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Boarding school conjures a certain image: children in preppy blazers, leafy quadrangles in New England and tuition that costs more than many families earn in a year.

That stereotype would not apply if officials carry out their vision for a dusty, trash-strewn lot in South Los Angeles that has sat vacant for more than two decades.

Their pitch? A transportation boarding school, free to its students.

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (Erik Lesser / European Pressphoto Agency)

In April, California’s top education officials breathed a sigh of relief. After months of debate and back-and-forth with Betsy DeVos’ staff, they had finalized a plan to satisfy a major education law that aims to make sure all students get a decent education.

The state focused on aligning its plan to fulfill the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act with California’s Local Control Funding Formula, which gives extra money to districts to help students who come from low-income families, are in the foster system or are English learners.

But this week, DeVos’ team said not so fast. 

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The Los Angeles school board on Tuesday extended the contract of Ken Bramlett, its inspector general, by three months, though his job is far from secure and questions remain about the future direction of his watchdog office.

USC student Anika Narayanan says she vividly recalls her first appointment with Dr. George Tyndall at the campus health center, alleging that he made several explicit comments during an examination she felt was inappropriate and invasive.

Last month, Los Angeles’ school board president proposed a spate of highly ambitious mandates aimed at ensuring that every district graduate be eligible to apply to one of the state’s public four-year universities by 2023.

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The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it has launched an investigation into how the University of Southern California handled misconduct complaints against a campus gynecologist, the latest fallout in a scandal that has prompted the resignation of USC’s president, two law enforcement investigations and dozens of lawsuits.

Schools are on summer break, and so is this news roundup.
Schools are on summer break, and so is this news roundup. (File photo | Los Angeles Times)

Happy summer! As teachers and students take a break, this daily roundup will be on summer hiatus. But please do come back here for education coverage, and if there’s anything you feel we’re missing, let us know.

In and around Southern California:

L.A. Unified’s school board is choosing to not renew the contract of its independent inspector general.

  • Betsy DeVos
  • Higher Education
  • LAUSD
  • Charter Schools
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck
Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press; Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

In and around Southern California:

Why L.A. Unified may face financial crisis even with a large surplus this year.

An outside task force released a report saying that the district’s spending in key areas is out of step with comparable school districts.

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Just 31.9% of recent graduates meet requirements to enroll in a California public four-year university.
Just 31.9% of recent graduates meet requirements to enroll in a California public four-year university. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Former Los Angeles schools Supt. Michelle King made “100% graduation” her central goal for the nation’s second-largest school district. Now the school board president wants to up the ante — and, by 2023, have every student graduate meeting requirements to enroll in one of the state’s public four-year universities.

According to LAUSD board President Monica Garcia’s resolution, titled Realizing the Promise for All: Close the Gap by 2023, just 31.9% of recent graduates meet those requirements. The district currently allows students to graduate with D grades in the required classes instead of the minimum C grades that Cal State and the University of California require.

The board is scheduled to vote on the resolution Tuesday.

A woman and her boyfriend are expected to be sentenced Thursday for the torture and murder of an 8-year-old boy whose killing in 2013 provoked public outrage, prompted sweeping reform of Los Angeles County’s child welfare system, and led to unprecedented criminal charges against social workers who handled the child’s case.