The recommended plan outlines where each district will fall within four categories of corrective action under NCLB. The actual corrective action to be applied as recommended by Superintendent O’Connell is to institute and fully implement a curriculum based on state content and achievement standards.
According to the press materials, six districts have been identified by Schwarzenegger and O’Connell as most in need of close attention and support and will be assigned what the Governor terms “a state approved education assistance provider” and what O’Connell calls a District Assistance and Intervention Team. Another 38 districts will be required to contract with a DAIT provider; 42 districts will implement targeted technical assistance; and nine districts and one county office of education will be required to revise their LEA plans. In addition, one LEA, the Coachella Valley Unified School District, will be assigned a trustee under the terms of an earlier agreement with the state. In 2005, the district accepted a $1.9 million federal grant to help meet the NCLB targets with the understanding that failure to do so could lead to the assignment of a trustee.
Schwarzenegger and O’Connell said they will work with the Legislature to release some of the one-time only $45 million in federal funding to implement the corrective. In future years the funding will be less than $45 million.
“We concur with Superintendent O’Connell that in most cases achievement gains will be more effectively achieved by assisting districts to improve with an individual course of action based on their unique needs,” said ACSA Executive Director Bob Wells. “Most of these districts have already implemented reforms and are making steady progress. However, we remain very concerned about new layers of bureaucracy and the potential for unfunded mandates given the severe state budget cuts proposed by the governor. An $800 cut per pupil will decimate some of the very programs and staff that contribute to student achievement and closing the achievement gap.”
Next steps include the March 12-13, 2008 State Board of Education meeting. LEAs have the right by federal law to request a public hearing within 45 days of assignment of a corrective action. It is not clear at this time how this will be addressed by the state. Negotiations will also be necessary on any further legislative or budgetary actions necessary if the State Board concurs with the plan presented today. ACSA will be very involved and will keep you informed.
To View Proposal go to www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ti/proposalleapai.asp.