Monthly Archives: March 2019

Experts share insights on future of Prop 64 funds for youth health programs

28 Mar
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Experts from Washington and Colorado, two states which legalized recreational marijuana before California, weighed in at a Capitol briefing on the best ways to design youth drug prevention and health programs using cannabis tax revenue. The March 26 event was hosted by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr. (D-Los Angeles). With California’s passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64) in 2016 comes a fund that will use marijuana tax revenue to subsidize such programs across the state. Of...

Digital divide largely closed at California schools, but large gaps remain in homes

25 Mar
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California has closed the digital divide at its K-12 schools, but internet access at home remains a persistent problem, a new report finds. Analysis by the Public Policy Institute of California  shows that 90 percent of the state’s schools met the Federal Communication Commission’s minimum threshold (100 kbps connectivity per student) for digital learning in 2018, and 59 percent of schools met the FCC’s long-term target (1,000 kbps per student). In contrast, as highlighted in the summer 2017 edition of...

Record number of board members advocate for education on Legislative Action Day

20 Mar
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More than 260 board members and superintendents representing more than 150 school districts and county offices of education across California met at the Capitol on March 12 to advocate for the state’s K-12 public schools and its more than 6 million students — with Full and Fair Funding a central theme. Opening Legislative Action Day, CSBA President Emma Turner stressed the call for schools to receive more state funding to improve and expand programs, serve all students, and close opportunity...

What districts should know about first run of optional California Spanish Assessment

19 Mar
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A new, optional test will be administered for the first time when the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress testing window opens April 1, 2019. The California Spanish Assessment will be offered to third- through eighth-grade and high school students seeking a measure of their reading, writing, mechanics and listening skills in Spanish. The California Department of Education intends it to be especially useful for the more than 1.2 million students who speak Spanish as their primary language, but...

Blending the systems: ESSA and California’s System of Support

18 Mar
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By Tom Armelino, executive director, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence Over the past month, as I met with educators across the state, school district administrators and board members have shared questions and concerns about what is required of them if schools in their districts are identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Although the California Collaborative for Education Excellence is a statewide agency and does not have a direct role with the federal ESSA...

State Board explores System of Support’s impact at the local level

15 Mar
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Despite the California State Board of Education’s recent focus on System of Support implementation, some State Board members have voiced concerns about whether the new approach is reaching all districts and schools with demonstrated need. The system aims to assist local educational agencies and schools by promoting partnerships, building capacity and focusing on continuous improvement rather than turning to punishment and mandates. Officials from the California Department of Education, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence and lead agencies have likewise understood...

Report: Police officers outnumber health staff in schools by wide margin

13 Mar
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Silhouette of students
A new report finds that more than 400,000 K-12 students in California attend a school that has a police officer on site but not a school counselor — reflecting critical gaps in staff essential to student health and well-being. Based on analysis of newly available federal data, the report from the American Civil Liberties Union found that police officers outnumber nurses, social workers, psychologists and nurses at school sites by wide margins . Nationwide, there are 1.7 million students attending schools...

Lessons shared as spotlight shines on school disaster preparedness and recovery

12 Mar
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A thorough chain of command, well-prepared emergency plans, and strong relations with both local and state emergency officials are critical for school districts to have in place before a disaster strikes. And when a disaster does strike, it is paramount to document and keep as many records as possible — despite being in a chaotic, fluid and often devastating situation. These lessons learned were shared March 6 by Sonoma County officials who led districts and school communities through the area’s...

Former CSBA Delegate Smith celebrates swearing-in with community, outlines education goals

11 Mar
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Assemblymember Christy Smith’s community swearing-in on Feb. 16 was an opportunity for the former CSBA Delegate and two-term Newhall School District trustee to connect with locals and share her education agenda. Smith (D-Santa Clarita) was elected to the Assembly with 51.5 percent of the vote in November 2018’s election and she is now a member of the Assembly Committee on Education. About 150 community members turned out for the event at Oak Hills Elementary School in Valencia, which included a...

Data illustrate need for greater focus on California’s homeless students

7 Mar
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school safety
In the 2016-17 school year, 4.2 percent of California’s public school students were identified as homeless, according to a new report from Education Leads Home. The state’s homeless student population that year of 262,935 marks a 4.16 percent increase from the 2012-13 school year. Researchers and advocates say the facts reinforce the need for state-level policymakers, district officials and board members to allocate additional resources toward the issue and to address root causes. Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Legislative Audit...