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1297 posts
(Long Beach Unified)

Add Long Beach Unified to the list of California school districts accused of improperly spending money intended to help students with some of the greatest needs.

The system, with about 78,000 students, is the seventh to be targeted by Public Advocates. The watchdog law firm has filed a complaint on behalf of Children’s Defense Fund-California, Latinos in Action and parents Marina Roman Sanchez and Guadalupe Luna.

The complaint alleges that Long Beach Unified is improperly spending as much as $40 million this year for district-wide programs rather than targeting that money to help low-income students, those learning English and foster children.

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On Monday afternoon, Westech College's Moreno Valley campus appeared empty of any students or staff.
On Monday afternoon, Westech College's Moreno Valley campus appeared empty of any students or staff.

The abrupt closure of Westech College in Southern California marks the latest in a string of failed for-profit trade schools -- a disappearing act sparking debate about whether there’s a growing training gap for those seeking skilled work.

Westech — with campuses in Fontana, Moreno Valley and Victorville — shut its doors over the weekend because of financial problems, leaving about 500 stunned students scrambling to get tuition refunds or to transfer their credits to other schools.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
Westech College's Moreno Valley campus
Westech College's Moreno Valley campus

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. A new LAUSD school in Maywood has been approved to participate in City Section sports.
  2. President Trump said schools in L.A. are in "a very rough situation."

In California:

  1. How teacher certification rules can complicate the careers of educators who move from one state to another.
  2. The abrupt closure of Westech College raises questions about the viability of for-profit colleges.

Nationwide:

  1. Civil rights advocates are skeptical of two new Trump hires.
  2. Texas is revamping its special education laws following an investigation that found that the state has a quota for the number of students that qualify for services.
  • LAUSD
(LAUSD)

A new Los Angeles Unified School District school in Maywood, opening this fall, has received approval to begin playing high school sports in the City Section.

The school for for students in grades six through 12 will be a full Magnet Center for Enriched Studies, similar to Sherman Oaks CES and LACES, and will draw students from around the district. A majority of students will come from Bell and Maywood.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools

President Trump on Tuesday reiterated an education promise he cannot keep during a town hall event for business leaders.

"I like the fact of getting rid of Common Core. Common Core to me, we have to end it," Trump said. "We have to bring education local."

The thing is, the federal government can't get rid of Common Core — because it's not a federal law or initiative. Trump was referring to the set of learning goals used by several states, including California, in an effort to make education more consistent nationwide and to bring more depth to classroom learning.

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  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
(Jim Cole / Associated Press)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. The L.A. Board of Education will hold several committee meetings today. You can watch them here.
  2. If March Madness rewarded schools that help alumni increase their earnings, UCLA would be a leader.

In California:

  1. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond announced his candidacy for state superintendent of public instruction.
  2. Fewer international students are applying to the University of California.

Nationwide:

  1. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Ft. Bragg.
  2. Ben Carson wants to use his Cabinet post to guide education policy.
  • Higher Education

Westech College, a for-profit trade school whose three campuses are in Southern California, has suddenly closed, citing money problems.

Students showing up for class Monday at Westech locations in Fontana, Moreno Valley and Victorville found locked doors and a notice saying the school was forced to shut down because of recent financial issues.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • Community Colleges
Alexander Ke left, Eugene Woo and other members of the North Hollywood High School cyber defense team are cheered at a pep rally.
Alexander Ke left, Eugene Woo and other members of the North Hollywood High School cyber defense team are cheered at a pep rally. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. USC's head chaplain stands out. He's a Hindu with a law degree.
  2. Students from North Hollywood High School are flying to Baltimore this week to compete in a cyber security contest.
  3. A San Pedro High School baseball player was badly beaten on Thursday night.
  4. A judge in San Diego approved a $25-million Trump University settlement, ending six years of acrimonious litigation.

In California:

  1. California has spent more than $890 million to boost community college completion, but statewide rates have yet to increase.
  2. Bay Area school districts face budget deficits.

Nationwide:

  1. Trump will nominate former Jeb Bush lawyer and school voucher supporter Carlos Muñiz as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.
  2. How some community colleges and other schools are trying to help more students graduate.
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  • Higher Education
Father Richard Sunwoo, left, Varun Soni, middle, and Rev. James Burklo.
Father Richard Sunwoo, left, Varun Soni, middle, and Rev. James Burklo. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Varun Soni is an unusual college chaplain. He is a Hindu. He has a law degree. In 2008, when USC hired him as its dean of religious life, he was the sole head chaplain at a major American university who was not only not a Christian but not an ordained Christian at that.

Today, at a time when differences — religious and otherwise — grow ever more fraught and complex, he remains all but alone in breaking the Protestant chaplain mold, except for a rabbi at Dartmouth, another at Wesleyan, a Buddhist at Emerson.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) talks with Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond).
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) talks with Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond). (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

State Assemblyman Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) will run for state superintendent of public instruction.

He announced his candidacy in a statement Monday that focused on resisting the Trump administration's education plans.

"Fighting for education starts with opposing the efforts by President Trump and Betsy DeVos to defund our public schools," Thurmond said in the statement, referring to Trump's budget blueprint. "I will fight the Trump Agenda to gut our public schools at every step."