1297 posts
  • K-12
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

To understand the magnitude of the building program in the Los Angeles Unified School District, look directly to the south. Long Beach has the state’s third-largest system with 84 schools assembled over more than a century. Yet in just 20 years, in a challenging urban setting, L.A. Unified built 131 new campuses and expanded 65 existing ones, the largest such effort in the nation.

The district now has 1,180 schools for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Here’s more about what was accomplished, what was learned and why it cost so much.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
(Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

In the long, fraught history of colleges and universities dealing with sexual assault on their campuses, problems have ranged from officials shamefully covering up student complaints to administrators, absurdly, micromanaging how students should signal their consent to sex. Now, the Trump administration is looking for shortcomings in a new area: the guidelines the Obama administration issued for how to enforce Title IX, the 1972 federal statute banning sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • For Parents
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. USC's Tommy Trojan now has a female counterpart, Hecuba.
  2. Why L.A. Unified created a school just for boys.
  3. There are questions about how the Pasadena police handled an overdose in the hotel room of the man who was then USC's medical school dean.


  1. One way to end the teacher shortage? Keep the teachers we have in the classroom.
  2. These Bay Area students spent the summer discovering the history all around them.


  1. Our food editor suggests the best cookbooks for college-bound kids.
  2. Betsy DeVos called white nationalists "cowards" in an email to her staff.
  • For Parents
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. Unified opened a boys’ school after it launched the single-sex Girls Academic Leadership Academy in Mid-City last year — in part to comply with its interpretation of a federal regulation. But it’s also the kind of unusual offering that the district hopes will help its ongoing fight to recapture enrollment — and revenue — lost to charter schools.

The school, starting with grades six and seven (with plans eventually to grow into a high school), attracted 87 students on Tuesday, 10 fewer than had enrolled.

  • Higher Education

Since the 1930s, the life-size bronze warrior Tommy Trojan has been the unofficial mascot of USC and a central campus gathering spot.

Now he has a female counterpart at USC Village — the $700-million complex of residential colleges, shops and restaurants just north of the main campus.

The new development is the university’s largest construction project, and USC President C.L. Max Nikias from the start saw a sculpture as its centerpiece.

  • Higher Education
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Facing criticism over his department’s handling of a drug overdose involving the then-dean of USC’s medical school, Pasadena’s police chief this week issued a directive reminding officers they must promptly file reports on overdose investigations.

Chief Phillip L. Sanchez made the move while acknowledging that the department erred by not immediately writing a report when police responded last year to a young woman’s overdose in a hotel room registered to the dean, Dr. Carmen Puliafito.

(Christina House / For The Times)

At just 16, Holden Dahlerbruch has a resume most adults could only dream of. For more than a year, he has been staging at the Wallace restaurant in Culver City under chef Joel Miller once a week; he has staged on multiple L.A. and Sacramento food trucks, including PhoKing AwesomeChinese Laundry and Rice Balls of Fire. He has cooked three sold-out pop-up dinners for 50 guests each night.

  • Higher Education
  • University of California
(UC Berkeley)

Carol T. Christ, UC Berkeley’s 11th chancellor and the first woman to lead the nation’s top public research university, unveiled plans Tuesday for a “Free Speech Year” as right-wing speakers prepare to come to campus.

Christ said the campus would hold “point-counterpoint” panels to demonstrate how to exchange opposing views in a respectful manner. Other events will explore constitutional questions, the history of Berkeley’s free speech movement and how that movement inspired acclaimed chef Alice Waters to create her Chez Panisse restaurant.

First-grader Sofia Sousani at Mountain View Elementary School in Tujunga.
First-grader Sofia Sousani at Mountain View Elementary School in Tujunga. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning and welcome back to school. In honor of yesterday's first day of classes, we're skipping national and state news today to give you a full look at L.A. Unified and another nearby district.

The nuts and bolts:

  1. How L.A. Unified built 131 modern school campuses, capping off the nation's most expensive school construction project.
  2. The district is piloting a later start at some schools. To students, this is a no-brainer.

What's new: 

  1. The district's first school for boys is off to a lively start.
  2. L.A. Unified introduced its first Armenian dual-language classes.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The opening of the $160-million Maywood Center for Enriched Studies in southeast Los Angeles County as a new school year began Tuesday marks the end of the line for the country’s largest new school construction project, which cost $10 billion and took 20 years. The opening of the new campus also means that Bell High School, the final district campus operating year-round, at last has returned to a traditional schedule.

Today’s school system is strikingly different than when construction began. In 2000, 77,000 students attended classes on calendars staggered throughout the year and 12,000 were involuntary bused because there was no room for them at their local schools.