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Attorneys For Alleged LAUSD Abuse Victims To Detail ‘New Evidence’

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Attorneys for two dozen students who were alleged victims of sexual abuse at Miramonte Elementary School were expected on Monday to lay out new policies and procedures they want implemented at schools nationwide to protect children in classrooms.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports the briefing will also detail “a new piece of evidence” against accused Miramonte teacher Mark Berndt believed to be a picture found on a wall in his classroom.

Berndt has pleaded not guilty to 23 counts of lewd conduct.

In the wake of a series of abuse allegations involving Berndt and other personnel throughout the L.A. Unified School District, officials are celebrating a $50 million, five-year grant that will enable the district to offer incentives for high performing teachers working at low performing schools and further work on teacher evaluations on their work inside the classroom.

LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that he welcomes any input on how to move the district forward.

“We look for as many partners as possible to protect students, so maybe this is another opportunity to work with these particular lawyers to try to have the legislature do the right thing for protecting students,” said Deasy.

At least part of the grant funding will go towards the district’s revamped teacher evaluation process, which Deasy said applies to both teachers and administrators and reward high-performing teachers who flourish in a challenging academic environment, according to Deasy.

“We want to be able to attract and retain very effective teachers in our most challenged schools, which arguably have higher amounts of work in front of them, situations where teachers are required to realy provide and work in much more challenging environments,” Deasy said. “When you are doing a fantastic job, we want to recognize that leadership.”

The program – which Deasy called the first of its kind in L.A. – was made possible by the federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF).

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