FROM Beth Barrett
The Race to Replace Councilman Greig Smith There are seven LA City Council seats on the ballot next week, but only one without an incumbent. The 12th District is in the San Fernando Valley, where Mitch Englander is the establishment candidate against five non-insiders . Englander is the chief-of-staff for Councilman Greig Smith, who's retiring. Smith worked for his predecessor, Hal Bernson. Englander's $440,000 campaign war chest was provided by developers, unions and lobbyists, and his endorsements include the Daily News, the LA Times and former officials including Bill Bratton and Dick Riordan. Beth Barrett is a contributor to the LA Weekly . Information on the 12th District candidates forum , Thursday, March 3 at 7pm
Layoffs and Seniority in the LAUSD Last week, Judge William Highberger ruled that teacher lay-offs planned for three inner-city middle schools would deprive students of their constitutional right to an equal education. Gompers, Markham and Liechty are three of the lowest performing schools in LA Unified. Because the state budget crisis requires cuts, the District sent pink-slips to between 46 and 60% of their teachers. In more affluent neighborhoods, the average was less than 15%. The judge found that educational opportunity would decline disproportionately and ordered the District to find a better way. But it’s not going to be easy because of seniority rules.
L.A. School Board Readies for Budget Battle California faces a deficit upwards of 15 billion dollars. Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget would increase education spending by 193 million—but that won’t pay cost of living increases and some special funding is being reduced. For the LA Unified School District , that means a 353 million dollar shortfall.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.