CAPISTRANO UNIFIED PTSA - CHILD ADVOCACY BRIEF
DECEMBER 07, 2012
Public Hearing Notice:
On December 10, 2012 at the 7pm school board meeting, CUSD Trustees will consider adoption of a resolution entitled, “Resolution No. 1213-29, Annual and Five-Year Reportable Fees Report for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, In Compliance with Government Code §66006 and §66001.” The report is on file now and is available for public review at the District’s offices located at 33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, California, and is herein incorporated by reference.
For more information go to: http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/news/view?d=x&id=1346927635718&group_id=1218998864154&return_url=1354654993110
Capistrano School Board Meeting:
At the December 10, 2012 school board meeting, the 4 trustees who won election on November 6, 2012 will be sworn in:
Trustee Area 1: Amy Hanuchek
Trustee Area 2: Jim Reardon
Trustee Area 3: John Alpay
Trustee Area 5: Gary Pritchard
Due to the passage of Prop 30, the state of California will not enact the $5.6B in planned mid year cuts to schools. CUSD will not be forced to absorb an additional $20M in potential mid year cuts. The school year will remain at 175 instructional days and the last day of school is Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Suspension of ACE Classes: Based upon the new law signed by Governor Brown on September 29, 2012, AB 1575, which outlined guidelines for pupil fees and penalties for non-compliance, Capistrano Unified has suspended ACE after school enrichment classes while completing further legal review. The district, using legal advise from the Orange County Dept of Education attorneys, is in the process of determining which fee based after school enrichment classes are allowable within the law and how these classes will be organized and administered to comply with the new law. The district is working toward a solution so that allowable fee based after school enrichment classes will be available again. Fees collected for classes that have been suspended will be refunded, the district has reported.
CUSD Superintendent Dr. Joseph Farley – Community Meeting Summary November 28, 2012
Dr. Farley is deeply impressed with high caliber students and parents in the district.
The district was forced to cut $31 million dollars from CUSD budget earlier this school year; employees made major concessions such as accepting salary freezes, health insurance premium increases and staffing reductions. The teachers union made majority of concessions to keep district solvent.
The focus of the district is on students and the classroom. The district wants to reduce class sizes. It wants students to have the best classroom instruction and teacher training. Innovative programs this year include the Mandarin Immersion program at Bergeson Elementary and the California Prep Academy, online school with lots of flexibility.
Other priorities in the district include 1) drug abuse early detection and intervention; 2) facilities upgrades; 3)positive media attention on the countless successes at CUSD. Dr. Farley answered questions and clarified issues related to CUSD employee unions, technology enhancements, GATE testing program changes, after-school program cuts and new Common Core Standards preparation. Next Community Meeting : Thurs, January 10, 2013, at 7 p.m, Dana Hills High School Porthole Theater.
PTA Advocacy Upcoming Roundtable in OC : The Latest Education News from Washington D.C. will be presented by Jacque Chevalier, National PTA’s Senior Education Policy Analyst on Friday, January 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Orange County Department of Education Building D, Rooms 1001 and 1002 200 Kalmus Drive, Costa Mesa 92626. All PTA members are welcome to attend. Contact Fran Sdao for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative Analyst’s report has good news for public schools
The state will have a significantly smaller budget deficit in the next year. After that, revenues will grow substantially, possibly resulting in a $9 billion surplus by 2017-18, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, a non-partisan state agency that provides analysis and recommendations to the state legislature. The $6 billion in mid-year budget cuts that were looming over public education this year will not occur. Funding for K-14 schools is expected to increase from about $53.8 billion in the current fiscal year to $66.5 billion in 2017-18. The state will be able to repay the $13 billion owed to public schools and community colleges over the next five years, the LAO says. One reason for this good news is the passage of Prop. 30, which increases income taxes for wealthy Californians for seven years and state sales tax for four years, and is expected to raise about $7 billion a year. The LAO also credits previous budget cuts and the state’s economic recovery. School funding got another boost with the passage of Prop. 39, which changes the way multi-state businesses are taxed. This is expected to raise an additional $1 billion per year. For the first five years, half of this goes to clean energy research and development.
The state General Fund receives the remaining $500 million and, beginning in 2018-19, gets the entire $1 billion. As a result of the new revenue, funds going to K-14 schools under the Prop. 98 minimum funding guarantee will increase approximately $200 million annually for five years and at least $500 million each year thereafter.
For the current year, K-12 spending will remain flat, at $7,530 per student, according to the LAO. This is because the new revenue from Prop. 30 will be used to begin paying off deferred payments that the state owes to schools and community colleges. After this, school funding will increase by $2 billion to $3 billion each year, through 2017-18, the LAO says. However, the state has a long way to go to get school funding, staffing and services back up to the national average. California currently ranks at or near the bottom among states in per pupil funding, class size, counselors, librarians and nurses. For the 2013-14 budget, the governor and legislature will need to tackle a $1.9 billion deficit (down from a $16 billion shortfall at the start of the current fiscal year). The deficit is due mainly to lower than expected revenues for the past two years and higher than expected expenditures. The LAO predicts operating surpluses beginning in 2014-15, assuming California’s economy continues to grow and federal officials take action to avoid the economic problems caused by the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The LAO report repeatedly urges the legislature and governor to be cautious with the new revenues and to keep a tight rein on spending. To read the LAO’s report, go to www.lao.ca.gov. There are several related articles at www.edsource.org.
Education issues to be tackled by the California Legislature
As the new legislative session begins, CA State PTA will be watching for developments on several important education issues:
Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics were adopted by California and 44 other states two years ago. The purpose was to create consistent expectations and assessments, to better prepare students for higher education and a global economy, and to allow for collaboration among states on best practices and professional development. In addition, California is one of two dozen states taking a lead role in writing the Next Generation Science Standards, due to be released by the end of this year. California is in the process of implementing the CCSS, which requires new instructional materials, teacher training and a new testing system. Due to budget constraints in previous years, the adoption of new textbooks and the replacement of the STAR testing system were postponed until the 2015-16 school year.
California is part of a multi-state consortium to develop standardized tests aligned with the CCSS. The tests will be administered online and will be individually tailored, with questions based on a student’s previous answers. With the current testing system expiring in 2015, the state legislature will have to decide what grade levels should be tested and how often, and what subjects should be covered. They will need to ensure that all schools have the required technology by 2015, or provide an alternative way for students to take the test. Other options are to postpone the new test, or administer it but disconnect it from high-stakes accountability.
In January, Gov. Brown proposed replacing the current school funding system with a Weighted Student Formula. School districts and charter schools would receive a base amount for each pupil, plus an additional amount for low-income students and English language learners. The proposal was dropped in response to opposition from State PTA and others in the California Education Coalition, who feared that many school districts would be losers in a redistribution of funds during a time of meager budgets. With the passage of Prop. 30, it is expected that the governor will again present some version of this in his January budget proposal.
Repayment of Deferrals
This month the state will pay back $1.57 billion it borrowed from K-12 schools, and $300 million owed to community colleges.
Paying down deferrals doesn’t give school districts more money; it’s the same Prop 98 money they were owed by the state, which the state deferred (borrowed) to pay its own debts. That, in turn, forced many K-12 and community college districts to take out loans in order to get by. Deferral repayment will help districts by defraying some of their borrowing costs. The state has also cancelled plans for a March 2013 deferral, which would have withheld $900 million from schools.
Read more at: http://www.edsource.org/
New Faces in the Legislature
State lawmakers were sworn in on December 3 with Democrats holding an historic two-thirds “supermajority” in both houses. Nearly half the Assembly is freshman, the most since 1934. Right out of the gate, lawmakers have started introducing legislation. Relating to schools and education:
State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow cities and school districts throughout the state to approve new parcel taxes with a 55% vote of the people rather than the two-thirds majority required by Prop. 13. With a Democratic supermajority, that change can be put on the ballot. In November, voters approved 15 parcel taxes for school and community college districts in California and rejected 10 others on local ballots, according to the California Local Government Finance Almanac. Among those that failed, seven would have passed under Leno’s proposed law, with taxes ranging from $11 a parcel in the Contra Costa Community College District to $199 a parcel in San Bruno.
State Senator Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) proposed using money from Prop. 39 (the end to corporate tax breaks) to make thousands of public schools more energy-efficient.
Sequestration is set to go into effect on January 2, 2013 unless the Federal Government can come to an agreement to avoid it or votes to rescind it. Sequestration refers to across the board cuts to Federal programs agreed upon by Congress in the Budget Control Act of 2011. This same legislation called upon a bi-partisan committee of Federal lawmakers to come to agreement on reducing the Federal deficit to avoid sequestration. When this committee was unable to come to agreement, it triggered the automatic across-the-board spending cuts to federally funded programs including education. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if enacted school funding for the following federal school programs will be reduced by 8.2%: Title I Grants to districts, Title II Teacher Quality State Grant, Title III English Language Learners, Title IV 21st Century Community Learning Centers, IDEA Section 611 Grants to State and Head Start. Federal school nutrition programs are exempt.
Sequestration would impact school budgets across the country for the 2013/2014 school year.
It is up to Federal Lawmakers to come to an agreement before January 2, 2013 to avoid sequestration. The ongoing negotiations to avoid sequestration are part of what is commonly known as the negotiations to stop the “fiscal cliff” which includes the automatic spending cuts associated with Sequestration and expiration of a variety of tax cuts.
PTA is currently urging Federal lawmakers to act to rescind sequestration, or simply cancel the across-the board cuts to education should sequestration move forward.
More information is available on the National PTA website at: http://www.pta.org/advocacy/content.cfm?ItemNumber=3402
Preliminary Graduation Rates Reported Using New Common Method: There has been a change in the way graduation rates are reported, using a common metric across all states. “By using this new measure, states will be more honest in holding schools accountable and ensuring that students succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Beginning with data for the 2011-12 school year, graduation rates calculated using this new method will become a key element of state accountability systems, including for states that have been approved for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Using the new method, California reported a statewide graduation rate of 76% for the 2010-2011 school year, nearly the same or slightly higher than in the past. The rates will be posted on ED Data Express: http://www.eddataexpress.ed.gov/.
CUCPTSA CHILD ADVOCACY BRIEF – NOVEMBER 2012
CUSD Certificate of Participation & Bond Refinance
CUSD is scheduled to offer its Certificate of Participation (COP) note, originally created in 2002, for refinance. The refinance of this existing debt is expected to save the district approximately $195,000 per year, and approximately $2.5M over the life of the loan. In November, the board will vote refinance more existing school bond debt, which is expected to provide savings to both the district as well as taxpayers. The second stage of the refinance is projected to save the district over $6M over the life of the bonds. http://capousd.ca.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1325328563740
Mello-Roos Survey – The CUSD school board has recently reviewed and reported on the money raised annually in each of its Mello Roos districts, and on how much of that money may be used for facilities improvements for the schools within those districts. CUSD is in process of re-bidding the items identified in the Facilities Needs Survey completed in 2008, after which the district can set priorities for school improvements using balances from these funds.
CUSD Technology Upgrade Report
100% of CUSD schools responded to phase 2 of the National Technology Readiness Survey, and our district is well on its way to developing a plan and updating our systems to ensure appropriate access for our students to computer based assessments. Last year the district began the initial process of upgrading some of the school site network hardware. Every school site’s main distribution frame, MDF, was replaced, and every computer lab intermediate distribution frame, IDF, was replaced. In addition, all the high schools had their wireless networks upgraded to provide for BYOD (bring your own device) capability. With special federal funding from the E-rate program, all Title 1 sites had their wireless networks upgraded as well. Also, the “learning with laptops” school sites upgraded their wireless networks a couple of years ago. In preparing for the next phase of network upgrades to provide BYOD capability at the remaining 36 schools, district staff is visiting every campus that requires hardware and cabling upgrades. These assessments include developing a full plan to replace networking equipment. In addition, the district team also develops a detailed list of every piece of equipment that needs to be purchased. The data collection phase will take a few months to complete at which point a full report will be created. This report will be used to determine how the district moves forward with these upgrades.
Simultaneously, the district is examining district-wide computer needs. All sites are being inventoried to determine the age of the equipment and how to replace computers that are possibly 4 or 5 years old.
State Task Force Recommends Teacher and Principal Preparation Reforms
A 48-member Task Force on Educator Excellence was formed to look at how to recruit the best teaching professionals, how to provide training before and throughout their careers, and how to provide useful feedback to improve teaching. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said he would assign two deputy superintendents to work with education leaders statewide to implement the report, known as “Greatness by Design”. Recommendations include:
- Revising teacher and administrator preparation standards to include the Common Core Standards.
- Strengthening teacher preparation in teaching English learners and students with disabilities.
- Changes in the way principals are prepared and credentialed.
- Creating valid performance assessments that all teachers graduating from credentialing programs must take, and using the results of these assessments as a factor in accrediting teacher-credentialing programs.
- Eliminating a 40-year-old requirement that a teacher candidate must obtain a credential in one year. This will require action by the state legislature.
- Monitoring districts to see that fully credentialed, highly qualified teachers are equitably distributed.
- Reinvigorating the mentoring and training programs for new teachers that have been dropped during the past five years due to budget cuts. The chief among these is Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment.
For more info: http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/documents/greatnessfinal.pdf
2013 Sacramento Safari – March 18-19 – This annual PTA conference will expand your understanding of our legislative process and current issues related to education. Use your voice to advocate for our children! For more information: http://www.fourthdistrictpta.org
California Students – The SAT/ACT and College Readiness
In the last month both the SAT and ACT testing programs (the college entrance exams taken by almost all college bound high school students) reported their results for the high school class of 2012. About 55% of California high school graduates took the SAT and students scored just about at the national average. California ACT test takers tended to score about one point above the national average on each test and on the composite score. That may be because some states now require all students to take the ACT as a graduation requirement, which will tend to hold down scores.
Read the full article at: http://toped.svefoundation.org/2012/10/19/our-kids-are-alright/
“Sequestration” refers to the across-the-board federal budget cuts totaling $1.2 trillion that will occur in January, 2013 unless Congress acts to replace the sequester with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. $5 billion in education dollars will be cut. CUSD alone will lose $1.45 million in federal funding. National PTA is urging state, district, and local PTA units to demand that Congress take action to stop sequestration. For more: http://www.pta.org/5382.asp.
Keep up to date with the latest legislative news affecting our children. Download the October 2012 Legislative Newsletter
Prop 38 (formerly Our Child Our Future) is on the November 6th ballot, and it is strongly supported by California PTA.
School funding has been cut by 20 billion dollars over the last four years. California is ranked 47th in the nation for per pupil education spending.
Prop 38 will bring an average of $10 billion per year directly to public schools in California. Vista del Mar alone is projected to receive $20.8 million dollars over a 12 year period, with school staff, parent and community input on how the money will be spent.
Prop 38 is the only initiative on the November 6th ballot that guarantees that funding will go to our LOCAL schools, not Sacramento.
Prop 38 GUARANTEES:
1. State government CANNOT touch the money, or use the new money to replace the funds schools currently receive.
2. School funding MUST go to every school on a per pupil basis and be spent at the school.
3. The money CANNOT be spent to increase salaries or pensions of school personnel.
4. Spending decisions will be made LOCALLY, following public input.
5. School districts will be ACCOUNTABLE for improvement at each school, based on established annual educational improvement goals.
Prop 38 uses a sliding income tax scale ranging from .4% to 2.2%, with the wealthiest taxpayers paying the most because they can best afford it. On average, individuals with incomes of less than $25,000 per year, and the majority of families with children earning less than $50,000 per year, will pay no additional taxes. You can use the tax calculator at www.prop38forlocalschools.org to estimate how much you and your family will pay under Prop 38.
According to the non partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Aug 13 report,
40% of Californian’s won’t see a tax increase under Prop 38!
For more information, please visit www.prop38forlocalschools.org.
PROPOSITION 38 Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute. Supported by California State PTA Ballot Label: TAX TO FUND EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years. Revenues go to K‐12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying the state debt. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years – roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time. Funds used for schools, child care, and preschool, as well as providing savings on state debt payments. Prop 38 would raise approximately $10‐11 billion per year for 12 years in new revenue for local public schools and early childhood programs. The measure prohibits any of the new funds from being used to replace state, local, or federal funding already in place. Funds would be provided to every K‐12 school site based on enrollment, and subject to local control, audits, and public input. The state is prohibited from directing or using the new funds. K‐12 funds must be used for the education program, or training, technology and teaching materials. Education program funds must be spent at a K‐ 12 school site to improve students' academic performance, graduation rates, and vocational, career, college and life readiness.1 School district governing boards must seek input from the public on how to spend the funds and explain how expenditures will improve educational outcomes and how those improved outcomes will be measured. Prop 38 prohibits funds from being used to provide salary or benefit increases for personnel. It allows up to 1 percent of a school district’s allocation to be spent on budgeting, reporting and audit requirements. General Fund savings of roughly $3 billion annually through 2016‐17. Until the end of 2016‐17, at least 30 per cent of the revenue raised by the measure – roughly $3 billion annually – would be used to pay general obligation debt‐service costs and provide state General Fund savings. This would free up General Fund revenues for other public programs and make it easier to balance the budget in these years. 1The measure specifically defines “education program as: 1. Instruction in the arts, physical education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, history, civics, financial literacy, English and foreign languages, and technical, vocational or career education; 2. Smaller class sizes; 3. More counselors, librarians, school nurses and other support staff at the school site; 4. Extended learning time through longer school days or longer school years, summer school, preschool, after school enrichment programs and tutoring; 5.Additional social and academic support for English language learners, low income students and students with special needs; 6.Alternative education models that build students' capacity for critical thinking and creativity; and 7. More communication and engagement with parents as true partners with schools in helping all children succeed. Sources: California Legislative Analyst’s Office, Attorney General of California, Proposition 38 ballot initiative Please contact your VdM legislative representatives with any questions you may have. Sincerely, Katie Calkins email@example.com
Melinda Bienert firstname.lastname@example.org