Sunday, May 22, 2016

On a scale of 1-to-10 - ten being mad-as-hell and one being not-outraged-at-all…



4LAKids: Sunday 22•May•2016
In This Issue:
 •  L.A. SCHOOL DISTRICT REACHES $88-MILLION SETTLEMENT IN SEX MISCONDUCT CASES AT TWO CAMPUSES
 •  PEARSON CEO FALLON TALKS COMMON CORE, RISE OF ‘OPEN’ RESOURCES, DEFENDS ROLE IN LAUSD iPAD FIASCO + smf's 2¢
 •  YET ANOTHER POOR SCORECARD FOR CALIFORNIA'S PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS: State spent $45 million more on early education ...and only enrolled 298 more kids
 •  CALIFORNIA IMMIGRANT KIDS GAIN STATE-FUNDED HEALTH CARE REGARDLESS OF LEGAL STATUS
 •  Contract Reopener: STUDENT-FOCUSED TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN UTLA AND LAUSD
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  What can YOU do?


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 •  4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
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“NOLAND, MARY ANNE ALFRIEND. 17 May 2016 :: Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.” - Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch/Obituaries & In Memoriam | http://bit.ly/1Tv1m17

Godspeed Mary Anne!

________

CAPT. CHESLEY "SULLY" SULLENBERGER, said Sunday people should not jump to conclusions about what happened to EgyptAir flight 804. "In many walks of life it's just human nature to shoot from the hip or jump to conclusions, but in safety-critical domains like aviation ... it's the evidence, facts, that we must rely on," Sullenberger said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation." | http://cbsn.ws/20mRCYD

________

@REALDONALDTRUMP | “Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness! 3:27 AM - 19 May 2016 | http://bit.ly/1Xq3xFO

________

LAST WEEK I wrote that these pages don’t usually repeat those news stories about Race Riots at High Schools and/or horror stories about lead or other toxic heavy metals in the municipal water supply.

[I can’t help but note that the mayor of Chicago is investigating school water supplies in his city as a cause of trouble there. | http://trib.in/1WIfWWz | Hint to Rahm: Investigate the man in the mirror!]


These pages don't usually waste a lot of pixels+outrage over LAUSD’s handing of child abuse settlements either – after all this IS the district that:
1. returned Steve Thomas Rooney to the schoolsite to molest again. And again.| http://bit.ly/1qBPYpW,
2. hired child-abusing/defrocked-priest Paul Chapel III to teach in our schools | http://bit.ly/25fxdvz | and
3. retained+fired+re-retained an attorney to claim a 14-year-old-was legally capable of consent to sex with her teacher | http://bit.ly/1yCxsMo .

History, Marx tells us, repeats itself. First as Tragedy, Second as Farce. He doesn’t go on to describe the third, fourth and fifth ordinals – but 24/7 Cable News and Reality TV must be in there somewhere! Maybe there’s School Board Meetings?

Down at the courthouse LAUSD might as well have a target painted on their litigation cases.

LAUSD has made itself a target for attorneys who would go after the district’s deep pockets.

They are a brand …we see them on the nightly news nightly. They have created a whole new category of tort law 1(800)SueLAUSD – preying on the voters and taxpayers and the District’s operating budget. It was the students who were the victims when the wrongdoing was about a sad+pathetic sickness ….and ultimately when the payout is about attorney fees the kids and taxpayers lose again.

Read L.A. SCHOOL DISTRICT REACHES $88-MILLION SETTLEMENT IN SEX MISCONDUCT CASES AT TWO CAMPUSES (following). It is populated by a lot people I know to be good and the recounted history shows how No Good Deed Goes Unpunished in a Gilbert+Sullivan musical-chairs bureaucracy both petty+political. (NOTE: Remember that whenever+wherever a dispute was between Dr. Deasy and Dr. Vladovic the politics WAS personal!)


At one time LAUSD had a Child Abuse Awareness Policy about Prevention, Identification and Reporting – with modules for Educators, Classified Staff and Parents.

It was implemented and it worked.

It was Called Darkness to Light.| http://bit.ly/27NX2S5

And then it was cut. And cut. And eliminated. We saved that money and paid it out in settlements and attorney’s fees. Over and over again.

LAST WEEK A REPORTER CALLED ME and asked my opinion about the $88 million settlement.

• Nice round number: $88 million.
• Eighty-eight keys on a piano keyboard.
• The number of constellations in the sky as defined by the International Astronomical Union.
• Eighty-eight symbolizes fortune and good luck in Chinese culture.
• White Supremacists claim it means ‘Heil Hitler!’ to them.
I told him I was outraged – but I doubt if I raised my voice; I’ve seen+felt a lot of outrage. And the morphine pain-moderation medication moderates my outrage.

Outrage as a Vital Sign: “On a scale of 1-to-10 - ten being mad-as-hell and 1 being not-outraged-at-all - how do you rate your outrage, Mr. Folsom?”

And then he shared his righteous outrage about the answers to the questions he was asking as a reporter …and not getting answers to:

“On Monday the LAUSD agreed to an 88-million dollar settlement with scores of parents whose students were victims of two pedophile teachers. The district has absolutely refused any comment what steps they will take moving forward to correct this, ensure it doesn't happen again, or hold anybody other than the two predators accountable. I am looking to speak with someone who’ll comment on the district's reckless and arrogant unapproachable stance whether the district as a whole will be held accountable and responsible for protecting LA's children.”

The settlements were of civil lawsuits; the pedophile perpetrators were removed from classrooms, fired, convicted+imprisoned under criminal statutes long ago. I spoke with the reporter later and the questions he was unable to get answers to are ones that shouldn’t+can’t remain unanswered – including nagging ones like “Can-or-do these teachers collect their pensions?”

What is LAUSD’s policy+strategy moving forward for dealing with Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention, Identification and Reporting? – and will there by programs for Educators, Classified Staff and Parents?

or do we just continue to agree to some acceptable level of abused children as Collateral Damage and pay out settlements to the Disputation of Attorneys at 1(800)SueLAUSD?

¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


L.A. SCHOOL DISTRICT REACHES $88-MILLION SETTLEMENT IN SEX MISCONDUCT CASES AT TWO CAMPUSES
Richard Winton and Howard Blume | LA Times | http://lat.ms/1NEp8bS

May 16, 20`6 | 7:04PM :: The Los Angeles school district will pay $88 million to settle sexual abuse cases at two elementary schools where complaints about the teachers behavior had surfaced long before their arrest, officials confirmed Monday.

The settlement with 30 children and their families, finalized over the weekend, is the second largest in district history, and brings a dark chapter to an apparent close.

The cases at De La Torre Elementary in Wilmington and Telfair Avenue Elementary in Pacoima, emerged in the aftermath of better-known sexual misconduct at Miramonte Elementary, south of downtown. Altogether, a spate of prosecutions and lawsuits led to huge settlements and spurred the district to announce a raft of reforms at the nation's second-largest school system.

"We’re glad that we’re able to resolve both of these cases so we can avoid potentially painful litigation and put these cases behind us," said Gregory McNair, a senior attorney with L.A. Unified. "We’re turning a corner here because we’ve resolved the last two very large cases that were involving the district."

The abuse scandals prompted the school system to better document and retain allegations against employees.

The district also focused on better training on recognizing and reporting abuse and set up a special investigations unit.

Attorneys representing the students said the change was long overdue and they remain concerned.

Plaintiffs' attorney John Manly likened the district's handling of these cases to the Catholic Church's failure to halt abuse by priests.

“We feel this is an ongoing problem in L.A. Unified and we hope this amount of money will promote a change of heart and change of attitude when it comes to victims," said Manly, who represents many of the students and families.

The De La Torre litigation encompassed 18 children and 19 of their parents (who sued separately). The Telfair settlement involved 12 minors. The agreement provides for a process to distribute the money fairly, but the average payout will be about $3 million per family, including sums that two of the Telfair students won through a jury verdict last year.

The two schools are at opposite ends of the sprawling school system — Telfair in the north, De La Torre in the south. And Miramonte was miles from both. All three schools served predominantly low-income communities and involved veteran teachers who had been relatively popular, but whose conduct had raised questions in the past.

Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt attracted the most media attention after his 2012 arrest because of the bizarre forms of abuse into which he lured dozens of students. The payouts eventually totaled $175 million. Berndt is serving a 25-year sentence for committing lewd acts.

“We feel this is an ongoing problem in L.A. Unified and we hope this amount of money will promote a change of heart and change of attitude when it comes to victims.” — John Manly, plaintiffs' attorney

The district's reputation continued to be battered as details emerged about other accused predators. At the time, Telfair teacher Paul Chapel III already was facing sex abuse charges.

L.A. Unified had no record that it ever conducted an internal investigation about him despite his dismissal from a previous job at a private school and his later trial — Chapel was not convicted — on allegations that he abused a boy. District officials said that the earlier incidents did not involve conduct at an L.A. Unified school, which may have limited their attention to the matter at the time.

But court documents allege that there also were concerns at his L.A. Unified workplace. Teachers at his first district school, Andasol Elementary in Northridge, warned that Chapel was placing children in his lap, attempting to take them on unauthorized field trips and closing his classroom door with students inside during lunch and recess.

In March 2011, a parent complained to an administrator that Chapel would kiss boys and girls in class. Several children confirmed the allegations, but even at that point, Chapel remained in the classroom for six more weeks, according to court documents.

Questions about Chapel's subsequent quiet removal led to a specific change in district policy: Families are now supposed to be notified when an investigation of a teacher involves alleged sexual misconduct.

In all, Chapel sexually abused a dozen students over a decade, including acts such as kissing boys on their genitals. He is serving a 25-year sentence after a no-contest plea.

Robert Pimentel's case also involves a long chain of accusations that led to little or no action, according to court documents filed by the plaintiffs.

Former district Principal Irene Hinojosa fielded complaints about Pimentel's aggressive affection for children as early as 2002, when she documented a conference with Pimentel about touching and slapping young girls' buttocks and touching their calves.

The teacher admitted the conduct, according to the document, with the excuse that he was on medication, which increased his sex hormones. Three years later, Hinojosa received a search warrant requesting “Mr. Pimentel’s employment and personnel files” because of an investigation into Pimentel's alleged abuse of a minor who was related to him.

In 2009, senior administrators learned of accusations against Pimentel from a report by social worker Holly Priebe-Diaz, who talked to a group of about 40 parents demonstrating against the principal.

An internal district memo, marked confidential, said soon after that “the district guidelines regarding reporting cases of child endangerment may not have been followed.”

Allegations about Pimentel filtered up through administrators Valerie Moses and Mike Romero — all the way to senior regional administrator Linda Del Cueto. The complaints, although not lurid, provided more than enough grounds to launch a full investigation, plaintiff attorneys said.

About a dozen students complained about sexual misconduct by Pimentel that occurred after the 2009 allegations. In abuse cases, liability is not established by the acts themselves, but by whether a school system could have or should have known about a potential problem, according to experts.

The district administrators accused of inaction repeatedly denied wrongdoing or declined to comment.

Del Cueto, reached at the district on Monday, said that at this point she is unwilling to discuss the case.

Then-Supt. John Deasy removed Hinojosa as principal and she subsequently left the district for another job, according to state records.

Deasy suspended the three other administrators, along with current Principal David Kooper. Kooper was, for a time, an aide to school board member Richard Vladovic, who represents that area. Investigators apparently found nothing incriminating against either Vladovic or Kooper. Deasy demoted Romero and Del Cueto.

Deasy's successor, Ramon Cortines, restored them to more senior positions. Moses has retired, according to district records.

"The LAUSD is more interested in protecting teachers and administrators than in protecting the children within the LAUSD," said plaintiffs' attorney Luis Carrillo.

Pimentel pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting four girls, including a relative, and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.


PEARSON CEO FALLON TALKS COMMON CORE, RISE OF ‘OPEN’ RESOURCES, DEFENDS ROLE IN LAUSD iPAD FIASCO + smf's 2¢
by Sean Cavanagh Senior Editor | EducationWeek Marketplace K-12 | http://bit.ly/1TI0Av9

May 16, 2016 :: Few corporate brand names in education are as recognizable, and as polarizing, as Pearson, the giant education provider whose reach extends to virtual schools, testing, language training and an array of other areas.

Many educators these days see Pearson as the embodiment of commercial businesses’ continued push to turn profits from public schools. Pearson has been criticized for everything from its deployment of curriculum in districts’ 1-to-1 technology programs to the prominent role it plays in high-stakes testing.

Yet by its financial measures—including its $7 billion in annual revenues—Pearson is clearly providing products and services that are in demand in many schools, districts, and states, and among individual parents.

Pearson CEO John Fallon recently met with a group of reporters at Education Week’s offices and spoke about his company’s business strategies and record, and offered a defense against some of its detractors’ claims. He also talked about how he thinks policy shifts like the implementation of the common-core standards and the adoption of “open” educational resources are likely to affect the K-12 market, and his company’s work.

Here are takeaways from Fallon’s remarks in response to questions from a group of reporters, edited for brevity and clarity.

Pearson officials have been talking about shifting away from being identified as simply a publishing company for years now. Fallon described the scope of the company’s reach in different areas of K-12, higher education, and professional training.

Pearson’s annual revenues stand at about $7 billion, of which 50 percent come from courseware/content, in K-12, higher education, and across the professional space, Fallon said. Those resources are increasingly delivered in digital form. Thirty percent of the company’s revenues come from assessments of one kind or another, which includes professional certification and apprenticeship programs, as well as summative exams.

High-stakes testing, specifically, produces “less than 10 percent of our revenues, but feels sometimes like it generates 150 percent of the news flow,” quipped Fallon.

The remaining 20 percent come from services provided to schools and colleges, including virtual schools, [and] online program management at universities, he said. A Pearson business motto is “content plus assessment, powered by technology, equalizes effective learning at scale,” Fallon said, and after years of striving for that goal, “we only feel that it’s really now starting to come together.”

The company’s approach is to “define what we do by the outcome, not by where it happens physically,” he said. Pearson will continue to support “some pure online programs,” Fallon added, and “online program management and virtual schooling are two of the biggest areas of growth for the company. The weight of the activity will be in blended learning, and how you combine the benefits of face-to-face with purely online approaches.”

Pearson is a major player in virtual schooling, through its operation of Connections Academy and other programs. Recent studies, including one by Stanford’s CREDO project, have shown virtual schools producing poor results. Fallon was asked why parents and others should have confidence in Pearson’s online schools, despite the negative findings for virtual education.

“It’s important to speak in specific rather than general terms…It’s not always the case, but it’s fair to say there’s a disproportionate number of students in virtual schooling who are there because physical schools have failed them in some form or another. So it’s going to be important that we track value-added, or progress-added.

“We see technology as the means by which I can apply the benefits of teaching to far more people, and you can help free teachers up to spend more time with students, engaging students, learning from each other. Technology is not a panacea, it’s just a tool, and its primary value is in enhancing the power of teaching to reach more people.

“We publish studies that show the value that these programs do add. I think on the whole, the results are pretty good….But we are not complacent or satisfied, and all the time we’re looking to improve the value that is added. If you look at Connections Academy, the schools are incredibly popular with parents…[We measure the extent to which parents recommended our online programs among each other] and it receives an incredibly high rating.”

Many critics accuse publishers, including Pearson, of making exaggerated claims of having aligned academic materials to the Common Core State Standards, while having only made superficial changes.

Fallon was asked by EdWeek reporters about a review of a Pearson curriculum by the organization EdReports that gave one of the company’s curricula a poor rating for common-core alignment. Fallon official pointed a response by the company that argued that the EdReports analysis was flawed, and he said Pearson’s overall record in aligning its materials to the common core is “very good,” overall.

“We’re very confident that our products are aligned to the common core. The principles of the [standards] are hugely empowering and inspiring for teachers and publishers as well. It moves us from a world under No Child Left Behind where we were essentially teaching and assessing a child’s mastery of mathematical formulas and equations to a world where we’re teaching and assessing a child’s ability to solve real world problems, and more sophisticated problems.”

[O]ne of the mistakes that were made around the implementation of the common core was to think you could switch from No Child Left Behind, that you could click your fingers and it would happen in one fell swoop. It will take the better part of a generation for the benefits to flow through.John Fallon CEO, Pearson

But he said the implementation of the common-core is a massive task, and that support for educators and schools in making a transition to the standards has been lacking—one of the factors that has fueled mistrust in the K-12 community.

“You have to work with the gray—that is the day-to-day reality of the classroom. We [made] probably the biggest single investment [in the Pearson System of Courses, which] completely rethinks the way that numeracy and literacy are taught in the classroom. It would be the absolute poster child for the common core, and the new way of teaching…in the long run, it will prove incredibly liberating for the profession. But it is not a simple, straightforward thing to implement a program like that. It will take years, it will require very significant amounts of professional development. It will require you to rethink how the working day in the school operates. Those things take time.

“In hindsight, one of the mistakes that were made around the implementation of the common core was to think you could switch from No Child Left Behind, that you could click your fingers and it would happen in one fell swoop. It will take the better part of a generation for the benefits to flow through, because it’s such a fundamental step change. Frankly, where a lot of support from the teaching profession for the common core tipped over into antagonism, and concern, was because of the way the assessments were introduced. For example, there wasn’t an understanding in terms of tracking and measuring teacher performance against those standards; you needed to give a significant amount of time for it to bed down. Now, the reality is that it happened in the end, but it was done slightly late in the day, and almost grudgingly. It would have been so much better if everyone had been more open and honest about that much earlier in the process.

Big changes were required, yes, of publishers, but also huge changes in the way that schools were administered and led, and in the training of teachers. It’s a big, big change….You have to deal with the reality of life in schools…it varies by district, [there’s] variation by state, and not every school can move straight to a very different style of curriculum. It will take time.”

Fallon sees major educational benefits in the types of summative tests delivered today by Pearson and others, despite criticism of high-stakes exams, and despite frustration caused by testing breakdowns. [Pearson was recently faulted by New Jersey state officials for a disruption of that state’s assessments.]

“The move toward a world of fewer, better, smarter assessments that provide more actionable data more quickly to teachers and parents is important. We would say that an assessment should be only one measure of progress. It should be part of a richer dashboard, a more holistic view.
“We’ve been talking for 20 years about the convergence of formative and summative assessment, something the Every Students Succeeds Act makes more valid…that is something in our sights, something that is possible, in psychometric terms, in terms of technology—fewer, better, smarter assessments, and quicker, better feedback for teachers, parents, and students.”

McGraw-Hill Education got out of high-stakes testing entirely last year. Given the continued controversy around summative exams, and periodic problems associated with giving them, could you see a day where Pearson says goodbye to high-stakes testing entirely?

“Just to put it in context, Pearson successfully conducted 15 million on-screen tests last year. We did, as you know, have a problem in New Jersey, and we’re sorry about that. But the tests resumed the next day, and have been very effective since then. Our onscreen testing is very reliable, secure, it works, and we can provide much richer data, and we can provide useful information back to teachers and parents. And it’s what enables formative and summative assessment to converge. It’s much harder to see that if we go back to the world of paper and pencil, bubble tests….they’re not fit for what we need to prepare young people….to apply things to the real world.

“I can’t speak for other companies, but I have a lot of confidence in the reliability of our online assessments. Secondary, they will enable what most people in the education world want to see happen.”

Pearson was one of the companies, along with Apple, that was faulted as the Los Angeles Unified school district’s 1-to-1 iPad program, faced technical breakdowns and backlash. Pearson’s common-core aligned curriculum was supposed to come pre-loaded on iPads, and the company was criticized by those who said it wasn’t ready. The company recently agreed to pay more than $6 million to the district.

Fallon would not comment on the specifics of the settlement, but said this when asked about what lessons the company learned in L.A.:

“Moving to 1-to-1 learning, to where the role of the teacher becomes much more one of coach and [providing] support to children, where you’re trying to introduce more peer-to-peer learning…and do so in a technology delivered-world, that is a very different world than the reality that exists in many schools today. And it takes time. And the lessons to be learned, not just from there but around the country, are that there is still a lot of work to be done, to get really good, high-quality…e-commerce-grade tech infrastructure and experience in schools for students. That’s not to say there has been a lot progress—there has…But I think that is a prerequisite over time to giving teachers competent ways to deploy technology effectively in schools.

“And where you call it common core, or career-and college-ready standards, the ambition to the new higher standards, one that is much more around applied knowledge, is another very ambitious thing to do. You’ve got a lot going on, all at once. How you manage systemic change in those circumstances is not something you should underestimate. It will take a lot of time to do. It’s a real focus on technology infrastructure, a real focus on PD for teachers.”

And about the specific accusation that Pearson’s curriculum was not ready in time for LAUSD?

“That program has continued to be used in a number of school districts around the country, which are running pilots on it. The curriculum on it is fantastic. And if there’s any program that really did try to fully embrace the common core—and wasn’t just compliant, but went beyond—that was it.”

Many districts have embraced open educational resources—free materials created on licenses that allow their distribution, re-use, and repurposing. Fallon argued—as many providers of commercial materials have—that OER can provide benefits to some schools, but that commercial resources will continue to have value because of the tech-based enhancements, in analytics and adaptive learning and other areas, that they offer beyond academic content.

Open resources are “an important part of the landscape…Quite often, they’re used as supplements to a core teaching program. If you think about what the next generation of technology will look like, it’s a really immersive learning experience, that will provide learning analytics that enable teachers to have more actionable diagnostics that give them more personalized information around each student and creates much more personalized learning for students.

“That’s not something that can be done without continuous and sustained investment, and that investment has to funded from somewhere. Ultimately, it has to be paid for somewhere in the system. That’s why I think there will be a diversity and range of [materials]…I think there will continue to be a market for a long time to come for high-quality courseware, pedagogically sound, fantastic content, developed in a way for teachers that is an inspiration for them to teach and for students to learn, and [which is] providing much more adaptive learning and learning analytics. But it will be paid for if it demonstrates real value [in]…helping more students to be successful and make progress. If it doesn’t, it won’t, and it won’t deserve to.

“If [the education community goes] that [open] route, it’s not a free route. They will have to find a way to fund and sustain that approach. They might be able to fund it over time with voluntary labor extended over time from the teaching profession. But there’s a consequence for that; there’s only so many hours in the day, in the system…If you talk about ‘free’ in any other sector, [the resources] may be free at the point of use, but they’re being funded and paid for somewhere else. So ultimately, quality has to be paid for somewhere else.”


●●smf’s 2¢: EdWeek is a advertiser supported trade publication. If Pearson isn't their biggest advertiser; that potential exists. Cavanagh is their Marketplace editor - we shouldn't be expecting any heavy hitting from them!


When he thinks the "Pearson System of Courses" works, Fallon is supportive: "the absolute poster child for the common core," ....when it didn't (It was the vaporware on LAUSD's iPads) then: "that program has continued to be used in a number of school districts around the country, which are running pilots on it."

Pilots? Seriously??

▲Sean Cavanagh is Senior Editor of EdWeek Market Brief. He is also a reporter and editor for Education Week, where he has covered a variety of beats since 2002. His primary focus is on business and technology issues in K-12 education. Previously he covered math and science education, charter schools and school choice, and federal policy. Before joining Education Week, he was a reporter for daily newspapers in Tennessee and Florida.


YET ANOTHER POOR SCORECARD FOR CALIFORNIA'S PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS: State spent $45 million more on early education ...and only enrolled 298 more kids
A NEW REPORT FINDS CALIFORNIA IS FAILING IT'S LOW INCOME FOUR-YEAR-OLDS IN THE STATE PRESCHOOL PROGRAM.

Deepa Fernandes | KPCC / 89.3 FM |http://bit.ly/1sznOhc

May 12 2016 :: Even though California spent $45 million more on early education last year than it did the year before, the state only managed to enroll 298 more kids in preschool.

That's one of the findings that led the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University to rate the state 28th for early education in its latest annual report.

The annual report is a national snapshot of how states are doing with preschool access and quality. For California it examined the state preschool program, which is available only to low-income children. (The California Department of Education does not count any four-year-old enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten (TK) in its preschool category, as it sees this as the first of a two-year kindergarten program, so TK students were not included in this report.)

California does best when it comes to the number of 3-year-olds in early education, ranking ninth in the nation. But it’s downhill from there.

The state not only hovers in the bottom half of all states for 4-year-old access, it also does poorly when held to scrutiny against a range of quality standard benchmarks. Every year NIEER evaluates preschool quality through a set of general benchmark standards. These include teacher qualification level and access to in-service training, class size, staff to child ratios, and systems in place to monitor and oversee quality.

Of the 10 quality benchmarks, California only met four in 2015: The state does have comprehensive early learning standards in place; its teachers do have access to at least 15 hours per year of in-service training; teachers are required to have an early education specialization training; and the state’s programs meet the one teacher to ten child ratio.

However, there are six more areas where the state fails to meet high quality standards, from unregulated class sizes, to low teacher qualification expectations, to not providing screening for support services children may need. The state preschool programs do not all provide meals to children in the program, and the program does not have comprehensive program monitoring in place.

California has never met more than four standards in all the years NIEER has done this study, going back to 2003.

In the 2015 report, neighboring states do better: Oregon meets nine out ten benchmarks and Nevada meets seven out of ten.

The California Department of Education did not respond to KPCC’s request for comment regarding why the state fails to implement stand quality benchmarks before publication.
For 2015, the model preschool states were New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Oklahoma and West Virginia, according to the report's authors. These states have highly qualified teachers, strong curriculum and high expectations of children and teachers.

They also demonstrate a “continuous improvement of the system,” said NIEER’s director, Steve Barnett, as well as “how to rapidly increase quality and access at the same time.”

One area that the report focuses on is teacher pay. California’s preschool teachers are not expected to have the same credential – a bachelor's degree – as elementary teachers and are not paid on par with their public school counterparts. In five states, including Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee, preschool teachers are paid the same as elementary teachers.

California does slightly better by its non-English speaking preschoolers. It allocates extra dollars and requires an in-home assessment in the child’s home language. Yet that’s not enough, Barnett said.

“Given California’s large Hispanic population, it’s crucial that the state put a strong dual language learner policy in place,” he said.

While NIEER reports have consistently found the state's preschool program to be wanting, previous studies have also criticized the state for its quality and access.


National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) Report



CALIFORNIA IMMIGRANT KIDS GAIN STATE-FUNDED HEALTH CARE REGARDLESS OF LEGAL STATUS
by Jonathan J. Cooper | AP from KPCC / 89.3FM | http://bit.ly/1rUuTbw

May 16 2016 :: Children and teens brought illegally to the United States gained access to publicly funded health care Monday as California began allowing young people to sign up for the state's health care program for the poor without regard to their immigration status.

State officials expect as many as 185,000 children under age 19 to join Medi-Cal in the first year — about three-quarters of the estimated 250,000 eligible youth. About 121,000 will be automatically transferred from a limited version of the program that provides only emergency care, giving them the full range of medical, dental, vision and mental health coverage available for little or no cost with full-scope coverage.

In a rally outside the state Capitol, health care and immigrant rights advocates celebrating the expansion turned their attention to their next goals. They want Medi-Cal — the state's version of Medicaid — to cover income-eligible adults who migrated illegally and are pushing to allow those who make too much money to buy private coverage through the state's insurance exchange, Covered California.

"While Congress remains gridlocked with stereotypes and hateful rhetoric, California remains as a hopeful beacon that tells people, 'Immigrants, you matter. Immigrants, you contribute to our economy. Immigrants, you are people that deserve to have health care,'" said Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, who wrote the legislation authorizing the expanded coverage.

Critics question why California lawmakers are spending time and money to help people who immigrated illegally when there are American citizens in need.

"This acts as a magnet to the world — bring your children, bring your families to California illegally and you will get free health care," said Robin Hvidston, executive director of the activist group We the People Rising.

In his revised budget proposal published last week, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown included $188.2 million to cover the children and teens expected to get full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. While the federal government pays about half the cost of providing Medi-Cal benefits to citizens and legal immigrants, the state is covering the entire price tag for those who immigrated illegally.

More than 13 million Californians are enrolled in Medi-Cal, about a third of the state's population. The total state share of Medi-Cal funding is about $17.7 billion

Joe Mangia, president and CEO of St. John's Well Child & Family Center in Los Angeles, said the center has about 2,500 kids who will be eligible for the expanded coverage, and expects about 1,000 already have emergency Medi-Cal.

He said they've been reaching out to families to tell them about the option and set up appointments starting on Monday for people to come in and enroll. Health promoters have also gone out into the community to tell people about the program, he said.

Until now, St. John's has treated the kids but now they'll get much better and expanded care.

"Before, if there was a specialty need, we'd refer to the county, maybe they'd get seen in six to nine months," he said.

State officials have been working to make the transition smooth and will be watching for any implementation problems they need to address, Department of Health Care Services Director Jennifer Kent said in a statement last week.

"We're delighted at this chance to expand comprehensive health coverage to reach thousands more California children," Kent said.


Contract Reopener: STUDENT-FOCUSED TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED BETWEEN UTLA AND LAUSD

By OW Staff Writer | From Our Weekly | http://bit.ly/1Ri0kku

5/19/2016, midnight :: After eight weeks of bargaining on two reopener issues, United Teachers Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District this week reached an agreement, pending a ratification vote by members.

This cycle of bargaining had a limited focus on two key issues: class size and educator development and support.

“It is rare for this much progress to be made in contract reopeners,” said UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl. “We made significant strides for students and our classrooms, and set a foundation for more improvements to public education in Los Angeles. We are proud that this agreement addresses equity for our highest-needs students.”

Key improvements to class size include:

• One additional full-time teacher at every secondary school for a new elective class or to reduce the class size of existing electives, such as visual and performing arts and ethnic studies.

• One additional full-time teacher for high-needs elementary schools to be used for class-size reduction in grades 4, 5 (or 6 if applicable), as ranked by the LAUSD student equity index.

• A cap of 55 students in PE classes for secondary schools

• District response time shortened from 30 to 15 days when caseloads are too large in Special Education.

• At secondary schools that have already have a Pupil Services and Attendance counselor or a Psychiatric Social Worker counselor in their local budget, the district will pay for an additional 17 days of work time.

Key improvements to educator development and support include a quicker turnaround from observation to feedback to educators in the classroom. It also includes continuing the work of the joint LAUSD and UTLA's Educator Development and Support Committee, working collaboratively on professional development and career-long growth.

The reopeners are part of the current 2014-17 contract, which last year included a 10 percent salary increase and set the stage for a successful agreement this year.

A member ratification vote will take place at school sites over a three-day period between June 1 and June 3. Votes will be counted on Saturday, June 4. The agreement is also pending a vote by the School Board


EVENTS: Coming up next week...
TUES MAY 24, 2016
May 24, 2016 - 10:00 - BUDGET, FACILITIES AND AUDIT COMMITTEE - Rescheduled from May 17
May 24, 2016 - 2:00 P.M. - COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

THURS MAY 26, 2016 10AM
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND CITIZENS’ OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE | Agenda: http://bit.ly/1XKuWTh


*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
• SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE:
http://www.laschools.org/bond/
Phone: 213-241-5183
____________________________________________________
• LAUSD FACILITIES COMMUNITY OUTREACH CALENDAR:
http://www.laschools.org/happenings/
Phone: 213-241.8700


• LAUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION & COMMITTEES MEETING CALENDAR



What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member:
Scott.Schmerelson@lausd.net • 213-241-8333
Monica.Garcia@lausd.net • 213-241-6180
Ref.Rodriguez@lausd.net • 213-241-5555
George.McKenna@lausd.net • 213-241-6382
Monica.Ratliff@lausd.net • 213-241-6388
Richard.Vladovic@lausd.net • 213-241-6385
Steve.Zimmer@lausd.net • 213-241-6387
...or the Superintendent:
superintendent@lausd.net • 213-241-7000
...or your city councilperson, mayor, county supervisor, state legislator, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think! • Find your state legislator based on your home address. Just go to: http://bit.ly/dqFdq2 • There are 26 mayors and five county supervisors representing jurisdictions within LAUSD, the mayor of LA can be reached at mayor@lacity.org • 213.978.0600
• Call or e-mail Governor Brown: 213-897-0322 e-mail: http://www.govmail.ca.gov/
• Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
• Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
• Get involved at your neighborhood school. Volunteer in the classroom. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child - and ultimately: For all children.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE at http://registertovote.ca.gov/
• If you are registered, VOTE LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT. THEY DO!


Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?




Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and was Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and has represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for over 13 years. He currently serves as Vice President for Health, is a Legislation Action Committee member and a member of the Board of Directors of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served as a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the UTLA/AFT "WHO" Gold Award and the ACSA Regional Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award - honors he hopes to someday deserve. • In this forum his opinions are his own and your opinions and feedback are invited. Quoted and/or cited content copyright © the original author and/or publisher. All other material copyright © 4LAKids.
• FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. 4LAKids makes such material available in an effort to advance understanding of education issues vital to parents, teachers, students and community members in a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
• To SUBSCRIBE e-mail: 4LAKids-subscribe@topica.email-publisher.com - or -TO ADD YOUR OR ANOTHER'S NAME TO THE 4LAKids SUBSCRIPTION LIST E-mail smfolsom@aol.com with "SUBSCRIBE" AS THE SUBJECT. Thank you.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

The return of Suzy Creamcheese



4LAKids: Sunday 15•May•2016
In This Issue:
 •  LADWP CREWS TEST FOR WATER CONTAMINATION IN SOUTH LA
 •  UTLA-COMMISSIONED REPORT SAYS CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE BLEEDING MONEY FROM TRADITIONAL ONES + Report + Policy Brief + smf's 2¢
 •  The MGA Report: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
 •  JERRY BROWN SEES BUDGET TROUBLE FOR CALIFORNIA, WANTS TO HOLD LINE + RESPONSES TO EARLY EDUCATION SPENDING CUTS IN MAY REVISE BUDGET
 •  HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
 •  EVENTS: Coming up next week...
 •  What can YOU do?


Featured Links:
 •  ► Friends4smf :: The GoFundMe campaign
 •  Follow 4 LAKids on Twitter - or get instant updates via text message by texting
 •  4LAKids Anthology: All the Past Issues, solved, resolved and unsolved!
 •  4LAKidsNews: a compendium of recent items of interest - news stories, scurrilous rumors, links, academic papers, rants and amusing anecdotes, etc.
These pages don’t usually repeat those news stories about Race Riots at High Schools and/or horror stories about lead or other toxic heavy metals in the municipal water supply. The Godzilla Creation Myth is all around us, told+retold.


My reasoning is quite simple: Those stories are usually thin on news and fat on headlines.

When I was a senior at a famous LAUSD high school – back when dinosaurs ruled the earth – a bunch of us young people gathered on the lawn and expressed our disinterest in returning to class during a triple-digit-heatwave. There may have been clapping+chanting in unison.

Clap-Clap, ClapClapClap
ClapClapClapClap: Too Hot!

The page one/Eight-column-wide headline in the next day’s Herald-Sensationalist: RIOT AT HOLLYWOOD HIGH!


THE DWP (a huge-and-sometimes-unaccountable bureaucracy not to be confused with the LAUSD) had a problem with some contamination in their water pipes in South Central back on Jan 15th. All the proper procedures were followed, tests were run, community meetings were held, and minor politicians wrung their hands. Notices were posted. [It is interesting to note that the DWP PR machine somehow spun the problem as partially LAUSD’s]

Two months later – in an abundance of caution – a school principal shut down some drinking fountains and brought in some bottled water.

Headline: LADWP CREWS TEST FOR WATER CONTAMINATION IN SOUTH LA

Ladies+gentlemen, boys+girls: Green Meadows is NOT the second coming of Flint, Michigan!

And the metaphor and Dr. King’s Dream notwithstanding, Los Angeles is a lousy melting pot.


We toss odd bottles of discolored water and good intentions and an invite to the prom into the stew and it simmers+splatters as the Scottish Play’s dark sisters would have it do: “Double double, toil+trouble…” Keep an eye on that pot on the back burner; our concoctions are often explosive than not: The Chinatown Massacre, Watts, Rodney King. This is the sad+oft-repeated history of race in our City of Angels.

Headline: PARENTS, LEADERS OUTRAGED BY BRAWL AT SYLMAR HIGH SCHOOL

At Sylmar High School – responsible adults – with all the right Restorative Justice tools+training in their toolbox – and with a strong School Wide Positive Behavior Support Plan in place – ignored the history+training+warning signs+rubrics-of-implementataion and let the trouble boil over.

Trouble at the prom on Friday = Big trouble at school on Monday.

• A dozen police officers.
• Forty students involved.
• A set piece “rumble” at noon in the quad? Really? A meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem) is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture" Isn’t this one of those?
• All parents and guardians have been notified about the incident, and “appropriate disciplinary action is being taken.”
• None of that sounds like much of an enlightened intervention.

School officials have not commented on what caused the fight and how many students received punishment, citing privacy laws. King wished any students who were injured a speedy recovery.

The police officers could be seen trying to separate students as they fought in cellphone footage that surfaced online Monday.
Bow tie daddy dontcha blow your top
Everything's under control
Bow tie daddy dontcha blow your top
'cause you think you're gettin' too old
Don't try to do no thinkin'
Just go on with your drinkin'
Just have your fun, you old son of a gun
Then drive home in your Lincoln.


THE GOVERNOR, in his May Revise to the State Budget, thinks it’s time for a bit of the old austerity. Starting with eliminating Transitional Kindergarten.


And UTLA has commissioned a study by MGT of America, Inc. on the fiscal impact of all these charter schools on LAUSD’s fiscal future. While not exactly nonpartisan – or even ‘fair+balanced’ – it paints a dire picture: see: UTLA-COMMISSIONED REPORT SAYS CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE BLEEDING MONEY FROM TRADITIONAL ONES + Report + Policy Brief + smf's 2¢


¡Onward/Adelante! - smf


LADWP CREWS TEST FOR WATER CONTAMINATION IN SOUTH LA
From CBS2/KCOP9 News | http://cbsloc.al/229h719

May 11, 2016 :: WATTS (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews Wednesday tested for water contamination within neighborhoods and schools in South Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, the cloudy water recently appeared at Flournoy Elementary, Compton Avenue Elementary, 96th Street Elementary, Grape Street Elementary and Florence Griffith-Joyner Elementary.

Students at Grape Elementary School were subsequently told to stay away from water fountains. They were instead given bottles of water to drink from.

No other school is using bottled water and water service to the schools has not been disrupted.

“The safety of our students is always the district’s top priority,” OEHS Director Robert Laughton said in a written statement. “We will continue to monitor this situation to ensure the highest quality of water is supplied to our schools.”

LADWP crews tested the drinking water on Friday and found that it was safe to drink even though it looked unappetizing.

In fact, crews report that pipes in the South Los Angeles area are much newer than those in other parts of town.

It is possible, however, that the murky water appeared because of sediment shifting in the pipes.

LADWP has agreed to replace all water bottles being used in response to the incident.

On Jan. 15, a chlorine pump at the 99th Street Wells Water Treatment Facility malfunctioned. For six hours, residents living in the neighborhoods of Green Meadows and Watts were exposed to water that was not fully disinfected.

LADWP crews insist the recent cases of cloudy water is unrelated to the water treatment failure.

Pipe-flushing tests will continue throughout the month.

The Los Angeles City Council has scheduled a hearing for late June to receive more answers.


UTLA-COMMISSIONED REPORT SAYS CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE BLEEDING MONEY FROM TRADITIONAL ONES + Report + Policy Brief + smf's 2¢
by Howard Blume, L.A. Times | http://lat.ms/1T3TEbM

May 10, 2016 2 AM :: A teachers union-funded report on charter schools concludes that these largely nonunion campuses are costing traditional schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District millions of dollars in tax money.

The report, which is certain to be viewed with skepticism by charter supporters, focused on direct and indirect costs related to enrollment, oversight, services to disabled students and other activities on which the district spends money.

L.A. Unified has the most charters — 221 — and the highest number of charter students — more than 100,000 — of any school system in the nation. Charter students make up about 16% of the district's total enrollment.

The union gave The Times the study in advance of its scheduled presentation at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, with the stipulation that the report not be distributed to outside parties.

[smf: The Report and the Policy Brief Follows]

The study calculates that services to charters encroach on tax money the district intended to use for traditional schools, adding up to at least $18.1 million a year and growing.

The biggest financial problem for the district, however, is that money follows students and a huge number of students have enrolled in charters instead of traditional district schools. With more education tax dollars going directly to charters, the result is a decline of more than $500 million a year — about 7% — in the district's core budget, the researchers say.

The effects of this drop are difficult to quantify because fewer students in traditional schools also means a reduced need for teachers and other personnel.

But even with reduced staffing, the district faces a net loss of about $4,957 per student, the study says. That amount accounts for fixed costs, such as maintaining buildings.

Whatever the exact amount, the district has less money to spend with the flexibility its leaders would prefer or to offset legacy costs that include aging school buildings and retiree health benefits.
L.A. Unified magnets accepted less than half of applicants this year

“The findings in the report paint a picture of a system that prioritizes the growth opportunities for charter school operators,” according to a separate policy brief co-written by the union.

Charter supporters take a different view, seeing the district as the fundamental problem and charters as an important solution.

“Like all businesses, the district has to compete for its customers,” said Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

“The growth of charters is putting pressure on the district. The district can't do what it did in the past and come out ahead,” added Hanushek, who hadn't seen the report. “They can try to compete for the students or sell off the buildings. But the point is: Charters look attractive to parents, which means that the district is not attractive.”

Prompted in part by concern about the district's judgment in how it spends money, a group of philanthropists and foundations has bet big on charters in Los Angeles, subsidizing their growth over the last two decades. Last year, local philanthropist Eli Broad spearheaded a proposal to more than double the number of charters over the next eight years, hoping to reel in half of district students.
About six months ago, a group formed to develop Broad's vision for new, high-quality schools.

Meanwhile, both the district and employee unions have been trying to develop counter-strategies. From the district, the push is to increase enrollment, to compete with charters more aggressively and possibly to limit their growth. Until now, the union has been most visible at the bully pulpit, speaking at gatherings and leading demonstrations.

The new report is from Florida company MGT of America. It builds on the work of an earlier, independent district advisory panel, which concluded that charter growth is one of several factors threatening the solvency of L.A. Unified.

This latest analysis was reviewed by pro-labor Washington group In the Public Interest, which prepared the separate policy brief with the union.

“Unmitigated charter school growth limits educational opportunities for the more than 542,000 students who continue to attend schools run by the district, and … further imperils the financial stability of LAUSD as an institution,” the brief states.

Charters pay 1% of the tax money they receive from the state to the district for oversight through its charter division, but this isn't enough, according to the report. The charter division monitors academic progress at charters and reviews their financial health and management practices.

The division spends about $2.9 million more than the available funding, which is limited by state law.
The report also tallies an additional $13.8 million in annual administrative costs related to charters, and $1.4 million more for work by the district's inspector general and special education division.
The full effect on services to the disabled is actually much higher but difficult to nail down, according to the researchers.
The federal government mandates that every disabled student should receive a free and appropriate education, but does not fully pay for it. The state, in turn, spreads out this funding equally between students, regardless of their disability. L.A. Unified enrolls a much higher percentage of the disabled students who cost more to educate.

“A student with a need for speech therapy might need only monthly support/monitoring that might cost the district $3,000 per year,” the report states. “A student with emotional/behavioral or health impairments with significant needs might need residential placement or daily feeding or medical monitoring and might cost the district upward of $120,000 per year.”

Schools and districts pool their resources — and share the expense — of serving disabled students, but L.A. charters don't have to partner with L.A. Unified. Some have cut costs by affiliating with another district. To keep other charters in the fold, L.A. Unified provides a special deal that essentially shortchanges the district, the report concludes.
Another indirect cost of charters relates to audits and investigations conducted by the district's inspector general. A routine audit takes three to six months and costs about $70,000. More extensive reviews cost at least twice as much.

The California Charter Schools Assn. has challenged the need for much of this work, calling many of these investigations unneeded and intrusive.

Jason Mandell, a spokesman for the association, said in an email that he could not comment on the report because he hadn't seen it. But any focus on charters, he said, was intentional misdirection away from financial problems that are of the district's own making. He noted that the earlier advisory panel study concluded that “even if charter schools didn't exist, the district would still face a crippling decline in enrollment due to entirely separate factors.”

The MGT report, which cost $82,000, doesn't fault charters, saying that the problems have more to do with state and federal policies as well as district decisions.

But in the policy brief, the union takes a more aggressive tone, arguing for changes that include full funding from the federal government for disabled students and equitable distribution of these dollars by the state; more money for charter oversight — either from the state or from charters; and charging higher district fees, where possible, to charters.

CAVEAT: L.A. Times' Editor's note: Education Matters receives funding from a number of foundations, including one or more mentioned in this article. The California Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles administer grants from the Baxter Family Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the California Endowment and the Wasserman Foundation. Under terms of the grants, The Times retains complete control over editorial content.

_______________


●●smf's 2¢
OK:

Eli Broad gets what he pays for from the LA Times.
UTLA gets what they pay for from MGT of America.
Read on and let's see if we voters and taxpayers can get the public education for our kids we pay for from California and LAUSD.

_________________


►Policy Brief | TheCostOfCharterSchools.org | http://bit.ly/1TbTRzf
►LAUSD Charter School Effect Study 050916[1] | http://bit.ly/1ZS5Gcg

New report reveals a fiscal crisis that could have deep negative implications for both district schools and existing charter schools.


TheCostOfCharterSchools.org

A report by MGT of America, an independent research firm, reveals that LAUSD has lost an astonishing $591 million to unmitigated charter school growth this year alone. If costs associated with charter school expansion are not mitigated with common sense solutions, the district will face financial insolvency, according to an analysis of the report.

As the number of independent charter schools continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important for LAUSD to quantify, forecast, and manage the costs associated with independent charter expansion. LAUSD oversees more charter schools than any other district in the country. Charters are privately managed despite relying heavily on district and taxpayer funding.

Taken together, the findings in the report paint a picture of a system that prioritizes the growth opportunities for charter school operators over the educational opportunities for all students.
UTLA-COMMISSIONED REPORT SAYS CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE BLEEDING MONEY FROM TRADITIONAL ONES + Report + Policy Brief + smf's 2¢
by Howard Blume, L.A. Times | http://lat.ms/1T3TEbM

May 10, 2016 2 AM :: A teachers union-funded report on charter schools concludes that these largely nonunion campuses are costing traditional schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District millions of dollars in tax money.

The report, which is certain to be viewed with skepticism by charter supporters, focused on direct and indirect costs related to enrollment, oversight, services to disabled students and other activities on which the district spends money.

L.A. Unified has the most charters — 221 — and the highest number of charter students — more than 100,000 — of any school system in the nation. Charter students make up about 16% of the district's total enrollment.

The union gave The Times the study in advance of its scheduled presentation at Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, with the stipulation that the report not be distributed to outside parties.

[smf: The Report and the Policy Brief Follows]

The study calculates that services to charters encroach on tax money the district intended to use for traditional schools, adding up to at least $18.1 million a year and growing.

The biggest financial problem for the district, however, is that money follows students and a huge number of students have enrolled in charters instead of traditional district schools. With more education tax dollars going directly to charters, the result is a decline of more than $500 million a year — about 7% — in the district's core budget, the researchers say.

The effects of this drop are difficult to quantify because fewer students in traditional schools also means a reduced need for teachers and other personnel.

But even with reduced staffing, the district faces a net loss of about $4,957 per student, the study says. That amount accounts for fixed costs, such as maintaining buildings.

Whatever the exact amount, the district has less money to spend with the flexibility its leaders would prefer or to offset legacy costs that include aging school buildings and retiree health benefits.
L.A. Unified magnets accepted less than half of applicants this year

“The findings in the report paint a picture of a system that prioritizes the growth opportunities for charter school operators,” according to a separate policy brief co-written by the union.

Charter supporters take a different view, seeing the district as the fundamental problem and charters as an important solution.

“Like all businesses, the district has to compete for its customers,” said Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

“The growth of charters is putting pressure on the district. The district can't do what it did in the past and come out ahead,” added Hanushek, who hadn't seen the report. “They can try to compete for the students or sell off the buildings. But the point is: Charters look attractive to parents, which means that the district is not attractive.”

Prompted in part by concern about the district's judgment in how it spends money, a group of philanthropists and foundations has bet big on charters in Los Angeles, subsidizing their growth over the last two decades. Last year, local philanthropist Eli Broad spearheaded a proposal to more than double the number of charters over the next eight years, hoping to reel in half of district students.
About six months ago, a group formed to develop Broad's vision for new, high-quality schools.

Meanwhile, both the district and employee unions have been trying to develop counter-strategies. From the district, the push is to increase enrollment, to compete with charters more aggressively and possibly to limit their growth. Until now, the union has been most visible at the bully pulpit, speaking at gatherings and leading demonstrations.

The new report is from Florida company MGT of America. It builds on the work of an earlier, independent district advisory panel, which concluded that charter growth is one of several factors threatening the solvency of L.A. Unified.

This latest analysis was reviewed by pro-labor Washington group In the Public Interest, which prepared the separate policy brief with the union.

“Unmitigated charter school growth limits educational opportunities for the more than 542,000 students who continue to attend schools run by the district, and … further imperils the financial stability of LAUSD as an institution,” the brief states.

Charters pay 1% of the tax money they receive from the state to the district for oversight through its charter division, but this isn't enough, according to the report. The charter division monitors academic progress at charters and reviews their financial health and management practices.

The division spends about $2.9 million more than the available funding, which is limited by state law.
The report also tallies an additional $13.8 million in annual administrative costs related to charters, and $1.4 million more for work by the district's inspector general and special education division.
The full effect on services to the disabled is actually much higher but difficult to nail down, according to the researchers.
The federal government mandates that every disabled student should receive a free and appropriate education, but does not fully pay for it. The state, in turn, spreads out this funding equally between students, regardless of their disability. L.A. Unified enrolls a much higher percentage of the disabled students who cost more to educate.

“A student with a need for speech therapy might need only monthly support/monitoring that might cost the district $3,000 per year,” the report states. “A student with emotional/behavioral or health impairments with significant needs might need residential placement or daily feeding or medical monitoring and might cost the district upward of $120,000 per year.”

Schools and districts pool their resources — and share the expense — of serving disabled students, but L.A. charters don't have to partner with L.A. Unified. Some have cut costs by affiliating with another district. To keep other charters in the fold, L.A. Unified provides a special deal that essentially shortchanges the district, the report concludes.
Another indirect cost of charters relates to audits and investigations conducted by the district's inspector general. A routine audit takes three to six months and costs about $70,000. More extensive reviews cost at least twice as much.

The California Charter Schools Assn. has challenged the need for much of this work, calling many of these investigations unneeded and intrusive.

Jason Mandell, a spokesman for the association, said in an email that he could not comment on the report because he hadn't seen it. But any focus on charters, he said, was intentional misdirection away from financial problems that are of the district's own making. He noted that the earlier advisory panel study concluded that “even if charter schools didn't exist, the district would still face a crippling decline in enrollment due to entirely separate factors.”

The MGT report, which cost $82,000, doesn't fault charters, saying that the problems have more to do with state and federal policies as well as district decisions.

But in the policy brief, the union takes a more aggressive tone, arguing for changes that include full funding from the federal government for disabled students and equitable distribution of these dollars by the state; more money for charter oversight — either from the state or from charters; and charging higher district fees, where possible, to charters.

CAVEAT: L.A. Times' Editor's note: Education Matters receives funding from a number of foundations, including one or more mentioned in this article. The California Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles administer grants from the Baxter Family Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the California Endowment and the Wasserman Foundation. Under terms of the grants, The Times retains complete control over editorial content.

_______________


●●smf's 2¢
OK:

● Eli Broad gets what he pays for from the LA Times.
● UTLA gets what they pay for from MGT of America.
● Read on and let's see if we voters and taxpayers can get the public education for our kids we pay for from California and LAUSD.

_________________


►Policy Brief | TheCostOfCharterSchools.org | http://bit.ly/1TbTRzf
►LAUSD Charter School Effect Study 050916[1] | http://bit.ly/1ZS5Gcg

New report reveals a fiscal crisis that could have deep negative implications for both district schools and existing charter schools.


TheCostOfCharterSchools.org
A report by MGT of America, an independent research firm, reveals that LAUSD has lost an astonishing $591 million to unmitigated charter school growth this year alone. If costs associated with charter school expansion are not mitigated with common sense solutions, the district will face financial insolvency, according to an analysis of the report.

As the number of independent charter schools continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important for LAUSD to quantify, forecast, and manage the costs associated with independent charter expansion. LAUSD oversees more charter schools than any other district in the country. Charters are privately managed despite relying heavily on district and taxpayer funding.

Taken together, the findings in the report paint a picture of a system that prioritizes the growth opportunities for charter school operators over the educational opportunities for all students.


The MGA Report: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
The MGA Report: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF

From the AALA Weekly Update | Week of May 16, 2016 | http://bit.ly/1TeKN7d

May 12, 2016 :: At the meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, all of the labor unions ceded their time to Alex Caputo-Pearl, UTLA President, in order to share the findings of a study on the fiscal impact of independent charter schools on the District that UTLA had commissioned. MGT, a national consulting firm that works with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, reviewed the data and Susan Zoller, a former teacher, principal, and deputy superintendent, presented the report.

AALA appreciates UTLA's efforts to stimulate a genuine conversation of the intended and unintended consequences of independent charters on the District, and the negative fiscal impact as a corollary. It gives us pause to think that some of the issues are caused by the District and others legislatively. Accordingly, the opportunity presents itself to collaboratively problem-solve and right the wrongs with all the affected stakeholders at the table.

The Board Members asked the Superintendent and District staff to respond to the presentation at an upcoming Board meeting. In the meantime, AALA is sharing the findings because of the general interest to the membership, and how they can potentially negatively impact the delivery of a quality educational experience to every student if policies and legislation are left unaddressed.

While awaiting the District's interpretation of the findings, AALA’s stance is to trust, but verify. For example, a cursory check-in with one of our members, a District official, yields that in the 2016-2017 school year, only two LAUSD independent charters have elected to join the El Dorado Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA). If so, that means over two hundred independent charters are in the District SELPA. This contradicts the potential revenue loss due to the SELPA issue that is highlighted in the findings to follow. Secondly, the Charter School Division's operating budget in the report varies significantly from the one publicly presented to the Board in November 2015. Lastly, the report finds the District can statutorily assess a 3% fee for charter colocations and instead chooses to collect only 1% oversight fee in addition to fees charged to all charter schools on District property. A closer look at the regulations states the District can collect up to 3% if the District provides facilities substantially rent-free; we understand that it does not. Perhaps the District has a viable reason for only assessing the 1%.

It remains to be seen if there really is a proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In the meantime, the findings are at the very least thought provoking and intriguing. One major conclusion is that MGT estimates that the District is losing almost $600 million this year alone, due to the number of charter schools and the students enrolled in them. There are 221 independent charter schools and the students make up 16% of the District’s total enrollment. Since money follows students, about 7% of the District’s budget is going to charters. Of course, fewer students also means less staff to fund, but the dollars saved in the loss of staff does not make up for fixed costs, such as infrastructure and oversight from the Charter Schools Division, Special Education, and the Office of the Inspector General, etc., that the District must still absorb. The report estimates that the District loses about $4,957 per student who attends a charter school. By law, charters pay a maximum of 1% of the money they receive from the state to the District for oversight from the Charter Schools Division; however, the costs are almost $3 million more than is received. In addition, the report finds that an additional $13.8 million is spent by the District annually in other administrative costs related to charters.

MGT explains that the report is not intended as a review or critique of independent charter or public schools in Los Angeles, LAUSD’s policies and procedures, operations, or oversight practices... [it] accepts and does not judge the district’s existing practices … The report does, however, identify various state laws or regulations as well as district practices that impact the district either financially or procedurally.

The report finds that some of the costs are the results of statewide legislation and guidelines, while others are due to the District’s process decisions that could be addressed by LAUSD board decisions and one is part of the LAUSD-UTLA contract. There are twelve key findings, however, the majority are state issues. We are extracting from the report those over which the District has direct control:

1. The annual oversight revenue collected from charter schools does not cover the annual budget of the Charter Schools Division (CSD). The cost to the district for the space occupied by the Charter Schools Division, estimated at $92,006/year, represents a direct cost to the district that is not covered by charter school oversight funds.

2. There are direct costs to the district for oversight that are beyond those allocated to the CSD and not currently funded by the oversight revenues. The additional oversight activities occur in the Special Education Division (SPED) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The total cost is estimated at $1,416,259. Allocating any portion of the charter school oversight revenue to divisions other than CSD is a district decision.

3. There are significant and quantifiable indirect costs to LAUSD for the independent charter schools operating in the district. Indirect costs include time/opportunity losses when district staff spend time managing or dealing with charter schools, rather than district schools. Many district functions have these time/opportunity costs in support of charter schools, but they have not been identified, gathered, or quantified. The indirect administrative cost is estimated at $13,845,203. These costs are not supported through the 1% oversight fee that is collected and used to fund the CSD. The allocation of the revenues from the 1% oversight fee is a district decision.

4. There are 56 charter schools in LAUSD that are operating in district facilities. The law allows the district to collect a 3% oversight fee for charter schools located in district facilities that are not paying rent. None of the 56 schools is paying the 3% fee. The estimated oversight revenue lost is $2,062,517. This is a district decision.

5. The LAUSD – UTLA contract allows teachers to take a Leave of Absence (LOA) and work in a charter school and return to LAUSD/UTLA status. There may be an impact on LAUSD due to the legacy benefit costs. The estimated cost is $250,000 per employee. This is a contract issue.

As you are aware, the District has more charter schools and more students enrolled in them than any public school district in the country and the fiscal impact is tremendous. In addition, charter schools enroll fewer special education students or English learners than the average District school, leaving the majority of these special needs students in the regular schools with fewer dollars. The MGT report makes it clear that the District’s future solvency is jeopardized and that charter schools contribute to that grim prediction.


JERRY BROWN SEES BUDGET TROUBLE FOR CALIFORNIA, WANTS TO HOLD LINE + RESPONSES TO EARLY EDUCATION SPENDING CUTS IN MAY REVISE BUDGET
• State’s economic recovery is beginning to cool off
• Governor cuts revenue estimate in revised budget
• ‘Very resolute’ attitude means conflict with liberals

By Dan Walters | Sacramento Bee | http://bit.ly/24T471i

May 14, 2016 1:54 PM :: Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his revised budget on Friday the 13th, which implies that he’s not superstitious.

However, amid signs of a cooling economy – and therefore flattening revenue – Brown’s run of fiscal luck may be ending, and he knows it.

“Things don’t last forever,” Brown told reporters – to whom he had given copies of Aesop’s fable about the thrifty ant and the profligate grasshopper. “The surging tide of revenue has begun to turn as it always does.”

Brown’s revision cuts projected 2016-17 revenue by $1.9 billion, reflecting a shortfall in current revenue, and he’s telling his fellow Democrats in the Legislature to cool hopes of raising health and welfare spending, saying it would “spend money you don’t have.”

“To me it’s so obvious,” he said, pointing to the likelihood of an economic downturn and implying that liberal legislators don’t want to see it. “We’ve got to get ready for a deficit (and) I’m going to be very resolute on this budget.”

When Brown returned to the governorship five years ago, the economy was emerging from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and that, coupled with a temporary tax hike he sponsored in 2012, has produced a cornucopia of money that Brown has concentrated on schools, debt retirement and reserves.

Unions, health care advocates and other groups are sponsoring an extension of the 2012 measure’s income tax hikes on high-income Californians, but Brown pointedly refused to say Friday whether he supports or opposes it, only repeating that he meant it to be temporary.

But he warned that income taxes, especially those on the most affluent Californians, tend to be even more volatile than the economy as a whole, calling it a “zig-zag reality” that bounces against spending commitments to create deficits.

The tax extension, if passed by voters in November, would keep the budget in balance, unless there’s another recession, Brown said, but without it the state could see deficits circa 2019 even without a recession.

“I’m prepared to manage with it, I’m prepared to manage without it,” Brown said.

Underlying the budget are signs of an economic slowdown, particularly in the technology-heavy San Francisco Bay Area, which has largely generated the big revenue surge.

Venture capital investment in the region has flattened, its red-hot real estate market has cooled, tech companies are shedding employees and the global economy has been sluggish, even in China.

Brown rightfully notes that the recovery he inherited has already lasted longer than the average post-recession expansion and therefore, his budget introduction warns, “The next recession is getting closer – even if we cannot tell exactly when it will hit.”

Brown’s “very resolute” attitude on holding down non-school spending and building reserves creates conflict with liberal legislators and their constituent interests, such as unions and advocates for health and welfare services to the poor.

They had been counting on 2016 to be the year in which the service cuts imposed during the depths of recession and that Brown has largely maintained – except for schools – would vanish and new spending, especially for child care and early childhood services, would begin.

Brown, however, is clearly contemplating the last few years of his second governorship and his place in the history books, and the last thing he wants is to hand his successor a budget awash in red ink.

That, as he certainly remembers, is how his first governorship ended in 1983.

______


RESPONSES TO EARLY EDUCATION SPENDING REQUEST IN GOV. BROWN'S MAY REVISE BUDGET
By Jeremy Hay | EdSource Today | http://bit.ly/1Xc6ABh

May 13, 2016 | No Comments :: The May revise – the latest draft of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget – was released today. Brown’s proposal for early education mirrors the plan he introduced in January: Consolidate spending on the California State Preschool Program, transitional kindergarten, and a preschool quality and improvement system into a $1.6 billion block grant. The proposal includes significant changes to how the system is managed; it also includes no new early education funding.
Advocates from around the state have called for the consolidation plan to be removed from the budget process for further study. Observers around California are reacting here to today’s announcement.


May 13, 5:05 PM

By Nina Buthee

It's disappointing that the May revise proposal provides no priority to the early care and education field. There is no additional general funding for child care and the revise removes the very modest cost of living adjustment increase that had finally been restored after many years of no increases. And there is no acknowledgement of the incredible impacts that the minimum wage increase will have to families trying to qualify for subsidy, and for the agencies that run these important programs. We strongly support the Joint Legislative Women’s Caucus' request of an $800 million investment in our child care system. And lastly, we appreciate the administration’s interest in reform of the child care and early education system, however the budget process is not the method to make sweeping policy changes.

- Nina Buthee is executive director of the California Child Development Administrators Association.

May 13, 2:48 PM

By Elsa Jacobsen

The governor’s revised budget does not address the significant need that exists for increases in provider reimbursement rates, early learning slots and quality measures. Also troubling is the elimination of a transitional kindergarten program that has seen success in multiple school districts. Also, the governor’s Early Education Block Grant proposal puts private providers at risk of losing state funding and thereby jeopardizes the state’s mixed delivery system. Ultimately, we believe that refinement of the state’s multifaceted early learning system should occur through the policy process, not the budget process, with adequate time for vetting of reforms and careful planning.

- Elsa Jacobsen is senior policy analyst for Los Angeles Universal Preschool, an advocacy group for preschool quality and access.

May 13, 12:51 PM

By Giannina Perez

The May Revise fails to address the reality of children and families. Costs are going up but state funding for child care is going down – even a basic cost of living adjustment for preschool and child care was taken away. This is the wrong direction; we agree with the Women's Caucus ask, which will secure the foundation and invest now in provider reimbursement rates so families can have access to quality early care and education. We do appreciate the stakeholder process effort related to the Early Education Block grant, however we still believe that the state should not make massive policy changes like the block grant as part of the budget process.

- Giannina Perez is senior director for early childhood policy with Children Now, a research and advocacy organization.

May 13, 12:28 PM

By Paul Warren

The governor’s proposal would recast public preschool programs in the mold of the Local Control Funding Formula – providing more flexibility while establishing performance standards. This could lay the foundation for a larger program where all K-12 districts provide preschool to target students who will most benefit most from early assessment and services.

- Paul Warren is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he focuses on K–12 education finance and accountability.

May 13, 12:25 PM

By Jennifer Greppi

We are disappointed that the governor doesn't see that investing in child care is a priority to build the Golden State that we can all be proud of! He is proposing $6.7 billion for The Prop. 2 rainy day fund. We just want .7 of that, which represents the Legislative Women's Caucus ask of $800 million for child care. For parents it's raining now. They can't work and take advantage of the increased minimum wage without child care and they can't pay for child care without working. They are taking pay cuts and turning down promotions because of decade old income guidelines. And the child care providers they depend on can't afford to serve children with subsidies because the rates are so low. We need stability in our system, not a dismantling of it like the governor is proposing.

- Jennifer Greppi is statewide lead chapter organizer for Parent Voices, a parent-led organization that campaigns for affordable, quality childcare.


HIGHLIGHTS, LOWLIGHTS & THE NEWS THAT DOESN'T FIT: The Rest (but not necessarily the best) of the Stories from Other Sources
UTLA-COMMISSIONED REPORT SAYS CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE BLEEDING MONEY FROM TRADITIONAL ONES +Report+Policy Brief+smf's 2¢
http://bit.ly/27bii3V

TRUMP'S EDUCATION AGENDA CAN BE EXPLAINED IN 52 SECONDS - The Atlantic
http://theatln.tc/1XgbIom

Ancient History? - The Donald v. LAUSD: TRUMP TUSSLED WITH LOS ANGELES SCHOOL BOARD OVER HISTORIC HOTEL – EdWeek

FIGHT BREWING OVER NEW SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM | 89.3 KPCC

DESPITE NEW LAW, CALIFORNIA LAGS IN PERSONAL FINANCE EDUCATION | 89.3 KPCC

SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE A BIG REASON FOR THE RISE IN INCOME SEGREGATION IN THE U.S., STUDY SAYS
http://bit.ly/1rBV9qO

LAPD INVESTIGATING APPARENT GRADE TAMPERING AT WEST L.A. CHARTER SCHOOL
http://bit.ly/1WhMl60


EVENTS: Coming up next week...
RESCHEDULED - Budget, Facilities and Audit Committee - May 17, 2016 - to May 24, 2016
CANCELLED - Successful School Climate Committee - May 17, 2016 - 4:00 P.M.

*Dates and times subject to change. ________________________________________
• SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE:
http://www.laschools.org/bond/
Phone: 213-241-5183
____________________________________________________
• LAUSD FACILITIES COMMUNITY OUTREACH CALENDAR:
http://www.laschools.org/happenings/
Phone: 213-241.8700


• LAUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION & COMMITTEES MEETING CALENDAR



What can YOU do?
• E-mail, call or write your school board member:
Scott.Schmerelson@lausd.net • 213-241-8333
Monica.Garcia@lausd.net • 213-241-6180
Ref.Rodriguez@lausd.net • 213-241-5555
George.McKenna@lausd.net • 213-241-6382
Monica.Ratliff@lausd.net • 213-241-6388
Richard.Vladovic@lausd.net • 213-241-6385
Steve.Zimmer@lausd.net • 213-241-6387
...or the Superintendent:
superintendent@lausd.net • 213-241-7000
...or your city councilperson, mayor, county supervisor, state legislator, the governor, member of congress, senator - or the president. Tell them what you really think! • Find your state legislator based on your home address. Just go to: http://bit.ly/dqFdq2 • There are 26 mayors and five county supervisors representing jurisdictions within LAUSD, the mayor of LA can be reached at mayor@lacity.org • 213.978.0600
• Call or e-mail Governor Brown: 213-897-0322 e-mail: http://www.govmail.ca.gov/
• Open the dialogue. Write a letter to the editor. Circulate these thoughts. Talk to the principal and teachers at your local school.
• Speak with your friends, neighbors and coworkers. Stay on top of education issues. Don't take my word for it!
• Get involved at your neighborhood school. Volunteer in the classroom. Join your PTA. Serve on a School Site Council. Be there for a child - and ultimately: For all children.
• If you are eligible to become a citizen, BECOME ONE.
• If you a a citizen, REGISTER TO VOTE at http://registertovote.ca.gov/
• If you are registered, VOTE LIKE THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON IT. THEY DO!


Who are your elected federal & state representatives? How do you contact them?




Scott Folsom is a parent leader in LAUSD and was Parent/Volunteer of the Year for 2010-11 for Los Angeles County. • He is Past President of Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA and has represented PTA on the LAUSD Construction Bond Citizen's Oversight Committee for over 13 years. He currently serves as Vice President for Health, is a Legislation Action Committee member and a member of the Board of Directors of the California State PTA. He serves on numerous school district advisory and policy committees and has served as a PTA officer and governance council member at three LAUSD schools. He is the recipient of the UTLA/AFT "WHO" Gold Award and the ACSA Regional Ferd Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award - honors he hopes to someday deserve. • In this forum his opinions are his own and your opinions and feedback are invited. Quoted and/or cited content copyright © the original author and/or publisher. All other material copyright © 4LAKids.
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