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
Author of bill to tie school employees' raises to funding formula increases makes big concession
Assembly Education Committee Chair Al Muratsuchi agrees to drop language explicitly calling for raising school workers' wages by 50% over seven years.
May 15, 2023
Gov. Newsom's May revisions protect education priorities, cut $4.3 billion in one-time funding
Gov. Gavin Newsom would pare back one-time funding by $4.3 billion for schools while preserving a promised 8.2% cost-of-living adjustment.
May 12, 2023
Michael Kirst on 10 years of local control funding: What has worked and what remains to be done
Co-author of California's school funding formula, which emphasizes local control, is pleased the law is largely intact but says high-poverty schools need more classroom resources.
May 9, 2023
Two dozen views on LCFF: Is California's funding law working and what could improve it?
Educators and advocates, parents and political leaders across the spectrum agree that the funding formula had great promise — and still does. But they widely disagree on what’s hindering the potential to unravel inequities.
May 9, 2023
Latest national test results underscore declining knowledge of U.S. history and civics
As they did for math and reading, eighth grade scores dropped in 2022 for U.S. history and civics; impact of Covid may be just one factor.
May 3, 2023
Senate Education Committee supports bill setting deadline for release of statewide test results
Senate committee gives bipartisan support to bill requiring release of state test scores by Oct. 15.
John Fensterwald And Thomas Peele
April 19, 2023
Key California legislator proposes raising teacher pay by 50% over 7 years, paid for by state funding
Assembly Education Chair Al Muratsuchi would target a 50% increase in the Local Control Funding Formula to fund the educators' pay raise, which still would have to be locally negotiated.
April 19, 2023
California's TK-12 enrollment fails to rebound in a return to 'normalcy'
Drop of less than 1% in enrollment is less severe than during Covid but consistent with the decline that started 20 years ago and is projected to continue for the rest of the decade.
John Fensterwald And Daniel J. Willis
April 4, 2023
Does California's landmark school funding formula need 10th year makeover?
Public Advocates and ACLU join Gov. Gavin Newsom in calling for major changes to the funding formula's mandate for equitable and effective spending through the LCAP.
April 4, 2023
AI in school: Virtually chatting with George Washington and your personal GPT-4 tutor
Khan Academy is first off the block to apply the new GPT-4 artificial intelligence software to education with Khanmigo.
March 20, 2023
Winds, rain, flooding close dozens of schools serving more than 100,000 students in California
Schools in 18 counties were shut down on Tuesday; the Central Coast was hit the hardest. A breached levy in Pajaro, next to Watsonville, will put a middle school out of commission for the year.
March 15, 2023
Newsom proposes 'literacy road map' based on ‘science of reading’; will districts follow or ignore it?
Instructional guide would emphasize proven elements of "science of reading" – decoding skills as well as comprehension. But under local control, districts can ignore it.
March 13, 2023
Legislative analyst opposes Newsom’s plan for more funding to high-poverty schools
State auditor says the priority should be fixing funding formula to make spending in high-poverty schools more transparent, not adding $300 million with an “equity multiplier.”
March 2, 2023
Orange Unified accused of 'full ambush' to fire superintendent; did it violate state's open meeting law?
A citizen complaint demands that the school board hold a repeat, legal meeting.
February 22, 2023
Newsom’s big bet on fixing California's poorest schools and narrowing achievement gaps
Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing the biggest changes in a decade to the state system of funding and governing schools.