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Monday, May 21, 2012

Sierra Unified bond measure focus of heated debate

A battle is brewing in eastern Fresno County over Sierra Unified School District's $5.2 million bond measure on the June 5 ballot that would be used to pay off debt on the district's newest school. The measure, which would have a 10-year term, will require 55% voter approval to pass. It's the district's fourth bond measure attempt in as many years.

Office of Ed manager was fined, suspended

The official in charge of a $270 million public investment fund for 6,400 educators in the region was fined $7,000 last year and had his broker’s license suspended for three months. He retained his official post.

El Monte school district moving to dismiss employees who have been on paid leave for months

After 10 months of investigation, the local high school district is winding down its inquiries into a dozen employees accused of stealing.

Schools credit counselors with reducing behavior problems

Having counselors at four elementary schools in Oceanside has helped reduce the amount of truancy and discipline issues there, school officials said.

Teacher pay in the Lodi area is a crazy quilt

At $58,052, a 10-year teacher in one of San Joaquin County’s smallest school districts, Oak View, earns more than a 10-year teacher in Elk Grove, which is among the state’s largest districts. That current annual salary is $57,878.

ACLU questions Poway school's iPad program

A Poway elementary school’s drive to equip fourth and fifth graders with iPads — mostly at their expense — is being called into question by the American Civil Liberties Union. The state Constitution guarantees a free public education, and the ACLU says in a letter to the district that the effort at Tierra Bonita Elementary School runs afoul of that requirement

Banks: Can Jordan High's experiment work?

Big changes at the Watts campus aim to increase students' academic success. But then there's their larger environment.

Claremont Unified names Elsasser as its superintendent

James Elsasser was appointed as superintendent of schools Thursday night by the Board of Education of the Claremont Unified School District. Elsasser has been the assistant superintendent for human resources for the Anaheim City School District.

Westside charter school teacher gone after allegations of cheating

The teacher at an Ocean Charter campus was found to have given fourth-graders a chance to correct their mistakes on a state test, risking the school's API rating.

Up to 13 LAUSD continuation schools may be closed as part of cost-cutting move

More than one-fourth of Los Angeles Unified's continuation high schools may be shuttered next year as a cost-cutting move, shrinking a program seen as a last resort for students at risk of dropping out.

Hurley: Watching California public schools sink — a preventable Titanic

Our schools need adequate funding to open their doors before the tax initiative-funded lifeboat can arrive. And the truth is that even if it passes, the initiative provides little more than current funding levels.

May Revise puts transportation money into flex, some LEAs still need more

Following a groundswell of opposition from school districts to his January proposal to eliminate future state transportation aid, Gov. Jerry Brown included the funding in the May revision of his 2012-13 budget.

L.A. Unified a rare haven for health teachers

The Los Angeles Unified School District still has dedicated health classes while many others have ended theirs, largely for fiscal reasons.

Fensterwald: LAO says no need to cut schools $5.5 billion

The Legislative Analyst’s Office is suggesting an alternative to the massive cut to K-12 schools and community colleges that Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing if his tax initiative fails in November. Instead of a real spending cut of $2.8 billion or $415 per K-12 student, districts and community colleges would be cut $1 billion or only $162 per K-12 student, under the LAO plan.

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