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Monday, August 13, 2012

Solana board member works for districtís law firm

Art Palkowitz serves on the Solana Beach school board as a part-time job, but his full-time job is working for one of the districtís outside law firms. Palkowitz is paid more than $100,000 a year by Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz, income that he is required by law to disclose on state forms and didnít.

Tight budgets driving big changes in Sacramento area schools

Students returning to school in the Sacramento area should expect another year of large class sizes, fewer teachers and reduced resources. But they also can expect new programs including "transitional kindergarten," Internet safety training and new International Baccalaureate programs as districts move forward despite budget cuts.

Woodland school board member ousted for living outside his district

Woodland's school board voted to strip trustee Warren Berg of his district seat Thursday, a week after the panel learned Berg moved out of the district he represents and into another trustee area.

Q&A: New Sacramento County schools trustee keeps focus on student achievement

Penny Schwinn potentially tipped the scales for charter schools when she won a seat on the Sacramento County Office of Education board in June.

Bakersfield City schools taking second look at pricey benefits

When Rob Arias started as superintendent of the Bakersfield City School District this year, he noticed something about his new district's health and welfare benefits.

Court overturns consent decree exempting some LAUSD schools from seniority-based layoffs

A state appellate court on Friday invalidated a landmark settlement that exempts dozens of struggling Los Angeles Unified schools from seniority-based layoffs, saying the judgment violated the teachers union's right to due process.

County Board of Education holds fate of West County Community High charter schoo

More than 100 teens could be scrambling to find a new school if the Contra Costa County Board of Education denies a petition to renew West County Community High's charter.

East Bay school bans social media in student campaigns

Although technology is king on campuses these days, student government campaigns at Heritage High are strictly old-school. Leading up to this week's election of freshman class officers, candidates put up all the usual posters and handed out fliers around the Brentwood campus, but one communications tool was missing: social media. No Twitter. No Facebook. No Instagram.

Baldwin Park Unified celebrates completion of $21 million science building

A 10-year effort came to fruition on Friday as the community celebrated the completion of Sierra Vista High School's new science and classroom building.

Beltran: Bill would force creation of standards for transitional kindergarten

Even as hundreds of California schools prepare to launch transitional kindergarten for the first time this year, a bill awaiting a Senate vote would create standards for what and how the programís not-quite 5-year olds should be taught.

New South Gate high school is finally opening

Los Angeles Unified's South Region High School No. 9 has been more than 25 years coming to fruition. First, its contaminated site had to be cleaned up.

Fired charter school executive receives $245,000 in settlement

Crescendo charter schools founder John Allen sued for wrongful dismissal after he was fired for allegedly ordering staff to cheat on state standardized tests.

Novato school officials plan regional technology center

With laptops, iPads and other devices becoming more popular in schools, Novato school officials hope to build a new center that would train teachers from throughout the Bay Area on using technology in the classroom.

LAUSD rolls out new batch of healthy menus

After last year's failed experiment with exotic vegetarian fare, LAUSD has revamped its lunch menu with healthful dishes that officials hope will also appeal to the kids' palates. Instead of unexpected dishes such as hummus and chick-pea stew, cafeterias will be serving up pulled-pork sandwiches, hamburger sliders, whole-grain spaghetti and meatballs and the like.

Moir: Surefire way to know if a teacher evaluation system will succeed or fail

Whether a districtís teacher evaluation system works or not will depend on a few things: whether the system is correctly conceived of and designed, how well the system is implemented, and, after evaluation, the districtís level of commitment to ongoing teacher learning.

Frey: Summer programs turning struggling students into readers

Lori Carrís program is one of several across the state that are focusing on turning struggling readers into lifelong bookworms. With the demise of districtĖsupported summer school during the past few years, these programs are trying to fill the gap, though they serve a small fraction of the stateís 6.2 million students. More than half of those students live in low-income families, making them particularly vulnerable

State moving forward on plan to upgrade schools, seek 2014 bond

State officials have set to work on an ambitious plan to upgrade Californiaís aging and outdated school facilities and, in doing so, lay the groundwork for a 2014 bond measure to help pay for it.

Fensterwald: Court backs union, sends LAUSD layoffs case back to judge

Handing United Teachers Los Angeles a significant procedural victory, a state appeals court has overturned a landmark ruling challenging the contractual rights of teachers in Los Angeles Unified.

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