Monday, July 9, 2012

FCMAT » Cali Education Headlines Monday, July 9, 2012

FCMAT » Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team:

Education Headlines

Monday, July 9, 2012

Judge: Tustin district did not illegally move students

A Riverside Superior Court judge ruled the Tustin Unified School District followed state law when it approved construction projects at four schools and transferred students to a vacant elementary school while work is being done.

Schools aren't keeping up with anti-bullying law, grand jury says

Not all Orange County schools have posted anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies in public places as required by law, an oversight that should be immediately corrected as educators work to curb verbal and physical harassment among students, an Orange County grand jury panel has found.

L.A. schools superintendent shaking up district

Faced with a shocking case of a teacher accused of playing classroom sex games with children for years, Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy delivered a jolt: He removed the school's entire staff - from custodians to the principal - to smash what he called a "culture of silence." The controversial decision underscores the 51-year-old superintendent's shake-up of the lethargic bureaucracy at the nation's second-largest school district.

Perris High school district seeks $153 million bond

Voters in the Perris Union High School District will be asked in November to approve a $153.4 million bond measure for school construction and renovations

West Side projects test real-world use of math as learning tool

In regular algebra class, the textbook would tell students the formula and ask them to calculate permutations. In Leigh Krebs' summer school class, kids got wrapped pieces of candy and had to figure out all the ways those could be arranged, prep work for building a combination lock.

Local schools to benefit from $48.5M in Caltrans grants

Seven campuses in the San Fernando Valley will get new sidewalks, bike lanes and other safety improvements as part of a $48.5 million Safe Routes to School program announced Thursday by Caltrans.

Drummond: Oakland School superintendent wrong target

There is a line between a peaceful demonstration and intimidation. The people who marched to Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith's house to protest the closing of five public elementary schools crossed it.

Fremont school board votes down controversial book -- again

In what's becoming an annual showdown that's uncommon in the liberal Bay Area, the Fremont Unified School District board overruled English teacher Teri Hu and rejected novelist Dorothy Allison's "Bastard Out of Carolina" for the AP English supplemental reading list. While the book detailing horrific childhood abuse will remain in school libraries, it can't be taught in class.

Green Dot charter schools move toward merit pay instead of seniority for teachers

Teachers unions in California tend not to be big fans of tying teacher evaluations to test scores or linking pay increases to performance ratings - a concept often referred to as "merit pay." One exception is the teachers union at Green Dot Public Schools, a cluster of 18 charter schools throughout Los Angeles County, including two in the South Bay - Animo Leadership High in Lennox and Animo Inglewood Charter High.

After a false start, California school districts prepare to start a new grade level

After a monthslong guessing game about its fate, a new, two-year kindergarten program will open in hundreds of California school districts in August.

Manwaring: If K-12 matters most, why doesn’t state budget reflect this?

While state and local government is not a zero sum game (as the governor’s and other initiative proposals show), there is a need for spending constraint in other areas of the budget – if California is once again going to prioritize its schools like voters say they want.

Kim-Shree Maufas far outspends school board cohorts

For the third time in less than four years, The Chronicle has uncovered a pattern of excessive and questionable spending by a San Francisco school board member, a practice that has continued despite district promises to increase oversight.

Lotto sales at record levels, produce $1.3 billion for schools

Driven perhaps by years of grim economic news and the promise of instant riches, Californians spent a near-record $4.1 billion on state lottery products through early June 2012 with expectations of closing out the fiscal year at nearly $4.4 billion.

LAUSD offers free, nutrititious food to students over summer

The adage, "There's no such thing as a free lunch" doesn't hold true in Los Angeles Unified, which this month hopes to serve up nearly 500,000 burgers, chicken wings and plates of spaghetti at scores of schools around the district.

Brown names former head of military charter to State Board

Gov. Jerry Brown has named Bruce Holaday, who for five years ran the military charter school in Oakland that Brown founded, the next member of the State Board of Education.

Judge revokes state oversight of 6 schools in prominent charter system

A superior court judge has invalidated the State Board of Education's oversight of one of the state's biggest charter school companies, giving six schools until June 2013 to gain approval from local school districts or be forced to close.

Many school budgets assume Brown’s tax plan will fail, sidestepping cuts for now

Despite Gov. Jerry Brown urging them not to, most California school districts have finalized their 2012-13 budgets based on the worst-case scenario – which is, Brown’s November tax measure fails at the polls. But in so doing, district administrators are undermining a key political argument in support of the tax hike – that without new taxes, schools will be forced to absorb enormous mid-year cuts that could include chopping off up to two weeks of instructional time.
Friday, July 6, 2012

Upland Unified School District eliminates busing for grades 7-12

The school district's Board of Trustees has decided to eliminate home-to-school transportation for students in grades 7-12 to address needed cuts in the 2012-13 fiscal year.

$452,000 to pay for Humboldt school projects

Caltrans awarded $48.5 million in state Safe Routes to School Program funds for 139 projects on Thursday, including four at Humboldt County Schools.

Guzik: Migrant worker children encouraged to consider engineering

As California’s political leaders push educators to link high school classes with career options for their students, an Oxnard high school program has succeeded in getting some of the state’s hardest-to-reach students enthused about careers in engineering.

Clayton Valley Charter High School administrators hit the ground running