Studying Up: The week in K-12 Education

Photo by Ben Werdmuller von Elgg courtesy of Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/benwerd/329570782/

A poll released Monday revealed that financial concerns aren’t just for grownups anymore. New America Media conducted a survey of 600 young people between that ages of 16 and 22 years old and found that about two thirds of them were worried they wouldn’t find a job after college. About a third feared it would take them more than four years to finish college because they would need to hold down a job at the same time – that is, if they didn’t have to postpone pursuing a degree entirely.

Another report released Monday by the Legislative Analysts Office showed that more than half of the school districts in California have reduced the length of their school years, with some dropping the amount of school days down to the minimum of 175. What’s increasing is the number of students in the classrooms.

The state is also seeing growth in the population of special education students with autism. The number of autism diagnoses in grades K-12 tripled between 2002 and 2010. While the number of students placed in special education due to physical health problems like asthma and epilepsy is also on the rise, the number of students with learning disabilities is actually decreasing. The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health tracks this data and is seeking public input to provide insight on these trends.

Funding to charter schools is on the decline as well. A recent study looked at how Oakland-based charter network Aspire Public Schools would fare financially if it were located in the 23 other states that currently have charter schools. In 18 of them, Aspire would, hypothetically see a budget surplus of about $1,400.

Back in reality, Aspire is also applying for a statewide charter status that would circumvent the need for local approval when opening new schools.

The Campbell Union High School District is improving its facilities…dramatically. Five high schools opened brand new theaters equipped with upgraded technology. Del Mar High School will be christening its new theater with a performance of Beauty and the Beast, opening tonight.

Studying Up does your education news homework for you.