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...

Report highlights difficulties in aligning early ed with elementary school

15 Jan
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Girl Writing in Notebook
Research shows that preK–3 alignment — coordinating preK–3 standards, curricula, instructional practices, assessments and professional development — can narrow achievement gaps by helping children sustain the gains they made in preschool, but many California districts say they are struggling to support alignment efforts. Findings from a new Policy Analysis for California Education study presented at a Jan. 10 event in Sacramento show that one-third of 25 districts surveyed are not engaged at all in alignment efforts, while others are engaged...

Gov. Newsom’s 2020-21 budget proposal provides additional money for special education, teacher preparation, early childhood

14 Jan
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Gov. Gavin Newsom’s second budget proposal — a $222.2 billion spending package released on Jan. 10 that also solidifies $21 billion in total statewide reserves — makes bold investments in addressing key statewide issues such as climate change, health care costs and the homelessness crisis. While not fundamentally addressing California’s education funding crisis, the budget adds $3.4 billion in new revenue to public schools and substantially focuses on special education, teacher preparation and early education. Overall, the proposed Proposition 98...

CSBA celebrates California’s district and county board members this January

13 Jan
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Kids together
CSBA salutes the more than 5,000 school district and county office of education trustees that serve California’s 6.2 million students during January’s School Board Recognition Month. Citizen oversight of local government is the cornerstone of democracy in the United States. School board members are the epitome of this tenet in their roles as locally elected public officials entrusted with governing public schools in their communities. California’s collective student body is larger than the total population of many other states and...

New LCAP template adopted, host of other topics discussed at State Board meeting

10 Jan
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The streamlined new Local Control and Accountability Plan template should be easier both for local educational agencies to complete and use and for stakeholders to understand, California Department of Education and State Board of Education officials said upon the adoption of the new document at the Jan. 8-9 board meeting in Sacramento. The year-in-the-making document is the fourth template revision in six years and will be in use for the 2020–21 through 2022–23 LCAP cycles. Most of the changes stem...

Study may breathe new life into school lunch food fight

8 Jan
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Buy American - cafeteria
Prompted by soaring childhood obesity rates, former-President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 in an effort to increase the consumption of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, while reducing access to foods with higher amounts of fat, sodium and sugar. Among the changes, the law required that schools offer at least two milk choices: plain or flavored fat-free or low-fat milk — a shift from the prior rule that schools simply serve milk in a...