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1297 posts
  • K-12
  • LAUSD
  • For Parents
The Exide Technologies plant in Vernon
The Exide Technologies plant in Vernon (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

As part of a nationwide investigation, the Reuters news service asked the Los Angles County Department of Health for records of blood tests and found that many children across the county have high levels of lead in their systems. You can read the investigation here.

A few numbers stand out:

  1. More than 15,000 children younger than 6 had high lead levels in their blood between 2011 and 2015.

  2. In 323 neighborhoods, the rate was as high or higher than that in Flint, Mich., whose toxic water has received intense news coverage.

  3. San Marino is one of those places. There, 17% of younger kids tested had "elevated levels of lead in their blood." That's almost triple Flint's rate of 5%.

Why does it matter?  "Even a slight elevation [of lead] can reduce IQ and stunt childhood development," the Reuters report said. "There’s no safe level of lead in children’s bodies."

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley in 2014.
Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley in 2014. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The University of California is alleging that it’s uncovered a scheme that targeted hundreds of students through its student healthcare plan and cost UC almost $12 million.

In a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, UC said the scheme used information from more than 500 students enrolled in its system-wide Student Health Insurance Plan that allowed doctors to write fraudulent medical prescriptions.

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  • K-12
Dennis Brian Chambers
Dennis Brian Chambers (Fontana Police Department)

The president of the Buena Park School District board has been arrested on suspicion of trafficking in child pornography, Fontana police said Thursday.

Authorities said Dennis Brian Chambers, 50, was found with thousands of pornographic videos and images of children on an electronic storage device after police tracked an IP address to his Buena Park home.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • California State University
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
Protesters demonstrate against Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley on Feb. 1.
Protesters demonstrate against Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley on Feb. 1. (Noah Berger / European Pressphoto Agency)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. Whittier Law School has stopped accepting new students and will shut down entirely once all current students have graduated.
  2. After complaints from parents, L.A. Unified officials have reassigned a Sherman Oaks administrator.

In California:

  1. UC Berkeley reverses its decision and says conservative commentator Ann Coulter can speak at the campus after all.
  2. A state audit of California State University said the system hires too many managers.
  3. The University of California said it has uncovered a fraud that targeted students in its student healthcare plan.
  4. Former Cal State Fullerton president Milton A. Gordon, 81, died after a long illness.

Nationwide:

  1. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited public schools in Ohio with teachers union leader Randi Weingarten. DeVos held her line on school choice.
  2. A Tennessee teacher accused of kidnapping a 15-year-old student was arrested in California.
  • California State University
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A state audit released Thursday found that California State University has been hiring managers and providing them raises at a rate that “significantly outpaced” other employees.

It also raised concerns about budget oversight at the largest public university system in the nation.

The audit, titled “California State University: Stronger Oversight is Needed for Hiring and Compensating Management Personnel and for Monitoring Campus Budgets,” specifically found that between fiscal years 2007-08 and 2015-16, the number of full-time equivalent “management personnel” — which includes administrators, supervisors and other professional staff — grew by 15%. Over the same period, the number of faculty rose by 7%, while non-faculty support staff rose 6%.

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  • Higher Education
  • University of California
UC Berkeley has canceled Ann Coulter’s speech, citing security concerns but she has vowed to give it anyway. (April 20, 2017) (Sign up for our free video newsletter here http://bit.ly/2n6VKPR)

UC Berkeley officials on Thursday reversed their decision to cancel conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s appearance at the university, but have rescheduled it from next week to May 2, according to a statement from the university.

Coulter’s speech on immigration will be held at an “appropriate, protectable venue,” the university said. The university did not disclose the location of the speech. But the university said it had advised Coulter’s representatives and the Berkeley CollegeRepublicans, which organized the April 27 Coulter event, that the speaking engagement would take place next month.

  • Higher Education
(Los Angeles Times)

Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa has stopped accepting new students and will close entirely once all current students have graduated, trustees announced Wednesday.

Citing such challenges as low student outcomes, the board of trustees voted not to accept new students this fall.

“We believe we have looked at every realistic option to continue a successful law program. Unfortunately, these efforts did not lead to a desired outcome,” read an online statement from the board.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • California State University
  • University of California
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
At Moffitt Library, individual study carrels come with their own lights and outlets
At Moffitt Library, individual study carrels come with their own lights and outlets (David Butow / For The Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. The L.A. school board voted to ban McTeacher's Nights and endorsed several charter school accountability bills
  2. Charter school parents, students and staff turned out to oppose those endorsements.

In California:

  1. Worried about violence, UC Berkeley canceled a planned appearance of conservative commentator Ann Coulter.
  2. Libraries are 4,000 years old, but the digital revolution is changing them fast on college campuses.
  3. A Fresno State professor was placed on leave after he tweeted that "Trump must hang."

Nationwide: 

  1. Former U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr. says the Trump administration is retreating from the department's mission of promoting equity.
  2. Current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is joining union leader Randi Weingarten on a visit to a public school in rural Ohio on Thursday.
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(Karen Tapia / Cal State Fullerton)

Milton A. Gordon, the former Cal State Fullerton president who fought for equitable access to higher education and transformed the campus into one of the state’s most prominent and diverse, has died after a long illness at 81.

When Gordon took the helm in 1990, he was the fourth African American president in the nation’s largest public university system. At that time, about 60% of the student body was white. By the time he retired in 2012, the percentages had reversed, with students of color making up 57% of the enrollment. During his leadership, the school became first in the state and fifth in the nation in graduating Latinos.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • K-12
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

It's been a long few months for John B. King Jr. 

Since finishing his tenure as President Obama's second Education secretary, King has watched a new administration implement policies diametrically opposed to his own. 

"As a teacher, as a parent and as a citizen, it’s distressing to see the department walking away from its core responsibility of advancing equity," he said Wednesday.