The Los Angeles Unified school board on Tuesday refused to renew three Magnolia schools serving 1,400 sixth- through 12th-grade students, including Magnolia Science Academy campuses in Reseda and Van Nuys, as recommended by district staff. Hundreds of students, staff and other Magnolia supporters wore orange T-shirts at Tuesday’s meeting, with some holding signs that read “I stand for Magnolia” and “Stop School Closing.” . . . Both the Magnolia schools in the Valley were in the top 3 percent of all high schools in the nation, according to an April issue of U.S. News & World Report.
L.A. Unified already has the largest charter school program in the country, representing about 16% of total enrollment. But getting to 50% would mean creating 260 charter schools that would provide 130,000 seats, the report said.
While supporters view charters as an effective means to help kids circumvent some of the poorest-performing public schools, the teachers’ unions argue charters have unfair advantages. So the California Teachers Association has sponsored a package of bills designed to “level the playing field” or hobble charter schools with bureaucracy — depending on one’s perspective.
On Monday the Santa Ana-based for-profit shut down its remaining 28 schools, which no buyer would purchase amid the government’s regulatory ambush. The closure displaces 16,000 or so students—many mere months away from graduation—and 2,500 workers.
In a news release Sunday, Corinthian said it has had trouble selling its schools because local and federal authorities sought to “impose financial penalties and conditions” on prospective buyers.
The Master Plan for Higher Education in California, produced in 1960, was a visionary document for its time, but must be updated to reflect the changed economic, demographic and financial environment of the current century. California’s economic future will depend on the outcome.
But UC officials say the system also needs the money to help rescue its pension fund – neglected for two decades and facing $7.2 billion in unfunded liabilities – and to cover the growing cost of retiree health benefits.
The University of California, Berkeley raised its out-of-state student enrollment target to 23 percent because it needs more money.