Contact: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324 or Sandra Jackson at 916-801-4776
BURLINGAME – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Association, today strongly urged eligible struggling schools to start applying for $2.9 billion in state funding secured by the CTA-sponsored Quality Education Investment Act.
Kerr and O’Connell announced that the 1,455 eligible schools can start applying by going to the California Department of Education website and printing out an application. Details are also on the CTA website at www.cta.org/issues/current/QEIA.htm. The deadline to apply is March 30 for the funding, which is targeting our schools of greatest need and their high number of low-income students and English learners. The program focuses on closing student achievement gaps by improving student learning.
“The Quality Education Investment Act is an historic opportunity to help these schools that really need help the most,” Kerr said. “We’re putting our money where our heart is. This program uses proven reforms like smaller class sizes and quality teacher training to improve student learning. I encourage teachers in these schools to work with their school districts to apply for this funding as soon as possible.”
“Some of our lowest-performing schools need to make dramatic changes in order to change the culture that is holding them back,” O'Connell said. “The Quality Education Investment Act will allow us to invest significant resources into these schools so they can lower class sizes, hire dynamic new staff and counselors, and provide training for principals and teachers. I hope that with this infusion of resources, these struggling schools will be better able to help all of their students succeed. I encourage all eligible schools to apply for these funds.”
Only schools ranked in the lowest two deciles of the state’s 2005-06 Academic Performance Index can apply for the funding. School districts have flexibility with the money to best address the local needs of these schools. The new law (SB 1133) will provide the funding over seven years. While there are 1,455 lowest-performing schools that are eligible to apply, there is only enough funding for about 500 schools. At least one qualified school per county is already guaranteed funding.
Funding will arrive in June. Chosen schools will get $500 per pupil in K-3 classrooms; $900 per child in grades 4-8; and $1,000 per pupil in grades 9-12.