Source: EdSource
Aug. 3, 2017

By the end of this month, CSU will drop math and English placement tests the system has been using for years and for the first time rely on multiple measures such as a student’s high school grade-point average, grades earned in math and English, and test scores on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT or Smarter Balanced assessments to determine whether incoming freshmen are placed in courses that include remedial work. . . .In fall 2018, CSU will also launch a new approach to teaching students who need extra academic help. Starting next fall, those students will enroll in credit-bearing classes while simultaneously receiving additional remedial support — a move aimed at allowing students to more quickly catch up on key math and English skills and avoid spending money and time on courses that don’t count toward their degrees. The “supportive course models,” as CSU is calling them, could include additional instruction, stretching one-semester courses over two terms, or “co-requisite classes” that pair remedial work with college-level content.

July 26, 2017

Rick Simpson didn’t write Proposition 98, the complex formula that determines how much money in the state budget goes to K-12 schools and community colleges each year. But for three decades after its inception in 1988, Simpson was an expert in its implementation as a senior adviser on education for eight Assembly Speakers. Now recently retired, he’s pitching a tax proposal that would liberate schools from Prop. 98’s constraints. He says the only realistic way for schools to raise significantly more revenue is to give districts more authority to tax themselves. It will take a constitutional amendment, which he hopes that either the Legislature or voters, through an initiative, will place on the 2020 ballot. At this point, though, it’s just talk. No leaders or groups have stepped forward to embrace it.

June 18, 2017

Before the budget change, a family of three that exceeded $3,518 in monthly income or $42,216 a year would no longer be eligible. This figure was calculated based on the current income limit for a family of three, which cannot exceed 70 percent of the 2005 state median income. The new state law still requires that a family’s income be 70 percent of the state median or less to be eligible for the subsidy. However, more families will be able to qualify, since the overall income limit will be higher when calculated using the most current state median income information. The new budget also states that families will be allowed “ongoing eligibility” as long as their income is not more than 85 percent of the state median income. This means families would not have to re-apply for services because of increases in income that didn’t exceed that level and more families will remain eligible.

May 26, 2017

In what a school consultant is calling a “bait and switch,” the Department of Finance is saying that the money won’t be available until May 2019 at the earliest – and possibly only partially then. The department will release the funding after it’s sure that the revenue projections on which the budget is based came true.

April 28, 2017

California lags behind 40 other states in the amount it spends per child for a range of services including public education and healthcare, according to a new report.

But aside from education spending, where California has for years spent less than other states, the state spends more than most others on other child-related services and supports, such as health care, child care, tax credits and maternal support that benefits children.

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