The following is the most recent information on the impact of the federal shutdown on education. Just after midnight, the Office of Management and Budget sent out a memorandum to heads of departments and agencies instructing those organizations to begin shutdown procedures. Last Friday, a memorandum from the U.S. Department of Education was sent out describing the agency’s plan of operation in the event of a shutdown.
Granted, the process required to dismiss a teacher is long, cumbersome, and costly. But Assembly Bill 375, now on the governor’s desk, is not balanced reform. It sets time limits for commencing and completing the process for dismissing a teacher, while also adding procedural steps that defense counsel could use to delay. Ask Gov. Jerry Brown to veto the bill now.
The Local Control Funding Formula affirms the state’s commitment to provide additional resources to students with greater challenges, foster youth among them. Because students in the child welfare system often move from home to home and school to school, they frequently lose academic credits that can put them at risk of not graduating on time.
A recent Education Week article quoted excerpts of a speech delivered by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to the American Society of News Editors in which he defended the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Duncan stated that those opposed to Common Core believe that the standards and tests will lead “to mind control, robots, and biometric brain mapping.” That may sound extreme, but it is not surprising. There has been a growing resistance to CCSS.
CSBA President Cindy Marks has been named Elected Woman of the Year by California Women Lead, a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of women holding – or interested in holding – elected or appointed office. She was among five elected or appointed women honored by the organization in Sacramento on Aug. 21, and the fourth CSBA president to also serve on the board of directors of California Women Lead.
A final two days of sessions to gather input about implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula drew capacity crowds Aug. 12-13. The sessions were facilitated by WestEd on behalf of the State Board of Education and California Department of Education. They provided local governing board members and other education advocates an opportunity to weigh in as the State Board and CDE develop regulations, templates and guidance for local educational agencies to implement LCFF.
Capacity crowds at the first of three public input sessions on implementation of the state’s new school funding formula revealed a thirst for more information and details about the law, as well as concern about its accountability requirements. Local community, district and county education leaders, teachers and classified staff have lots of enthusiasm and interest for successfully implementation of LCFF. There is a strong desire for clarity around the requirements on use of supplemental and concentration funds; for more information and data on the state priorities to be included in the Local Accountability Plan Templates and for authentic engagement of parents and especially parents of English learners and African-American students.
For the first time in six months, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing at its August meeting had a full complement of members, including board member Juliet Tiffany-Morales from the Campbell Union School District Board and three other members Gov. Jerry Brown appointed in July. The commission focused its attention on recommendations by the Teacher Preparation Advisory panel established last year to review and recommend potential improvements to California teacher preparation programs.
As August is World Breastfeeding Month, this is a good time to review district policies and practices to ensure compliance with legal requirements that employees be provided with reasonable break time and an appropriate location to express milk for their infant children. CSBA’s sample board policy BP 4033 – Lactation Accommodation reflects these federal and state requirements and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation against any employee who chooses to exercise her rights under these laws.
Earlier this year, President Barack Obama proposed a range of initiatives to address gun violence and school safety in response to the school shootings in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Last week, the Administration did release its “Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans,” which provides guidance to school districts and states on everything from school design to planning emergency drills to balancing privacy and student safety.