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Austin Beutner has emerged as a leading contender to run the Los Angeles school district, with backers saying he is smart enough and tough enough to confront its financial and academic struggles.

Though he does not have a background in education, the former investment banker has in the last year examined some of the district’s intractable problems, serving as co-chair of an outside task force with the support of then-Supt. Michelle King.

Sources inside and outside the school district said Beutner appears to have more support on the seven-member board than other finalists, and his name could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.

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Delaine Eastin, left, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom listen as former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks during a gubernatorial debate.
Delaine Eastin, left, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom listen as former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks during a gubernatorial debate. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

A union representing L.A. Unified’s school workers — including bus drivers, special education assistants and cafeteria workers — voted to authorize a strike.

L.A. is part of a federal pilot program that brings college counselors directly to low-income housing developments. 

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A 15-year effort to build a school in Chicago’s Dunning neighborhood is underway with an unusual complication: Construction workers are taking careful steps to avoid disturbing human remains that may lie beneath the soil.

Oklahoma's largest teachers union has announced an end to a walkout that has drawn thousands of educators out of classrooms and to the state Capitol demanding greater investment in the state's schools, which have endured the nation's steepest funding cuts.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency
Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency (Betsy DeVos will now decide whether to approve California's ESSA plan.)

In and around Los Angeles:

L.A. Unified teamed up with celebrities recently to raise money for arts education.

El Sereno middle school has a new fitness center.

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A teacher and her students say the Pledge of Allegiance in a Tulsa, Okla., classroom.
A teacher and her students say the Pledge of Allegiance in a Tulsa, Okla., classroom. (Mike Simons / Tulsa World)

In and around Los Angeles:

No serious injuries were reported after an L.A. Unified bus carrying 30 people crashed in Reseda on Monday.

L.A. Unified held the first of a series of town halls on school safety.

Hamilton High School student Aiyana Dab'riel holds a sign during a March 14 walkout in support of the Parkland shooting victims.
Hamilton High School student Aiyana Dab'riel holds a sign during a March 14 walkout in support of the Parkland shooting victims. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Most Californians are worried that a school shooting like the one that occurred in Parkland, Fla., in February could shed blood closer to home, a new survey found.

Some 73% percent of adults and 82% of public school parents said they were very concerned or somewhat concerned about school shootings.

The Public Policy Institute of California surveyed 1,704 adults in the state by phone just after the March for Our Lives protest against gun violence.

Nearly four years after teachers at California’s largest online charter school voted to unionize, they have reached a deal to increase pay and create job protections, according to a spokesman for the California Teachers Assn.

The contract, which is still tentative and subject to ratification, is a victory for the teachers union. Although charter schools are publicly funded, most are privately managed and their employees aren’t protected by labor contracts.

Under the terms of the contract — the result of years of negotiation and legal wrangling — approximately 500 teachers working for California Virtual Academies will no longer be at-will employees who can be dismissed for almost any reason.

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Monica Garcia, president of the Los Angeles school board, pushed the funding resolution.
Monica Garcia, president of the Los Angeles school board, pushed the funding resolution. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

L.A. Unified’s school board voted to consider traumas that affect campus communities when divvying up some school funding.

Outside the board meeting, some students, parents and teachers called for board member Ref Rodriguez’s resignation.

L.A. schools will soon get more money if they are located in neighborhoods with such problems as high levels of gun violence and asthma.