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President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, Fla.
President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, Fla. (Joe Burbank / TNS)

President Trump, in his recent address to Congress, echoed a long-running campaign theme, urging lawmakers to introduce a “school choice” initiative that would allow “disadvantaged youth” to attend a “public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school.”

One of Trump’s guests Tuesday night in the House chamber gallery was Denisha Merriweather, who, after twice failing third grade, the president pointed out, graduated from a Florida private school "with the help of a tax credit scholarship program" and is now finishing a master’s degree.

Trump highlighted vouchers again Friday during his first official school visit as president — to a Catholic school run out of the Diocese of Orlando, Fla.

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  • Higher Education
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

In a lighthearted speech at Pepperdine University’s annual law school dinner, Gov. Jerry Brown took a break from politics and urged students not to lose sight of the universal truths of education and the law.

“My father used to be a Republican, and then he became a Democrat. And Ronald Reagan used to be a Democrat, and he became a Republican. So relax,” Brown said, easing the more conservative crowd into a reflection on the importance of learning the rules of the law and thinking creatively.

“There's no substitute for experience,” he said, reflecting on his work over the years in education, political reform and crime. “Law school is an exciting place. You learn about the rules, and you learn ... that every rule has a counter rule.”

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  • Higher Education
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

In a lighthearted speech at Pepperdine University’s annual law school dinner, Gov. Jerry Brown took a break from politics and urged students not to lose sight of the universal truths of education and the law.

“My father used to be a Republican, and then he became a Democrat. And Ronald Reagan used to be a Democrat, and he became a Republican. So relax,” Brown said, easing the more conservative crowd into a reflection on the importance of learning the rules of the law and thinking creatively.

“There's no substitute for experience,” he said, reflecting on his work over the years in education, political reform and crime. “Law school is an exciting place. You learn about the rules, and you learn ... that every rule has a counter rule.”

  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Last week, The Times reported that far fewer students than usual had submitted California Dream Act applications for college financial aid.

The drop in applications —  from about 34,170 last year to 20,100 this year — had officials worried that students who came into the country without legal papers were forgoing valuable financial aid out of concern about President Trump's immigration policies and fear that filling out information might put them at risk.

But stories about the application shortfall and officials' assurances that student information would be kept safe helped turned the tide. So did the work of the school districts across the state that held financial aid workshops.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

President Trump arrived at St. Andrew Catholic School in the Pine Hills neighborhood along with Gov. Rick Scott, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and – joining Trump at an event for the first time since the election – U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, a White House advisor, also were on hand.

“Beautiful class, beautiful students, right?” said Trump as he walked into teacher Jane Jones’ fourth-grade classroom.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

President Trump arrived at St. Andrew Catholic School in the Pine Hills neighborhood along with Gov. Rick Scott, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and – joining Trump at an event for the first time since the election – U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, a White House advisor, also were on hand.

“Beautiful class, beautiful students, right?” said Trump as he walked into teacher Jane Jones’ fourth-grade classroom.

  • Higher Education
University of Oregon Students exit Deady Hall on the campus of the University of Oregon Wednesday on Jan. 25.
University of Oregon Students exit Deady Hall on the campus of the University of Oregon Wednesday on Jan. 25. (Brian Davies / Associated Press)

After a wave of activism created a frenzy concerning campus sexual assault, the Obama administration twice rewrote federal rules governing how allegations must be handled at colleges and universities. In response to this movement, too many schools have adopted procedures that force accused students to turn to the courts for any hope of justice.

In particular, since 2011, when the Department of Education reinterpreted Title IX to require that sexual assault cases be judged by a “preponderance of the evidence” — a lower burden of proof than is used in criminal cases — more than 100 accused students have sued their schools. In most of these recent cases the colleges have lost, as they should have.

Our close examination of court records shows how the new mandates and procedures amount to a de facto presumption of guilt. It also shows that colleges are at best incapable of adjudicating allegedly criminal conduct, and at worst hopelessly biased.

  • K-12
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A California high school has made millions of dollars from the initial public offering of shares in Snap Inc., the company behind the Snapchat photo messaging application.

The board of the Saint Francis High School in Mountain View agreed to invest $15,000 in seed money in Snap in 2012, when the company was just getting started.

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Jordan Downs Housing Development in Watts
Jordan Downs Housing Development in Watts (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District has spent more than $1 million in the last three years cleaning lead and arsenic from the soil at David Starr Jordan High School in Watts.

Now the school district is suing the city’s housing authority to get those costs covered.

Jordan Downs Housing Development in Watts
Jordan Downs Housing Development in Watts (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District has spent more than $1 million in the last three years cleaning lead and arsenic from the soil at David Starr Jordan High School in Watts.

Now the school district is suing the city’s housing authority to get those costs covered.