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Lights, Camera, Action: Los Angeles Parents Film PSA About the School Funding Crisis

Parents at Melrose Avenue Elementary pooled their entertainment industry talents to create a video that drives home a point: Schools need money.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU1zdCfu5Mw

"When your company does well do you fire your best employees?" That's one of the questions asked in the above public service announcement about education funding produced by parents at Melrose Avenue Elementary, a science, technology, engineering, and math magnet school in Los Angeles. Almost 70 percent of the school's 339 students are children of color and another 70 percent receive reduced or free lunch—and in 2010 the school improved 124 points on the State of California's Academic Performance Index, the biggest gains of any public school in the state.

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Broke L.A. Schools Are Giving Teachers a Half Day to Protest

In an unprecedented move, LAUSD is working with the local teachers union to make a protest of education cuts happen.

Just how bad is California's education budget crisis? In an unprecedented move, the Los Angeles Unified School District plans to dismiss students early on Friday, May 13 so that teachers and other school staff can protest proposed cuts to education. In fact, the nation's second largest school district is in such a financial crisis that they're actually working with the local teacher's union, UTLA, to make the protest happen—a very rare thing.

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Court Decision Ends "Last Hired, First Fired" in Los Angeles Schools

The ACLU argued that the policy of firing the newest teachers first unfairly targets students in disadvantaged communities—and won.


Pink slipping teachers according to seniority is on the way out the door in Los Angeles—at least at schools in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods. Superior Court Judge William F. Highberger gave the go-ahead on Friday to a settlement that limits the use of seniority in teacher layoffs at 45 Los Angeles Unified School District campuses with high staff turnover. The settlement also decrees that layoffs at the rest of the district's schools must be equitably distributed.

The case, Reed v. State of California, et al., pitted the ACLU against the city's teachers union, United Teachers Los Angeles. Massive budget cuts in LAUSD over the past few years have led to the layoffs of thousands of newer teachers. The ACLU argued that given these cuts, LAUSD's agreement with UTLA—the last hired, first fired method of doling out layoff notices—unfairly targets students attending schools in disadvantaged communities.

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