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  • K-12
  • LAUSD

If you can't pay hundreds of dollars to see "Hamilton," don't fret. A group of students at Pacoima Middle School has you covered.

The Pacoima Singers performed the song "My Shot" from the hit Broadway show on Thursday during the swearing-in ceremony for their district's new L.A. Unified school board member, Kelly Gonez.

And in a twist that none of the professional "Hamilton" productions have managed to achieve, girls played every founding father — except for the play's namesake.

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Author Kevin Camargo, right, is seen at a similar time in his life as Compton Falcon Khali Ratcliffe.
Author Kevin Camargo, right, is seen at a similar time in his life as Compton Falcon Khali Ratcliffe. (Kevin Camargo / HS Insider)

Kevin Camargo is a HS Insider summer intern who profiled the Compton Falcons. 

I never thought I’d be on a bus giving advice to middle school football players on our way to the beach. The Falcons and I were headed to Will Rogers State Beach for Olympic Day on the morning of June 23.

The LA84 Foundation invited 500 youth athletes from organizations all over Los Angeles, including the Falcons, to attend Olympic Day.

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Ref Rodriguez, center, speaks after being selected as the new school board president at the Los Angeles Board of Education meeting Thursday.
Ref Rodriguez, center, speaks after being selected as the new school board president at the Los Angeles Board of Education meeting Thursday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

If the new Los Angeles school board majority wanted to signal that change is coming to the nation’s second-largest school system, its members on Thursday quickly made their point.

The panel’s first action was to elect Ref Rodriguez, co-founder of a charter schools group, as president. The board then gave fresh orders to district Supt. Michelle King.

Ref Rodriguez, right, listens to newly sworn-in member Nick Melvoin speak during Thursday's Los Angeles Board of Education meeting.
Ref Rodriguez, right, listens to newly sworn-in member Nick Melvoin speak during Thursday's Los Angeles Board of Education meeting. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles school board has authorized a lawsuit settlement that would send more money to the district’s neediest schools over the next three years for resources to improve African American and Latino student achievement.

Community Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group, filed a complaint with the California Department of Education and sued the district in 2015 with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, alleging that the district was misspending up to $450 million meant for low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

  • K-12
  • LAUSD

Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez, the two new members joining the Los Angeles Unified School Board, told district leadership Thursday they want to leave politics behind and focus on students. Both were elected with the help of millions of dollars from charter school supporters.

"Today is not about the results of an election but about the emergence of a new paradigm," Melvoin said during a speech after he was sworn in at the Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts. Melvoin is a product, he said, of "the coalition that arose to implore us to lead with a simple yet radical maxim: Put kids first." 

That echoes the language in new board president and charter school founder Ref Rodriguez's resolution, which the school board is scheduled to vote on Thursday.

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(Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency)

California and 17 other states on Thursday sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, alleging she unlawfully delayed new federal regulations designed to protect student loan borrowers from being ripped off by for-profit colleges and other schools.

The rules, which would have made it easier for students to have loans forgiven if they were defrauded or deceived, were developed by the Obama administration and had been set to take effect last Saturday.

But last month DeVos delayed their implementation and launched an effort to rewrite them, arguing they were unfair to students and schools while putting taxpayers at risk for “significant costs.”

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(@latimesgraphics)

The University of California announced Thursday it is on track to enroll 2,500 more California undergraduates this fall, a target pledged to state lawmakers who have pushed to limit students from other states and countries in favor of additional local residents.

But admission offers from the system’s nine undergraduate campuses to California high school seniors this year declined from last year’s near-historic highs, when UC accepted more than 71,000 and enrolled 7,500 new California undergraduates — the largest single-year increase since World War II.

When asked to reflect on their time in high school, several San Dieguito Academy seniors talked about how high school shaped them to be who they are today, the power of now and how to keep the "funky" spirit alive.

Linnea Leidy, an avid member in the San Diego school's speech, debate and journalism programs, spoke about her growing involvement throughout high school.

Yoni Kruvi is an actor and musician at San Dieguito Academy; he spoke about the importance of being truly present. 

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(Noam N. Levey / Los Angeles Times)

Communities like this aging West Virginia coal town along the Kanawha River were key to President Trump’s victory last year; more than two-thirds of voters in surrounding Fayette County backed the Republican nominee.

Now, families in this rural county and hundreds like it that supported Trump face the loss of a critical safety net for children as congressional Republicans move to cut hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade from Medicaid, the half-century-old government health plan for the poor.

Much of the debate over Republican efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act has focused on the impact cuts would have on working-age adults, millions of whom gained coverage under the healthcare law that President Obama signed in 2010.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

After the most expensive school board election in U.S. history, charter school backers on Thursday will formally assemble their first-ever majority on the Los Angeles Board of Education with a mixture of high expectations and significant challenges.

Charter forces for years have criticized the mammoth school district as blocking needed reforms, pandering to employee groups and simply failing to significantly improve the education of L.A. students. Now, they will be in their best position ever to bring about change, and that brings both pressure and opportunity.