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Legislation & Advocacy

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Curriculum & Instruction

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Court Decisions, Pending Legislation Make for Complicated Situation Regarding Lease Leaseback Construction Contracts

Two recent court decisions, as well as a bill that is currently making its way through the California Legislature, have made for a complicated situation regarding “lease leaseback” contracts that some California school districts have used for the construction of new facilities.

On May 4, the California Second District Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a taxpayer advocate’s lawsuit that claimed the Torrance Unified School District circumvented a law requiring government entities to hire the lowest bidder on construction projects...

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Governor Brown Stresses “Fiscal Prudence” – and Caution in General – with May Budget Revision

Governor Jerry Brown announced his May Budget Revision on Friday (May 13), emphasizing “fiscal prudence” in light of state revenues that came in $1.1 billion short of projections during the critical month of April, and stressing that “there are no halcyon days ahead where massive new programs can be financed,” even if California voters approve an extension of some Proposition 30 revenues in the coming November election. (And Brown once again reiterated that he is not endorsing an extension of Proposition 30, saying he will let California voters decide.)...

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Survey Shows Educators, Parents and Students Want Balanced Approach to Assessment in ESSA Landscape

As the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers states and districts new flexibility around accountability and assessment requirements, a new Gallup report commissioned by the not-for-profit Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) reveals educators, parents and students want a balanced approach to K-12 testing, utilizing a variety of academic assessments with a strong preference for those that improve teaching and learning.

The new report includes findings from a survey of more than 4,200 students, parents, teachers, principals and superintendents...

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Governance & Leadership

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Human Resources

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Operations & Technology

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Federal Government Releases Joint Guidance on Civil Rights of Transgender Students

The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice sent a letter to schools across the country on Friday (May 13) containing joint guidance and a compilation of examples regarding the civil rights of transgender students and how they should be treated at school under federal law.

The “dear colleague” letter came as issues relating to transgender students have become increasingly prominent – something acknowledged in the statement by the U.S. Department of Education, which noted “Many parents, schools, and districts have raised questions about this area of civil rights law.”...

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New U.S. Department of Education Report Finds Holes Throughout Teacher Pipeline

On May 6, the U.S. Department of Education released a report today titled “The State of Racial Diversity in the Educator Workforce,” in conjunction with the National Summit on Teacher Diversity, an even hosted by the department. The report reviews trends in the diversity of elementary and secondary school educators, and examines the teacher pipeline from enrollment in post-secondary education to entrance into the teaching workforce and beyond.

“A diverse teacher workforce isn’t just a nicety – it’s a real contributor to better outcomes in our schools, workplaces, and communities,”...

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New Report Finds Teens Feel Addicted to Their Phones, Causing Tension at Home

A new report issued on May 3 by Common Sense Media finds that 50 percent of teens "feel addicted" to mobile devices, and 59 percent of their parents agree that their kids are addicted. Additionally, parents and children are concerned about the effects mobile device use has on their daily lives – from driving to the dinner table – with over one-third of the families in the Common Sense poll arguing about it daily.

The poll surveyed 1,240 parents and kids from the same households and accompanies a white paper that reviews the latest scientific research about problematic media use...

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