California Considers New Funding Structure for Community Colleges: California Governor Jerry Brown (D) has proposed a new funding formula for community colleges that would tie annual dollars to student enrollment, student outcomes, and the number of students receiving financial aid. Currently, the funding structure is based solely on student enrollment, and community college leaders have expressed concern that the new plan may negatively impact their funding. However, the proposal includes a provision to help college districts keep funding steady in the years immediately following implementation of the new structure. The proposed funding formula is included in Governor’s budget -- an analysis of higher education-related budget items can be found here.
CCSSO Partners with Nine States to Diversify the Teaching Workforce: The Council of Chief State School Officers is launching a teacher diversity initiative to promote greater racial and cultural representation among teachers. Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, and New York are all involved in the initiative. These states seek to revise and remove restrictive state policies by 2020 in an effort to cultivate a diverse workforce and encourage culturally responsive teaching practices.
Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota Address Student Data Privacy: Several states, including Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota, are considering student data privacy bills during this legislative session. Two bills in Illinois,SB 3099 and HB 5064, would amend the state’s Student Online Personal Protection Act to allow national assessment providers to sell or rent student data with parental consent if the information will be used to provide access to employment, educational scholarships, financial aid, or post-secondary educational opportunities. Iowa HF 2354 would allow for the same exception for national assessment providers, in addition to establishing student data privacy protections against targeted advertising, unauthorized access, and other activity. In addition to three pending bills (SF 1961, HF 307, and SF 1980) based on California’s Student Online Personal Information Protection Act, Minnesota HF 1507 would expand existing student privacy protections to include data on one-to-one devices.
Texas Shares Latest Special Education Plan: This week, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) made the latest draft of its Special Education Improvement Plan available for public comment. The plan comes in response to a recent federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), which found TEA out of compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In addition to serving as a plan for corrective action, the draft document includes proposed improvements for helping districts meet special education requirements. TEA is accepting public comments through April 6, and plans to send the final version to OSEP by April 18.