News Briefs | FYI
October 16, 2023
Newsom vetoes ACSA-opposed classified jobs bill, AB 1699
The ACSA Governmental Relations team scored a legislative victory Oct. 7 when Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the ACSA-opposed bill, AB 1699. If signed, the bill would have dramatically altered and limited school classified hiring by requiring existing classified employees to have a “right of first refusal” over other candidates for classified job openings. The right of refusal would have been based on seniority, regardless of the employees’ job classification or prior experience.
ACSA opposed AB 1699 because of the bill’s potential to delay and restrict the hiring process for vital classified positions, and the costly training requirements associated with the bill’s implementation.
In his veto message, Newsom wrote: “This bill may have unintended consequences that are not in the best interest of students. Educational employers and classified staff already have the ability to bargain this issue, and many already have agreements that meet the goals of this bill.”
Study: ‘Top referrers’ increase racial disparities in discipline
A small number of teachers who frequently refer students for discipline can effectively double the racial disparities for discipline in a district, according to research published this summer.
The study, which was reported on by Ed Surge in September, looked at these “top referrer” teachers in a large, diverse urban school district in California. It provides what the researchers say is the first systematic documentation of teachers’ use of office discipline referrals (ODRs) that specifies the identity of both the referred and referring individuals in all ODRs.
“We identify teachers exhibiting extensive referring behavior, or the top 5 percent referrers, based on the number of ODRs they make in a given year and evaluate their contributions to disciplinary disparities,” according to the study abstract.
Researchers found that top referrers effectively doubled the racial gaps in ODRs for Black and Hispanic students, when compared to their white peers. They suggest that targeting supports and interventions to top referrers may help in reducing racial gaps in school discipline.
Read about the study at www.edsurge.com/news/2023-09-27-when-a-tiny-fraction-of-teachers-file-most-school-discipline-referrals.
LCFF reform improved student outcomes in CA, study says
Ten years after it was implemented, the first comprehensive study of California’s Local Control Funding Formula finds that students have benefited from this ambitious school funding reform.
The study published at the end of August by Learning Policy Institute identified five key findings:
  • LCFF improved students’ math and reading achievement.
  • LCFF reduced the probability of grade repetition.
  • LCFF increased the likelihood of high school graduation/college readiness.
  • LCFF decreased suspensions and expulsions.
  • LCFF-induced investments in instructional inputs were associated with improved student achievement.
In 2013, California established LCFF to reduce the achievement gap for socioeconomically disadvantaged students by increasing spending in those districts, while giving the districts minimal restrictions on how to use the funding.
The study, which drew on district and school-level information and longitudinal student data, also investigated which uses of funding are most strongly associated with improved student outcomes. Among the findings, the study determined that a $1,000 increase in the average per-pupil spending experienced throughout one’s high school years (grades 9–12) increased the likelihood of graduating from high school by 8.2 percentage points, on average. LCFF also decreased suspensions and expulsions, especially among Black students. The evidence reveals that, among Black boys, a $1,000 increase in per-pupil spending experienced for three consecutive years (grades 8–10) was associated with an 8 percentage-point reduction in the likelihood of suspension or expulsion in high school (10th grade).
“These findings from one of the nation’s largest and most diverse state public education systems may be instructive for other states looking to improve education outcomes,” writes author Rucker C. Johnson. “They show that long-term, increased funding matters and can improve student achievement and attainment and increase the benefits of providing additional resources to districts and schools serving high-need students.”
Read the full study at https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/school-funding-effectiveness-ca-lcff-report.
Nominate an instructional leader for CASCD award
The application period is open to nominate instructional leaders for California ASCD’s Outstanding Instructional Leader (OIL) Award, which honors educators who have made a significant contribution to student learning, influencing and advocating for professional growth and demonstrating instructional leadership to ensure success for all learners. Nominations are due by Dec. 15, 2023. Applications are available on the CASCD website at cascd.org.
Webinar series shares best practices on newcomer ed
Exploring the Field of Newcomer Education is a series of webinars for the public, expert practitioners and researchers that will share their knowledge on emerging best practices, resources and knowledge that support newcomer education. The webinars are a project of the California Newcomer Education and Wellbeing Program. Each webinar presentation will be followed by a California Newcomer Network-led discussion and space for sharing. Visit bit.ly/46B4SRP to fill out a form and register for upcoming webinars, which will be held Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Jan. 11, March 7.
SBE seeks applicants for reading difficulties panel
The SBE is currently seeking to fill up to nine positions on the Reading Difficulties Risk Screener Selection Panel to create an approved list of evidence-based, culturally, linguistically and developmentally appropriate screening instruments for students in kindergarten and grades one and two (K-2) to assess pupils for risk of reading difficulties. For more information on criteria and the application, visit www.cde.ca.gov/be/cc/ab/. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 27, 2023.