November 4, 2021
State Board of Education Acts to Improve Teacher Quality, Update Arts and World Language Instruction, Clarify Local Accountability and Increase Support for Vulnerable Students
SACRAMENTO—The California State Board of Education this week moved to increase the number of highly trained teachers serving high-need students; approve new optional arts and world language instructional materials; adopt new procedures to ensure that increased and improved services are realized for low-income students, English learners, and foster youth; and strengthen the state’s “whole child” approach to education.
“I am pleased by the many steps taken by our Board over the course of the last two days to enrich the education of all California students. The policies we approved will improve classroom learning in the arts and world languages; ensure attention to the needs of the most vulnerable students; create stronger relationships with parents and communities; and broaden the availability of health, mental health, and other supports for children who need them the most,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “I appreciate the staff of the California Department of Education and the State Board for working to shape implementation of these exciting initiatives. These measures set California students on a course for not only overcoming the challenges of COVID-19 but thriving in years to come.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond underscored the important educational efforts underway in his remarks to the Board: “We have navigated difficult challenges in the last year-and-a-half, and right now we are well-positioned with the investments and the will to provide California schools and students with the resources and supports to recover from the pandemic, address student mental health needs, and create the systems and supports for schools to thrive in the future. We are not taking our eye off the ball when there is much more to do. We are ‘all in’ creating the equitable opportunities for low-income students, ensuring we include students and families in our strategies and decision-making, and finding real solutions to teacher recruitment and retention.”
The eleven-member Board of Education met virtually on Wednesday and Thursday and took the following actions:
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification Program
Board members approved elements of a $250 million grant program to increase the number of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)-certified teachers in high-needs schools. More than a decade of research shows that NBPTS-certified teachers have a positive impact on students with high needs.
Assembly Bill 130, approved by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Newsom this year, re-established the incentive program, which was originally created in 2000. Under the program, any teacher who has attained NBPTS certification is eligible to receive an award of $5,000 a year for five years if they teach at a high-priority school.
In addition, the program provides a $2,500 subsidy to cover the cost of certification for teachers at high-priority school to initiate and complete the program.
Arts and World Language Instructional Materials
Board members adopted two visual arts programs, one music program, and 10 World Language programs (including eight for Spanish and two for French) recommended by the Instructional Quality Commission and aligned to California’s new curriculum frameworks for the arts and world languages.
While local school districts can follow local processes for choosing instructional materials, those adopted by the State Board have been thoroughly vetted for high quality via a lengthy process involving teacher review panels. A list of approved materials is available on the CDE SBE Agenda for November 2021 web page.
Local Control and Accountability Plan Template Revisions
The Board of Education adopted revisions to the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) template in response to recent statutory changes. The revisions will ensure that local educational agencies (LEAs) are both planning for, and following through on, actions and services that increase and improve services for students from low-income families, English learners, and foster youth. In so doing, the new template will help LEAs realize one of the fundamental goals of the Local Control Funding Formula.
The LCAP is a three-year plan that describes the goals, actions, services, and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities. The LCAP provides an opportunity for LEAs to share their stories of how, what, and why programs and services are selected to meet the specific needs of their students and community.
California Community Schools Partnership Program
The Board approved an application process and administration plan for the state's significant investment to expand and support community schools, particularly to serve high-need students.Community schools are a student-centered, holistic approach to supporting student and family health and learning to both recover from the pandemic and address longstanding inequities in learning opportunities and outcomes. With nearly $3 billion invested over the next seven years, the State Superintendent and California Department of Education, in partnership with the State Board, are leading the implementation to grow and support community schools in collaboration with a broad range of partners, including families, educators, LEAs, nonprofits, and other state and local governmental agencies.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100