New federal budget blueprint slashes education funding

16 Mar
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Written by CSBA Staff On Wednesday, the Trump Administration unveiled a budget proposal that ramps up funding for defense and homeland security while cutting education spending by 13 percent. Under the proposal, which would apply to the 2018-19 school year, the U.S. Department of Education budget would fall $9 billion to a total of $59 billion. Among the items on the chopping block are Title II programs which support states and districts in teacher recruitment and development (a critical need...

California Arts Education Data Project Provides Road Map for Districts

10 Mar
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by Patricia Wayne  All students in California deserve to have access to high quality arts education that will provide them with important skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive workforce. But up until now, we lacked the tools to show us where (and how) arts education is offered across the state. Create CA, in partnership with the California Department of Education and the Arts Education Data Project, have launched a first-of-its-kind suite of tools designed to help increase participation in...

Charter Schools: Good governance practices and lack of transparency a subject of dispute

3 Mar
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by Keith Bray There are elements of good governance that for decades have been sewn into the statutory fabric of how elected officials do their work on behalf of the people they represent. For example, meetings, with limited exceptions, are open to the public. Documents generated while conducting the public’s business, with limited exceptions, are accessible to the public. Public servants must regularly disclose under the penalty of perjury their financial interests, so their decision making can be weighed against...

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Commends California’s Continued Progress in Advanced Placement Exams

24 Feb
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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that annual Advanced Placement results released today show that the number of California public high school graduates taking and demonstrating success in AP courses continues to climb. California placed fifth in the nation in the percentage (28.5 percent) of graduates who scored at least a 3 out of 5 on an AP Exam during high school—an increase of nearly eight percentage points since 2006 (20.6 percent). “I applaud and congratulate these outstanding...

DeVos Confirmed as Ed Secretary, but Questions Remain

14 Feb
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by CSBA On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Vice President Mike Pence cast the decisive vote in favor of Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. While Pence broke a 50-50 tie and put an end to the confirmation process, the debate over DeVos’ fitness for the position and her potential impact on public schools continues unabated. Every Senate Democrat, along with a pair of Republican Senators — Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — voted against DeVos and...

Dollars for Scholars: Scholarshare Grants Available for CA Schools

3 Feb
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State Treasurer John Chiang and ScholarShare recognize that students, parents, teachers  and administrators are spending more time on endless fundraising events to pay for equipment and programs that are essential to providing kids with well-rounded educations. That is why ScholarShare is launching a new grant program called Scholar Dollars that will be awarding 20 grants of up to $25,000 to K-8 public and charter schools statewide. Schools are free to spend the grants on musical instruments, computers, library books, sports equipment,...

A Conversation With CSBA President Susan Henry on education leadership & challenges in 2017

13 Jan
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California Schools magazine talks with CSBA President Susan Henry about her background and what led her to become engaged with public education. A registered nurse and an artist that went back to college at age 50, her life has centered on education, her family and community. The commitment and leadership she has shown for all of her endeavors is apparent in highlights from her interview. California Schools is excited for the upcoming year ahead with Henry at the helm, meeting...

Edward James Olmos discusses a life of advocacy

29 Nov
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Born in East Los Angeles, Edward James Olmos has enjoyed a distinguished career as an artist and as an activist. Olmos initially gained notice as a rock musician in Los Angeles. He then transitioned to a career on the stage and on screen. He earned an Academy Award nomination for best actor for his portrayal of math teacher Jaime Escalante in the movie, “Stand and Deliver.” Olmos also directed the movie, “Walkout,” about Latino students protesting poor conditions in public...

Californians believe schools need more funding — will they vote that way?

4 Nov
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by Vernon M. Billy This November’s election will be unlike any we’ve seen in recent memory. Our Presidential election cycle has been, shall we say, “unique.” While California’s upcoming election isn’t nearly as interesting, we do have a whopping 17 statewide ballot measures that voters must sift through on election day. This election has huge implications for our state’s schools, but the sheer size of the ballot presents an obstacle for California voters — so much so, that existing voter support for...

Letter To NSBA On Importance Of Transgender Rights

14 Oct
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by Chris Ungar As the home to more than 6 million public school students — by far the nation’s largest contingent — it’s natural that California assume a leadership position on issues of great importance to public education. Our equity focus is reflected in our desire to improve conditions and outcomes for all students, regardless of their background. Much work remains in this area, but in many ways, California is setting the standard for the nation. In 2013, California passed...