California Educator

June / July 2018

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Legislative Update AB 2808: Local Control Funding Formula: Funding Increase On CTA's Lobby Day, May 23, educa- tors from all over California, joined by Assembly Members Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), representatives of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), and other stakeholders, urged state legislators to support AB 2808, which increases public education funding. The bill, introduced by Muratsuchi, would set new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) targets and certify the Propo- sition 98 minimum guarantee and the continuous appropriations of the LCFF, including a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This creates certainty for edu- cators and students in future years. "Currently, California ranks 44th in the nation in per-pupil spending. Although we are the fifth-largest econ- omy in the world, we rank in the bottom 10 percent in the nation in funding for our students," says CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño. "We are asking lawmakers to support certifying the Prop. 98 guarantee and provide con- tinuous appropriation of the LCFF with a COLA as proposed by the governor. This ensures that funds are provided to school districts on a predictable and timely basis. It essentially closes the books and this chapter of hard times for our public schools." School administrators, who are co-sponsoring AB 2808, believe increased funding is critical for our state to move forward. AB 3136: Special Education Funding On Lobby Day, more than 100 educa- tors met with lawmakers on behalf of their students. Among other things, they asked legislators to support AB 3136, by Assembly Member Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach), which would provide more resources for stu- dents with special needs. " The costs of special education programs continue to grow, putting pressure on districts' budgets, with almost flat funding from federal and state resources," says Montaño. "We urge lawmakers to support AB 3136, which increases categorical funding for special education students." AB 3136 would provide critical support to California's students with special needs by establishing state support for special education preschool services, providing funding to equalize long-standing special education fund- ing inequities, and providing support for students requiring higher-cost services. AB 2547: California Teacher Corps Act Education stakeholders agree that at a time when California is facing a critical teacher shortage, we need programs to attract and retain qualified educators, especially in hard-to-fill areas. " To provide all students with the quality education they need and deserve, we need to address this crit- ical shortage and make it enticing for our young adults to want to enter the profession," says Montaño. "AB 2547, by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty, helps address the teacher shortage by funding teacher residency programs to help attract and retain educators in hard-to-staff curricular areas like STEM and bilingual education." AB 2820: Community Engagement and School Climate for Continuous Improvement Initiative Another bill educators discussed was AB 2820, also by McCarty. This bill establishes funding to help develop Local Control and Accountability Plans and funds a school climate survey engaging parents, students and edu- cators to improve local teaching and learning conditions. "We believe it takes a community to foster a healthy and safe environment for our students, and this bill increases attention and encourages engagement and participation," Montaño says. (At press time, the bill was amended. The current version would create a com- mittee to develop criteria for selecting and vetting school climate surveys.) Support for bill creating certainty for educators and students in the future 40 Advocacy CTA Vice President Theresa Montaño speaks during a news conference at the Capitol. She is there for Legislative Advocacy Day, when CTA chapter presidents and other leaders meet with lawmakers. Photo: Erika Sizemore

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