Capitol Update 4/25/13

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April 25, 2013 Support Expanding Access to Facilities Funding!
We need your help to let members of the Assembly Education committee know how much charter schools need more access to facilities funding. CCSA is sponsoring AB 948 (Olsen), which would expand access to the SB 740 facility grant program. In addition to allowing charter schools to use the funds for debt service and not just rent, the bill includes essential technical fixes to the program. But the big changes are these:

  • If funds are available, allows schools with a Free-Reduced Lunch Meal (FRLM) population of less than 70% to be eligible for the program. We know poverty's impact doesn't stop if fewer than 70% of students are eligible for the FRLM. AB 948 would drop the percentage requirement by one percent until all funds are used.
  • Allows the facilities that nonclassroom-based schools have, like science labs, to be eligible for this program at a lower reimbursement rate. Many of these schools have significant facilities, and should be allowed to receive this funding.

Do you agree that more charter schools should be able to reduce the amount of their operating budget spent on facilities? That charter schools should be able to use money in the classroom, instead of on the classroom? Then take these two easy steps today:

  • Send an email to members of the committee urging their support. Our easy to use Action Alert Center makes it simple to add in your customized message of support and deliver it to legislators.
  • Call members of the committee and state your support. Don't worry if your call is short, it will still be recorded with the office. You can find talking points on our AB 948 Web page.

This Week in Sacramento
Yesterday, the Senate Education committee passed SB 379 (Hancock) which would update Education Code to reflect the unique delivery model of education for early college charter high schools. CCSA supports the intent of the bill, and is working with the author to make sure the bill's language reflects its intent.

Also on Wednesday the Assembly Local Government committee approved AB 913 (Chau), which CCSA opposes. This bill would place new, unnecessary, conflict of interest and other governance requirements on charter schools. Want to get involved? AB 913 will be heard next week in the Assembly Education Committee - call members of the committee and urge them to vote no. You can find talking points about the bill's impact on charter schools on the AB 913 Web page.

Budget/Local Control Funding Formula Update
This week, the Assembly Education Committee had its first hearing on AB 88 (Buchanan), a bill that would implement the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The LCFF is also being heard in budget subcommittees. In addition, this week the Senate Democratic leadership announced that it is introducing SB 69, its own version of the LCFF, which would make several key changes to the Governor Brown's proposal, including delaying implementation one year and removing the "concentration" grants. We will keep you posted as these proposals move forward.

CCSA had a webinar this week on the LCFF with over 75 attendees participating online. Materials from the webinar, including an LCFF simulator that schools can use to model funding under the LCFF, are available on the LCFF tab on our Budget Web page.

New English Learner Requirements for Intern Credentialed Teachers
Last week, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) met to discuss proposed policy changes and draft regulations regarding intern credentials and English Learner Authorization (ELA). The CTC established several policy changes around which regulations were drafted. Among these changes were the following:

  • CTC approved intern programs must establish an agreement with the school district that outlines the responsibilities of each regarding supervision and support of the intern in the classroom.
  • Interns must receive 144 hours of support during the school year, with a minimum of two hours per week.
  • An additional 45 hours per year of support must be provided to interns, specifically focused on teaching English learners, from a mentor teacher with an ELA.
  • Districts will be required to submit biennial reports to the CTC on the number of interns they have and what type of supervision and support they are receiving.

These regulatory changes will be set for public hearing and CTC will invite public comment on the regulations. Watch our future Capitol Updates for more information as the regulatory process moves forward.

20th Anniversary Advocacy Day: May 8 in Sacramento
Did you miss the registration deadline? Email governmentaffairs@ccsa.org if you are interested in participating. Be sure to visit the updated 20th Anniversary Advocacy Day resource page for important information on how to prepare for success.

Don't forget to sign-up for the charter leader training webinar: "Success in the Capitol: Preparing for Advocacy Day." Visit CCSA's events Web page to register.