Tomorrow in Sacramento — the week after the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury released an unflattering report on the subject — legislators will hear all about state takeovers in Oakland and elsewhere in California.
A new Assembly committee recently formed to take a look at the school financial takeovers system. They’ll probably get no shortage of suggestions on improvements.
School board member David Kakishiba is expected to be there, along with other school board members, policy analysts, superintendents, and union representatives. I won’t be able to make it to Sacramento tomorrow. But if you go, you should consider writing a synopsis for The Education Report!
Read all about the hearing, straight from Assemblyman Sandre Swanson’s office:
(Sacramento)—Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has authorized a committee hearing of the Assembly Select Committee on State School Financial Takeovers. Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson (D-Oakland), will call the hearing to order on Wednesday, July 16, at 10am in room 447 of the State Capitol.
The topic of the hearing is “Evaluating The System of State Receivership: What Works, What Doesn’t, and How We Can Improve the System”. Representatives from State government, local districts, and the education community will testify on their experiences with the State system of fiscal receivership, including best practices, and suggestions for how to improve the system.
“More and more districts are facing serious financial difficulties. The State’s assistance in these districts is vital, but we must have a transparent process from start to finish that preserves community participation and collaboration along the way. It is our hope that this hearing will help guide our legislative efforts to better assist districts in recovering from financial disaster,” Assemblymember Swanson stated.
Assemblymember Swanson’s district includes the Oakland Unified School District, which has been under State receivership since 2003. The District’s Board of Trustees recently regained partial governing authority, with a State receiver playing the dual role of Administrator over Finances and Pupil Achievement, and Fiscal Trustee over all other areas.
“Education is supposed to be our best example of Democracy, and public schools are the heart of civic participation in our community. Our objective is to ensure the integrity of public education and preserve local participation when State assistance becomes necessary,” Swanson concluded.
Other committee members participating in the event include: Assemblywoman Julia Brownley (D-Woodland Hills), Chair of the Budget Sub-Committee on Education Finance; Noreen Evans (D-Vallejo), incoming Chair of Assembly Budget Committee, Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) Republican Whip, Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City) Vice-Chair Committee on Housing and Urban Development; Loni Hancock (D-El Cerrito) Chair of Natural Resources; Gene Mullin (D-San Mateo) Chair of Education.
Confirmed Attendees include:
Representatives from State agencies:
Joel Montero, Executive Director—Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT)
Rachel Ehlers, Senior Fiscal & Policy Analyst—Legislative Analysts Office (LAO)
Rick Simpson, Education Consultant—Office of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
Andrea Ball—Office of the Hon. Jack O’Connell—State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Representatives from districts currently or recently in receivership, including:
Compton Unified School District
Fred Easter—School Board President
Oakland Unified School District
David Kakishiba—School Board President
Vallejo Unified School District
Dr. Mary Bull—Superintendent of Schools
West Fresno Elementary School District
Alice Grant—School Board President
Representatives from the education community, including:
Mike Egan, Legislative Advocate—California Teachers Association (CTA)
Jeff Fritas, Legislative Representative—California Federation of Teachers (CFT)
Mynette Theard, President—Local 1021 Service Employees International Unions (SEIU)
Morris Tatum, President—American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees
(AFSCME) Local 257
Adonai Mack, Legislative Advocate—Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)
Rick Pratt, Assistant Executive Director—California School Boards Association (CSBA)
If you could testify before the committee, what would you say?
image from Living Proof’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons