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

LA students off for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur Jewish star of david

Tami Abdollah/KPCC

The Jewish Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, begins Tuesday at sundown. For the next 25 hours Jews all over the world will fast and repent for their sins.

The Jewish Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur, begins Tuesday at sundown. For the next 25 hours, Jews all over the world will fast and pray that their wrongs of the past year are forgiven, and that a better year is to come.

Rabbi Susan Goldberg of Temple Beth Israel in Highland Park said this is like no other holiday on the Jewish calendar. 

"It's like a yearly checkup on our souls, to say, what are we doing with our lives? What are we doing in our work? With our families?," Goldberg said. "...Are we doing what we feel like we really want to be doing? Are we treating people well? Are we treating ourselves well?"

All traditional calendar L.A. Unified schools will close for the holiday that ends at sundown Wednesday.

Read more: Yom Kippur, a day of taking stock for world's Jews

Tami Abdollah can be reached via email and on Twitter (@latams).

Read More...

Lawyer says teacher-coach knew about lewd hazing by La Puente HIgh School soccer players

An alleged hazing incident at a San Gabriel Valley high school prompted an investigation and the arrests of four students last week. This week it's generated a lawsuit threat involving the school’s soccer coach.

Lawyer Brian Claypool is filing suit on behalf of three of four La Puente High School soccer players allegedly assaulted earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The student athletes say the coach, who’s also a teacher at the school, lured them into a storage room where several older players penetrated them with a pole.

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Dan Scott says officers arrested, cited, and released four students at the school last week on assault charges. “There’s no indication that the teacher involved committed a crime,” Scott said. He said his officers have interviewed 70 minors so far.

Read More...

Letter from CA to Inglewood Unified school board: you're relieved of authority

Inglewood Unified School District

Grant Slater/KPCC

A student boards a bus maintained by the Inglewood Unified School District on February 28, 2012.

It’s official. California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction sent a letter Thursday to Ingelwood’s elected school board members telling them the state’s taking over the school district.

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson addressed the one-page letter to Trina Williams, the school board president. It says the state law that authorized the bailout loan for the district also requires the state superintendent to assume the legal rights, duties, and powers of Inglewood Unified’s school board.

The union that represents classified workers said it hoped state receivership would mean a rollback of a 15 percent employee pay cut approved by board members days before the state takeover.

Inglewood education activist D’Artagnan Scorza says people he’s spoken with are looking beyond the state takeover. “Regardless of whoever is here, regardless of whether or not it’s the board, regardless of whether or not it’s the state, we ultimately have a responsibility to our children and to their future,” Scorza says.

Read More...

Cal State administrators accused of crossing line in Prop. 30 advocacy

paulbothwell/Flickr

Members of the California Faculty Association at a protest last year. The California State University trustees want to warn students that enrollment and other cuts are likely if voters do not approve an education tax increase on November's ballot.

People fired off a lot of gun analogies at the California State University board of trustees meeting on Tuesday.

Cal State system chancellor Charles Reed told members of CSU’s finance committee that the university needs to raise undergraduate tuition by 5% in case Proposition 30 – a tax increase for education measure – fails at the polls in November.

“There is an automatic trigger and nobody has to do anything. It gets pulled midnight November 6th. The Department of Finance will notify the CSU that we will need to cut our budget an additional $250 million,” Reed said.

To dodge that bullet, Reed said, the university needs to raise revenue with tuition increases.

“I figure, if they can have a trigger, we can have a trigger.”

If Prop. 30 wins, Cal State roll back a nine percent tuition increase that hundreds of thousands of students have had to pay starting this semester. But the 15 Cal State Trustees and the presidents of the 23 campuses - a ready force of high caliber campaign workers – must adhere to limits on how strongly they can advocate for the ballot measure.

Read More...

California Department of Education to take over Inglewood Unified, district on verge of bankruptcy

The Inglewood Unified School District today became the first Southland school district in nearly 20 years to lose local control over its ballooning budget deficit.
 
California Governor Jerry Brown today approved an emergency loan of $55 million to Inglewood Unified School District to keep it from going bankrupt. The move triggers an immediate takeover of the school district’s administration, said Inglewood-area State Senator Rod Wright.
 
“We will have a quality education for the city of Inglewood and the Inglewood Unified School District, that is our goal, that we will achieve by any means necessary. And if it required having a state takeover that is what we had to do,” Wright said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said his office will work with the Los Angeles County Office of Education to appoint an overseer for the district. “The governor’s action was necessary to keep Inglewood’s public schools operating and serving students despite the district’s extreme financial difficulties,” Torlakson said in a written statement.

Read More...