CSBA’s first Equity Network concludes with deep conversations, action plans

7 May
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Returning to their districts with a lens focused on equity and action plans in hand, a group of 20 school board members from across California completed their CSBA Equity Network experience on April 26–27 in West Sacramento. The two days of deep reflection and discussion on critical public education equity issues capped a series of in-person and online sessions dating back to August 2018. CSBA’s inaugural Equity Network was funded through generous planning and implementation grants from the Stuart Foundation....

California must reform charter schools. Here’s how

6 May
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By CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner In education circles in California and nationally, the fundamental question is this: How do we ensure all public schools are high quality? In Sacramento, much of the debate focuses on charter schools, as the Legislature considers several related bills related to them. What’s too often lost in the discussion is the fate of California’s 6.2 million public school students. For too long, public schools have underserved segments of our student population. The shortcomings of...

Negotiations begin for Fiscal Year 2020 federal education funding bill

30 Apr
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On Monday, the House Appropriation Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and other Related Agencies (Labor H) Subcommittee released the text of a $189.8 billion bill to fund the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education. Appropriators are assuming a total of $631 billion in non-defense spending as they markup fiscal 2020 spending bills this spring. The bill that funds Labor H typically receives the biggest portion, representing the largest spending bill for domestic programs. As proposed, the...

Experts share insights on boosting California’s number of teachers of color

29 Apr
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Emphasizing the benefits they say all students and teachers could gain from the state having more teachers of color, experts shared their strategies and insights on moving forward at a recent event hosted by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. The April 24 forum at the California Department of Education was the second in a series on closing the achievement gap. “There’s research that has said that this will create a benefit for students,” Thurmond said of diversifying the...

California’s teaching force continues to grow but can’t keep pace with demand

26 Apr
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African-American teacher
State also sees slight drop in percentage of fully credentialed educators California’s slow but steady stretch of issuing more teacher credentials continued in fiscal year 2017–18, according to a new Commission on Teacher Credentialing report. Prospects may also appear slightly brighter for districts struggling to fill positions, as about 2,500 more teacher candidates enrolled in preparation programs in 2016–17 than in 2015–16. Despite the continued growth and outlook, the report found an estimated slight decrease (from 96 percent to 95.7...

CSBA CEO weighs in on job creation in California Influencer series

25 Apr
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As part of its Influencer series, The Sacramento Bee asked CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy and other education leaders: What can we do to make sure our kids get jobs? “We must prioritize a high-quality education for every child, one where all students benefit from relevant curriculum, appropriate supports, expanded professional development for teachers, and a greater focus on instruction” said Billy. “To keep pace with technologically driven change, knowledge of basic computer science theories should be...

Video: School board members advocate for Full and Fair Funding at the Capitol

23 Apr
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In March 2019, school board members from across California descended on the Capitol to meet with legislators and fight for the resources and support needed to improve academic outcomes and provide a high-quality education for all public school students. As part of CSBA’s Legislative Action Day, trustees from districts large and small, rich and poor, urban, suburban and rural, banded together to make the case for Full and Fair Funding  and let Sacramento lawmakers know that 41st in per-pupil funding...

Capitol briefing highlights CSBA’s charter school task force report

23 Apr
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Examining a critical issue facing California’s K-12 public schools, the California School Boards Association hosted an April 22 Capitol briefing outlining the association’s new charter school task force report. Uncharted Waters: Recommendations for Prioritizing Student Achievement and Effective Governance in California’s Charter Schools focuses on critical issues that, as primary authorizers, school district boards experience and oversee. “Given the package of charter school bills that are moving through the Legislature currently, there is renewed interest in our charter schools task...

Report finds increased funding and access but low standards for California pre-K programs

19 Apr
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California increased its early childhood education funding and enrollment in 2017–18, but fell below the national average for meeting minimum quality standards, according to “The State of Preschool 2018” annual report from the National Institute for Early Education Research. The pre-K programs — composed of the State Preschool Program, Transitional Kindergarten, Head Start and special education — enrolled 242,297 children in 2017–18. More than 15 percent of all U.S. children in state-funded early education programs are in California, the research...

Districts encouraged to step up to the plate for summer meals

18 Apr
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Only 14 percent of children eligible for subsidized summer lunches receive one, according to new analysis from California Food Policy Advocates. Further, one in five low-income schools have no open summer meal site within one mile and more than 800 public schools have no open meal site within five miles. The numbers speak to the challenges that many of California’s K-12 public school students face in getting fresh, healthy meals and to the system’s gaps in coverage. Overall, about three...