FROM Monica Garcia
Does LA Unified Really Want School Reform? Mayor Villaraigosa says the LA Unified School District has delivered " a terrible blow to reform ." The elected school board has given control of 36 new and underperforming schools mostly to groups organized by administrators and teachers who already work for the District. Only four went to charter operators and three to the Mayor's reform organization. One charter operator says the move shows that "big labor has…control over these school board members." Yolie Flores, the board member who pushed for outside control, says some of her colleagues "are still beholden to unions."
Ramon Cortines Named Superintendent of LA Schools Former admiral David Brewer is now the former Superintendent of Los Angeles Schools. Last week, Brewer said he'd step down before the end of the year. Today, the elected School Board picked his top deputy to replace him. Ramon Cortines will take a position he once held on a temporary basis. We get an update on today's decision from LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia.
The New $7 Billion School Bond Early last week, the LA Unified School District's elected board of trustees was planning a $3.2 billion bond measure for the November ballot. But Mayor Villaraigosa had conducted a poll showing that voters would be willing to go for more. On Thursday, the board almost doubled its request from $3.2 billion to $7 billion, with $2 billion of that not earmarked for any specific projects. In 1997, voters approved Proposition BB, a bond issue worth $2.4 billion, with the proviso that a citizens' advisory board would be set up to watch how the money was spent. Since then, $13 billion in bonds have been approved by the voters.
LAUSD Names Brewer New School Superintendent The Board of the Los Angeles Unified School District has named retired Vice Admiral David Brewer, III to be the next Superintendent. Mayor Villaraigosa, who's on a trip to Asia, says he's "disappointed" he wasn't involved. One of his allies, Democratic Senator Gloria Romero, calls it "a complete mockery" of the Mayor and the legislature, which passed a law to give him a voice in the process. But another Villagraigosa ally, the most recently elected board member, made the board's vote unanimous.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?