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Monday, June 4, 2012

Suit: Schools got millions, firm got stiffed

The LHA Group filed suit last week against the Garden Grove Unified School District and Y’Deen/Associates Architects, the firm overseeing a 66-school modernization. LHA was asked to swoop in at the 11th hour to help Y’Deen complete plans for 33 schools, so the district could qualify for state matching funds that were disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis, according to court and district documents. LHA jammed, did the work, but never got paid — and was essentially destroyed in the process, it says.

Board candidate's education history adds to Twin Rivers' turmoil

Days before Tuesday's pivotal school board election, new allegations continue to besiege the embattled Twin Rivers Unified School District. Board candidate Michael Baker has come under scrutiny over educational degrees from University of Nevada, Reno, that he claimed to have in voter guides. University of Nevada, Reno, officials said they "found no educational record for him."

Sacramento City Unified teachers to vote on furloughs, health plan concessions

The Sacramento City Unified School District reached a tentative agreement with its teachers union that includes health benefit concessions and two furlough days.

Sacramento County education board races hotly contested

A once-sleepy school board election – in which candidates often ran unopposed and rarely accumulated large war chests – has turned into a hotly contested race bringing in nearly $175,000 and prompting armies of volunteers to call their neighbors and walk the streets promoting candidates.

Alternative school struggles with chaotic year

Super Glue poured into classroom locks. Curses hurled at teachers, fights erupting after class, marijuana wafting on campus and checked-out students. At Odyssey Community School in San Martin, such chaos apparently reigned for months this school year. "In all the years working in alternative schools, this is the worst I've seen," one veteran staffer said.

Temecula school board to consider raising bus fees

The Temecula Valley Unified school board will consider raising bus fees and streamlining bus routes at its meeting Tuesday, June 5.

Modesto schools reorganization includes special education

The key change in Modesto City Schools' administrative reorganization involves folding special education programs into the educational services division.

Borenstein: Culture that enabled teacher sexual abuses continues in Moraga district

A Moraga principal who failed to report student complaints about a molesting teacher remains on the job months after the superintendent learns of the inaction. In another case, faculty turn out in support of an abusive teacher after a former student bravely comes forward to report that the instructor had repeatedly raped her.

$1 million claim filed in teacher's alleged abuse

The mother of a 5-year-old boy allegedly kicked and deprived of food by a special-education teacher at a Redwood City elementary school has filed a legal claim seeking more than $1 million in damages.

San Rafael's Short School now a model site for special teaching method

Less than two years after it reopened, Short Elementary School in San Rafael has become a model school site for a number of educational best practices including a specialized "language acquisition" teaching method.

Stewart: Finance reform without accountability could devastate career tech

Under the current K-12 public education system in California, programs that are not required, measured, or explicitly funded by the state will disappear from our schools. Elective courses are becoming victims of educational policy that only recognizes “success” as defined by scores on standardized tests in courses mandated for graduation or college admission. Since that’s all that is really measured, that’s all that will really matter.

Calendar closes in on key ed bills, including transit money protection

A legislative attempt to secure school transportation funding in future years failed to muster support out of a key committee – a fate it shares with a slew of other education bills that did not meet a key May deadline.

Tech forecast shows crowded web for schools to navigate

Even as some districts still are struggling to provide adequate access to computers in the classroom, a new report from a national educational technology group has a dire warning – just five years from now, Internet traffic will be 35 times greater than today, driven by the use of smartphones, tablets, cloud services and digital video.

Civil rights groups sue state for violating rights of English learners

Civil rights groups are accusing the state of violating the constitutional rights of English learners in the Dinuba Unified School District by implementing a program that bars first- and second-grade non-English-speaking students from reading classes.

Trends in California ed bills

Tomorrow is primary day, but last Friday also marked some significant yeas and nays. It was the final day for bills before the state legislature to pass out of the house where they were introduced, also known as their house of origin.

Class size reduction program continues to unravel

In just three years, California’s class size reduction program in kindergarten through the 3rd grade has unraveled at a rapid rate, and continues to do so.

Lucia Mar teacher training program facing setback

The Lucia Mar Unified School District’s teachers union has voted against an agreement with the district on a training and evaluation program that was started at seven schools last year.

School bond measures raise funds from businesses with financial interest

As voters around the state decide on more than two dozen local school bond measures tomorrow, the campaigns promoting many of them are funded largely by businesses that stand to benefit financially.

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