So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Parents plan protest of Deasy's plans for Crenshaw High School

School Shooting

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After months of uncertainty, the future of Crenshaw High School will likely be decided at Tuesday's  monthly L.A. Unified school board meeting.

The board will vote on whether to approve Superintendent John Deasy’s plan to convert the high school into three separate magnet schools or allow it to continue operating under the Extended Learning Cultural Model. If it passes, it also means all current staff has to reapply for jobs at the South Los Angeles school.

Parents, students and teachers say they were excluded from the decision making process, and have so far been denied a public meeting with the Superintendent. Tuesday’s meeting is their last chance to block Deasy’s plans.

Members of the Crenshaw Coalition of Parents said they’ll stage a protest and urge board members not just to reverse the school takeover, but also to increase the school’s funding to pay for more social services, college counseling and parent engagement.

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LAUSD school CHOICES window opens today; deadline is Nov. 16

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MGShelton/Flickr (by cc_nc_nd)

The window for applying to a school outside your area starts today, Monday, Oct. 8, and runs through Nov. 16. That's an earlier closing date than in previous years.

It used to be that if you went to public school, you only had one choice — go to the school nearest your home. Now, students and their parents in the Los Angeles Unified School District have a variety of options. But don’t take too long to think about them. 

Parents may submit applications online, through the mail or in person.

This degree of choice applies to more than the district’s 172 magnet schools. Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, parents whose children attend a school that's not meeting academic targets may transfer them to one that is.

If your child's local school has a homogenous student population of any ethnicity, and you seek a more culturally integrated experience, you may apply for the Permit with Transfer program.

L.A. Unified wait-lists hundreds of families each year, sometimes for several years, depending on the program they want. So district officials urge all parents not to procrastinate.

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LAUSD examines plan to up student enrollment

An empty classroom

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A typical classroom.

Superintendent John Deasy painted an ominous picture of the school district's budget for the coming year at Tuesday's LAUSD board meeting. The district is looking at a $543 million budget deficit for 2012-13. He raised the possibility of putting a parcel tax before voters on the November ballot to help raise revenue for schools. If Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed 2012 budget is approved and his initiative to temporarily increase taxes is passed by voters in November, the district would receive about $237 million in state funding, Deasy said. If not, K-12 education would be cut by $4.8 billion. Thousands of employees could face layoffs, entire programs could be cut, and months of school might be lost, Deasy told boardmembers.

The board unanimously approved a resolution (6-0, board member Bennett Kayser wasn't present) to examine expanding magnet school, dual immersion and IB program enrollment to remedy the district's declining enrollment numbers. The district also agreed look at expanding Gifted and Talented Education testing to all students, not just those whose parents or teachers ask. The resolution also asks the district to review the risks and benefits of allowing families the ability to choose multiple magnet schools (instead of just one) during the application process.

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What's happening at today's LAUSD board meeting

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MGShelton/Flickr (by cc_nc_nd)

It's the first week of school after the holidays for LAUSD students (welcome back), and board members will also be returning to work with today's first board meeting of the new year.

A few scheduled highlights:

• Supt. John Deasy will give an update on the district's budget situation. This was supposed to be the day Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his proposed 2012 budget. But with its accidental release last Thursday, today's meeting is going to instead deal with the response. LAUSD spokesman Tom Waldman said we should hear about some ways the district is looking to raise revenue.

• The board will also deal with two resolutions that both seek to remedy the district's declining enrollment numbers.

One resolution (which will be introduced today in advance of a vote next week) proposes to do away with the enrollment boundaries for L.A. Unified neighborhood schools to give parents more flexibility and allow them to select a school within the district that fits their child's needs.

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