January/February 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 4

School spending falls further behind rest of nation

Posted: Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Author: Louis Freedberg

California continues to fall behind other states when it comes to school funding.

Just how far? California now ranks 44th in how much it spends on its students – or $2,546 less than the average spent in the rest of the United States. That’s the lowest it has been in 40 years compared to other states, in a depressing report from the California Budget Project.

The report calculates that just to bring California to the national average would require an extra $15.4 billion in spending – an increase of 29.5 percent. Those numbers underscore the impossibility of California catching up to the rest of the nation within any reasonable time period – if ever.

In fact, if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has his way, California will fall even further behind the rest of the nation during the coming fiscal year.

Schwarzenegger is proposing to cut the basic amount school districts get for every student in attendance to $7,417, an 11 percent drop from $8,423 just two years ago (2008-09), according to a report by the legislative analyst’s office.

The report also provides some ammuniton for those pushing back against GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s assertion that 40 percent of education dollars don’t make it into the classroom. The implication is that the funds are going to pay bureaucrats and other expenses extraneous to the educational process.

In fact, California has a lower proportion of administrators compared to all but three other states. According to the California Budget Project report, California schools average 358 students per administrator – far below the 216 students per administrator in the rest of the United States. California also spends a greater share of its education dollars on instruction and student services than do schools in the rest of the U.S. – 95.3 cents of every education dollar, compared to 93.8 cents in the rest of the United States.

By contrast, California spends 4.7 cents on each K-12 dollar on administration, food services and other expenses, while the rest of the country spends 6.2 cents on these same expenses.

In one arena, California has managed to find itself dead last in the nation: the number of librarians per K-12 student. California has one librarian for every 5,038 students – a ratio six times worse than the U.S. at a whole, which averages one librarian for every 809 students.

That was the ratio in 2007-08, the last year for which figures for librarians are available. As schools cut a range of school personnel even more deeply, even as California tries to motivate students to become literate, the state has nowhere further to fall, at least in rankings relative to other states.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

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STEM Conference Hosted by CMSESMC

Posted: Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.

Teachers, administrators, and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information, and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching. Register online today!

Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Submit Your NGSS Lessons and Units Today!

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.

If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Opportunity for High School Students – Los Angeles County

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Science Education Policy Update

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.

California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing

The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.

Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.

NSTA Los Angeles Conference Features Many CA Science Leaders

Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017

by Jessica Sawko

The early-bird registration rates for the 65th NSTA National Conference on Science Education in Los Angeles is just days away (ends Feb. 3). And as the early-registration deadline approaches excitement is building for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering of science educators (both California and nationwide) – with attendance expected to reach 10,000 or more. If you have never had the pleasure of attending the NSTA National Conference, I recommend you visit their website with tips for newcomers that describe the various components of the event. A conference preview is also available for download. Learn More…

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Written by Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko

Jessica Sawko is CSTA’s Executive Director.