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Friday, January 10, 2020


Will a school bond finally pass in Brea?
Something that hasn’t happened in Brea since 1999 is the passage of a bond for the Brea Olinda Unified School District. Now the school board is trying again. On March 3, Brea voters will decide on Measure G, which would approve raising $123 million through the sale of bonds to bring Brea’s aging public schools up to today’s safety and security standards, make classroom repairs, add technology and modernize to meet today’s students’ needs for the future.


ACT chief warns UC that killing the admissions test would harm students
Ending the standardized test requirement for admissions at the University of California would deprive students of an objective measure of their skills, among other negative consequences, the head of the ACT test warned UC regents this week.


A quarter of kids with autism may go undiagnosed, study finds
A new Rutgers study has found that one-fourth of children with autism spectrum disorder may go undiagnosed. Moreover, children whose autism is not recognized are more likely to be black or Hispanic, according to findings published last month in the journal Autism Research. The bottom line, the new findings suggest, is that children whose lives could be improved by getting needed services may be falling through the cracks.


Amid shortages, schools settle for underprepared special education teachers
Due to statewide teacher shortages, many of California’s approximately 800,000 special education students are being taught by teachers who haven’t completed teacher preparation programs or have received only partial training. There were more special education teachers with substandard credentials than in any other subject area in 2017-18, the most recent year for which data is available. About 60 percent of first-year special education teachers were working without a full special education teaching credential, according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Questions swirl about origins of $40 million deficit
Residents of one San Francisco Bay Area school district are struggling to understand how a budget deficit nearly quadrupled in a matter of months — and are questioning why the district board and public weren’t alerted sooner about the magnitude of the problem. Last June, West Contra Costa Unified, which includes Richmond and surrounding communities, was grappling with how to deal with a projected $10 million budget deficit. But just a few months later, board members were shocked to discover that the budget deficit had soared to nearly $40 million.

Teachers who must pay their subs while on extended leave may get relief
California state lawmaker is moving to repeal a 40-year-old law requiring public school teachers on extended sick leave to pay for their own substitute teachers. KQED first reported on the state law last spring, after a San Francisco Unified school community created a GoFundMe account to help one of their teachers who was battling cancer. That teacher had to pay the cost of her own substitute — amounting to nearly half of her paycheck — while she underwent extended treatment. After the story published, more California public school teachers came forward to describe similar hardships.


LAUSD Has A New (And Complicated) Way To Score Schools. We Explain
How should we judge whether a public school is succeeding or struggling academically? We could look at its standardized test results — but those scores arguably track poverty levels in a school just as well as they reflect the amount of learning happening. But the Los Angeles Unified School District just unveiled a new metric that claims to offer a new perspective on school performance with the effects of poverty and other societal stressors filtered out. It's called an "Academic Growth" score.

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