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LA Debates STEM School

A proposal for a STEM-focused school in Los Angeles has provoked debate over who should oversee its management, reports the Los Angeles Times

A bill to create the new school is currently before the California state legislature. If the school is approved, it would be sponsored and overseen by the state, the LA Times says. Its supporters say this model has proven successful, with 15 such schools being run in 14 other states. 

"They envision a new state-of-the-art campus in downtown LA and have collected endorsements from Cal Tech, UCLA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the LA Area Chamber of Commerce, the United Negro College Fund and four of five LA County supervisors. A notable backer is local philanthropist and major charter-school funder Eli Broad, who has pledged to help pay for the project," the paper writes.

In fact, Broad told the paper in a statement, the school would be particularly focused on serving the needs of low-income and other high-need students. 

But critics say the STEM school as described looks like an independent charter school, and could be trying the skirt the regulations of the local school district, the LA Times says. At a Board of Education meeting last week, a resolution was put forth to let legislators know that the LA Unified School District thinks the proposed school is a bad idea, the paper added. The resolution failed 4-3: the four against are all supporters of charter schools while the three for are retired educators who were once school principals in LA.