The California Department of Education is an agency within the Government of California that is responsible for overseeing the public school system. It has a lot of responsibilities, but its primary goal is to provide a high-quality education for California’s children. The board also makes important decisions for the educational system in the state, such as the way that teachers are paid.
ACC takes exception to overall tone, instructional approach, and lack of solutions offered
As an ACC member, I’ve written extensively about the importance of individualized education plans (IEPs). While I have always believed in the importance of these documents, the tone, instructional approach, and lack of solutions presented by the California board of education is troubling. As a parent, I take exception to the lack of solutions offered in IEPs, and I believe the state board of education should do more to improve the situation.
Charter schools avoid local oversight
In California, the state board of education oversees a small group of charter schools, but these schools continue to grow dramatically across the state. While school districts are charged with overseeing traditional public schools, they often lack the resources to adequately oversee the growing number of charter schools. As a result, the board of education is often called upon to deal with the issue, instead of trying to prevent it.
Unfortunately, the current oversight system is extremely lax in California. One of the most troubling issues is that a tiny rural district can authorize a charter school outside its boundaries and collect a commission from it. The charter has virtually no local oversight, which is bad for students and taxpayers. In California, the law should limit the number of charter schools outside of districts and give districts control over schools in their geographic areas.
The California board of education has enacted a new bill that limits the authority of charter schools to local school districts. The new law also limits the power of local school boards to approve new charter schools, and makes it more difficult for individual people to open charter schools. However, the new legislation has a stipulation that if a local school board rejects a charter school, it may appeal the decision to the state board of education. The state board of education will have the final say over any proposed changes.
Northgate Unified proposal rejected by California Department of Education
The Contra Costa County Board of Education rejected a proposal to create a new school district in Northgate. Several public meetings were held regarding the proposal. The board recommended against granting the charter to the district. However, the State Education Board has the option of accepting the charter. The state board has until July to decide whether the measure should be approved or not.
The proposed Northgate Unified school district would consist of Northgate High School, Foothill Middle School, Bancroft Elementary School, Valle Verde Elementary School and Walnut Acres Elementary School. This would have given it a total of 53 schools with approximately 28,000 students. Its neighboring school district, Mt. Diablo Unified, serves approximately 30,000 students from nine cities and five counties in San Francisco. Approximately 50% of the students are low-income and 20% of the population is non-English-speaking.
The county board will then forward the recommendation to the state Board of Education, requiring it to hold a referendum. If the state approves the proposal, the county must call a special election. Opponents of the proposed split believe that the county should hold a referendum and give all residents the right to vote.