…both affect you, your children, your school.
January 15, 2009 -- There is very little time left before Barack Obama becomes the first African American president of the United States. And Jacquelín Mendoza is keeping perfect track of the time.
“I’m very nervous because it’s a great event, and I only think that the moment will be historic and I will be there to see it,” she says.
This eighth-grade student at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park will attend Obama’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., next Tuesday, January 20.
January 14, 2009 -- The Board of Education of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has approved a proposal by Superintendent Ramón Cortines that cuts 2,290 positions of teachers who have been teaching for two years or less, within 14 days of their being notified.
The proposal, which Cortines maintained is “tentative,” would eliminate 1,690 elementary school teachers, 300 math teachers and 300 English teachers in middle and high schools. These cuts would save LAUSD 50 million dollars.
“This is strictly a precautionary measure. I’m trying to put pressure on Sacramento. I’m still trying to find options,” maintained Cortines.
Published on United Teachers Los Angeles (http://www.utla.net)
3:30- 4:00 p.m
Demo at LAUSD Beaudry Bldg
333 So. Beaudry Avenue,
Los Angeles 90017
California State Budget:
Our responsibility to children cannot be cut in bad economic times
· We must find a balanced approach to the budget crisis that includes sufficient new revenues to protect children and the future of California.
· Support continued funding for programs and services that help ensure that all children can succeed, such as smaller class sizes, arts and physical education, science, counselors, nurses, librarians, and health and social services for children.
Here's one parent's response, in an open letter to the superintendent:
A prominent forensic accounting firm has opened a new office in Los Angeles and added one of the nation's leading forensic investigators to its team of experts in anticipation of an expected increase in fraud, waste and abuse as billions in Federal bailout money are about to be injected into the economy.
Valley Art Educators Exhibit Their Own Work | Art displayed at the Armory Center for the Arts now through Feb. 22
LAUSD art teachers from throughout the San Fernando Valley are currently on exhibit at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.
"An Art Educated Collection" is an exhibit, which showcases the collective work of the many talented artists who teach in San Fernando Valley public schools," said Spike Dolemite, founder of the Arts in Education Aid Council.
Local schools use innovation, collaboration and other approaches to boost student learning
Experiments often produce unintended results, and that is exactly what happened between Angeles Mesa Elementary School and its big brother down the street—Crenshaw High School.
“Last year (2007) Crenshaw students came and read books t our kids, and we called it a Family Fun Day. Mr. Griffin last year loaned us his A.P. (Advanced Placement) English students one or two times a month for one hour, and they read stories to the kids,” explained Elaine Wrice, categorical programs advisor at Angeles Mesa.
Just two months after winning approval of a $7 billion bond measure, Los Angeles Unified School District officials are considering another proposal to fund local schools.
For now, there are no details on how much a proposed parcel tax would cost homeowners or generate for the district.
But with LAUSD facing a $400 million shortfall this year and expecting chronic underfunding for years, district officials said they need more revenue to keep the quality of education from getting worse.
"It's becoming more and more apparent, based on the economic situation the district is in, that we need to look at a tax," said Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
“It doesn't make any sense to talk about education, infrastructure, water, health care reform and all these things when we have this huge budget deficit.
“I think you would agree that in recent years California's legislature has been engaged in civil war. Meanwhile, the needs of the people became secondary.
“No one wants to take money from our gang-fighting programs or from Medi-Cal or from education.
“No one wants to pay more in taxes or fees.
“But each of us has to give up something because our country is in an economic crisis and our state simply doesn't have the money.”
The 4-2 vote authorizes the job actions if no other options are found to decrease a potential $250-million budget shortfall this year caused by the state's financial problems.
Because of the state's budget uncertainty, the Los Angeles school board agreed Tuesday to potentially lay off up to 2,300 teachers if no other options become available this year.
The Los Angeles Unified School District faces up to a $250-million shortfall, and the move could shave about $50 million from that figure. But Supt. Ramon C. Cortines, in his first board meeting as head of the district, said he hoped not to send the notices.
"This is strictly a place-holder," he said. "I am still trying to find alternatives."
50-State Report Card: Amid national political turnover and financial worries, states remain on the front line in the push for school improvement.
Facing a massive budget deficit, California is considering shortening the school year by five days, a move that would save the state $1.1 billion. But the proposal is causing uproar among families and educators, who say the consequences would be disastrous, the Los Angeles Times reports. State schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell told the paper the move would hurt low-income and minority children because affluent school districts will most likely have the funds to remain open all 180 days of the school year. If the California legislature agrees to cut the school calendar, the state will join North Dakota, Kentucky, and a few other states that require the least number of school days.
Should illegal immigrants pay discounted tuition rates at state colleges? The California Supreme Court is expected to take up that question later this year when it hears arguments on the constitutionality of California's law granting in-state tuition to undocumented students. Expect educators and lawmakers across the country to pay close attention to the case. The outcome will likely influence other states' college tuition policies for immigrant students who are not legal U.S. residents. At least nine states offer tuition breaks to illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions, including Illinois, Kansas, and New York.
letters to the Editor | LA TIMES 12 Jan
While your coverage regarding California state law AB 540 has highlighted some important issues, I'd like to underscore that the law -- and good policy -- dictate that we not discriminate against undocumented students who reside in California when offering in-state tuition to California high school graduates.
LAUSD teachers say they may boycott or strike if their contract needs aren't met.
Massive state budget shortfalls are leading to cuts in education.
Union leaders say the district has other options than to lay off teachers and cut their health care.
Mockler: “The budget bell is ringing for California's schools to take a recessionary recess from reform.”
It's inevitable that California public schools soon will be whacked with hefty program cuts. And that's a shame because students recently have been making significant gains.
A decade of academic advancement due to class-size reduction, tougher curriculum, higher standards, testing, accountability and other reforms could be stalled -- even reversed -- by the necessity to cut spending.
Supt. Ramon C. Cortines pushed for the mailings to give parents a clearer view of students' graduation and dropout rates, math and English proficiency, college preparation and more.
Parents in Los Angeles this week will receive a one-page report card that will provide a less varnished and more accessible picture of how well their child's school is doing.