Education must-reads: From LAUSD school board unanimously approves tax measure for June 4 ballot to California fast-tracking legislation to hold charters to same standards as traditional schools, 10 new things to know about California’s schools (and beyond)
Esmeralda Fabián Romero | March 3, 2019
Education Must-Reads is our daily roundup of the most interesting news articles and analysis surrounding students, schools and California education policy.
The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to place a possible education tax before voters on a June 4th special election ballot, which according to district estimates could generate approximately $500 million in annual revenue.
The resolution for a new local parcel tax was passed just days after the board first discussed the proposal in a Tuesday meeting, as district leaders hope to capitalize on public support generated for public school funding in the wake of the recent teachers strike.
The latest version of the tax proposal approved Thursday would levy 16 cents for every square foot of a property owner’s livable space, and would require 67 percent voter approval to pass. By Ariella Plachta, Los Angeles Daily News
LAUSD should show responsibility before asking for a taxpayer bailout, Los Angeles Daily News
California to require more transparency from charter schools, Education Week
Access does not equal equity, Hechinger Report
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See previous morning roundups below:
THURSDAY, FEB. 28:
Hoping to harness the momentum of a six-day teachers’ strike that drew broad public sympathy, L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner is pushing a measure to raise local taxes for education.
If Board of Education members approve the plan — and all six have said they will — a parcel tax would go on either the June or November ballot. Getting on the June ballot would require board action before the end of next week. By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
LA City Council Says California Needs to Increase Education Spending, NBC Los Angeles
Calculating Grad Rates for Charter Schools: It’s Complicated, Education Week
White Students Get More K-12 Funding Than Students of Color: Report, U.S. News and World Report
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27:
The chairman of the Assembly Education Committee and several Democratic colleagues introduced a package of bills Monday that would impose severe restrictions on the growth of charter schools.
Three of the bills would eliminate the ability of charter schools to appeal rejected applications to the county and state, place an unspecified cap on charter school growth and enable school districts to consider the financial impact of charter schools when deciding whether to approve them. A fourth bill would abolish the right of a charter school that can’t find a facility in its authorizing district to locate a school in an adjoining district.
Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, who chairs the Education Committee, said the bills collectively would enable school districts “to make responsible and informed decisions” that are “critical for student success and taxpayer accountability.” Eric Premack, a veteran charter school adviser and advocate, called the legislation a “full-frontal” assault and “scorched earth” approach to charter schools. By John Fensterwald, EdSource
TUESDAY, FEB. 26:
Rogelio Perez has long struggled with math. Had he entered California State University last year, his C grades and low standardized test scores would have steered him into a non-credit remedial math class. He would still have had to pay for the class and fallen behind at least a semester in his path toward graduation.
But under a sweeping reform in the nation’s largest four-year public university system, Perez is doing college-level work in statistics and algebra, aided by 150 minutes of extra instruction every week. And he’ll get college credit if he passes — which looks likely, since he’s earning an A so far.
“I feel this is a really good system because the extra review helps us understand more and in depth,” said Perez, a Cal State Dominguez Hills freshman who is the first in his family to attend college. “Without it, I’d probably have the same trouble I had in high school.”
The first results are in for the Cal State system’s controversial move last year to eliminate non-credit remedial classes and replace them with regular courses, buttressed with extra support, that count toward an undergraduate degree. Last fall, nearly 7,800 students like Perez were able to pass those higher-level math classes, according to CSU data released Monday. By TERESA WATANABE, Los Angeles Times
State superintendent joins Oakland school talks as strike stretches into 3rd day, San Francisco Chronicle
Are California’s teachers’ strikes part of a coordinated ‘wave’? Not exactly, Los Angeles Times
MONDAY, FEB. 25:
At the urging of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a bill that will require charter schools to be more accountable and transparent is making its way swiftly through the legislature and may be the first of several bills seeking to tighten oversight of charter schools.
Senate Bill 126 would require that California charter school boards comply with the same open meeting, conflict-of-interest and disclosure laws as district school boards, including holding public board meetings, opening records to the public upon request and ensuring board members don’t have a financial interest in contracts on which they vote.
The bill was introduced by Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino and Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach. It passed the state Senate Thursday with a 34 to 2 vote and will go to the state Assembly for a vote as early as next week. If it passes, the law will go into effect Jan. 1. By Diana Lambert, EdSource
The costly truth behind Newsom’s call for “an honest conversation” on education funding, Los Angeles Daily News
California 17-year-olds would get the vote under pair of state bills, San Francisco Chronicle
California Is Juggling More Teacher Misconduct Cases Than Ever, Voice of San Diego
Oakland teachers’ strike: What parents need to know, Mercury News
What Happens to Vulnerable Students When Teachers Strike?, Education Week
Roybal wins City Division III title for coach battling cancer, Los Angeles Times
The perils of learning in English, The Economist