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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2008 | Howard Blume, Times Staff Writer
For years, Johnson Community Day School has been the second, third or last chance for students kicked out of other middle and high schools. And many have thrived in a setting with small classes, counseling and close supervision to overcome truancy, drug use or brushes with the law. But now Johnson itself is being booted. Next month, the school must vacate its longtime South Los Angeles campus, pushing students already on the edge of failure into a cross-town commute.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 21, 2014 | By Howard Blume
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has reviewed an internal L.A. school district report on its iPad contract and concluded that criminal charges are not warranted. The report, which has not been released publicly, raises issues about the handling of the bidding process, according to L.A. Unified School District officials who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to discuss it. Apple's iPad was selected in June as the device to be provided to every student, teacher and campus administrator in the nation's second-largest school system.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 1994
Despite the fact that literally billions of dollars worth of school construction projects are awaiting funding, the California Assembly recently defeated a measure to place a school construction bond measure on this November's statewide ballot. Local Assembly members Doris Allen (R-Cypress) and Tom Umberg (D-Garden Grove) were among those who voted in favor of the bond measure and are to be congratulated for supporting public education and the state's schoolchildren. It is unfortunate that some of their colleagues do not share the same priorities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2014 | By Howard Blume, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Maintaining Los Angeles Unified campuses will be difficult because of staffing and funding shortages combined with repair backlogs, aging buildings and more than 100 new schools, officials said Thursday. During a meeting of a committee that oversees the spending of school construction bonds, the grim picture was illustrated by two contrasting photos. The first showed the school district plumbing team from the 1990s. Squeezing into the frame are 23 people. That present-day team, photographed in January, numbered 10. In the meantime, district property has increased substantially, from about 53 million square feet in 2001 to about 67 million square feet, according to the facilities division.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2000 | DOUG SMITH, TIMES EDUCATION WRITER
Los Angeles school officials agreed Friday to test a new method of school construction and allow private developers to build a limited number of primary centers. Following basic specifications from the Los Angeles Unified School District, the developers would finance the construction with bank loans and sell the completed schools to the district. "We are looking to try some pilot projects to see if the concept works," said Howard Miller, the district's chief operating officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1996 | NICK GREEN
With steadily rising enrollment causing a space crunch at Fillmore schools, the district's board today is scheduled to discuss how it will pay to complete construction of the middle school. The construction project is one of 11 recommendations contained in a long-range planning document. A year in the making, the report is a detailed analysis of the district's capital-improvement needs extending into the next century. "We expect by the year 2000 to be up above 4,000 kids," Supt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 1990
In an effort to generate more classroom seats by streamlining the school construction process and expanding financing options, the Los Angeles school board Monday unanimously approved an ambitious plan requiring the school district to examine its building practices, seek more local autonomy in funding schools and explore partnerships with private companies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2003 | From Times staff reports
Business and civic leaders met at the Getty Center on Wednesday to discuss how to help the Los Angeles Unified School District with its plans to construct more than 100 schools in the next decade. Mayor James K. Hahn, Los Angeles School Supt. Roy Romer and Disney chief executive Michael Eisner were the keynote speakers at the summit, which drew about 150 people.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 1993 | JILL LEOVY
Construction of a proposed private school connected to the Valley Iranian Jewish Center has won approval from a city zoning administrator. Jewish center leaders have proposed construction of a 12,300-square-foot religious school for 150 children just north of the synagogue at 6170 Wilbur Ave., which is also called the Eretz Cultural Center. The addition was strongly opposed by neighbors, who contended that the synagogue traffic had created a traffic hazard in the neighborhood.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 | By Stephen Ceasar
A new bill introduced Friday would prohibit California school districts from using voter-approved construction bonds for non-facility related items  -- a move spurred by the Los Angeles Unified School District's $1-billion plan to purchase iPads for every student, teacher and administrator. L.A. Unified's iPad project, launched last year, is funded with one-time, school construction bonds paid back over about 25 years.  The plan, which includes network upgrades at schools, is expected to consume all the technology funds available though the bonds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2014 | By Howard Blume
The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay substantially less for thousands of iPads under the latest deal with Apple. The cost of the tablets that will be used on new state tests will be $200 less per device, although the computers won't include curriculum. The revised price will be $504, which compares to $699 for the iPads with curriculum. With taxes and other fees, the full cost of the more fully equipped devices rises to $768. The iPads are part of a $1-billion effort to provide a computer to every student, teacher and  administrator in the nation's second-largest school system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Los Angeles Unified School District officials have delayed Tuesday's scheduled vote on the next phase of a $1-billion effort to provide iPads to every student, teacher and school administrator.  The vote had already been delayed a week with the cancellation of all meetings after the death Dec. 5 of board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. Now, the matter is tentatively pushed into January, which could create problems for the planned deployment of the devices. In a brief email, L.A. schools Supt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2013 | By Howard Blume
Los Angeles school district officials have postponed plans to provide iPads to all teachers and administrators but still want to use the tablets for new standardized tests this spring. The scaled-back proposal was described by L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy in a meeting Monday with Times reporters and editors. The Board of Education was set to vote on the next phase of a $1-billion effort to provide iPads to every student, teacher and school administrator in the nation's second-largest school system.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2013 | By Howard Blume
A $1-billion plan to put an iPad into the hands of every Los Angeles student and teacher could prove difficult to financially sustain after about three years, based on figures provided by the L.A. Unified School District. The district's description of funding options emerged during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday at district headquarters. Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy has called the technology upgrade an essential academic initiative. He has also noted that new state tests are supposed to be taken on a computer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2013 | By Howard Blume
A $1-billion plan to put an iPad into the hands of every Los Angeles student and teacher could prove difficult to sustain financially after about three years, based on figures provided by the L.A. Unified School District. The district's analysis, which describes future funding options, will be a subject of discussion during a special Board of Education meeting Tuesday morning at district headquarters. The school board is scheduled to vote in December on final approval for the project.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 2013 | By Howard Blume and Teresa Watanabe
When John Deasy took the helm of Los Angeles Unified in 2011, he was backed by the school board, mayor and civic leaders in a bid to transform the nation's second-largest school district with bold measures to improve student performance. Now Deasy's future - along with the district's direction - is in doubt at a critical point. L.A. Unified is facing new academic standards, major budget decisions and a massive iPad technology project. On Thursday, just days before his scheduled performance review by a new, less supportive school board, the school chief told some top officials that he might step down.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
California Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation cracking down on a risky method of financing that hundreds of school districts and community colleges in the state have relied on to pay for new construction. The measure, authored by Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo, will rein in the use of long-term capital appreciation bonds that can carry debt payments many times the amount borrowed. Fiscal watchdogs, including county treasurers and California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, have warned repeatedly that the bonds -- which let districts postpone the start of payments for decades -- are reminiscent of the lending and Wall Street excesses that contributed to the Great Recession.
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