Investing in California’s Students

January 2004 In his State of the State address, Governor Schwarzenegger established a bold roadmap for the future of public education, committing to the goals of expanding charter and career technical schools, providing funding flexibility to public schools, and ensuring that every classroom has an effective teacher and every school has an effective principal so that all students in California graduate prepared for college and career success.

June 29, 2004 Governor Schwarzenegger, along with U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, announced
a $75 million grant for California charter schools. The grant provided funds to improve charter school performance and share information about best practices being implemented in successful charter schools around the country. Under Governor Schwarzenegger’s leadership, the number of charter schools in California increased from 382 in 2003–2004 to 912 in 2010—the largest expansion of charter schools in state history. California now has more charter schools than any other state in the nation.

August 13, 2004 Governor Schwarzenegger announced settlement of the Williams lawsuit. The landmark reforms contained in the agreement will ensure that California’s schoolchildren get a quality education and have the opportunities they deserve. The agreement addressed the needs for qualified teachers for all students, an end to the shortened school calendar for some of the most overcrowded schools, clean and safe school facilities, and up-to-date textbooks in core subjects.

September 29, 2004 Governor Schwarzenegger took the first step in providing funding flexibility to school districts. As he promised during his campaign, the Governor signed legislation to consolidate twenty-two separate categorical programs into six block grants.

April 21, 2005 To rebuild the promise of California’s education system, Governor Schwarzenegger established his Initiative to Turn Around Failing Schools, with the goal of turning failing schools into charter schools or assigning School Recovery Teams to manage them.

May 31, 2005 The University of California, California State University, business leaders, and the Governor announced the One Thousand Teachers, One Million Minds initiative to enhance the supply and preparation of science and mathematics teachers for California’s public schools. Under the “California Teach” program, the UC system committed to quadruple its annual production of credentialed science and mathematics teachers, from 250 per year to 1,000 per year by 2010. This initiative is the largest effort of its kind in the nation. Undergraduate students at UC will be able to earn, in just four years of study, both a bachelor’s degree in science, mathematics, or engineering and the preparation to enable them to become secondary-school science or mathematics teachers. Additionally, CSU committed to double its production of teachers.

July 27, 2005 The Governor’s 2005 budget provided the largest amount of funding ever for charter school facility needs—$28.5 million. The budget also established a new federal Charter Schools Facilities Incentive Grants program, administered by the California School Financing Authority, to provide an additional $19.5 million to both support the construction of new facilities and lease payments on existing facilities.

September 28, 2005 Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 319, which removed fiscal obstacles that school districts face in approving charter schools, enhanced fiscal accountability and transparency, and expanded training for education professionals.

October 5, 2005 The Governor signed legislation increasing the reimbursement rate and district grant levels for the federal 21st-Century Community Learning Center after-school program. He also established the Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs.

March 15, 2006 The Governor hosted the After-School Summit to help facilitate the statewide rollout of Proposition 49 funds. He led the campaign to pass Proposition 49, which provides $550 million annually to after-school programs. Before- and after-school programs expanded significantly during the Governor’s seven years in office.

May 5, 2006 The legislature’s passage of the Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan included $500 million for charter school facilities, the largest state bond funding for charter school facilities in California history.

May 5, 2006 The legislature’s passage of the Strategic Growth Plan included $500 million in supplemental grants for career technical education (CTE) facilities. This record-level funding was the first time in California history that funding for CTE was included in a state bond.

July 10, 2006 The Governor’s 2006–2007 budget provided a $32.9 million increase for the charter school categorical block grant. Charter schools also received $9 million to fund facility leasing costs for schools that serve low‑income student populations.

September 18, 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2717, which allowed the California School Finance Authority to provide tax-exempt, low-cost financing to charter schools for use in the construction, repair, or lease of school facilities.

September 21, 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation increasing the funding rate per student of the state After-School Education and Safety (ASES) program. The legislation also streamlined the program by allowing for direct grants to specific programs instead of using a reimbursement system. The Governor also increased the quality of ASES programs by allowing for up to three days of staff development for program operators within their grant amount.

November 2006 California voters approved Proposition 1D, which provided $10.4 billion for education facilities funding as part of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Strategic Growth Plan. The measure included record funding for new classrooms and expanded charter school facilities and for the first time included funding for career technical schools. The measure provided $7.4 billion to fund construction of approximately 10,000 new and 40,000 renovated classrooms to serve nearly 1 million K–12 students, and $3.1 billion for higher-education facilities—including the largest facilities construction funding for community colleges in California history.

May 10, 2007 Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Quality Education Investment Act, which provided $2.7 billion over seven years to low-performing schools. Approximately 488 low-performing schools were eligible for funding, including elementary, secondary, and charter schools that ranked in either deciles 1 or 2 as determined by the 2005 Academic Performance Index base.

June 8, 2007 Governor Schwarzenegger kicked off the EnCorps Teachers Program, an initiative to partner with businesses to encourage retirees to join the teaching workforce in math, science, and career technical education. The EnCorps program will bring retirees into California classrooms by partnering with private companies to recruit, train, and place employees who want to become teachers after retirement from other fields. This unique public-private partnership gives students the chance to learn from teachers with a lifetime of career experience, and gives retiring professionals the opportunity to share their professional background. The program will help bridge California’s teacher gap; in the next ten years, California’s schools will need more than 33,000 new science and math teachers.

September 21, 2007 Governor Schwarzenegger appropriated $18 million for the Charter School Facilities Grants Incentive program and signed SB 20, which clarified and strengthened the process by which the State Board of Education authorizes charter schools.

October 12, 2007 Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 52, which required the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to streamline the number of career technical education credentials in order to facilitate the recruitment and retention of CTE instructors.

May 6, 2008 The Governor and his administration helped secure a $70 million gift to California’s community colleges from the Bernard Osher Foundation.

July 7, 2008 At Governor Schwarzenegger’s request, the State Board of Education abandoned below-grade-level general mathematics testing and put California in position to lead the nation in eighth-grade math. California became the only state in the nation to use Algebra I as the official standard for eighth-grade mathematics. Since 2003, the number of California eighth graders taking Algebra I increased from 34 to 52 percent, compared with just 30 percent of eighth graders nationwide.

February 20, 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation to provide full funding flexibility associated with more than forty different categorical programs. Expanding the original consolidation of categorical programs from 2005, the Governor provided unprecedented budget flexibility of almost $6 billion in the remaining categorical programs through the 2012–2013 budget year. This flexibility, negotiated as part of the 2009 Budget Act, fulfilled a commitment to provide an even greater amount of local flexibility and shift control from Sacramento to local school districts.

May 6, 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger launched the first-in-the-nation initiative to develop free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students. California’s Digital Textbook Initiative gives school districts high-quality, cost-effective options to consider when choosing textbooks for the classroom.

January 7, 2010 In concert with President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, Governor Schwarzenegger signed major education reform legislation, SBX5 1 and SBX5 4, giving parents more freedom to choose the school that best serves their children by authorizing open enrollment for students in the lowest-performing schools so they can attend any school in the state; empowering parents to turn persistently failing schools into charter schools; and ensuring that California’s student and teacher data systems may be used by local districts to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of teachers and principals.

January 26, 2010 The Governor launched the second phase of the Digital Textbook Initiative, which called on content developers to submit high school history/social science and higher-level math textbooks. Seventeen free digital textbooks were reviewed against California’s content standards. The Governor’s secretary of education worked with publisher Houghton-Mifflin to pilot an interactive, full-curriculum algebra application on an iPad. Schools from Long Beach, Fresno, Riverside, and San Francisco Unified school districts are participating in this pilot program.

April 20, 2010 The Governor supported students’ civil rights by supporting ACLU litigation and introducing legislation to end seniority-based teacher layoffs and assignment. The Governor announced his support for the American Civil Liberties Union/Public Council lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District’s teacher layoff practices that are disproportionally hurting low-income and minority schools and also announced the introduction of SB 955, which would provide local school districts the flexibility to ensure that all California students have access to the high-quality teachers and education they deserve.

August 2, 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger created the Academic Content Standards Commission to make recommendations to ensure that California’s renowned academic rigor was maintained while adopting uniform national education standards. In August 2010 the State Board of Education adopted Enhanced Common Core State Standards, which established a single set of high and clear educational standards for English-language arts and mathematics, consistent with the highest educational standards in the nation.

October 4, 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation that guarantees students a sure transfer to any California State University after obtaining an associate degree from any California Community College. SB 1440, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act, gives students a clear path to transferring by setting up direct guidelines for CSUs to agree upon. The Governor also signed AB 2302, which calls for the University of California to develop a transfer pathway for students holding specific associate degrees. In addition, it requires the California State University and California Community Colleges to notify students of new transfer pathways being created, and ensures that implementation of historic transfer reform is effective, transparent, and student-centered.

October 10, 2010 The Governor announced the establishment of the California Office to Reform Education (CORE). CORE, a nonprofit organization to be funded with private grants, was charged with pursuing the education reform agenda and collaboration that the seven lead school districts committed to during the last round of competition for Race to the Top. The seven districts combined serve more than one million students.

November 10, 2010 The State Board of Education voted unanimously to provide clear guidelines to school districts regarding deviation from seniority-based assignments and layoffs. Following a historic settlement of litigation against the Los Angeles Unified School District, the State Board adopted regulations to clarify current state law, which allows districts to deviate from a seniority-only approach to teacher layoffs when the approach violates a student’s constitutional right to an equal educational opportunity.