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The Los Angeles school district is out of step with similar school systems, spending more on teachers’ pay and health benefits and less on activities that could enhance student learning, according to a new report by an outside task force.

The L.A. Unified School District Advisory Task Force did not make specific recommendations, but instead posed a series of questions it said the district needs to answer to make sure its funding is aimed at providing a full opportunity for all students to succeed.

“What we’re trying to say is: Let’s put the data on the table. Let’s look at the truth. Let’s be transparent and here are the numbers,” said task force member Renata Simril. “This is not to say that … we should cut teachers’ salaries.”

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A former vice dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine testified Tuesday that he feared the school’s then-dean, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, “could be doing drugs” and expressed concerns about his general well-being to the university’s No. 2 administrator before Puliafito abruptly left his job in 2016.

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With more than half a billion dollars socked away for next school year, the Los Angeles Unified School District hardly seems just two years from financial ruin. It’s a scenario that is especially tough to swallow if you’re a low-wage worker seeking a raise or a teacher who wants smaller classes.

  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, speaks at the commencement ceremony in May.
Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, speaks at the commencement ceremony in May. (Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

In and around Southern California:

Several USC deans have sent out messages trying to reassure students and faculty that the university is committed to changing in light of misconduct allegations against the university’s longtime gynecologist.

These are the stories of the gynecologist’s former patients.

Top administrators at USC are reaching out to students in the wake of misconduct allegations against the university’s longtime gynecologist, acknowledging failings and vowing reforms as they try to address growing outrage over the revelations.

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It's harder to learn in the heat, research finds.
It's harder to learn in the heat, research finds. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Southern California:

Rick Caruso, owner of the Grove and other prominent shopping centers, has been elected to lead USC’s board of trustees.In his first act as chair, he announced an outside investigation of the conduct of longtime campus gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall and of “reporting failures.”

Around the state:

The University of Southern California’s board of trustees has elected mall magnate Rick Caruso to be the new chair of the board, giving fresh leadership as the university navigates a widening scandal involving a longtime campus gynecologist.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • K-12
  • University of California
  • school safety
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press; Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

In and around Southern California:

State regulators suspended a UCLA cardiologist’s license, calling him a sexual predator.

Around the state:

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Ifechukwu Okeke thought she’d be a shoo-in for in-state tuition when she was admitted to UC Berkeley for fall 2016.

A UCLA cardiologist has been temporarily stripped of his medical license after state regulators described him as a “sexual predator” who assaulted three female colleagues when he was working and training at L.A. County-USC Medical Center.