The Blog at CTA

Board of Education Must Adopt Wider Criteria than Standardized Testing in State's Accountability System, CTA Members Urge

At its July meeting next week, the State Board of Education will take more action regarding the Local Control Funding Formula Evaluation Rubrics that will be used to assess student and school progress as part of the state's new accountability system.(Photos courtesy of the State Board of Education.)

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State Board of Education Adopts Emergency Regulations Implementing Local Control Funding

First, they listened to testimony from Gov. Jerry Brown, CTA members and more than 300 other witnesses.  Then – as the governor, CTA, and most other witnesses urged-- the State Board of Education voted Thursday afternoon to adopt emergency regulations that will provide local school districts with a template and other instructions on how to implement the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula.

These regulations aim to ensure that districts focus needed attention on the three groups of costly-to-educate students at whom the supplemental and concentration grant elements of the LCFF are targeted: English learners, foster youth, and students living at or below the poverty line.

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Bullish Governor Urges State Board to Maintain Flexibility on LCFF

Gov. Jerry Brown surprised the State Board of Education and members of the audience by showing up at the Thursday morning hearing on the regulations about the Local Control Funding Formula.

The governor declared that he is “bullish on California schools” and urged the school board to maintain the flexibility that is currently in the draft regulations so that imagination can be paired with rigor.  He warned against making the regulations so restrictive that they force “rigor mortis” on schools.

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It's Not Too Late to Voice Your Support for Local Control Funding Regulations

This Thursday, CTA representatives will be in Sacramento expressing the organization’s support for the pending draft of the regulations to fully implement the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

You can make your voice heard – without booking a flight or driving to Sacramento. 

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State Board to Hear from CTA on Local Control Funding Formula on Jan. 16

The State Board of Education will be hearing from CTA and other stakeholders on Jan. 16 about the regulations and “templates” for fully implementing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

That formula is providing all districts with more funding this year and additional allocations to districts with many costlier-to-educate students – including English learners, students from below-poverty line households, and foster children.

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Educators Urge State Board to Maintain Flexibility in Local Funding Regulations

(Photo above) Kendall Vaught, a 39-year teacher of English Language Learners and other students, stresses to the State Board of Education the importance of drafting regulations that maintain the flexibility and local decision-making that are the essence of the Local Control Funding Formula.

(Photo above) Nikki Milevsky, a school psychologist and president of the Sacramento City Teachers Association, discusses her testimony about the LCFF regulations with John Fensterwald, a Sacramento-based education reporter.

CTA President Dean Vogel, CTA Board Members, and more than 160 other educators, education support professionals, parents, and students addressed the State Board of Education Thursday in Sacramento. The testimony came as the education policy body heard from the public about its proposed regulations on the Local Control Funding Formula.

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Governor Vetoes Onerous Fiscal Reporting Measure

At CTA’s urging, Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a CTA-opposed measure that would have put additional strings on funds headed for local school districts, funds they would use to help meet the special needs of their students.

SB 344 by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) would have imposed additional reporting requirements on school districts prior to their receiving supplemental funds for English learners under the Limited English Proficient Students program. 

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Capitol News: Governor Brown Signs Budget

Governor Jerry Brown yesterday signed California’s new, $96.3 billion budget that overhauls public school funding to help at-risk students succeed, and includes $1.25 billion in school district funding to prepare for Common Core State Standards.

“I don’t say all problems are over,” the Los Angeles Times reports Brown stated at a Capitol news conference. “But the budget is balanced.”

CTA appreciates the hard work done by all, starting width the passage of Proposition 30, to pass a budget that will begin to pay back some of the funds owed to schools after years of cuts and provides additional support to students width greater needs.

“While it will take years for our schools to fully recover, this budget is a big step in the right direction,” said CTA President Dean Vogel. “These new standards will dramatically impact teaching and learning and educators must have the resources they need to help students succeed.

Read more budget news stories here and here, and the governor’s news release.

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Legislature Approves State Budget: California Educators Are Encouraged by the New Compromise on the Local Control School Funding Formula

The state Senate and Assembly today passed AB 110, the legislature’s budget bill that will make a historic change in how schools are funded. The new budget, which is on its way to the governor for his signature, also provides more than $2 billion to begin repaying school districts funding they are owed after years of drastic cuts. It provides additional funding to ensure that virtually all districts get back to their 2007-08 state funding levels. It also targets more funding to help the state’s neediest students.

“While it will take years for our schools to fully recover, this budget is a big step in the right direction. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a state budget proposal width a significant increase in education funding,” said CTA President Dean E. Vogel. “The governor’s Local Control Funding Formula that is part of the final budget adds up to renewed opportunities for our schools. We are also encouraged by the $1.25 billion for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. These new standards will dramatically impact teaching and learning. Educators must have the resources they need to help students succeed.”

New language regarding school district accountability provisions in the final budget protects collective bargaining and limits the oversight of County Offices of Education. This agreement holds the promise of a better future for our students. Take a closer look at details of the agreed-upon budget.

The legislature approved the spending bill a day before the June 15 deadline for sending the measure to the governor.  The governor has until June 30 to sign the budget into law to take effect on July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year.

Lawmakers are also debating and approving several “budget trailer measures” that help implement the new spending plan.

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Conferees Send Legislators Budget Compromise: All Schools Would Get More Funds

Proposal Would Allocate $1.25 Billion to Implement Common Core

A newly approved budget proposal would give all districts in California the most funding since 2007-08, the last year before $20 billion in cuts devastated public schools.

The proposal, sent back to both the Senate and the Assembly by an eight-member joint conference committee, would also over two years provide $1.25 billion in one-time funding to help implement the Common Core State Standards.  These funds are much needed for professional development for educators and textbooks and supplies for students.

The agreed-upon budget also provides funding for an amended version of Gov. Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).  That proposal would make school funding less complicated and more transparent.  The plan would also provide additional moneys to help districts width high numbers and concentrations of students who are more costly to educate.  These students include English learners and students who qualify for free and reduced price lunches.

CTA has supported the goals of the governor’s LCFF and has been negotiating width the governor and the legislature over the details and timeline for implementation. CTA has been especially concerned that all districts receive payback of funds owed to them from prior years and that nothing in the accountability provisions of the LCFF negatively impact chapters’ ability to negotiate over funding decisions through the collective bargaining process.

CTA has also been discussing its others concerns width the governor and lawmakers, including concerns about adult education and class size reduction programs.

The compromise budget must be approved by both houses before it is sent to the governor.  Lawmakers have until June 15 to send the governor their final plan, and the governor has until June 30 to sign it into law.


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