John Fensterwald, staff writer, joined EdSource in 2012. Before that, he was editor and co-writer for The Educated Guess website, a leading source of California education policy reporting and opinion, which he founded in 2009. For 11 years before then, John wrote editorials for the Mercury News in San Jose, with a focus on education. He worked as a reporter, news editor and opinion editor for three newspapers in New Hampshire before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997. His wife is a retired elementary school teacher, and his daughter is a neurology resident at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
All articles by John Fensterwald
Funding for Proposition 98 in 2023-24 would be $1.5 billion less than appropriated last year; districts and charter schools would get an 8.1% inflation adjustment – their top priority.
January 10, 2023
Orange Unified became the second district in Orange County to fire its leader in a month. Just before Christmas, newly empowered conservatives in Capistrano Unified dismissed that district's long-time superintendent.
January 6, 2023
2023's big questions: How much will TK-12 state funding be cut? What will the final math framework look like? Will districts find tutors, after-school staff? Will the Newsom administration act decisively on early literacy?
January 5, 2023
California’s school finance ratings: D for adequacy, B for equity, F for effort — but on the upswing
California ranks 33rd in 2019-20, adjusted for its cost of living, spending $13,686 per student in state and local funding. Its method of funding poor districts is one of the nation's most equitable.
January 4, 2023
California school districts pass $20 billion in construction bonds, but some rural areas say no to higher taxes
Fear of a recession, worries about inflation and “pandemic polarization” produced some very close votes, but in the end, 70% of ballot issues won.
December 22, 2022
Alarming chronic absence rates are included with student data from 2021-22 accompanying a revived California School Dashboard.
December 15, 2022
The lawsuit by Public Counsel said that for-fee courses offered by district-affiliated foundations violate students' constitutional right to a free education.
December 9, 2022
Pivot Learning releases the District Readiness Index, a database for measuring how well California districts have met the conditions needed to make sustainable change.
December 9, 2022
A 2021 state Court of Appeal decision said a citizen-led parcel tax initiative needs only a majority of votes, not two-thirds, as previously assumed under Proposition 13. That could be a game changer – if tried.
December 6, 2022
Was a quick computer distribution during Covid, a literacy initiative or a combination of factors, plus random error, behind a surprising 8th grade score in Los Angeles Unified?
November 28, 2022
Miguel Marco, principal of Helen Wittmann Elementary in Cerritos, earned the U.S. Department of Education's Terrel H. Bell Award.
November 22, 2022
The Legislative Analyst's Office predicts the state will have to dip into its reserves to cover a shortfall in education funding.
November 16, 2022
Thurmond, running for a second term, easily defeated Lance Christensen, a conservative education policy advocate and supporter of a private school choice initiative.
November 8, 2022
Kirst , who was president of the State Board of Education for all four of Jerry Brown’s terms as governor, co-authored the Local Control Funding Formula.
November 7, 2022
'Education Recovery Scorecard' shows vast disparities among districts by converting results on NAEP and state tests into a common measure: how much learning declined during the pandemic.