OAKLAND, CA (May 14, 2012) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement regarding Governor Brown’s May budget revision:
“After five straight years of budget deficits, Governor Brown is rightly acknowledging the severity of our current crisis. In this difficult context, we applaud the Governor for continuing to press for a weighted student formula proposal that would fund school districts based on the needs of their students. We also commend him for requiring districts to spend the additional dollars generated by low-income students and English Learners on these students.
The Education Trust—West Statement as State Board Considers California’s Application for a Waiver of No Child Left Behind
OAKLAND, CA (May 9, 2012) The Education Trust—West issued the following statement as the California State Board of Education considers an application for a waiver of No Child Left Behind:
“On Thursday, the California Department of Education and State Board President Mike Kirst will present a proposal to the State Board of Education to apply for a waiver of No Child Left Behind. Unlike the 37 states and the District of Columbia who have already submitted waiver applications, this request will not meet the requirements of the Obama administration's waiver application process. Unlike the leaders of these 37 states and the three additional states who have committed to following this application process, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Board President Mike Kirst will ask for a “special” waiver that provides California with flexibility from federal law for essentially doing nothing. Rather than committing to the development of concrete plans to improve student outcomes, close achievement gaps, and prepare all students for college and career, California’s education leaders will complain about the state budget crisis and rehash disturbing, old arguments about federal interference with state’s rights and local control.”
Ed Trust—West Releases Latest Annual Report Cards for California School Districts, Grading 147 Largest Districts on Latino, African-American and Low-Income Student Outcomes
(OAKLAND, CA) Today, The Education Trust—West releases its latest annual report cards for California’s 147 largest unified school districts revealing how well they are serving their Latino, African-American, and low-income students. The grades and ranks for each of these districts for the 2010-2011 school year are posted on The Education Trust—West’s “District Report Cards” website at http://reportcards.edtrustwest.org/.
The Education Trust—West Issues Statement as California State Board of Education Considers a Waiver of No Child Left Behind
OAKLAND, CA (March 7, 2012) – The Education Trust—West issued the following statement as the California State Board of Education considers an application for a waiver of No Child Left Behind:
“The Obama administration has offered California an unprecedented opportunity to apply for a waiver of No Child Left Behind. To date, thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have seized this opportunity and submitted waiver applications. This includes states with Democratic and Republican leadership. It includes states that have, like California, suffered from sizable budget deficits. In contrast, California’s leadership has failed to submit an application and focused instead on criticizing the Obama administration for the reasonable requirements of the waiver application process. These requirements include the implementation of Common Core State Standards adopted by the California State Board of Education; the development of a robust district and school accountability system focused on closing achievement gaps; and long overdue reforms to California’s abysmal teacher and principal evaluation requirements. Rather than seizing this opportunity, Governor Brown and Superintendent Torlakson have decided to submit a ‘California-specific waiver’ that would ignore the administration’s application requirements. Given the high stakes, this approach is appalling. Like thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia, California should support the Obama administration’s plan and submit a waiver proposal that adheres to the requirements of the application process. Doing otherwise would be an incredible lost opportunity and an abdication of our leadership’s responsibility to improve California’s education system. We encourage the state board to reject the California-specific waiver proposal and vote to submit a high quality waiver application that adheres to the Obama administration’s requirements for approval.”
New Education Trust—West Report Details How California Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts of Millions in Funding
OAKLAND, CA (February 23, 2012) – A new report released today paints a step-by-step picture of startling inequities in California’s system of education funding that harm our state’s poorest school districts. In The Cruel Divide: How California’s Education Finance System Shortchanges its Poorest School Districts, The Education Trust—West reveals that California’s highest poverty districts—those with the largest concentrations of low-income students—receive $620 less per student from state and local sources than the state’s wealthiest districts. For a mid-sized school district of 6,000 students, that amounts to over $3.7 million per year.
“Students with the greatest needs should receive additional funding to accelerate their learning, close achievement gaps and help them catch up with their better off peers,” said Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and students in poverty. “This report reveals that California’s education funding system is shortchanging our highest need districts and schools and giving less to those students who desperately need more.”