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Monday, April 23, 2012

Stockton Early College Academy leaders to start new school

Though not quite ready to unveil all their plans, independence-minded leaders of Stockton Early College Academy say they have relented in their efforts to break away from Stockton Unified and instead intend to open their own rigorous charter high school.

Teacher accused of abusing special-ed students

An Orange Unified special-education teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave while officials investigate allegations he grabbed disabled kids by the back of the neck to move them, straddled and sat on kids who are unable to speak, intentionally scared and teased them, and even punched them.

Embattled Plumas County education official resigns

Facing a campaign to remove him from office, Glenn Harris resigned late Wednesday from his positions as superintendent of both the Plumas Unified School District and the Plumas County Office of Education.

Charter schools a dividing issue in Sacramento County education board races

Seats on the Sacramento County Board of Education aren't usually hotly contested. But a controversial network of charter schools has changed that. The June 5 contest for four open seats on the seven-member board has already generated one lawsuit and a flurry of donations from charter school opponents and proponents.

Q&A: New San Juan Unified superintendent keeps focus on stability, instruction

Glynn Thompson bounded out from behind the large wooden desk in his office at San Juan Unified School District headquarters and thrust out his hand, welcoming visitors with a warm Southern drawl. San Juan trustees changed Thompson's title from interim superintendent to superintendent April 14 with a unanimous vote. His salary is $225,000.

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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