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

Prop. 30: OC schools struggle amid anti-tax fervor

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Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

Public school educators from north Orange County protest to preserve education funding in front of the Fullerton offices of Republican state Assemblyman Chris Norby. Orange County, home to a strong anti-tax contingent, will also have its schools face millions in cuts should Prop. 30 not pass Tuesday.

During the last few months, California school districts have scrambled to prepare budgets and contingency plans for Prop. 30 — in some cases, walking a tightrope between advocacy and education.

But school officials in Orange County have been trying to balance the case for their survival with the fact that their conservative constituents are often ideologically opposed to tax hikes that would stave off more cuts.

This difficult balance is evident at the Capistrano Unified School District, the county's second-largest school district. The district, known locally as "Capo Unified," is located in relatively affluent, majority white, mostly Republican south Orange County. Its student population is 61 percent white and less than 25 percent Hispanic.

The district's students have already lost a week of instruction this year and stand to lose two more weeks if Prop. 30 does not pass. But Capo Unified admnistrators don't talk about that.

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LAUSD Supt.: California 'long overdue' for revamp of teacher dismissal policy

Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy speaks during a press conference at South Region High School #2 in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2012.

California is "long overdue" for a revamp of the education policies that govern teacher dismissal that would make it easier to fire those accused of heinous acts against children, said L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy today.

On Wednesday, Deasy will be in Sacramento testifying in support of SB 1530, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Alex Padilla of Pacoima.

The bill seeks to give school boards more authority in firing teachers, making the decision of the Commission on Professional Competence advisory. It would also allow a district to expeditiously remove a teacher from the classroom on accusations of sex abuse, drugs or violence without having to follow the weeks of notification requirements currently in place.

The California Teachers Assn. has come out strongly against the bill and said it attacks teachers' due process rights and does not address the "failures of leadership" at L.A. Unified.

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