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Governor's Race To The Top Reform Bill Introduced with Bipartisan Sponsorship

August 28, 2009

Education legislation proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger last week when he called a special session of the legislature was introduced on Thursday as the special session began.  The bill was introduced by Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), Senator Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) and Senator Mark Wyland (R-Carlsbad).

Schwarzenegger linked his proposal to the new administration in the nation’s capital, saying “The reforms outlined by President Obama and included in my bipartisan legislative measure will not only help provide a better education for our children, but also ensure California is eligible and highly competitive for billions in Recovery funding for education.  Our schools and our children are depending on us to lead California in the Race to the Top.”

A press release from the Governor’s office also mentioned that “the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office noted on Wednesday that ‘if California wants to compete in Phase 1 of RTTT [Race to the Top] funding, it would need to begin developing its plan now.’ The Obama Administration’s reforms are policies the Governor has stood behind since taking office.”

Major points in the education bill introduced on Thursday include:

  1. Repealing California’s charter school cap. 
  2. Authorizing open enrollment for students in the lowest-performing schools so they can attend any school in the state – and removing the cap on ‘districts of choice’ so any student in the state can attend school in a participating district.
  3. Focusing State efforts on the five percent of schools that consistently underperform.
  4. Considering alternative pay schedules for teachers
  5. Measuring student progress in the classroom.

The Governor announced the introduction of his reform package at the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School in San Diego County, which was established in 1998 as a district charter school serving grades K-7.  The school uses a data system to track student progress using multiple assessments over the course of the year.

Source: Governor's Press Office