EdBrief

CSBA Calls on Legislature to Fund Public Schools at the Average of the Top 10 States

January 15, 2018

As part of its ongoing work to ensure that all students benefit from the resources needed for a high-quality education, the California School Boards Association called on the Legislature on January 8 to raise school funding to the national average by 2020 and to the average of the top 10 states by 2025.

“There was an era when California’s public education system was the envy of the nation and our schools were as well-funded as any in the country, but for decades now, California schools have been asked to do more with less,” said California School Boards Association President Mike Walsh. “It’s time we reverse the trend of shortchanging public schools and provide full and fair funding for all students, so they have the resources needed for success in college, career and civic life.”...

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Kirst, Rucker, Sun Reappointed to SBE

January 15, 2018

On January 9, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that he had reappointed three members of the State Board of Education:

--Michael W. Kirst, 78, of Stanford, has been reappointed to the California State Board of Education, where he has served since 2011. Kirst has been a professor emeritus at Stanford University since 2009, where he has been a professor since 1969. He was staff director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment, and Poverty from 1967 to 1969. Kirst is a member of the National Academy of Education. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in political economy from Harvard University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Kirst is a Democrat.

--Patricia A. Rucker, 57, of Lincoln, has been reappointed to the California State Board of Education, where she has served since 2011...

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New Officers Elected by California School Boards Association

December 18, 2017

Butte County Office of Education Trustee Mike Walsh has taken the reins as President of the California School Boards Association, a group representing nearly 1,000 California school districts and county offices of education.

A seven-year veteran of the Butte County Office of Education Board, Walsh was elected to CSBA’s Delegate Assembly in 2010 and elected to the organization’s Board of Directors in 2011. During his time at CSBA, Walsh has served ably on numerous committees, including chairing the Legislative Committee.

Walsh is a 1982 graduate of Las Plumas High School where he recorded perfect attendance while distinguishing himself in track and field, wrestling, football and student government...

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800,000 Students Now Eligible for Free- and Reduced-Price Lunches Through New State-Level Direct Certification Process

December 4, 2017

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on Nov. 27 that more than 800,000 California students are now eligible to receive free and reduced priced meals from the state school lunch program through a more streamlined and automated state-level Direct Certification process.

Local education agencies (LEAs) can now use Medi-Cal data included on the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) direct certification reports to certify eligible students. The data exchange between the state departments and the LEAs takes place securely without disclosing a student’s Medicaid status, health information, or specific income data...

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Torlakson Appoints New Fiscal and Administrative Services Division Director

December 4, 2017

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on November 20 that he has appointed Leisa Maestretti as Director of the California Department of Education (CDE) Fiscal and Administrative Services Division (FASD).

Maestretti’s duties include managing the CDE’s Fiscal Systems Analysis, Child Development and Child Nutrition, Budget Management, and Accounting Offices, as well as overseeing fiscal systems and processes, including the Department’s upcoming transition to the Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal).

“Maestretti’s extensive background in fiscal administration and accounting will help support the CDE’s mission of overseeing the state’s diverse public school system,” said Torlakson...

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Torlakson Criticizes DeVos for Repealing Federal Protections for Sexual Harassment and Assault Victims

November 13, 2017

California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has criticized U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Secretary Betsy DeVos for repealing guidance letters under Title IX that made it easier to protect the rights of victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment.

“Victims of sexual assault and harassment must know that they will have a fair chance at justice when they come forward with serious accusations,” Torlakson said in a statement on November 6. “California has changed our laws to make our system more just and to make certain victims are heard. The actions by the federal government take us backward.”...

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High School in Orange County Debates Status of Longstanding School Mascot – “Johnny Rebel”

By Charles Davis - Rep: November 13, 2017

Savanna High School has a Confederate soldier for a mascot, and defenders of “Johnny Rebel” – chosen by the student body in the 1960s – argue that the branding is part of their heritage. However, Savanna High School is not in the Deep South, where one might expect such a controversy, but in Southern California’s Orange County, a few miles from Disneyland.

Lay-Onna Clark, 15, didn’t give it much thought until she and some friends formed a black student union last August, the start of her junior year. It was when they started designing T-shirts that it really hit them: “The mascot supports white supremacy – that one race is superior to another,” she said in an interview. Indeed, it literally represents one race fighting to enslave another...

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PPIC Poll Finds Californians Concerned about College Affordability, Cost of Student Housing

November 13, 2017

Many Californians say the public higher education system in California is going in the wrong direction, but they are more likely to express concern about affordability than about the quality of the state’s colleges and universities. These are among the key findings of an annual statewide survey on higher education released on November 1 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Asked about the direction of public higher education, 45 percent of adults and a majority of likely voters (53%) say it is generally going in the wrong direction (right direction: 46% adults, 37% likely voters). In the view of 45 percent of adults and half of likely voters (51%), the system needs major changes...

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Bill Gates Outlines Future Course for Foundation

“We Will No Longer Invest... in New Initiatives Based on Teacher Evaluations,” Focus Now on “Locally-Driven Solutions”

October 30, 2017

 

(Editor’s note: The following remarks were delivered by Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at the Council of the Great City Schools meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 19, 2017)

 

Thank you for that introduction. It’s great to be here today. When our foundation began working in education in 2000, we started with a few guiding principles.

Our #1 priority was – and still is – ensuring that all students get a great public education and graduate with the skills to succeed in the workplace.

We wanted to work with educators to better understand their needs and the needs of their students and communities.

And, taking their best ideas, we wanted to pilot potentially transformative solutions and understand what worked well and what didn’t...

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CDE Gets New Professional Learning Support Division Director

October 30, 2017

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on October 13 that he has appointed Barbara Murchison as Director of the California Department of Education (CDE) Professional Learning Support Division.

Murchison will oversee the division’s efforts to support educators throughout their professional career, from recruitment to leadership opportunities. This division works in collaboration across the Department and the state, helping educators implement the California Standards and curriculum frameworks.

It administers several professional learning programs for educators at all levels and in all content areas, including science, technology, engineering, math, history-social science, literacy, and arts, with the goal of ensuring equitable learning opportunities for the state’s most vulnerable students, including English learners...

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