Senate Bill 126, which was passed in the Senate Feb. 21, would require that California charter school boards comply with the same open meeting, conflict-of-interest and disclosure laws as district school boards, including holding public board meetings, opening records to the public upon request and ensuring board members don’t have a financial interest in contracts on which they vote.
Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, a former Oakland Unified teacher and principal, says district has to live within its "current financial reality" and end the "same repeated conversations that we have been having for decades."
As Oakland teachers prepare for a strike, a state arbitrator points to a range of factors, such as basing state funding on attendance rather than enrollments, a disproportionate concentration of charter schools in urban districts and high special education and pension costs as potential stumbling blocks to reaching an agreement not only in Oakland but in other districts experiencing labor turmoil.
Although students will begin taking the California Science Test in March, most school districts have yet to approve textbooks or materials aligned to the new standards adopted six years ago by the State Board of Education. Still, federal law is requiring California to begin testing this year.
The emerging shortage of teachers in a growing number of districts and subject areas has cast a cold light on the numerous challenges facing the teaching profession. These include salaries that are much lower than those in jobs or professions that require as much or less academic preparation, an expectation that teachers can mitigate the impact of income levels and neighborhood conditions on academic performance, and the dwindling amount to time teachers have for professional learning and collaboration with other teachers. EdSource examines these challenges -- and what can be done to overcome them.