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    By Vernon M. Billy 

    Special to the Sacramento Bee

    June 3, 2019 04:30 PM, Updated June 4, 2019 01:09 PM

    CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy weighs in on California teacher strikes

    Since the 1970s, California has consistently shortchanged public education and tarnished a school system which was once the state’s crown jewel. Forty years ago, California schools were rated in the top five nationally in per-pupil funding and had the results to match. Today, the state ranks 41st in per-student funding50th in student-teacher ratio48th in student-administrator ratio, 49th in overall student-staff ratio, 49th in guidance counselors and 50th in librarians.

    So, when teachers in LA and Oakland take to the streets for better wages, smaller class sizes and additional resources, they have ample data to support their position. After all, California boasts the fifth-largest economy in the world yet languishes near the bottom in every national measure of school funding and school staffing.

    But the sobering statistics don’t end there. California is 45th in the percentage of taxable income spent on education, behind less prosperous states such as Alabama, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and South Carolina, and almost 20 percent off the national average.

    So, when school leaders say there isn’t enough money to meet the teachers’ demands, give all students a high-quality education and keep the district financially solvent, they, too, have plenty of evidence.

    It’s almost provocative to offer in these hyper-partisan times, but maybe both sides have a point?

    Ultimately, the fight is not between labor and management nor between teachers and administrators, but between those who are committed to public education and a state that refuses to provide students with the resources they need.

    The root cause of teacher strikes is found not in Oakland or Los Angeles, but in Sacramento. It’s here, in the state capital, that lawmakers have failed to prioritize funding schools at a level that meets the needs of every student and prepares them for success in college, career and civic life. This lack of will has resulted in school funding that trails the rest of the country.

    If California funded schools simply at the national average, funding would increase by nearly $2,000 per student. For a school of 500 students, that’s an additional $1 million for expanded curriculum in science and the arts, class size reduction, student services, support staff, parent and community engagement, career technical education, textbooks, supplies and extracurricular activities. And that’s just if we boost funding to the national average — returning California to the top 10 in school funding would more than triple those numbers to almost $7,000 per student above today’s funding levels.

    California shouldn’t rate at the bottom nationally in any area of significance, let alone education. Substantial research points to a positive relationship between education funding and improved academic outcomes, particularly for economically disadvantaged students. So, it’s no surprise that while California’s school funding has fallen relative to other states, so has its student performance.

    In 2017, California’s eighth-graders ranked 41st in math37th in reading44th in science and 38th in writing on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Those results closely track the state’s lowly ranking of 41st in per-pupil funding. Sadly, California gets what it pays for when it comes to public schools, and it’s simply not enough. That’s why we’re calling on the California State Legislature to increase per-student funding to the national average by 2020 and to the average of the top 10 states by 2025.

    We have a moral, practical and economic imperative to provide all students with a high-quality education that prepares them for college, career and civic life. Nothing less than the future of our children, our communities and our state hangs in the balance.

    Vernon M. Billy is the CEO and Executive Director of California School Boards Association. He is also a California Education Influencer for McClatchy’s California Influencers series.

    Posted 6/6/19
    MSD Retirement Celebration
    Muriel Amsden
    Muriel Amsden, Los Perales, Classroom Instructional Assistant, retired after 11 years of service.
    Julie Rudolph
    Julie Rudolph, Los Perales 5th Grade Teacher, retired after 21 years in the Moraga School District.
    Jackie Berkman
    Jackie Berkman, Rheem 3rd Grade Teacher, retired after 21 years in the Moraga School District.
    Service Award Recipients
    Service Award Winners
    MSD students received Presidential Service Awards and Moraga School District Service Awards at the June 4th Governing Board meeting.
    Principals For The Day
    Group Picture of Principals and Principals of the Day
    Principals for the Day from Rheem, Los Perales, and Camino Pablo Elementary Schools, along with their principals, visit the District Office on official business.
    2018-2019 CSEA Employee of the Year
    Employee of the Year Picture

    The Governing Board Members congratulate Melissa Fahey, 2018-2019 CSEA Employee of the Year.

    New Board Member Sworn in at Special Board Meeting
    New Board Member
    Janelle Chng was sworn in as the newest Board member on April 30, 2019, at the Special Board Meeting.
    2018-2019 MSD Teacher of the Year
    Fifth Graders presentation on

    Governing Board Members congratulate 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Strohmeyer.

    January
    Board with retiree Camille Santi

    The Los Perales School Blue Crew recycling team described how they recycle lunch waste materials each day. The Blue Crew is comprised of forty-one students who volunteer during recess to improve the environment. Each member takes turns sorting materials into designated recycling bins. The Blue Crew encourages students not to use one-time products like plastic bags and plastic utensils. The Blue Crew sells bamboo sporks to raise money for environmentally friendly materials, such as a freestanding waste bins and a water filtration system.

    Principal - Stephanie Richards;  Teacher - Millie Tang

    February
    JM teacher Karlene Steelman honored as Moraga Teacher of the Year at Dinner Gala

     JM Debate Team representatives, comprised of 7th and 8thgraders, spoke about the elements of a debate and the process of preparing and participating in a debate tournament. Students shared how debate helps develop research skills, speak in public, gain more confidence in themselves and develop friendships with other students.

    March
    March Presentation

    Rheem 4th Grade Teacher, Serina Culleton introduced fourth graders who talked about the reader's workshop program. The students described how they are reading various books by the same author and then doing an in-depth study on the author's life, the author's style, the message of the book and the evidence of the message. The goal of this unit is to appreciate new authors and their style of writing.

    Resources

    LOCAL CONTROL ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN

    Governing Board and CCCOE Approved 

    2017-2020 LCAP 

    The MSD Coordinating Council, which oversees the monitoring and annual development of the LCAP, meets at 3:30 PM at the JM Library on  9/20/18, 11/7/18, 2/27/19 and 3/27/19. Students, staff, parents and community members are welcome to attend Coordinating Council meetings and are also welcome to speak to the LCAP at any regular Board meeting. Annual LCAP updates will be presented to all site PTAs and School Site Councils in the fall.  LCAP feedback and comments may be emailed to lcapfeedback@moraga.k12.ca.us.  A draft LCAP will be presented to the MSD Governing Board on June 4, 2019, and a public hearing will be held.  The Board will take action to approve the LCAP on June 11, 2019.

    Current Board Meeting Agenda

    June 11, 2019

    School Calendars

    School Year 2018-2019

    Board Adopted:   
    Dec. 12, 2017
     

     

    School Year 2019-2020

    Board Adopted:
    Mar. 12,2019

    Spotlight

    About US

    The Moraga School District is located in Moraga, California, beyond the Oakland hills and east of San Francisco.  Our students consistently score advanced and proficient on California standardized tests while excelling in art, music, technology, physical education and a variety of intermediate school electives.  The Moraga School District values the involvement of Moraga parents and families, our PTAs, the Moraga Education Foundation, and local businesses.  Together we deliver to our TK-8th grade students a first class education addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of our students to succeed in a diverse global world.

    Nondiscrimination Policy: MSD prohibits unlawful discrimination against any protected group as identified under Education Code 200 and 220 and Government Code 11135, and Title IX, including actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color, mental or physical disability, age, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any District program or activity that received or benefits from state financial assistance, including athletic programs. Complaint information is available at the MSD District Office, 1540 School Street, CA, 94556.  For further information, call 925-376-5943