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A school bus drives by on Oct. 8, 2008 in Los Angeles.
Police arrested a part-time L.A. Unified teacher's aide Thursday for allegedly committing a lewd act upon a child.
Jorge Dominguez, 25, worked at Gratts Elementary west of downtown L.A. for eight years. The LAPD didn’t say how long officers had investigated Dominguez before his arrest or what prompted the investigation.
L.A. Unified has since said that the victim is not a student at the elementary school, and that Dominguez was not working as an after-school aide or coach.
In a statement, L.A. Unified Superintendent John Deasy called the allegations against Dominguez horrifying and sickening. The district fired Dominguez after his arrest.
Deasy has cracked down on allegations of teacher misconduct after police arrested two Miramonte Elementary teachers on multiple charges of lewd acts on children at that school. News reports later revealed that L.A. Unified had not properly informed state authorities of teachers it removed from classrooms after such allegations.
Photo by Chris Radcliff via Flickr Creative Commons
The students, angry over proposed tuition hikes, burst into the room wearing prison uniforms that read “sentenced to debt” while clapping and singing.
Student protesters disrupted a University of California Regents meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday.
The students, angry over proposed tuition hikes, burst into the room wearing prison uniforms that read “sentenced to debt” while clapping and singing. Regents are weighing a 6 percent tuition increase to deal with proposed budget cuts.
"We're asking for a crackdown on mismanagement itself in the form of high executive pay and relentless tuition hikes," insisted UCLA grad student Cheryl Deutsch.
But UC spokesman Peter King said regents are meeting in Sacramento to ask lawmakers for an additional $125 million, specifically to prevent a tuition increase.
"We’ve been cut a billion dollars in the last few years alone," he said. "We’re operating at 1997 funding levels even though we’re serving 70,000 more students."
Attorneys representing eight schoolchildren are suing California because they say the state's laws on teacher tenure, layoffs and dismissal violate students' constitutional right to an education by protecting ineffective teachers.
The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, is backed by a nonprofit education reform group called Students Matter. It names the state, Gov. Jerry Brown, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the California Department of Education, the state Board of Education, L.A. Unified and Alum Rock Union School District as defendants.
Five of the eight students attend L.A. Unified schools, while the remainder attend schools in Pasadena Unified, Sequoia Union High School District, and Alum Rock Union School District.
The suit blames five California laws, dubbed the "Challenged Statutes," on teacher tenure, seniority-based layoffs, and the dismissal process, for denying administrators the flexibility to staff their schools effectively.
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California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference on May 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Brown proposes $8.3 billion cuts in California to help close a projected $16 billion budget shortfall.
It’s time to hold your nose and take a hard swallow. As Governor Jerry Brown disclosed the latest revised budget for the state, he said it’s time for Californians to take their medicine. The projected budget deficit has hit almost $16 billion, far greater than officials anticipated just five months ago.
That'll mean some "painful cuts" for the state's higher education institutions.
That is unless voters pass a tax initiative intended to maintain the state’s public school budget at its present level. That still keeps California’s higher education spending well below Kentucky’s, Mississippi’s, and West Virginia’s.
If the tax ballot measure fails, the University of California and California State systems would each receive $250 million less than they did this year. That’s $50 million more in cuts than projected back in January.
Lars Walton, a vice chancellor at UC Irvine, said the cuts project a bleak future ahead for the UC system alongside with administrative cuts it’s already made.
"We’ve laid off, system wide, 4,400 employees," says Walton. "Eliminated close to 4,000 positions, deferred academic hiring, cut academic programs, and certainly that has pulled back the university as far as we can go. So there’s little that we can do anymore in terms of wiggle room on the edges."
The Cal State system also operates on the fiscal edge. At Cal State Long Beach, the school faces a deficit of about $34 million according to President King Alexander.
"That’s equivalent to us basically closing the entire College of Business and the entire College of Engineering," he said.
In preparation for more reductions, Alexander said all 23 Cal State campuses have already closed enrollment for the Spring 2013 semester. That means Cal state schools won’t admit any transfer students mid-year. The system’s also considering waitlisting the entire incoming class for the 2013 Fall semester.
The situation is just as dire at community colleges. Jonathan Lightman is executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges. He hopes that the potential consequences of state budget cuts will move voters in November.
California Gov. Jerry Brown reveals his May budget revise, Monday, May 14, 2012.
The revised state budget Gov. Jerry Brown released Monday does not include any major new cuts to public schools, in spite of recent projections that California’s deficit has ballooned. That news offers little consolation to the state’s 1,000 public school districts.
Welfare and social service programs will bear the brunt of the cuts. Gov. Brown said public schools are the big winners in his revised budget projections.
Louis Freedberg, executive director of the education think tank EdSource, said districts were waiting for that headline.
“When they heard the news that the budget deficit had escalated by several billion dollars I think school districts were preparing for even more bad news," he said. "At the same time, the problem is that school districts are already facing a pretty grim fall."