Monthly Archives: February 2019

Legislative Update: SB 126 passes Assembly Education Committee, heads to floor

27 Feb
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On Tuesday, Feb. 26, Senate Bill 126 (Leyva and O’Donnell), a charter school transparency bill, passed the Assembly Education Committee with a 5-1 vote and was sent to the Assembly Floor, where it is likely to be taken up for a vote this week. SB 126, authored by the two chairs of the Senate and Assembly Education Committees (Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino and Asm. Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) was heard and passed by the Senate last week and continues to...

Learning Policy Institute report outlines need for greater funding to bolster state reforms

22 Feb
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Nearly six years after California’s K-12 educational system entered into the era of the “California Way,” with the Local Control Funding Formula at its foundation, a Learning Policy Institute report finds that greater funding is needed to fully realize the state’s goals. The institute’s report, “The California Way: The Golden State’s Quest to Build an Equitable and Excellent Education System,” highlights both gains and shortfalls during the state’s overhaul of its educational finance and accountability systems. The report’s release coincided...

Budget battles hit schools as Oakland Unified teachers go on strike

21 Feb
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public school building
Oakland Unified School District teachers walked out of their classes Thursday, Feb. 21. As part of the strike, the Oakland Education Association, a union representing teachers, is asking for a 12 percent raise over three years, smaller class sizes and the hiring of more counselors and nurses. In an open letter, 75 Oakland USD principals said they supported the teachers and, echoing CSBA’s Full and Fair Funding campaign, called for the state to prioritize investing in K-12 public education. California...

Flushing lead from school pipes remains a work in progress

19 Feb
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As School Nutrition Month kicks off in March, California is making progress on a key issue impacting daily nutrition at school — water.  But there is still room for improvement and a need for more information, a recent report finds. The report, “Early Adopters: State Approaches to Testing School Drinking Water for Lead in the United States,” concluded that 3 percent of California’s K-12 public schools had at least one tap with an elevated level of lead in water and 1...

Charter school transparency bill passes Senate, on fast track to Gov. Newsom’s desk

19 Feb
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UPDATE: Charter school transparency bill SB 126 passes Senate 34-2, sent to Assembly Senate Bill 126, a charter school transparency measure, passed the Senate Floor today (Thurs., Feb. 21) with a 34-2 vote after passing the Senate Education Committee in a unanimous 7-0 vote on Feb. 19. The bill was immediately sent to the Assembly, where it now awaits hearing. Senate Bill 126, authored by the two chairs of the Senate and Assembly Education Committees (Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino and...

Report: K-12 cybersecurity incidents, risks growing across the country

14 Feb
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K-12 local educational agencies nationwide experienced both more frequent and more significant cybersecurity incidents in 2018, according to a new report from The K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center. Data suggests the incidents did not discriminate by district type, location or size. There were 122 publicly reported K-12 cyber incidents in the U.S. in 2018, or about one incident every three days. A map on the center’s website shows the location of every reported cyber incident since 2016, in addition to a...

Dollars for scholars: Awards available for school district programs

12 Feb
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With school districts statewide cutting budgets due to rising expenses, funding to pay for public school equipment and programs essential to a well-rounded education can often be in short supply. To help offset some of these expenses, the Scholar Dollars program is awarding more than $300,000 to K-8 public and charter schools statewide. Schools are free to spend awarded funds on musical instruments, computers, library books, sports equipment, field trips, or gardening tools. The awards can also be used for...

Governance team role, effectiveness cited as critical at CCEE meeting

11 Feb
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governance meeting
The important role of governance teams and their ties to district success was highlighted at the Feb. 7 California Collaborative for Educational Excellence board meeting in downtown Sacramento. In addition to its main role working with the California Department of Education and county offices of education to implement the state’s new System of Support, the CCEE has a statutory obligation laid out in Assembly Bill 1840 requiring the agency to assist districts in state receivership or “fiscal distress.” Staff has...

Hard-hit educators testify on wildfire response and recovery at state hearing

8 Feb
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Educators from across California provided emotional testimony at a Feb. 6 hearing about the impact of recent wildfires on schools and communities. In what several speakers called the “new normal” due to climate change and a now year-round fire season, firestorms have caused unprecedented damage to school districts statewide since 2017. The State Assembly’s Education Committee met at the Capitol to assess the recovery process, what more needs to be done, and how to prepare for future fires and other...

Chronic absenteeism, stakeholder engagement practices shared at PACE conference

5 Feb
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math teacher
Two timely and important issues facing districts and school boards, chronic absenteeism and stakeholder engagement, shared the spotlight at this year’s Policy Analysis for California Education annual conference. The Feb. 1 event in downtown Sacramento, with a theme of “Putting Evidence into Action to Advance Equity in California,” served as a venue for researchers and practitioners to share best practices in key areas identified in PACE’s “Getting Down to Facts II” report. A fresh focus on chronic absenteeism About 10...