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L.A. teachers are ready to protect the system of public education

What is the reason for the protests?

More than 33 000 workers of the educational sector are planning to strike against the years of budget cuts, ballooning class size, and the expansion of unaccountable charter schools.

From the beginning of 2017 teachers’ councils have been tried to change the system of payments at schools and negotiated with local government being tried to achieve the acceptable agreement for both sides. But the consensus wasn’t achieved and during the subsequent voting, 98% of participants voted to begin the strike on January 14.

The district government tries to assure the public that this situation raised from the quarrel about the teachers’ salaries and nothing else but the president of UTLA absolutely disagree with this statement.

He says that the teachers’ councils fight not only for salaries and several other things. Their main goal is to transform the scheme of school investment and create the education students deserve.

The LAUSD claims that they don’t have money and in such a way, they have to cut the budget. But in reality, the amount of funds is around $1.8 billion. The reason not to use them is the fear of unpredictable financial crises that never occurs.

All arguments of LAUSD completely contradict statistic data. The size of classes wasn’t reduced, amount of counsellors, librarians, and nurses decreased to the minimum, early childhood education and special education programs don’t get enough investments to carry out their activities in full measures.

Other educators’ requirements are to stop the uncontrolled increase of charter schools amount (nowadays there are more than 200 of them in L.A.) as they get $600 million per year from public schools and cancel over-testing of students which waste $8.6 million from the district budget.

A new way to change the situation

Last May appointed as district superintendent former investment banker and CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Austin Beutner in spite of zero experience in school or district leadership wants to breathe new life to the educational system using the “portfolio model”.

This scheme assumes decentralization of LAUSD into 32 smaller departments which will accomplish a wide range of options in different educational and administrative spheres.

UTLA supposes that decentralization and as a consequence rid of central oversight and accountability will have a negative outcome: many students won’t be served and the problems with investments of public schools, corruption and conflict-of-interest charges will happen to be.

More than 50,000 parents, educators, students and community members gathered during the protested event to prevent the reinvestment in the city’s schools.

Teachers claimed that many schools across the city face with the lack of nurses and librarians.

There is a similar situation in Oakland where local schools faced a serious teacher turnover and class size problem. The main goal of educators of this region is to return worthy working conditions and salaries for teachers and stable educational process for students. If the negotiations with district administration don’t have any results, Oakland educators will organize the massive protest like their colleagues in L.A.

Teachers claim that now it’s time to take extreme measures as their schools and students have suffered too long and deserved positive changes.

Growing trend towards studying abroad

When Frances Downey was a child, mother often her little daughter about her fascinating experience of studying abroad, in France. No wonder that since her early school years Downey has dreamt of taking part in an international study program, just like her mum.

In 2004 Downey entered Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After 2 years of studying architecture, she began to feel like to be bored and unsatisfied. Thus, Downey made a decision to continue her studying outside of the United States. She had some difficulties with receiving approval of her studying abroad, but successfully managed them and in 2006/2007 academic year spent an autumn term at the Danish International School in Copenhagen, Denmark. The girl had chosen it because she admired housing architecture created by artists from Denmark.

What is more, during the spring semester of the same academic year Downey attended the University of Sevilla in Spain. Moving to and living in other countries was not easy for a young lady. Particularly, she faced some problems with transportation. Though, her family and friends helped her both morally and materially. Downey said she would never forget such a wonderful experience and adventure. She was so excited about travelling and discovering new places that took one more long-term study trip to Vicenza, Italy.

The increase: scope and reasons

According to data and statistics, the quantity of students who study abroad constantly increases. The article issued in November by the Institute of International Education says that during the last 30 years the number of American students getting their degree abroad rose 330 thousand. And it is continuing to increase.

The growth in figures:

  • it started in the early 1990s
  • the number of students studying abroad increases by approximately 2% every year
  • in 2008 the pace of growth declined because of the U.S. crisis
  • less than 30% of students studying abroad are the representatives of minorities.

Peggy Blumenthal who works at the IIE claimed that the majority of Americans are used to getting higher education near their homes and being in their comfort zone. Thus, students don’t have any serious challenges or difficulties to deal with on their own. At the same time, studying abroad helps them to gain vital experience, so now more and more people are beginning to realize how useful and cognitive participation in an international exchange program may be. Globalization prompts companies to seek employees with a good knowledge of foreign languages and cultures able to work in the multinational environment.

Measures to encourage international study programs

The opportunities and conditions of studying abroad have also been improved. US higher education institutions have developed their cooperation with foreign colleges and universities by increasing the number of joint programs, including those lasting only for a few weeks. Because of that fact, studying abroad has become more available and students face fewer financial problems. In addition, the American government has set up Benjamin A. Gilman and Fulbright programs to increase funding for the international exchange programs. Finally, nowadays more and higher education institutions abroad are offering programs in English.

Deadlines: How important is admission to college in the US?

What’s on a date? November 1, December 1, January 1, and May 1 are four separate days of the year, but for many universities in the United States, these data are significant. Either to send an application or to notify a university you wish to attend, there are several time limits for admission to the university in the United States that international students should know.


What happens in the university admission offices?

With the end of the fall season for universities in the United States, the reception offices have completed a large part of their hiring journeys around the world. Now they are preparing for the so-called reading season, where they will spend the better part of the next three months reading and rating student requests. For some, this process has already begun. If a college or university has an early application deadline, they will already make decisions. But what are these deadlines and what do they mean?


Types of application deadlines

Like many parts of the US college admissions process, there are no simple answers that are not “dependent”.

In general, there are four types of deadlines that international students can see when applying to US colleges and universities. UU Continuous approvals are given at universities, where the applications are examined throughout the year without application deadline. Institutions with a continuous admission policy are generally less selective. However, these colleges and universities offer the greatest flexibility for international students applying to enter the United States.

The next one is Early Action (EA). In general, EE applicants must apply to selected institutions at some point between mid-October and mid-November. If a premature measure is approved for these universities, you will receive a decision in mid-December. While most universities that allow students through EA do not require students to participate when they are admitted (called binding decisions), some are restrictive and, if they allow this, they expect participation. In these cases, international students will only need to apply for an EA if they really want to attend this university.

Similar to early action is Early Decision (ED). As in early action, ED deadlines will be presented on November 1 or November 15, and decisions will be made in mid-December. The main difference is that the decision, if approved, is binding: you have to visit the university that accepts your ED. If you apply, you need to sign a contract with your school counselor and parents to let ED know that you have to accept your offer if you are approved. For this reason, international students need to think carefully about which college or university they are applying for as an early candidate.

Last but not least is the regular decision (RD). For most international students, applying to universities with regular decision deadlines is the way to go if you are not sure which college you want to attend at the time of application. Between the universities of EE. UU Apart from outliers such as the University of California system, which sets a date for students on November 30, most deadlines are January or early February.

Special Note: For international students who wish to attend a selected college or university, but do not have the correct test results, there are several facilities offering Continuous Approval Access programs. These route programs allow students to complete a combination of English and academic courses in the first year, and then move on to full-time study in the second year.


Shipping by mail or delivered by?

A general concern of international students is whether these application deadlines are strict or flexible. Deadlines are strictly enforced in discussions with international admissions officers in various institutions. For most colleges, this means that all required materials must be mailed or postmarked before the application deadline. The answer to the stamped / received question depends on the university.


Decision day – 1 May

Perhaps the most important date that you will learn after submitting your application to the universities and colleges of the States