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The single classiest moment of the school board meeting last night was when Vincent Gumina, one of the student reps on the board, applauded board President Shelia Jackson and Interim Superintendent Bill Kowba for their military service. Happy Veterans Day, folks, and enjoy the newsblitz:

  • The San Diego Unified school board was pinching pennies left and right at their meeting last night. We blogged that they decided not to be members of a national school boards group (roughly $13,000 saved), decided not to cover the extra costs for a donated China trip for the school board president (about $800), and announced that they would “brown bag it” at meetings instead of having catered meals (priceless.)

They also turned down $20,000 for an outside group to analyze uses for the school district headquarters on Normal Street. KPBS also reports on the spending cutbacks.

  • Continuing the blog roll, we check in on how charter schools have socked money away for a rainy day — sometimes quite a lot of it. We also report on how the choice to delay school repairs in favor of technology and the schoobrary has angered some parents at Mission Bay High, who say their athletic fields are unsafe and should be replaced first.
  • Oceanside schools are limiting the number of students who can transfer out to other school districts, the North County Times reports. Keeping kids in the school district can help them save money, but will limit parents’ choices.
  • The Union-Tribune reports that teens applying to California State universities are facing http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/nov/11/more-apply-fewer-spots-2-colleges/ ” target=”_blank” title=””>more competition for fewer spots. The Los Angeles Times takes a broader view on the trend. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the CSU system is asking the state for nearly $900 million to meet its needs.
  • And if you’re still hoping that they’ll back off on their changes to their local admissions policy, the CSU Chancellor says don’t hold your breath, the Union-Tribune writes.
  • Educated Guess blogs that the long-buzzed-about California School Boards Association lawsuit against the state will not only challenge California on how well it funds schools, but its whole mechanism for doing so. The lawsuit will press for more local control of school funding, taking on rulings that date back to the ’70s.
  • Gov. Schwarzenegger created a statewide panel on preschool to snap up more federal stimulus dollars, the Sacramento Bee reports. California could get almost $11 million over three years through the program.
  • Speaking of the stimulus, the final rules for Race to the Top, the second batch of school stimulus dollars that everybody’s been talking about, will come out this week. The New York Times reports on how states are changing their ways for a shot at the dough.
  • Blogger Eduflack poses the question of how Race to the Top will shape teacher quality — and if the dollars aren’t enough to do it right, is it worth going after the federal money? There are also two new reports out from national groups, the Education Trust and the New Teacher Project, on strategies to build a better teacher workforce.
  • The Associated Press writes about the battle over chocolate milk. ‘Nuff said.
  • The Texas Tribune finds that standardized tests in Texas seem to be easier than the only national exam that the United States has — which means that parents may need to be a little more leery of what their kids’ test scores mean.
EMILY ALPERT

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