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L.A.U.S.D. Goes Federal

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L.A. Unified School District goes against teachers union wishes in adopting state standards that will make them eligible for federal money.

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Details from the Daily News:

The Los Angeles Unified school board agreed in principle Tuesday to accept new state accountability standards for teachers, principals and schools, potentially making the district eligible for millions of federal dollars.

At least 800 other school districts statewide have also agreed to implement new reforms in exchange for a shot at the $4.35 billion available in competitive federal "Race to the Top" grants. Those reforms could include using test data to evaluate teachers and pushing for the shutdown of low-performing schools - policies long opposed by teacher unions.....

It is estimated that California could earn up to $700 million if it qualifies.

Since LAUSD students represent about 10 percent of the state's student population and the largest portion of California's low-income students who are targeted by the federal grant, the district stands to receive a substantial portion of what the state receives....

A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said he did not have enough time to study the agreement or present it to his governing body, but either way, he said, UTLA would have preferred the district not compete for these funds.

"The district should have said `No thank you' and instead it could have sat down with its unions to come up with an evaluation system that is good for kids and fair to teachers," Duffy said.

Ron Kaye reports on a similar action from the state assembly key to making California eligible for the federal dollars:

After weeks of negotiations and a day-long drama in the state Assembly, supporters of parent rights to have a direct say in their children's education by a single vote shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The action, subject to agreement of the Senate by a single vote, makes the state eligible for $700 million in badly-needed federal money under the Obama Administration's "Race to the Top" legislation.

The Assembly votes represented a stunning defeat for the Califiornia Teachers Association which threw all its clout behind blocking provisions that allow parents whose children attend failing schools to enroll them anywhere and give them them right under the "parent trigger" which allows a majority of parents at failing schools to replace all staff or take less drastic reform measures.

Previous City of Angles blogging on local schools and federal money.

(Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

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