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With a new deficit of $21 billion, California needs federal money for schools more than ever. LA Unified is battling with the teachers' union again over possible layoffs. Also, the University of California Regents agree to help re-open the Martin Luther King hospital.  On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, Democrats want their healthcare reform bill on the Senate floor before next week's Thanksgiving vacation. Republicans will do all they can to prevent that from happening. We hear how the bill compares to the House version and look at its chances.   

Banner image: Campus police grab University of California Los Angeles students and supporters harassing people leaving the UC Board of Regents meeting where members voted to approve a 32 percent tuition hike next year.  Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Main Topic Will Healthcare Reform Get to the Senate Floor? 28 MIN, 26 SEC

After many delays, Senate leader Harry Reid finally unveiled his version of healthcare reform last night in Washington. He called the legislation a "tremendous step forward…(b)ecause it saves lives, saves money and protects Medicare -- makes Medicare stronger."

Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News (@aawayne)
Ron Pollack, Families USA (@Ron_Pollack)
Michael Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies, Cato Institute
Emily Friedman, independent health policy and ethics analyst

Making News New Lease on Life for MLK Hospital 5 MIN, 19 SEC

The full board of UC Regents increased student fees by 32 percent today, despite protesters who took over a building at UCLA.  Meantime, the Regents also agreed to partner with Los Angeles County to fully re-open the Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in South Los Angeles. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is spearheading the effort.

Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA County Board of Supervisors (@mridleythomas)

Main Topic Is California Going the Wrong Way in the 'Race to the Top?' 20 MIN, 9 SEC

The Los Angeles Unified School District is facing a deficit of $500 billion, and it has told unions to choose between furloughs and layoffs.  Federal stimulus money is all used up, but the Obama Administration has instituted what it calls the Race to the Top, which could mean more from Washington. Today, Superintendent Ramon Cortines joined Governor Schwarzenegger in supporting legislation to help qualify California for that assistance. The state Senate has passed legislation to show Washington it can both measure and improve the effectiveness of teachers and principals. Now the State Assembly has announced it will reconvene in December, a month early, to pass similar measures.

Ramon Cortines, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
Julia Brownley, Chair, California Assembly's Education Committee
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times (@hiltzikm)

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