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In the Sacramento, California region, only 57 percent of third-graders—an age recent studies show is a crucial turning point for students—are reading at grade level. We believe that community support can help change this reality, so we're challenging you to invest in Sacramento's classrooms to help improve the region’s literacy rate.

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L.A.'s Mayor Asks for Public Input on Education. But Does He Care What We Say?

Villaraigosa took to Twitter to announce that he wants to hear from the masses about education. Whether he cares what they say is still unclear.


Education is a hot topic in Los Angeles—more than 5,000 teachers protested budget cuts in Downtown last Friday and the Los Angeles Times just released a second go-round of its controversial database ranking teachers according to how much their students' test scores improved—so it's no surprise that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the public's input on the direction of education reform in the city.

Villaraigosa took to Twitter late Monday afternoon to announce that he wants to hear from the masses about education. The link in his tweet goes to a question submissions page where Villaraigosa—who has long been involved with education reform efforts in the city—outlines his plans to introduce new LA Unified Superintendent John Deasy to San Fernando Valley residents on Monday, meet with parents on Tuesday, and speak to policymakers on Thursday about "changes that need to be made at the state level to help our local schools to succeed and thrive."

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California's education budget crisis continues to spur some seriously heroic acts of sacrifice. Last week we reported on Jocelyn Lam, a Los Angeles area fifth grader who donated her $300 life savings to save her school's teachers from layoffs, sparking a community-wide fundraising drive. Now Michele Miller, a principal in the Rescue Union School District in suburban Sacramento, is selling her entire 350-pair shoe collection to save teacher and school staff jobs in the district.

Miller says her first passion is children—she's been an educator for 28 years—but her second love is shoes. She has an entire room in her home devoted to her collection. But with a budget shortfall of up to $2 million looming, every librarian, bus driver, and health aid; three vice-principals; and 17 teachers in her tiny seven-school district are set to lose their jobs. Miller says she "couldn't sit back and watch this happening without coming up with some creative solution," so she decided to put her shoes up for "adoption" and charge $1,000 each.

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