California Educator

April / May 2018

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Page 11 of 75

A C C O R D I N G T O Edu- cation Week's annual "Quality Counts" report, California ranks 43rd in the country in adjusted per-pupil expenditures (based on 2015 base data). The PPE figure for California is $9,417 — $3,109 below the national average of $12,526. In 2011, the state ranked a dismal 50th, and last year placed 46th — no doubt because of passage of Propositions 30 and 55. Despite recent gains, California has consistently lagged $3,000 to $3,500 below the national average. A N E W S H O R T F I L M demonstrates the power of open and honest conver- sations about gender — at the elementary school level. "Creating Gender Inclusive Schools" follows what happened when Peralta Elementary in Oakland brought in staff from nonprofit Gender Spectrum to provide training for teach- ers and administrators, as well as age-appropriate curriculum for students. A week of classroom activities helped students learn about gender, ste- reotyping and bullying, and parents were also included in the discussions. The film shows that it's not only possible, but downright fun, to train an entire elementary school community to be inclusive of transgender and gender expansive youth. "Creating Gender Inclusive Schools" is one of four short films from the Youth and Gender Media Project, founded by filmmaker and media activist Jonathan Skurnik. They are being screened at venues including schools, colleges and hospitals, and are available as DVDs for sliding-scale purchase. Each of the films, which address various aspects of youth and gender, has a full-color 16-to-20-page study guide and curriculum. To learn more, see Gender-Inclusive Schools Creating 43 Funds for the Classroom S T A C E Y B U R K H O L D E R , a third- and fourth-grade teacher at Del Roble Elementary School in San Jose and member of the Oak Grove Educators Association, received a $2,500 Academic Award from California Casualty. " This means so much to me and my students," said Burk holder. "We are learning about California's Gold Rush, and I'm thinking of bringing in a performance group that re-enacts that period to make it interactive and real for my students." For information about the award, which was created to help educators bring innova- tive projects and opportunities to their schools, go to 10 In the Know N E W S & N O T E S

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