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A judge on Friday approved a sweeping overhaul of how teachers are laid off in what education reformers hail as a landmark decision to keep more effective instructors in the classroom, but unions denounce as a step toward dismantling tenure policies, the Associated Press reports. The decision was the outcome of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in February, charging that inner-city students’ right to a quality education was being violated by a last-hired, first-fired layoff policy.
“This is a historic decision for the state of California,” said John Deasy, deputy superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District. “The court stood and lifted up the voice of youth. That voice was loud and clear.”
The ruling by Superior Court Judge William Highberger approved a settlement between the ACLU, the state and LAUSD in which the district agreed to shield 45 of its lowest performing schools from layoffs and to ensure that the redistribution of those layoffs will not be sent to a school that will experience greater than the district average of layoffs for that year……Read More
School districts would get $10 billion in additional funding to help them avoid laying off teachers, and college students would get $5 billion more in Pell Grant money to account for a shortfall in that program, under a supplementary spending bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives July 1. But the additional funding would come at a price for other programs, including $600 million in cuts to broadband stimulus funding and $800 million in cuts to school-reform initiatives.
The changes are part of an $80 billion war spending bill needed to pay for President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan. As of press time, the bill was awaiting action in the Senate.
The president has promised to veto the bill over its proposed cuts to his school-reform initiatives, including $100 million in charter school funding, $200 million in Teacher Incentive Fund money, and $500 million from the Education Department’s showcase “Race to the Top” (RTTT) program.…Read More