I wasn’t there for Rep. Barbara Lee’s visit to Claremont Middle School in Rockridge, but it sounded from the CTA press release like a chance to promote the benefits of Quality Education Investment Act funding for struggling schools. (And, maybe, a plug for the author of the bill, state Assemblymember Tom Torlakson, who’s running for state superintendent for public instruction with the CTA’s endorsement.)
QEIA (pronounced QUEE-a) money comes from the 2006 settlement of a school funding lawsuit the CTA filed against Gov. Schwarzenegger. The funding — $3 billion over eight years — goes to nearly 500 low-performing schools in California and 19 in Oakland whose test scores were in the bottom 20 percent, statewide, in 2005. It pays for smaller classes, teacher training, and school counselors.
A couple of graphs from the CTA release:
“Our young people are our future,” said Lee. “It is imperative that we equip them with the best education possible, providing targeted resources to address their specific needs. I am pleased to have had this opportunity to tour Claremont Middle School. Additionally, I want to thank the California Teachers Association for taking the time to show me the QEIA program.”
Preliminary research data show many QEIA schools are making academic progress. On average, the 499 QEIA schools scored five points higher than similar schools in the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) for the school year 2008-09, the first full year of extra QEIA resources. In the same period, the API score at Claremont Middle School, which Lee visited, rose 90 points to 703.