier this month, the district made the difficult decision to postpone issuing a construction contract for the $31 million project after finding out no money is left in the state’s School Facilities Program to help with new construction.

Effort afoot to restore art in California schools

With the backing of business, state officials have formed Create CA, a statewide initiative they hope will restore art in schools, so that paintbrushes and even pirouettes are once again as important as No. 2 pencils.

Zoning the poor out of good schools

A major study by Jonathan Rothwell at the Brookings Institution provides eye-opening data of the extent to which restrictive zoning and housing prices shut poor and minority kids out of good schools – as indeed they are often intended to do.

Easing the burden of deferrals

A bill working its way through the state Senate would require the state to share the financial burden it causes the next time it delays money due K-12 districts.
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