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  • Betsy DeVos
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UC President Janet Napolitano
UC President Janet Napolitano (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

In California:

Nationwide:

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Nick Melvoin
Nick Melvoin (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

On election day, when Nick Melvoin, 31, and Kelly Gonez, 28, won seats on the seven-member L.A. Unified school board, they formed its first-ever pro-charter majority. They did so with the backing of groups funded by wealthy charter school supporters, who spent more than $9 million on the campaigns.

A day after the election, the outcome was still sending tremors through the region’s education community. Many skeptics wondered if, after years of suing the school district and rallying parents to protest at board meetings, charter school advocates and the candidates they backed are prepared to lead the nation’s second-largest school district.

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(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

On a shaded Westside street nestled just below the curve where the 10 meets the 405, two different visions of how to teach students in Los Angeles sit side by side.

Daniel Webster Middle School is a traditional public school. At the edge of the campus, past a small parking lot, sits Magnolia Science Academy 4, a charter school.

This has been the way of L.A. schools in recent years as charters have expanded at a rapid clip. But Tuesday’s watershed election — which gave charter school supporters their first majority on the Los Angeles Board of Education — could accelerate that growth. 

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(Teresa Watanabe / Los Angeles Times)

A stinging state audit of University of California budget operations cast a long shadow over a UC regents meeting Wednesday, as students and union members chastised officials for raising tuition while squirreling away millions.

On Thursday, State Auditor Elaine Howle will talk to the regents about her findings that the UC Office of the President failed to disclose $175 million in surplus funds, paid excessive salaries and inappropriately interfered in campuses’ replies to her auditors’ confidential surveys.

Students and union members disrupted the opening of the University of California regents meeting Wednesday, loudly protesting and criticizing officials for raising tuition despite squirreling away millions in surplus funds. 

UC police ordered the protesters to leave the meeting at UC San Francisco or face arrest. After several warnings, they left, some calling for the arrest of UC President Janet Napolitano.

A stream of speakers asserted that a recent state audit finding that UC officials had failed to disclose $175 million in surplus funds indicated there was enough money to raise the pay of low-wage workers and better support students who face hunger and homelessness.

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(Merrick Morton / 20th Century Fox)

There are variances on the exact details, but plenty of agreement on what allegedly happened: Multiple students were involved in betting on, recording and sharing on social media a series of staged fights in a bathroom at Tarkanian Middle School this year.

It was referred to as “fight club” — recalling the 1999 film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. It appeared to adhere to the main rule established in the movie: Don’t talk about fight club.

But now it's what many are talking about in this developing community of new brown-and-beige stucco homes about 10 miles southwest of the Las Vegas Strip.

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
UC President Janet Napolitano
UC President Janet Napolitano (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

University of California regents will get their first chance this week to drill down into a critical state audit that found widespread problems with the budget practices of the UC Office of the President.

The regents, opening a two-day meeting Wednesday in San Francisco, also will vote on a proposal to limit the enrollment of out-of-state and international students for the first time in the 10-campus system’s history. Many California families and legislators have complained that UC’s rising number of nonresident undergraduates has squeezed out local students. State lawmakers are requiring the university to adopt a nonresident-student enrollment policy in order to receive $18.5 million in additional money this year.

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Nick Melvoin at election night party.
Nick Melvoin at election night party. (Brian Vander Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Candidates backed by charter school supporters have won their first-ever majority on the Los Angeles Board of Education in elections held Tuesday.

In District 4, which stretches from the Westside to the west San Fernando Valley, challenger Nick Melvoin defeated school board President Steve Zimmer, who was supported by public service employee unions. 

Melvoin received 30,696 votes, 57.4%. Zimmer received 22,766 votes, 42.6%

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Kelly Gonez at election night gathering in San Fernando.
Kelly Gonez at election night gathering in San Fernando. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Kelly Gonez was reluctant to claim victory prematurely Tuesday night in her bid to join the Los Angeles Board of Education, but from early on she held a small but solid lead over Imelda Padilla.

They were running to fill the seat in District 6, in the east San Fernando Valley, which opened up when incumbent Monica Ratliff chose not to seek reelection.

Gonez held her election night gathering at Magaly's Tamales and Mexican Grill in San Fernando, and the room erupted in applause when she arrived just after 9 p.m. She shook hands with supporters and hugged them as she moved across the room.

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Steve Zimmer votes.
Steve Zimmer votes. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Claudia Vizcarra has worked for Steve Zimmer for seven years, first as a policy director and now as chief of staff.

She didn't know when he walked into his election party around 9:30 p.m. that he was about to concede the election.

"It's hard," she said after Zimmer gave an impassioned speech to supporters calling his defeat a "devastating loss."