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Education

The promises and the challenges facing California in relation to our public education system have never been more significant.  Every year more than one hundred thousand students fail to graduate, falling through the cracks of an overburdened education system into a lifestyle of few opportunities.  Given this challenge, the Regional Economic Association Leaders (R.E.A.L.) of California have embarked on a focused and robust effort to lead in both advocacy and direct efforts to ensure that California remains competitive in a global economy and that we guarantee a strong future for the economic and overall well being of our communities, youth and its citizens.

Guiding Principals

  • Promote increased accountability for student performance, and learning outcomes, including the implementation of a longitudinal data system.
  • Align P-20 education and workforce development systems with the needs of the economy and focus on sector specific strategies to promote industry-driven initiatives.
  • Champion Multiple Pathways and create partnerships to deliver graduates with 21st Century Skills.
  • Cultivate business and civic leaders to drive education reform and partner with local school districts to create nurturing and safe learning environments for our youth.
  • Improve student access to and completion of post-secondary education.
  • Strengthen teacher quality and preparation by assisting school districts in recruiting, supporting and retaining qualified and effective teachers.
  • Close the achievement gap in low-performing schools.

2009 Legislative Priorities

  • Senate Bill 19 (Simitian) Existing law requires the State Chief Information Officer to convene a working group representing specified entities to create a strategic plan to link education data systems and to accomplish specified objectives relating to the accessibility of education data. This bill would authorize these provisions to be implemented using federal grant funds received pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 through that act’s provision of funds for statewide data systems under the federal Education Technical Assistance Act.   
  • Assembly Bill 8 (Brownley) - Requires the Director of Finance and the Legislative Analyst to convene a working group to make findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor regarding the implementation of a restructured California school finance system.
  • Assembly Bill 60 (Coto) - Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to enter into an agreement for a comprehensive study of key factors to be considered in the creation of weights within the concept of a weighted formula for funding pupil learning.

2008 Legislative Wins Promoted Increased Accountability for Student Performance and Learning Outcomes

  • Senate Bill 1298 (Simitian) The bill established a Statewide Education Data Governing Board that will oversee the creation of a longitudinal education information system, connecting longitudinal records from prekindergarten through higher education and into the workforce.  Investment in a comprehensive education data system, as proposed by the McKinsey’s Framework for a Comprehensive Education Data System in California will help manage cost and achieve effective outcomes from our publicly funded education system. By creating a Statewide Education Data Governing Board we can develop a high quality system that will be invaluable as we work to make smart and cost-effective choices that will actually change student outcomes and inform program decisions.  For more information visit: http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/10667

Advocated for Quality Pre-K/Early Childhood Programs

  • Senate Bill 1629 (Steinberg) would develop a rating system on the quality of early education programs in the state. The bill established the Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee to propose recommendations on how to evaluate and improve the quality of child development programs providing services from birth to age five, including preschool.  The bill also established a framework for future resources necessary to achieve and maintain higher quality programs.
  • Assembly Bill 2759 (Jones) streamlines funding to expand preschool availability throughout the state. The bill established the California State Preschool Program (CSP), which consolidates all the early childhood education programs in the state. Specifically, CSP streamlines funding which will expand preschool options, increase program availability and reduce administrative costs.

For more information on both Pre-K bills, please visit http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/10631

Focused on Multiple Pathways to improve Secondary & Post Secondary Education Completion Rates

  • AB 2648 (Bass/Steinberg) asks the Department of Education to develop a report on increasing student access to Multiple Pathways programs. Approximately, one-third of all California high school students drop out of school, and about a third of those who receive diplomas are unprepared to succeed in college or the workplace.  Multiple Pathways combines an engaging college-preparatory curriculum with an exceptional career and technical education that lead to real-world success for our youth, and to a world-class labor force for our state.
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