Monthly Archives: May 2019

The limited impact but substantial importance of Cal Fire v. CalPERS

31 May
On March 4, 2019, the California Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the appellate court’s decision in Cal Fire 2881 v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System, upholding the 2012 elimination of a pension benefit for public employees. The narrow decision in favor of the State will not have much effect on school boards and county offices of education, but the Court’s decision is still significant. The law at issue In 2012, the Legislature enacted the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of...

Student data disconnect persists as California works to lower achievement gap

28 May
An integrated data system to assess student performance and results is desperately needed in California, two researchers said at a May 10 talk in Sacramento. At the event, experts discussed key findings on data systems from the Getting Down to Facts II report and next steps. “California is falling short of other states [by not having] a comprehensive data system,” said Jesse Rothstein, director of the California Policy Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. “We have certain pieces but...

Enthusiastic Capitol crowd calls for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools

23 May
From Humboldt County, Monterey, San Diego and beyond, school leaders converged on Sacramento by the busload on May 22 to make their voices heard and to fight for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools. About 200 school board members took that fight to the steps of the State Capitol, where they joined thousands including CSBA staff, the California Teachers Association and other education partners in an afternoon Day of Action Rally for Education. Whether teacher, administrator, school employee,...

CEO’s Note: The ‘big short’ in California school funding

22 May
by Vernon M. Billy This past January, educators across the state (and nation) were fixated on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s six-day teacher’s strike. The LAUSD strike was followed almost immediately by a seven-day work stoppage in Oakland and a highly publicized one-day walkout for Sacramento USD teachers on April 11. These bargaining conflicts in some of California’s largest urban school districts are representative of the funding crisis looming large in districts across the state. The undeniable fact is...

Commentary: Fighting for students, rallying for public schools

21 May
“Every student should graduate high school prepared for success in college, career and civic life. Unfortunately, our ability to deliver on this promise has been compromised by 40 years of underinvestment in public schools,” write Burbank Unified School District leaders in a new commentary published by the Los Angeles Times. “If we want to meet our responsibilities to the next generation of Californians, adequate funding must be restored so that we can reduce class sizes, retain and recruit quality educators,...

Legislative Update: CSBA co-sponsored bills on the move as key deadline approaches

21 May
On May 16, both the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees held their respective suspense file hearings, determining which bills that require an appropriation of funds will continue to advance this year. CSBA co-sponsored bills passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and sent to the Assembly Floor include: Assembly Bill 39 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance), which would increase the Local Control Funding Formula base grant targets equivalent to the national average in per-pupil funding; AB 751 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach), the “Pathways to College...

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Meeting Pacific Islander student challenges

20 May
Nearly 30,000 Pacific Islander students are enrolled in California public schools in the 2018-19 school year. The majority of these students come from low-income households, and many struggle academically and have among the highest rates of chronic absenteeism of all student groups. As one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, it is important for leaders to understand the unique cultural needs of Pacific Islander students to support their learning. Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, or EPIC, was founded...

Report card: Districts must better implement laws supporting, protecting LGBTQ students

15 May
A first-of-its-kind report card finds that many of California’s unified school districts must improve their implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive programs, policies and curriculum. The Equality California Institute surveyed and assessed 130 unified districts across the state to produce the 2019 Safe & Supportive Schools Report Card. While the institute reports that great gains and protections have been achieved for California’s LGBTQ students through the Legislature in recent years, policy implementation and management greatly varies at the district governing board level. Some...

Governor’s May Revision sees slight increase for K-12 funding

14 May
Gov. Gavin Newsom released his much-anticipated budget revision on Thursday, May 9, taking a cautious approach in most areas despite larger than expected growth in state General Fund revenues. Overall, the May Revision projects an increase of $3.2 billion in state General Fund short-term revenues over the January budget. The revision also includes a softening of revenue estimates beyond the budgeting period by lowering expectations in 2022–23 and beyond. Education funding highlights from the May Revision include: A reduction in...

Director-at-Large shares insights during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

13 May
CSBA joins the nation in celebrating May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Of the 6.2 million K-12 students attending California public schools in 2018–19, 9.3 percent are Asian, 2.4 percent are Filipino and .5 percent are Pacific Islander. These populations are composed of students from many cultural backgrounds who are an important part of California’s fabric. They also each bring their own unique stories, aspirations and qualities to the state’s public schools. To help ensure representation for these students,...