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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More schools ready for digital shift?

The future of education is very much electronic, some educators say. And it's about to start with textbooks.

High school district to seek early retirements to help balance budget

Trustees in the Fallbrook Union High School District unanimously voted Monday to offer early-retirement incentives to teachers, a move aimed at reducing the number of layoffs the board may make next month.

Schools preparing for new standards

Even though teaching materials for this new system are not likely to be adopted before 2015, California students are expected to take the new tests a year earlier. And how cash-strapped districts will pay for teacher training, new technology, materials and other expenses associated with the Common Core Standards remains to be seen.

Small school districts win a round in California funding battle

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that delivers $1 million more dollars to the San Juan Unified School District but takes $900,000 from Elk Grove Unified.

School districts launch efforts to fight absenteeism

Like many school districts across the region, Roseville Joint Union has stepped up its efforts to address chronically absent students. Williams said the efforts are to improve student outcomes, while giving the district a financial boost. District funding is tied to daily attendance of students.

Natomas Unified School District to see partial refund for inflated land deal

Five years after Natomas Unified School District bought 41 acres of farmland for what school officials later conceded was an inflated price, the district is starting to see a portion of its money refunded.

SD Unified wants teacher concessions

The San Diego Unified School District has approved $124 million in cuts from next year’s $1.1 billion operating budget to cope with the state’s relentless fiscal crisis, setting up the 2012-13 school year to be among the most dire in recent memory.The district wants to close the bulk of the gap with concessions from the teachers union, something that the San Diego Education Association has dismissed for months.

In most Bay Area schools, high-profile school reform ideas remain hypothetical

Members and supporters of the Oakland teachers union picketed outside the Paramount Theatre this week. Michelle Rhee, one of the nation's most prominent school reformers, was about to address a sold-out crowd of 3,000 about the failures of the nation's education system and the importance of effective teachers.

Plans for arts-based charter school halted; petition is revoked

Plans for a new arts-based charter school to be housed at Clements School have been halted. The Lodi Unified School District board of trustees was poised to veto the petition, saying it was incomplete.

Demise of school counselors possible as funding continues to dry up

The end to the traditional school counselor positions may be on the horizon as the funding streams from Sacramento continue to dry up.

Outsourcing gym class

With budgets tight, schools are looking for new ways to pay for physical education. Some have outsourced the class. But experts say such efforts are a symptom of how physical education has become a luxury as California schools have cut budgets.

Teachers want moratorium on layoffs and a new evaluation system

Los Angeles teachers have approved a much-watched initiative that calls for a moratorium on layoffs as well as a new teacher-evaluation system.

O.C. public school pay dips for second year

Nearly 3,200 public school administrators, teachers and other employees in Orange County earned more than $100,000 in 2010-11, and 10 of them crossed the $250,000 mark.

Transitional kindergarten allows time for kids to 'grow up'

The premise and the promise of transitional kindergarten rests on strong foundations, said Zona Baker, director of curriculum and instruction for the Stanislaus County Office of Education. "We all know a date on a calendar doesn't mean a thing as far as a child's development," said Baker, who organizes training on transitional kindergarten for school district planners.

Butte education board opts to appoint schools chief replacement

The Butte County Board of Education Monday reluctantly approved the Superintendent of Schools' retirement and voted unanimously to appoint a replacement to finish out the term of office.

Adult education on LAUSD chopping block

At nearly three dozen adult education and occupational centers operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District, nearly 300,000 students are enrolled in low-cost programs designed to help them better their lives. Their fate now lies in the hands of the school board, which is set to vote Tuesday on a budget that would cut the program and divert most of the $200 million in state money earmarked for adult education to ease the district's $557 million deficit.

Softer truancy policy gets committee's backing

With fervent pleas from students and teachers, a Los Angeles city panel on Monday supported changing the city's daytime curfew laws so students would no longer be ticketed for truancy when they're late but in route to school.

Brown: Disapproving parents agree - Go back and fix your budget, governor

Parents from around the state have reviewed the governor’s proposed 2012-13 budget, and we would like to say, loud and clear, we are disappointed. We were hopeful that the Legislature and Gov. Brown would put together a budget that would ensure that schools, at the very minimum, would have stable funding for next year. We are still hopeful.

Fensterwald: Building teachers to last

The biggest challenge facing legislators as they pursue rewriting the state’s teacher evaluation law this year is not how to weed out the worst teachers but how to retain the best. The key to the latter won’t be found in rubrics and value-added test scores but in deeper training for novice teachers and more career options for veteran teachers.

LAUSD set to cut Beyond the Bell after-school programs

Free after-school programs that provide academic and cultural enrichment for thousands of LAUSD students - and day-care options for their parents - would be scaled back or eliminated under a money-saving plan set for a vote today by the school board.

Bus funds restored, but some schools lose more

California schools will no longer lose $248 million in transportation funding under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday – a move applauded by many education officials and school districts that had decried the loss as a disproportionate burden on rural schools.

Walters: Jerry Brown has a big problem with tax measures

Gov. Jerry Brown's got a big problem. While he claims that his plan would bolster schools and "public safety," the two most popular governmental functions, many education officials are downright hostile.

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