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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.  

LAUSD board votes to put education tax increase on June 4 ballot

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

Disclosure requirements for charter schools await Gov. Newsom’s signature, EdSource

Newsom fast-tracks legislation to hold charter schools to same standards as public schools, Los Angeles Times

LAUSD should show responsibility before asking for a taxpayer bailout, Los Angeles Daily News

Schools are teaching kids in Korean, Arabic, French as dual immersion programs expand beyond Spanish, Orange County Register

Bay Area district joins others in calling for moratorium on charter school expansions, EdSource

California to require more transparency from charter schools, Education Week

National Survey: Americans Say Education Should Be Higher 2019 Priority for Congress Than Terrorism, Immigration, or Jobs, The 74

‘Not a proud moment’: How turmoil at one school could shake up the Achievement First charter network, Chalkbeat

Access does not equal equity, Hechinger Report

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See previous morning roundups below:


L.A. school board signals support for an education tax increase this year

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

Navigating a safe path to schools surrounded by homicide: by foot, by bus, by car, Los Angeles Times

Teacher strike is costing Oakland school district about $1 million a day, EdSource

More Than Half of Aspiring Elementary Teachers Fail America’s Most Used Licensure Exam, New NCTQ Report Finds, The 74

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

The teaching profession is more female-dominated than it has been in decades, The Atlantic


Proposed legislation would substantially curb growth of California charter schools

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

LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia Announces City Council Bid, My News LA

Eight Los Angeles Unified Schools Honored As California Distinguished Schools,

Cal State L.A. plan to raise admissions standards faces pushback from students and faculty, Los Angeles Times

These five Fresno-area schools were just awarded one of California’s highest honors, Fresno Bee

No, special education does not treat disability like a disease and is not ‘obsessed’ with forcing students to conform, Washington Post

America’s $23 Billion School Funding Gap: Despite Court Rulings on Equity, New Report Finds Startling Racial Imbalance, The 74

Study: Schools with principals from New Leaders program show higher student learning gains, Education Dive

Pollution is bad for your health and the environment. It’s also bad for schools, two recent studies showChalkbeat


Cal State remedial education reforms help thousands more students pass college-level math classes

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

Charter schools are a flashpoint in California’s teacher strikes—here’s where and how they’ve grown, CALmatters

State superintendent joins Oakland school talks as strike stretches into 3rd day, San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland, Los Angeles And More To Come: Why Teachers Keep Going On Strike, NPR

Safe Routes to School Los Angeles Secures $33.5M in State Funds, NBC 4

‘I Will Never Say No to a Kid’: Bronx Music Teacher Is Only U.S. Finalist for Global Teacher Prize, The 74

Even when districts want more school nurses, they have trouble finding them, EdSource

Are California’s teachers’ strikes part of a coordinated ‘wave’? Not exactly, Los Angeles Times


California charter schools facing new oversight under fast track legislation

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

Sacramento City schools ‘running out of cash and … running out of time,’ board is warned, Sacramento Bee

The costly truth behind Newsom’s call for “an honest conversation” on education fundingLos 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

Teachers’ strike fueled by Bay Area housing crisis: ‘They can’t afford Oakland’,  Los Angeles Times

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

Support, strengthen education reforms in California, new report urges, EdSource

ESSA Says State Report Cards Must Track How Many Students in Foster Care Are Passing Their Reading & Math Tests and Graduating High School. Only 16 Do, The 74

District eliminates extended school year, invests more in classroom technology, Washington Post

The perils of learning in English, The Economist

Possible Conversions to Charter Schools Mark Puerto Rico’s Latest Education Fight, Education Week

This personalized learning program was supposed to boost math scores. It didn’t, new study finds, Chalkbeat

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