eduCAtion insider: Your Inside Connection to CA Education News
Published by Leader Services Logo Tuesday, January 18th 2011

Proposed budget spares K-12 education, cuts Medi-Cal by $1.7 billion

Source: Rancho Bernardo Patch

CA Governor Jerry BrownGov. Jerry Brown announced a proposed budget Jan. 10 that would cut $12.5 billion from the state's budget, including a cut in take-home pay for state employees.

With additional proposed cuts of $1.7 billion from Medi-Cal and an 8-10 percent cut in pay for most state workers, the budget would eliminate an 18-month budget gap estimated at $25.4 billion, according to the governor's office. What's more, the budget would create a $1 billion reserve fund.

While there will be cuts in higher education, one area of state spending that won't be cut is K-12 education.


Report gives state schools a 'C' grade

Source: California Watch

Student at deskCalifornia's state schools ranked 30th in the nation in an annual education survey published by the nonprofit group Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. That's a "C" letter grade.

The report was based on six criteria including "Chance for Success," "K-12 Achievement," and "Standards, Assessment & Accountability." The state performed poorly in many K-12 categories, but earned an A-minus for Standards, Assessments, and Accountability.

The 15th annual Quality Counts report is based on surveys sent to the chief state school officers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


Schools must change curriculums to better prepare students for college

Source: eSchoolNews

A new report supports what many have long claimed: high school students are ill-prepared for the challenges of higher education.

College student at deskEntitled Closing the Gap between High School and College, the report was released by the Blackboard Institute, an independent research organization within the education-tech company Blackboard Inc. The institute gathered its data for the report based on interviews with education experts from K-12 schools, community colleges, research institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

According to the report's findings, students should be exposed to college-level courses early on. In addition, classrooms should take advantage of technology to emphasize problem-solving and critical thinking (though as Blackboard is an education-tech company, it's expected the organization would push for greater use of technology in the classroom).

Of the students who enter college, according to the report, nearly a third drop out after their first year - and 50 percent never graduate.


In this issue...

A word from Leader Services

Leader Services has been successfully helping schools recover millions of dollars for their special education programs through Medi-Cal since 1994.

We are pleased to provide the following testimonial from Ken Schmidt, Director of Student Services at Moreno Valley USD, with whom we've provided LBO Billing and MAA services since the 2007-08 school year:

"I have been very pleased with the personal attention and the continued involvement by your staff always looking for ways for our district to increase revenue while keeping in mind compliance obligations.

"Our revenue has more than tripled in the area of LEA billing and we are now on course to increase our MAA billing as well.

"Moreno Valley Unified went through a very difficult audit and Leader Services provided help to us even when they were not our provider."

- Ken Schmidt, Director of Student Services at Moreno Valley USD


In other news...

Funding shortage may be issue in schools' compliance with nutrition standards

Source: CA Department of Education

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson expressed concern Jan. 13 that it will be difficult for schools to comply with new federal school meal nutrition standards due to lack of funds.

Torlakson authorized legislation to improve student nutrition and fitness, but questioned how schools can pay for it without help from the federal government. Of California's 6.2 million students, 55 percent receive free or reduced-price meals.

According to the Department of Agriculture, while new standards would cost schools an additional 64 cents per student per day for both breakfast and lunch, the reimbursement increase is only 6 cents - leaving a 58-cent funding gap.



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