Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sac City Unified has a Budget Problem - And its not the Teachers

 Sacramento City Unified’s plan for Local Control Funding is on their web site.
   LCAP Timeline and Process-  here.

See video in post below.

 SCUSD outlines its LCAP development process, Community Planning Process, timeline, and lists potential community partners to engage with in LCFF implementation. A new budget has been submitted  and should be on the web site this PM. 

Here is a counter  submission  by the Community Priorities Coalition in response for the 2017/ 2018 school year.
Our Budget proposal reflects our communi tys priorities and we request that you consider our Budget along with the District's staff Budget in making a very important decision on providing the highest qualit of education for all children.


May 42017


To: Jay HansenPresident
Jessie Ryan1sVice President Darrell Woo. 2nd Vice President Christina PritchettMember Ellen CochraneMember
Mai VangMember Michael MinnickMember Natalie RossMember
Jose BandaSuperintendent


Dear Board of Trustees and Superintendent:

The Sacramento City Community Priority Coalition (CPC) is pleased to submit to the Sacramento City Unified School District its 20 l 7-18 Budget as another budget scenario to consider.

The CPC coalition member organizations and groups consist of Black Parallel School Board, Building Healthy Communities. Hmong Innovating PoliticsLa Familia Counseling Center. Making Cents Work, PRO Youth and Families Sacramento Area Congregations Together, Democracy and Education Instituteand Public Advocates Inc.
Based on the input of our respective communities. the CPC recommends three major priorities for both the LCAP and the LCFF that we conclude will better serve the students of our communities. Those priorities include:

       Class size adjustments/reductions in select high need schools - beginning with grade 4-6 and gradually progressing to higher grades after three years of LCAP implementation.
       Culturally competent professional development to enhance school climate and ensure the use of effective and restorative discipline policies in all schools for all students.
       After school and/or other early intervention supports/programsdesigned to improve and further classroom performance.
The district needs to attract quality teachers that reflect the diversity of the students and continue class-size reductionaddress inequities regarding our low-income and high needs students, increase graduation ratesimprove professional development, and continue to improve community outreach and involvement year around. Monies allocated through the Local Control Funding process are required by law to be spent on increased or improved services and actions that are principally directed to meet the needs of specific target populations: low income, English Language Learners, foster children, special education.


In addition tincreased funding for class size reduction beyond grades K-3: specific funds should be allocated to meet the needs of the designated targeted populations. For exampleEnglish Language Learners need additional instructional assistance and increased efforts to involve their parents in their education programs. including bilingual counselors , teachers, social workers and other staff. Funds should be allocated to establish designated additional programs for ELL students in those schools with large numbers of English Language LearnersThese programs might include the use of additional certificated personnel, and/or classified staff.

We recommend that the budget adopted by Sac City Unified School District clearl and specifically designate wherfunds will be spent to meet these target populationsAt presentwe are unable to track funds from the district budget to serving these target studentsWe strongly recommend that this change. The district should specificalland clearlindicate the amounts ofunds planned for specific services and actions that are increases or improvements principally directed to meet the needs of each target groupand which funds have been planned used for spending on combinations othese groupsand which funds have been used for all students districtwidein addition to funds allocated bschool sitewhich the district currently identifies This level of transparency is necessary for parents , students and the community to be involved in a meaningful way in the LCAP development process and other district and school site decision making processes.

Making LCFF Work- in Sacramento



At the June 5, 2015,  meeting,  and each year since, the Community Priorities Coalition presented the Sacramento City board with alternatives ways to invest in our children. 

Funding of California’s k-12 public education system is changing fundamentally.  Some schools will get much more money to educate kids as described in the above video.  The centerpiece of the change is the Local Control Funding Formula, designed to send additional funds to districts where  “the need and the challenge is greatest.”  The law requires that  parents, students, teachers, and other community members be involved in the process of deciding how new funds are spent. 
Ed Source has an excellent guide to these changes.

    Sacramento City Unified’s plan for Local Control Funding is on their web site.
   LCAP Timeline and Process-  here.

 SCUSD outlines its LCAP development process, Community Planning Process, timeline, and lists potential community partners to engage with in LCFF implementation. A new budget has been submitted  and should be on the web site this PM. 

After submitting a report and requests for three years,   an updated report will be submitted on June 15 of this year.  As of yet, the SCUSD board has not responded  in prior years by spending the money the way it was  intended to be spent. 

Here is our submission for the 2017/ 2018 school year.


May 4, 2017


To: Jay Hansen, President
Jessie Ryan, 1st Vice President Darrell Woo. 2nd Vice President Christina Pritchett. Member Ellen Cochrane, Member
Mai Vang, Member Michael Minnick, Member Natalie Ross. Member
Jose Banda, Superintendent



Dear Board of Trustees and Superintendent:

The Sacramento City Community Priority Coalition (CPC) is pleased to submit to the Sacramento City Unified School District its 20 l 7-18 Budget as another budget scenario to consider.

The CPC coalition member organizations and groups consist of Black Parallel School Board, Building Healthy Communities. Hmong Innovating Politics, La Familia Counseling Center. Making Cents Work, PRO Youth and Families , Sacramento Area Congregations Together, Democracy and Education Institute, and Public Advocates Inc.
Based on the input of our respective communities. the CPC recommends three major priorities for both the LCAP and the LCFF that we conclude will better serve the students of our communities. Those priorities include:

       Class size adjustments/reductions in select high need schools - beginning with grade 4-6 and gradually progressing to higher grades after three years of LCAP implementation.
       Culturally competent professional development to enhance school climate and ensure the use of effective and restorative discipline policies in all schools for all students.
       After school and/or other early intervention supports/programsdesigned to improve and further classroom performance.
The district needs to attract quality teachers that reflect the diversity of the students and continue class-size reduction, address inequities regarding our low-income and high needs students, increase graduation rates, improve professional development, and continue to improve community outreach and involvement year around. Monies allocated through the Local Control Funding process are required by law to be spent on increased or improved services and actions that are principally directed to meet the needs of specific target populations: low income, English Language Learners, foster children, special education.


In addition , to increased funding for class size reduction beyond grades K-3: specific funds should be allocated to meet the needs of the designated targeted populations. For example, English Language Learners need additional instructional assistance and increased efforts to involve their parents in their education programs. including bilingual counselors , teachers, social workers and other staff. Funds should be allocated to establish designated additional programs for ELL students in those schools with large numbers of English Language Learners. These programs might include the use of additional certificated personnel, and/or classified staff.

We recommend that the budget adopted by Sac City Unified School District clearl y and specifically designate where funds will be spent to meet these target populations. At present, we are unable to track funds from the district budget to serving these target students. We strongly recommend that this change. The district should specifically and clearly indicate the amounts of funds planned for specific services and actions that are increases or improvements principally directed to meet the needs of each target group, and which funds have been planned used for spending on combinations of these groups, and which funds have been used for all students districtwide, in addition to funds allocated by school site, which the district currently identifies . This level of transparency is necessary for parents , students and the community to be involved in a meaningful way in the LCAP development process and other district and school site decision making processes.

Gov. Brown agrees not to hold back money from California schools next year | EdSource

Gov. Brown agrees not to hold back money from California schools next year | EdSource

John Fensterwald

About half of K-12’s new money will go toward funding the Local Control Funding Formula, which distributes additional money to districts based on their percentages of low-income students and English learners. It has been Brown’s priority since its passage in 2013, and the additional $1.36 billion for next year will raise the formula to 97 percent of full funding. That’s defined as the amount needed to restore funding for all school districts to pre-recession 2007 levels, although most districts, with high numbers of students targeted for extra money, are already funded well above that amount.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

$41 Billion Spent on California Schools - Where is the Money Going?

BY ELISE BUIK, ANTONIA HERNÁNDEZ AND BRUCE FULLER
Special to The Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown promised four years ago to lift all schools and narrow yawning gaps in learning among California’s rainbow of students, a stubborn inequity that limits our workforce and fractures civil society.
But in her children’s schools, Guadalupe Luna sees little trace of Brown’s ambitious reform.
“I’m frustrated and angry to know that the money is not getting to high-needs students” as Brown pledged, Luna said.
She’s taking legal action with fellow parents to block the Long Beach school board from diverting $40 million away from struggling students. Little money can be found, the plaintiffs argue, for “school uniforms and better training for teachers,” or tutoring for kids already falling behind.
WITH MONEY FOR LOW ACHIEVERS GOING TO JANITORS, TEACHER SALARIES AND MIDDLE-CLASS SCHOOLS, A BILL MOVING THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE WOULD SHINE A BRIGHTER LIGHT ON SCHOOL-BY-SCHOOL SPENDING. YET THE GOVERNOR’S TOP ADVISERS WON’T SUPPORT IT. WHY NOT?
Bewildering really, after Brown has rained $41 billion on local school chiefs over the past four years, beseeching them to elevate lagging pupils.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversa...

antiracismdsa: William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversa...: William J. Barber II | Shifting the Moral Conversation | Portside The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Repairers of the Breach ...

Thursday, June 08, 2017

antiracismdsa: Help Pass the California Sanctuary Bill SB 54

antiracismdsa: Help Pass the California Sanctuary Bill SB 54: Sacramento area Assemblymen Cooper and Cooley are not reliable votes yet.  Your phone calls have made the difference in getting SB 5...

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

School Funding Crisis - But, not in California

The crisis described below is real in many states.  It is not a crisis in California because the voters- not the legislature, passed Proposition 30 and then Proposition 55.

Jeff Bryant,
This week’s disturbing news that Oklahoma schools are so poorly funded some of them may move from five days a week to four got a lot of people’s attention, including my colleague Richard Eskow, who called this an example of “the Republican party’s sickness of the soul.” Unfortunately, the illness is highly contagious.
The contagion stems from revenue shortfalls in states that counted on money that never materialized – at least 29 states, according to Education Week. Although unemployment rates have generally declined in these states, and economies have improved since the Great Recession, lawmakers in many of these states also decided to enact tax cuts and to do nothing about stagnating wages, so income tax and sales tax revenuesflattened or even dipped.
Governors in these states say education finance is a priority – at least according to an annual survey of them. The poll, conducted by the Education Commission of the States, asked 42 governors about their education-related priorities. School finance was at the top, with 32 wanting to improve K-12 education through funding. But obviously, these state leaders forgot the revenue side of the equation. Oops!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

DeVos, Charters, and Corporate Theft

by Jeff Bryan, 
Betsy DeVos wants to give your tax dollars to private schools and businesses and tell you it’s an education “transformation.”
That’s the main theme of an address she gave this week to a conference held by the organization she helped found and lead, the American Federation for Children.
Declaring “the time has expired for ‘reform,'” she called instead for a “transformation… that will open up America’s closed and antiquated education system.” Her plan also opens your wallet to new moochers of taxpayer dollars.
By the way, AFC, according to SourceWatch, is a “conservative 501(c)(4) dark money group that promotes the school privatization agenda via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other avenues.” It also grew out of a defunct PAC connected to DeVos called “All Children Matter” that ran afoul legally in Ohio and Wisconsin and still owes Ohio $5.3 million for breaking election laws.
So DeVos had a supportive crowd for her speech, but what should the rest of us think of it?
The transformation she calls for seems to rest on the premise that, “It shouldn’t matter where a student learns so long as they are actually learning.” But what does she mean by “learning”? And what should the public expect about how its funds are being spent?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Why Do Billionaires Want Charter Schools ?


Eli Broad and Edyth 




Harold Meyerson:

The billionaires, apparently, we shall always have with us — even when we decide how to run the state-funded schools where they rarely send their own kids.

In the Los Angeles school board elections earlier this month, a number of billionaires, including Eli Broad, Netflix founder Reed Hastings and two Walton family siblings, poured millions into the campaigns of two charter-school advocates. These billionaire-sponsored candidates defeated two badly outspent opponents who took a more cautionary stance on expanding charters, lest they decimate the school district’s budget. In total, pro-charter groups outspent teacher unions, $9.7 million to $5.2 million. (In the 2016 state legislative campaigns, the charterizers outspent the unions by a far larger margin, $20.5 million to $1.2 million.)
ADVERTISING


Though a number of the billionaires who’ve involved themselves in the charter cause are conservatives and Republicans, the actual election battles they join almost always pit Democrat against Democrat — in part because nearly all big cities are now overwhelmingly Democratic. In California, where Republicans’ numbers have ebbed past the point of power, the lion’s share of billionaires’ legislative campaign contributions have gone to more centrist Democrats, who not only are reliable votes on charter issues but also often oppose environmental and other measures advanced by their more progressive colleagues.
Charter billionaires have settled on a diagnosis, and a cure, that focuses on the deficiencies of the system’s victims, not the system itself.


Of all the issues billionaires could choose, why charters, and why now? One reason commonly adduced is that they’ve noticed something troubling: Public school graduates lack the skills necessary for employment. Many of those needed skills, however, are the kind that students acquire in vocational educational programs, not at charter schools.


That there are huge problems in the education of low-income students is beyond dispute — but this is hardly a recent development. The real recent development is the rising share of such students as the middle class has waned.

If the Waltons, say, decided to redirect more of their fortune to raising Wal-Mart workers’ wages, that in turn might enable hundreds of thousands of families to have more economically secure and stable lives, which could have a greater effect on student performance than charterization.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Trump /DeVos Budget for Schools


President Trump’s and Secretary of Education DeVos’ education budget was unveiled this week. It’s devastating news for public schools.

Rethinking Schools stands firmly against these unprecedented attacks on public education and we need your support to continue our fight against privatization—and to support and improve public schools. 
  
Public schools remain the only educational institutions that have the potential and obligation to serve all students. Yet Trump’s education budget shows how this administration puts corporate interests over the needs of students and communities.

The budget gives to charter and voucher schools—and steals from public school children:
  • Gives $500 million more for charter schools (up 50% from current funding), $250 million to expand and “study’ voucher schools, and  $1 billion more to encourage school “choice” within districts.
  • Cuts $1.2 billion for after-school programs that serve 1.6 million children, most of whom are poor, and $2.1 billion for teacher education and class-size reduction.
  • Cuts $490 million for college work-study programs. 
  • Cuts $700 million in Perkins loans for disadvantaged students.
  • Cuts funding for mental health services, anti-bullying initiatives, physical education, and science and engineering instruction.
  • Slashes $168 million for career and technical education and eliminates $96 million for adult literacy.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Fight the Trump/DeVos agenda by making a donation to Rethinking Schools so that we can expand our work and strengthen the educational justice movement.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

How President Trump’s Proposed Budget Is Bad for Californians and for the Economy - California Budget & Policy Center

How President Trump’s Proposed Budget Is Bad for Californians and for the Economy - California Budget & Policy Center

Trump, DeVos Budget Proposal for Public Education

We need your help. When Betsy DeVos was nominated to be secretary of education, we sounded the alarm because of her role in Michigan and Florida as an anti-public education and pro-voucher lobbyist—what I call a “public school denier.” The public agreed with us, but the White House and GOP-led Senate ignored the outcry of millions of Americans from across the country and confirmed her appointment—using a tiebreaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence. The budget DeVos and the Trump administration issued today reaffirms our concerns—big-time. 

We feared DeVos was ill-prepared to be education secretary, and now, after seeing this budget, we know she doesn’t care. The Trump-DeVos budget is manifestly cruel to children and catastrophic to public schools, while being a windfall for those who want to profit off of children or make education a commodity.

That is why we are reaching out to everyone, regardless of your job title, where you live or your political party. We need your help in taking on the Trump-DeVos budget and its consequences.

Write to Betsy DeVos and oppose this cruel and catastrophic budget today.

Just look at what the DeVos budget proposes: 
  • While Trump and DeVos chose private schools for their children, with small class sizes, they want to eliminate the federal funding that helps America’s public schools lower class sizes.
  • While Trump and DeVos can afford whatever their children and grandchildren need or want, and while Ivanka Trump got $19 billion for her parental leave project, the budget completely zeros out all current federal programs that keep millions of poor children safe and well-fed in after-school and summer programs.
  • Trump says there is nothing more important than being a teacher, but he eliminates the loan forgiveness program that helps students pursue teaching careers, eliminates funding for teacher preparation and educator support, and guts most other programs that alleviate student debt or make college more affordable.
  • Trump says vocational education is the way of the future yet slashes career and technical education funding.
  • DeVos promised not to hurt children with special needs, but the budget cuts one-quarter of the Medicaid funding that now pays for essential school-based services like physical therapists, feeding tubes and other medical equipment, and health screenings. 
And what do they fund with all these cuts? This budget provides tax cuts for the wealthy and redirects funding for expanded charter schools and vouchers. It spends $250 million on further research for vouchers even though the most recent studies, including one on the D.C. voucher program by DeVos’ own Education Department, show that vouchers hurt kids. And it diverts $1 billion from Title I funding—including $550 million in direct Title I cuts—to fund an Arne Duncan-like Race to the Top-style program.

Tell Betsy DeVos that our children deserve better. She must stop her crusade for private, religious schools and failed voucher programs and fully fund public education.

Federal and state funding is vitally important for our public schools to help children. Just ask the people in Van Wert, Ohio, who spent a day hosting DeVos and me. DeVos saw examples of great public schools in this rural area that voted big-time for Donald Trump. She saw the importance of early childhood education, observed hands-on learning in robotics classes, and learned about after-school programs, including a senior project that helps provide backpacks filled with food for the weekend to kids who receive free and reduced-price lunch. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

38,000 ATT Workers Go on Strike!

The Strike is over for now. The CWA workers have gone back to work.  Watch for future announcements. 

CWA union members have been working closely with DSA on organizing efforts across the country. 38,000 CWA folks at AT ;T have been working without a contract. This has gone on far too long. Now AT;T workers in 36 states and Washington, DC are on strike.
DSA's national Steering Committee endorses this strike. DSA local groups and individual members are joining striking workers at picket lines across the country. Click here to RSVP for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Downloadable DSA solidarity signs are available here and here.
Members who can't join a picket line are encouraged to email AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and tell him to settle now.
UPDATE: DirecTV employees are joining the potential strike as well. Now 40,000 workers are ready to stand up for their livelihoods — and their dignity.


Join the CWA picket lines at the locations below and support our comrades fighting for better wages and better livelihoods!
  • 1743 ARDEN WAY
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95815
  • 2228 FAIR OAKS BLVD
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95825
  • 3591 TRUXEL ROAD
    SACRAMENTO, CA 95834
  • 5550 SUNRISE BLVD STE 100
    CITRUS HEIGHT, CA 95610


Read DSA National's statement here.

To find other/additional picket lines, click here.

Trump’s Education Budget Feeds School Privatization At The Expense of Students

Trump’s Education Budget Feeds School Privatization At The Expense of Students

Thursday, May 18, 2017

More on LA School Board Take Over by Corporate Billionaires

A Big Win for Corporate Advocates of Charters.
Mike McPhate
School board campaigns are often sleepy affairs, not the sort of electoral battle that generates widespread attention and outside donations. But this week’s election for the Los Angeles Unified school board was something of an epic proxy fight. Some saw it as a battle over the influence of the teachers’ union. Others cast it as a fight against the education agenda of President Trump and Betsy DeVos and the expansion of charter schools. 
After Tuesday’s results, the seven-member school board that governs the nation’s second largest public school system will be dominated by supporters of charter schools who may move to increase the number of publicly funded but privately run schools across the city. 
The election drew in some $14 million — making it among the most expensive school board races in the country’s history — and a host of high-profile endorsements. In the end, the candidates who portrayed themselves as supporters of dramatic changes won out, leaving the teachers’ union and its supporters angered and worried about the future. Steve Zimmer, the school board president who lost to the challenger Nick Melvoin, was so angered by the defeat that he refused to make the customary congratulatory call. Mr. Zimmer called the results “devastating” and said he would never run for office again.
 
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