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Monday, January 9, 2012

Stockton USD lands grant money

Millions of dollars are expected to soon pour into Stockton Unified, money that will allow the district to proceed with reforms at seven K-8 schools designated by the state as "persistently low performing."

Social services leader Javier Guzman targets Fresno Unified's dropouts

Javier Guzman sees dropping out of school as the symptom of a disease -- a deadly strain of poverty, crime and unemployment. And he wants to help find the cure. He's no doctor, but almost two decades of public health experience have shaped the approach Guzman, director of the Chicano Youth Center, is taking to tackle Fresno Unified School District's dropout crisis.

Jerry Brown's budget proposes killing transitional kindergarten funds

As California moves toward an earlier cutoff age for kindergarten, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed axing funds for a transitional program aimed at children newly shut out of those classrooms.

Is it OK for teachers and students to be Facebook friends?

Increasingly, school district officials across the region and throughout the country are coming up with their own guidelines for what kind of online and electronic communication is acceptable between teachers and students.

Birthday bash went on amid Sweetwater probe

Even as investigators closed in, questioning relationships between Sweetwater schools officials and construction companies, board member Pearl Quiñones held a birthday party campaign fundraiser last month with contractors as guests.

Updated teacher observations key to improvement, report says

A Gates Foundation study lauds a new system in which instructors are watched in the classroom up to six times annually by certified evaluators.

Nine Contra Costa County schools could lose millions of dollars in state funding starting in the fall

Mt. Diablo High is among nine Contra Costa County campuses that could lose a total of nearly $7 million a year in state funding for low-income schools because of failing to meet grant requirements.

Valley schools face more uncertainty if Gov. Brown's tax plan fails

Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal offers little reassurance to California's public schools, community colleges and universities, because their funding hinges on whether voters approve a $6.9 billion tax plan.

Former Beverly Hills schools chief unlikely to lose pension

Whether he is acquitted or convicted on charges of misappropriation of public funds, former Beverly Hills Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard's retirement plan is expected to remain in place.

School districts to introduce transitional kindergarten

A new transitional kindergarten program will be introduced in the 2012-13 school year at districts statewide to supplement traditional kindergarten and to accommodate a change in state law.

School administrators see little gain from state Supreme Court ruling on redevelopment agencies

At most it will be $100,000. Or not even enough to cover one-half of one furlough day. That's the assessment from the Upland Unified School District of what last week's state Supreme Court decision on redevelopment agencies might mean - in a best-case scenario.

Modesto area schools find No Child law brought major changes

Critics debate better ways to check what kids know. But there's little argument that the No Child Left Behind Act has profoundly enriched educators' understanding of how learning happens. It has also profoundly changed how teaching happens.

Rural schools struggle to keep buses running

Until this month, most of the $32,000 Salmon Elementary School spends each year to bus students was covered by the state. But now, Forks of Salmon and other rural school districts are grappling with how to keep their buses running. Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed eliminating school transportation funding [PDF] next year, just weeks after announcing trigger cuts that wiped out $248 million for buses this year.

Fensterwald: How weighted funding would work

Districts in which nearly 90 percent of students are either low-income or English learners (such as Long Beach Unified and Los Angeles Unified) will get $3,000 more per student than districts where only 20 percent of students are disadvantaged (like Poway and Irvine) once the new system of school funding that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing is fully phased in.

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