Race To The Top Senate Bill is a Race To The Bottom For California Schools

I received this action alert from the California Teacher’s Association regarding the Race To The Top bills currently in the Assembly. 

CTA-opposed SBX5 4 (Romero) has been split into two bills, and your help is urgently needed to defeat both bills in the Assembly and Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The amended version of SBX5 4 contains two of the most objectionable ideas developed in this special session on education: open enrollment and parent trigger.

The second bill, SBX5 1 (Steinberg and Brownley) adds provisions that do not meet current federal requirements on teacher credentialing. Worse, the two bills are now “double-joined,” meaning that both must be passed and signed by the governor for either to take effect.

The Assembly Education Committee is scheduled to consider both bills on Tuesday, January 5. 

If the bills escape from the Education Committee, they will go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and then to the Assembly floor.

If the Assembly approves the bills, the legislation will head quickly to the Senate.

That’s why it’s urgent that you contact your Assembly Member and your State Senator right now.

Background: Two Bad RTTT Bills

These CTA-opposed bills aim to make the state eligible for some one-time federal program funding. Taken together, the two bills would:

1.                  Create chaos in school districts and drain resources from local classrooms.

  • Disguised as parental choice, the bills require open enrollment for all students in schools on the state’s list of the 1,000 lowest performing schools. This list would change annually.  No state resources would be available for busing or transportation. Schools would be required to use Title 1 funds or School Improvement Grant dollars instead.
  • Schools would be forced to take scarce classroom resources and use those funds for transportation costs.
  • The bills would create another unfunded state mandate at a time when the legislature has cut more than $17 billion from public education.

2.                  The bills would punish lower-performing schools without providing needed assistance.

  • SBX5 4 and SBX5 1 would allow a majority of parents to sign a petition and add their school to the federal sanction list without providing any resources to help the school improve.

Contact Assembly Members Now!