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
Newsom projects $24 billion in new spending on K-12 education; he'd speed up plans for a longer day for low-income kids and add nearly $1 billion for arts and music.
January 10, 2022
Among the 24% of students who took the Smarter Balanced assessments in 2020-21, achievement gaps widened, and the youngest students struggled.
January 7, 2022
Test scores will fall, chronic absences will rise, school funding will soar, with arguments over how to spend it. Bet your Fensters on that.
January 7, 2022
No frozen pizza on the menu at Pacific Elementary in tiny coastal Davenport. The fifth and sixth grade chefs cook from scratch, luring families to enroll in their school.
January 6, 2022
A 40-year-old initiative putting a ceiling on state spending may restrict how a budget surplus can be used; one option is capital spending on schools.
December 29, 2021
The California Department of Education found Los Angeles Unified violated the law in cutting 90% of funding for more than 100 archdiocese schools, and now the diocese is suing the district.
December 28, 2021
Suggestions include confronting disparities in staffing fully qualified teachers and more evenly distributing money for high-needs students.
November 24, 2021
Legislative Analyst's Office forecasts rocketing state revenues will provide K-12 schools and community colleges with $102.7 billion.
November 17, 2021
American Rescue Plan Act funding imposes few restrictions, although addressing lost learning and underserved students must be priorities.
November 15, 2021
State schools chief apologizes to private, parochial school leaders for mishandling federal Covid aid
California schools chief acknowledges "heartburn" and frustration, promises to free up $187 million, largely for urban parochial schools.
November 5, 2021
Delay by the California Department of Education is denying vital services for students, creating a budget squeeze for urban Catholic schools.
October 25, 2021
State Auditor Elaine Howle faults California Department of Education for not scrutinizing spending and not doing more audits.
October 20, 2021
Once past Covid disruptions, many school districts face a long-term predicament: budget cuts forced by projected declines in enrollment.
October 18, 2021
Research by the Public Policy Institute of California compares Local Control Funding Formula allocations to school-level spending.