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State Controller John Chiang says the Governor isn't kidding about the need for billions in budget cuts in the next two weeks.  We hear how students, parents and teachers are trying to cope with a changing educational environment.  On Reporter's Notebook, can Dwight Howard stop the Lakers? On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, as the Muslim world waits for tomorrow's message, President Obama met with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah today.  What can they do for each other about Iran, the Taliban and peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians?   

Banner image: LAUSD families, teachers and community members gathered for one in a series of nightly community potlucks and camp-outs outside of John Liechty Middle School, highly impacted by teacher layoffs. Photo: David Rapkin

Main Topic President Obama and the Middle East 27 MIN, 20 SEC

As President Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia today, Al-Jazeera aired what purports to be a threatening new audiotape from Osama bin Laden. But King Abdullah met Air Force One in searing heat at the airport and the two exchanged kisses on both cheeks.

Scott Wilson, Washington Post (@PostScottWilson)
Khaled Al-Maeena, Editor-in-Chief, Arab News
Walid Phares, Director of the Future of Terrorism Project, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies'
Steve Clemons, New America Foundation / The Atlantic (@SCClemons)

Main Topic Parents, Teachers Prepare for Another Round of School Cuts 19 MIN, 32 SEC

The State Senate is about to hold hearings on restructuring government to make it more efficient.  In the meantime, service providers and school administrators are “transforming” their operations, to use Governor Schwarzenegger's phrase. That means cutting so deeply that core missions are being compromised. Such budget cuts and teacher lay-offs are leading to hunger strikes and camp-ins at LA Unified schools.  Parents have new powers to make tough decisions but no training for a difficult and sensitive job.  What’s happening at charter schools? We hear how students, parents and teachers are trying to cope with a changing educational environment.

Julie Van Winkle, Math and Science Teacher, John Liechty Middle School
Bill Ring, TransParent
Steve Barr, Future Is Now Schools (@SteveBarrLA)
Rose Bustos, Outgoing Student Trustee, Los Angeles Community College District

Reporter's Notebook In the NBA Finals, It's Kobe vs... Dwight Howard? 6 MIN, 28 SEC

When the basketball finals finally begin tomorrow night at the Staples Center, fans won't see a confrontation between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Instead of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lakers will face the Orlando Magic and their budding superstar, Dwight HowardJill Painter is a sports columnist at the Daily News.

Jill Painter, Los Angeles Daily News (@jillpainter)

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