Educational equity: The great equalizer?

31 Jan
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Kids together
By Deborah L. Keys Write Horace Mann, a pioneer of American public schools in the 19th century, famously called education the “great equalizer of the conditions of men.” But the reverse is also true. Students who receive a poor education, or who drop out of school before graduating, can end up on the wrong side of a lifelong gap in employment, earnings, even life expectancy. Too often, the difference between a life of promise and a life in peril hinges not on...

President’s Message: Investing in student success with transparency and accountability

30 Jan
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By CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez January is School Board Recognition Month, a time to appreciate district and county office trustees and the special obligation we have as stewards of America’s greatest public trust — its public school system. As we reflect on our unique role, we would do well to remember what hangs in the balance. More than six million California students are counting on us to provide each and every one of them with a high-quality education. This may...

Strong interest in $250M for CTE; State Allocation Board hears other program updates

29 Jan
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construction site
California schools continue to show strong interest in offering career technical education opportunities to students, with 282 local educational agencies applying for a piece of $250 million in dedicated facilities funding. The development was shared at the Jan. 22 meeting of the State Allocation Board, which meets monthly at the State Capitol to apportion funds to school districts, act on appeals, and adopt policies and regulations. The $250 million available through the Career Technical Education Program represents the final piece...

Budget analysis: State should continue prioritizing pension payments amid escalating costs

28 Jan
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A new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office suggests it is vital that California lawmakers provide school districts with more financial relief in next year’s state budget to mitigate declining enrollments and escalating costs as an economic downturn likely looms. Though Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2020–21 budget contains $3.3 billion in new Proposition 98 funding, $1.9 billion of that total reflects one-time spending that largely focuses on addressing teacher shortages, stubborn achievement gaps and inadequate resources for students living in...

CSBA’s 2019 Year-in-Review

27 Jan
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Fierce legislative battles, wildfires, landmark charter school legislation and the inaugural year of a new Governor highlighted an exceptionally busy 2019 session in the Capitol. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 870 bills into law, almost 100 of which will directly impact public schools. Over the course of the year, CSBA worked hard and strove to defend local governing board authority, advance equity and hold the state accountable for meeting its financial and constitutional obligations to schools. VIEW CSBA’s 2019 YEAR-IN-REVIEW »...

School facilities bond measure gains steam; boards can show support with resolution

23 Jan
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With less than two months until the March 3 primary election, new polling shows that 53 percent of likely voters support a critical state bond measure that would provide $15 billion for facilities at California’s preschools, K-12 schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities. The polling from the Public Policy Institute of California also finds that 36 percent of likely voters oppose Proposition 13 and 10 percent are undecided. The survey results represent a noticeable uptick from November 2019,...

$75 million in grants available for student mental health services

22 Jan
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school safety
The Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission is now accepting applications for California’s new competitive grant program to help local educational agencies and county behavioral health departments establish or strengthen partnerships that will increase students’ access to mental health services. According to the request for applications, grant recipients will use the funding to provide services that include, “at a minimum, services provided on school campuses, suicide prevention services, drop-out prevention services, placement assistance and service plans for students in...

New video provides context about educational equity for important local conversations

21 Jan
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CSBA is a proud member of the Alliance for Continuous Improvement, which is dedicated to advancing California’s historic shift to a continuously improving system of education. Making decisions with educational equity in mind is paramount to this shift. As part of the Alliance project, the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation has released a short video, “This is Equity,” to provide common context and facilitate important conversations with the local community around equity. These conversations can help inform goals in district...

Bilingual teacher development grant takes root in 10 districts

17 Jan
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latino student
By Amy Boles, director of educational services at Oak Grove School District In November 2016, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 58, a state ballot initiative that creates more opportunities for students to become bilingual and biliterate. The measure passed with 73.5 percent of the vote and was supported across all 58 counties. A report released in June 2017 by Californians Together, Unveiling California’s Bilingual Teacher Shortage, said that the wide support reflects the high regard that the public holds for...

Students of color remain underrepresented in college prep classes

16 Jan
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Despite legislative efforts in recent years to increase access to and participation in advanced placement courses in high schools throughout California, black and Latino students continue to be underrepresented in college credit-bearing classes — even when they attend schools that offer an array of AP course options. A new report from The Education Trust finds that inequities exist nationally largely due to schools that serve mostly black and Latino students not enrolling as many students in advanced classes as those...