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News Update

And the award for education innovation goes to … California

The Education Commission of the States has named California this year’s recipient of the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation.

“California is demonstrating an intentional, comprehensive investment of funding and other resources that recognize and honor whole-child approaches to education, not only instruction,” the commission wrote, in announcing the award, one of three it presents annually, on Wednesday.

The commission, which provides services and convenes state education policymakers, pointed to the state’s recognition of, and support for, “the unique needs of students today.” It recognized the  Local Control Funding Formula as  “one of the nation’s most equitable formulas,” as well as additional funding for more teachers, counselors and paraprofessionals; a large investment to scale summer, before- and after-school programming; and money to convert thousands of schools into full-service community schools. Praising the continuum of support from preschool to higher ed, the commission pointed to the commitment to universal pre-K available for all 4-year-olds by 2025, and the expansion of the Cal Grant scholarship program and funding for zero-cost textbooks and open-educational resources for college students.

“This award recognizes the hard work that’s gone into this transformative change by leaders throughout the state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a news release.