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2016-17 Advocacy Strategy

September 29, 2016

Legislative Update for CUE Members - September 2016 | more leg updates

Prepared by John Cradler, CUE Legislative Policy Consultant


2016-17 Advocacy Strategy: As described in the previous Legislative Update, the focus on advocacy will be to: influence implementation of existing programs to include; collaborate with other education associations; be proactive development of the 2017-18 State budget; and provide policy advise on the development of new State and Federal Education initiatives. We will continue to monitor and take positions on current and emerging legislation and initiatives relevant to the CUE Advocacy Platform.


Collaboration with Education Associations: CUE is taking a leadership role in the establishment of a State-level Educational Technology Alliance as described in a Winter 2015 OnCUE article prepared by the CUE Legislation and Policy Consultant. After much discussion and planning the first preliminary meeting of the Alliance was hosted by the Capitol Advisor at their office in Sacramento. Associations represented in person at the meeting were CUE, K12 HSN, CCESSA, and on video conference were, CEDPA, ACSA, Imperial COE. Other potential association members may include California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), California Teachers Association (CTA), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California School Boards Association (CSBA), Small School Districts Association, California State Employees Association (CSEA), and the California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (CASCD).


The group shared the belief that we are stronger working together on shared issues and having a framework for collaboration will allow us to more rapidly respond to issues with a unified voice. Based on conversation at the first meeting, following are the issues of mutual interest that we agreed to work on together in 2017-18. At the October 6th meeting, the intention is to create policy statements for these issues and create an action plan


  1. Net Neutrality

  2. Security and data privacy

  3. One-to-one access to computers

  4. Curriculum integration

  5. Professional development

  6. Home access to computing devices and the Internet


Other discussion topics that emerged in the meeting included:


  1. Broaden the focus or purpose to be on “modernizing” or improving teaching and learning with the integration of effective and appropriate technology into instruction and learning.

  2. Consider calling the entity the “Modern Learning Collaborative” rather than ET Alliance with  continued discussion of what to call the entity

  3. Preparing for and conducting a hearing at the State Capitol to inform legislators about the critical current and future educational needs that can be addressed with technology.

  4. Focusing on professional development of educators offered by associations, beyond CUE to insure that the role of technology is communicated

  5. Establish State Budget priorities that can be supported and actively advocated by all members of the Collaborative.


There was much discussion about the perception the public seems to have that technology is being layered on top of education and sold to school by corporations without regard to documented needs and cost-benefits. For this reason, it was decided to focus on educational improvement in general with technology as the underlying focus of the collaborative. The Collaborative would also promote uses of technology that address documented needs backed by credible documentation of effectiveness in supporting education goals. The next meeting of the Collaborative is set for October 6th, in Sacramento at the Capitol Advisors Office.


Meeting with Assembly Member Kevin Mullen, Assembly Speaker Pro-tem: Recently I met with Assembly Member Mullin to discuss education legislation and specifically technology issues. Kevin is the son of Gene Mullen, prior Senator and Assembly Member whom co-authored previous legislation to re-authorize CTAP. In his role as Speaker Pro-tem, he makes the budget recommendations to the Speaker and has input on all Assembly Bills. He is also a supporter of, and works closely with, Assembly Member Bonilla–CUE Advocacy Award recipient, and Sunne McPeak, CETF President, another CUE Advocacy Award recipient.


I reviewed the major education technology issues with Kevin and his major issues are broadband access to underserved schools and homes and educator professional development. He asked that I meet with him and his staff to discuss any proposals or bills of interest. He also offered to help organize the hearing with the appropriate Assembly committees. Kevin’s home region is San Mateo County but he represents the State as Speaker Pro-Tem. I am a member of his home-office education advisory committee.


Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Update: As described in prior Updates and in OnCUE, ESSA was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015, and goes into full effect in the 2017–18 school year. The ESSA reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s federal education law, and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).


As part of California’s transition to ESSA, California must submit an ESSA State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  The California ESSA funding will be part of a single coherent local, state, and Federal accountability and continuous improvement system that is aligned with and supportive of California’s priorities. The State plan for the Local Control Funding Formula and related Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and ESSA will combined into a single plan. This plan will provide the details on how districts will develop plans for their use of the funding.


The State Plan will describe the State’s implementation of standards, assessment, accountability, and school support and improvement activities. The State Board of Education (SBE) approved appointments of 17 members to provide input on the development of the Plan. The State has just completed six regional meetings conducted at County Offices of Education to collect input for the preliminary plan. State plan is being developed in consultation with stakeholders according to the following timeline:


Plan Development Timeline

Plan Development Activities


• Engage stakeholders in surfacing questions, decisions, and opportunities


• Develop plan outline based on draft regulations from U.S. Department of Education (ED)

• Begin drafting Plan

• Continue stakeholder engagement activities


• Draft plan completed

• 30-day public comment period


• Incorporate public comment and State Board of Education(SBE)feedback into Plan


• Plan approved by SBE, sent to ED


A number of potential funding opportunities are outlined in ESSA, as are a variety of options for state and local uses of funds. As with LCFF, it is up to the district level planning to determine specific allocations of funds. Some of the possible uses of ESSA funding include but are not limited to the following:


  • Literacy Education for All

  • Teacher and School Leader Incentive program

  • Effective Educator Development

  • School Leader Recruitment and Support

  • STEM Master Teacher Corps

  • “Well-rounded educational opportunities” activity

  • “Safe and healthy students” activity

  • Effective use of technology (up to 15% can be used for technology infrastructure)


For additional details and updates about the ESSA State Plan districts go the CDE Website at: www.cde.ca.gov/essa

Receive updates by joining the ESSA listserv. To subscribe, send a blank message to join-essa@mlist.cde.ca.gov


State Legislative Update:


AB 2329, Assemblywoman Bonilla, AB 2329 requires the SPI to convene an advisory panel to develop recommendations for a strategic computer science implementation plan. The panel would represent multiple stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, advocates, policymakers, and leaders from state and local government. The SBE is required to consider these recommendations and develop the implementation plan. The recommendations will include, but not be limited to:


    • Broadening the pool of teachers to teach computer science

    • Ensuring all students have access to computer science courses

    • Procuring a pathway for computer science to count toward high school graduation and college admission

    • Providing access to computer science in both college and career pathways

    • Ensuring school districts have adequate broadband connectivity and access to hardware and software


AB 2329 passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly and is now on the Governor’s desk. CUE has submitted a support letter asking Governor Brown to sign this bill.


Proposed legislation: Internet for all Now Act: Proposed legislation being developed by the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF): The bill would focus on broadband adoption for the most disadvantaged residents to achieve 90% access by 2023. Following are some of the major purposes of this bill:


  1. Requires the CPUC to identify priority Unserved areas to achieve Legislature’s goal of 98% deployment in each region and set objectives for timely decisions.

  2. Maintains funding priority for last-mile unserved households and allows improvements in underserved areas only if adjacent to unserved areas.

  3. Ensures most disadvantaged residents living in publicly-subsidized housing will be online and able to participate in the Digital Economy to get out of poverty.

  4. Allocates $150M to Office of Emergency Services to connect county and state fair sites with command centers for emergency response.

I am participating on a CETF committee to provide input to the language for this proposed legislation. CETF has not identified the author yet but have several State Legislators in mind.


Relevant State Propositions: CUE may want to consider taking positions on Propositions 51 and 55 as they have a significant impact on education funding. Most of the California Education Associations have taken and published their positions on these two Propositions. Clicking on the PDF HTML provides the details prepared by the Legislative Analysist’s Office (LAO). http://www.lao.ca.gov/


Proposition 51: School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statutory Amendment.    PDF HTML


A YES vote on this measure means: The state could sell $9 billion in general obligation bonds for education facilities ($7 billion for K-12 public school facilities and $2 billion for community college facilities).


A NO vote on this measure means: The state would not have the authority to sell new general obligation bonds for K-12 public school and community college facilities.


Proposition 55: Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. PDF HTML


A YES vote on this measure means: Income tax increases on high-income taxpayers, which are scheduled to end after 2018, would instead be extended through 2030. Increased funding for schools and community colleges from roughly half of the revenue raised by the measure. This measure extends for 12 years the additional income tax rates previously established in 2012 by Proposition 30.


A NO vote on this measure means: Income tax increases on high-income taxpayers would expire as scheduled at the end of 2018.

Prioritizing Educational Technology Topics


California Education Technology Blueprint Survey:  During June and July 2016, it was decided to update the Blueprint priorities to help inform decisions regarding current and future priorities for education technology in California. The strategy for the update was to convert the 19 Blueprint topics into a survey that would be administered to a sample of California educators. A sample of 164 persons involved in education with 41% as teachers and the remainder technology support and administrators and others. Following are the ranking of the 19 recommendations by the respondents on a scale with 1 as low to 5 as high priority:

              1. Provide at least one Internet-connected devices to students and educators (4.5)
              2. Enhance tech integration throughout K-12 and higher education (4.5)
              3. Prevent cyberbullying and protect student data (4.4)
              4. Monitor and expand network bandwidth to support one-to-one computing (4.4)
              5. Pursue measures to close the digital divide for students and homes (4.3)
              6. Pursue statewide and regional enhancement of broadband connections (4.3)
              7. Instruct all students in technology use and programming (4.3)
              8. Create programs for Ed Tech professional development (4.2)
              9. Remove barriers that restrict instructional use of technology (4.2)
              10. Advocate for instructional technology and related professional development (4.1)
              11. Design School facilities to support technology resources (4.1)
              12. Provide professional development for technology with learning assessments (4.0)
              13. Recognize students who demonstrate 21st century skills and State standards (3.9)
              14. Provide regional and State tech support in the within the context of LCFF and LCAP (3.8)
              15. Build capacity for informed decision making re digital learning resources (3.8)
              16. Establish standards for development of low-cost shared digital learning resources (3.9)
              17. Create a State level senior-level position for educational technology (3.6)
              18. Create tools for evaluation of educational technology use by teachers, students, and parents (3.4)
              19. Explore the deployment of statewide cloud computing data (3.3)


CUE Legislative Advocacy Platform Priority Rankings: In additional to ranking the Blueprint recommendations we decided to have the Advocacy Committee members, using a scale with 1 as low to 4 as high priority, rank order the CUE Legislative Advocacy Platform items. Following are the rankings provided by 12 of the respondents:


      1. State funding for teacher and administrator professional development (3.9)

      2. Sustained funding for technology (3.9)

      3. Continuous funding for technical support (3.7)

      4. Technology integration into current and emerging tech initiatives (3.5)

      5. Fully funded professional development (3.6)

      6. Support of underserved areas (3.4)

      7. Digital content (3.4)

      8. Student privacy (3.3)

      9. Curriculum support (3.3)

      10. Alliance with other entities (new item) (3.3)

      11. Federal education initiatives (3.2)

      12. A statewide education technology plan (3.2)

      13. High speed network for homes (new item) (3.2)

      14. Research-based technology applications and services (3.2)

      15. Online learning (3.1)

      16. Career-long professional development planning (3.1)

      17. Integrated network and K-12 High Speed Network (3.0)

      18. Administrative uses of technology (3.0)

      19. California Education Technology Blueprint (2.7)

Analysis: It is evident that most items on each survey were rated as moderate to high. It is evident that closing the digital divide, sustained funding, technology integration into instruction, and professional development are among the highest priorities. CUE is adding items to the Speak-Up national survey which will provide a much larger sample size.