Edvoice - Issues

UC regents asked to lift a six-year tuition freeze and approve a 2.5% increase for this fall

January 25 | LA Times

By Teresa Watanabe

University of California President Janet Napolitano urged regents Wednesday to approve a tuition increase to help the nation’s premier public research university system maintain its quality amid surging enrollment and reduced levels of state support.

“More investment is needed to make sure that this generation, and future generations, of UC students receive the same quality of education as past generations,” Napolitano told regents in opening remarks at the two-day meeting in San Francisco.

The regents will consider a proposal to raise tuition to $11,502 for the 2017-18 school year — a 2.5%, or $282, increase. The student services fee would increase by $54 to $1,128. If approved, it would be the first tuition increase since the 2010-2011 school year. 

THIS WEEK: Millions of Californians to Raise Awareness of School Choice At 1,750 Events Across Golden State

January 22 | BusinessWire

National School Choice Week begins today in California and across the country. There are 1750 events planned in the Golden State to raise awareness about K-12 school choice, and 21,392 events nationwide. 29 counties and cities have officially proclaimed School Choice Week.

The events in California, which are independently planned and independently funded, include everything from information sessions and open houses at schools to rallies, policy discussions, and movie screenings organized by community groups. Highlighted events include a large school choice fair January 28 at Nova Academy in Santa Ana.

The counties of Madera, Stanislaus, Riverside, Amador, El Dorado, Glenn, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo and cities of Adelanto, Buena Park, Chino Hills, Coachella, Concord, Covina, Dublin, Hanford, Hesperia, Manteca, Monte Sereno, Newark, Oceanside, Palm Desert, Rancho Cordova, Redwood City, San Ramon, Sandy Creek, Tracy, Victorville, and West Hollywood have issued official proclamations recognizing January 22-28, 2017 as “School Choice Week.”

California schools earn C- in national ranking

January 5 | Mercury News

By Sharon Noguchi

Education leaders in recent years have lauded achievement gains and progress of California’s K-12 students, but an annual national report card has rated the Golden State below mediocre — a solid C-minus, 10th from the bottom among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Nearly across the board in multiple categories graded by the magazine Education Week, California scored below the national average. California earned 69.9 out of 100 points. As a whole, the nation received a C. Massachusetts ranked at the top, followed by New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maryland and Connecticut; all earned a B.

County board overrules LAUSD to keep the embattled Magnolia charter schools open

December 22 | Los Angeles Times

By Howard Blume

A little-known county board overruled its own staff and the powerful Los Angeles Unified School District this week to allow three embattled charter schools to remain open.

The reprieve represents a full turnabout for Magnolia Public Schools, which faced the shutdown of its campuses after L.A. Unified moved against them in October. 

The L.A. Unified board voted 6 to 0 to shutter the schools at the end of the current school year. But the charter group had the option of appealing to the board of the L.A. County Office of Education, and that body reached a different decision Tuesday, by a 4-1 vote, after three hours of testimony and discussion.

 
 

 

State awards $20 million in grants to help more school employees become teachers

EdSource | December 21

By Fermin Leal

Twenty-five California school districts and county offices of education will share $20 million in state grants to help their support staff earn teaching credentials.

The funding from the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program is aimed at helping classified employees, or those in jobs that don’t require teaching licenses, earn bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials by providing aid for their tuition and other costs.

SD schools prepare to make cuts, cover teacher raises

December 14 | The San Diego Union-Tribune

By Maureen Magee

The San Diego Unified School District has started combing through its $1.3 billion operating budget in search of cost-cutting measures — including “strategic” layoffs —  to offset a projected $117 million deficit.

In approving its first interim budget report on Tuesday, the school board certified the 2017-18 spending plan as “qualified,” meaning the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations next year.

California loses bid to suspend science tests

December 14 | The Mercury News

By Sharon Noguchi

Raising the specter of a possible loss of billions of dollars in federal funds, U.S. education officials on Tuesday rejected California’s request to skip standardized science testing for two years while test-driving a newer version of the exams.

Federal law requires states to administer and report annual tests in English, math and science. California’s proposal to suspend the science tests in 2017 and 2018  would deny schools and families data about science achievement and also violate federal education laws, U.S. officials wrote in a letter.

As a result, California’s Department of Education won’t be able to assess progress in science learning nor be able to communicate that to schools and the public, according to the letter by Ann Whalen, an adviser to Education Secretary John B. King Jr.

As charter schools grow, they face challenge of hiring amid a teacher shortage

EdSource | December 7

By Fermin Leal 

As California struggles with a teacher shortage, charter schools face distinct challenges recruiting teachers.

Those challenges are exacerbated by the rapid expansion of charters, with the number of schools more than doubling in the past decade.

“The teacher shortage is being felt everywhere, but charters often have more to overcome,” said Kelly Hurley, chief talent officer of Green Dot Public Schools, a chain of 19 charters in Los Angeles that had 30 teaching jobs not filled by fully credentialed teachers at the start of the school year.

California teacher shortage worsens, especially in cities

November 30 | San Francisco Chronicle

By Jill Tucker

The teacher shortage across California is getting worse, hitting urban districts hardest, but pinching even rural and suburban schools as well, according to a survey released Wednesday.

As a result, students are seeing a revolving cast of substitutes, canceled courses and less qualified teachers in their classrooms, according to district officials who were surveyed.

Charter challenges appellate ruling to state Supreme Court

November 29 | San Diego Tribune

By Maureen Magee

A Northern California charter school has turned to the state’s highest court to review and potentially reverse an appellate court ruling that calls into question the legality of hundreds of satellite charter campuses.

California’s charter school industry suffered a major blow in October when a state appellate court ruled that a charter school cannot operate mini-campuses outside its home district in its resident county. Growth in satellite charters has stirred turf wars and costly litigation locally and throughout San Diego County and state.

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