We look at why San Diego Unified has changed the list of schools that could be closed — and why some very expensive schools were taken off the list. The Union-Tribune reports that the Standley Middle School student was knocked out of the National Spelling Bee, but he can console himself with the fact that most of us have no idea what “dansant” is in the first place.

Meanwhile, the North County Times reports on the turmoil at an elementary school where as many as 20 out of its 24 teachers are asking to be transferred because of clashes with the principal. And a local blogger questions whether getting rid of school athletics to save money, an option on the table at San Diego Unified, is really a bad thing. (On the flip side, I’m also hearing a lot about why cutting the arts would be especially damaging — look for more reader commentary on that soon.)

The Los Angeles Times reports that experts say that California is the sole state to cut student aid while simultaneously hiking fees, and Los Angeles Unified is jettisoning summer school to save money, despite research that shows that summer can be a crucial time where disadvantaged students slip further behind their classmates. And a new study finds that California preschool programs are not accessible or widespread enough to serve most disadvantaged children, leaving half of the eligible kids in the lurch.

Teacher Magazine takes on the question, sparked by financial guru Suze Orman, of whether teachers are empowered enough, financially or otherwise, to empower their students. Jay Mathews at the Washington Post wades into the debate over universal preschool. And Education Week reports that federal education czar Arne Duncan is warning states that limit access to charter schools that it will be harder for them to get more stimulus dollars in the future.


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