Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Here's the latest:
- All L.A. Unified schools in the San Fernando Valley will be closed through Friday, as well as 17 on the Westside. After two days of closure for all Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools, Malibu's public schools will remain closed Friday. Santa Monica's will open. More information here.
- An outside panel hopes to help the L.A. Unified School District launch some pilot programs that could spread to all schools.
The Trump administration is preparing to rescind the Obama administration's protections for transgender students in public schools — but U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos initially opposed the move, the New York Times reports.
Trump, according to the Times, sided with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions.
In order for the new regulations to move forward, both the Education and Justice departments needed to sign off.
The reported plan is to get rid of the directive Obama released in May.
The New York Times reported that DeVos had little choice but to go along.
Obama's guidance on Title IX, the federal anti-discrimination law, said that public schools must let transgender students use the locker rooms and bathrooms of their choice.
The guidance was not legally binding, but advocates say it helped transgender students. Opponents soon called the move federal overreach, with some saying it violated the rights of students who are not transgender.
Thirteen states sued the federal government over the requirements, and in August, a federal judge in Texas put the order on temporary hold nationwide. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said at the time that the state would rather give up federal funding than comply with the directive.
In a recent briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the bathroom question an issue for states. "The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states-rights issue," he said.
The order the Trump administration plans to issue has not yet been released, but an early draft says people are confused by the meaning of the protections. Reuters posted a copy of that draft here .
Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington who spearheaded the fight against DeVos' confirmation, issued a statement about DeVos' reported resistance.
"I am glad to see reports that Sec. DeVos agrees with me and so many people across the country that rolling back this guidance on protecting transgender students would be absolutely wrong and should not be done," Murray said.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals also criticized Trump's reported plans. "If the guidance is withdrawn, principals will continue their efforts to support transgender and all other students in the face of new opposition and, sadly, with the knowledge that their president might not share their concern for the needs of each student," Bob Farrace, the organization's director of public affairs, said in a statement.
The Supreme Court is slated to take up the question of transgender students' rights next month.
This story was updated to include a link to a draft of the guidance and additional context.