Topic: Education Funding

California Teacher Teacher Shortage

Crisis in the classroom: California confronts teacher shortage
Poor working conditions, modest pay, and teacher bashing exact a toll

A decade of bashing teachers has left California and the nation with a dire shortage. Demand for K-12 teachers has increased while the new teacher supply is at a 12-year low.

Enrollment in California’s teacher preparation programs has dropped by 76 percent over the last decade, far below what is needed to fill vacancies, according to Linda Darling-Hammond, faculty director at the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. 

California Teacher Elections 2016

Prop. 30 extension qualifies for November election

Campaign to keep public education funded kicks into high gear

On May 11, a coalition of unions and community groups announced that it had submitted more than a million signatures to place the “California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act” on the November ballot to continue the funding benefits of Proposition 30.

San Diego piloting move to make community college free
​​Can the goals of California’s Master Plan for Higher Education be fulfilled again?

The San Diego Community College District has joined the states of Tennessee and Oregon in implementing free community college. In February Chancellor Constance Carroll announced that 200 students would have their course fees waived for the 2016-17 academic year.

Article Proposition 30

Prop. 30 delivers salary relief in recent contracts

After years of stagnant wages, classified employees are finally seeing long-overdue salary relief in recent months.

The raises largely result from the CFT campaign two years ago to pass Proposition 30. This year, the governor’s budget included $5.6 billion in additional funding for K-14 education. Prop. 30 will generate an average of about $6 billion per year for seven years.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

California districts roll out LCAPs to mixed reviews
Degree of teacher and classified input to local plans varies widely

Ray Gaer sees the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, as “a different forum for unions to talk about things that matter and an opportunity to build more cooperative relationships. The president of the ABC Federation of Teachers says, “We can talk about how programs are selected and developed and how money is spent before getting to the bargaining table.”

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

Local Control Funding Formula: New regulations specify use of funds for targeted students

On January 16, the State Board of Education adopted emergency spending regulations for the supplemental and concentration grant funds that Local Educational Agencies (districts, county offices of education and some charter schools) will receive under the Local Control Funding Formula.

Article Student Nutrition Local Action

Berkeley cooking and gardening program seeks funding

Community support saved an innovative cooking and gardening program that faced closure last spring, but only leftovers remain after the Berkeley Unified School District cut two-thirds of the budget. 

“Even the chickens in the garden were given away because no one was left to tend them,” said Daria Wrubel of the Berkeley Council of Classified Employees. Wrubel taught gardening to 450 students at Thousand Oaks Elementary before she and more than half the classified staff were cut.

California Teacher LCFF LCAP

Dawn of new era for K-12 education funding
Local decisions drive plan; difficult bargaining looms

For the first time in six long years, the state budget includes more funding for education in 2013-14. In the on-time budget, Gov. Brown fended off legislative demand to reinstate programs cut during the recession and stayed true to his commitment to prioritize education funding. Though the sectors of education fared differently, all saw at least some increase in state funding.

Article Local Action

Berkeley local unions fight for fair contract, cooking and gardening program

The faculty and classified AFT local unions in the Berkeley Unified School District rallied on May 8 before a district board meeting. With state funding to the district on the rise, educators say the district can provide more for its employees, especially since it is holding $7.9 million in its ending fund balance.

The workers are also trying to save the successful cooking and gardening program threatened by cuts to the federal program, Network for Healthy Californians. 

California Teacher

Federal cuts threaten cooking and gardening classes
Berkeley community rallies to save famous kids’ grow-it-yourself program

Facing a massive loss of federal funds, Berkeley Unified officials may yank an innovative gardening and cooking program up by the roots. The slash and burn tactics are drawing widespread community fire.

For about 15 years, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has taught low-income families about nutrition through school programs like the Network for a Healthy California. Congress, however, has revised its funding formula and California, which used to receive nearly a third of all USDA money, will lose about 40 percent of its grant. The funding for direct-to-kids programs like the NHC will be shifted to local health agencies to run publicity campaigns.

Article Proposition 30

Classified rise to the challenge of passing Prop. 30
Threat of more furlough days spurs community outreach and response

Classified employees had a lot to lose if voters rejected Prop. 30 on November 6. Staff swung into action across California, racking up victories in state and local campaigns that will go a long way toward saving public education.

Gilroy paraprofessionals in AFT Local 1921, for example, resisted pressure to take 10 furlough days until the need was clear, even though district teachers represented by CTA and classified employees represented by CSEA had agreed beforehand to give up the days.