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The family of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez consults with an attorney at the Hollenbeck Community Police Station.
The family of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez consults with an attorney at the Hollenbeck Community Police Station. (Andrea Castillo / Los Angeles Times)

California's top education official announced on Thursday that he has asked federal authorities to clarify whether they are changing a policy that in the past has avoided immigration actions near schools.

“I have consistently told students and their families that they must feel safe and protected at our schools, especially families who are refugees, Muslims, or undocumented immigrants,” state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly. “Recent actions by federal law enforcement agents around schools have raised serious concerns.”

The California Department of Education said that clarification was needed because of an incident in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents took Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, a 48-year-old father of four, into custody after he dropped off his daughter at a charter school in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.

USC appointed a retired aerospace executive as interim president and laid out a detailed plan for selecting a permanent leader Tuesday, ending speculation about whether outgoing President C.L. Max Nikias might remain in the post.

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A former student sued the elite Brentwood School on Monday in the wake of a female teacher being charged with repeatedly having sex with the minor, alleging that other faculty members encouraged the unlawful behavior and failed to report it to authorities.

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After the mass shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, Los Angeles school officials reassured parents that much had been done to keep local schools safe. California had tougher gun laws, after all, and the school district paid close attention to students’ mental health.

The Montebello school district is in dire straits — at risk of insolvency and under apparent criminal investigation.

The L.A. Unified School District has hopes of continuing its winning streak this year with another record graduation rate, but the official numbers may not show it.

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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.

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. 

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.

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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.