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Making parent engagement a priority - Cabinet Report

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(Calif.) A group of about 50 Fresno parents set tonight to become the first graduates of a digital literacy pilot program also represent the expanding effort of the California PTA to involve far more adults in the education of their children.

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The Delta Counties Coalition Responds to Governor Brown’s “Shut Up” Remarks

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In response to Governor Brown’s off-handed remarks yesterday that critics of his twin tunnel plan should “shut up” until they spend more time studying it, members of the Delta Counties Coalition (DCC) issued the following comments:

“The proposed twin tunnel project is a frustration to many of us; because as much as the governor wants them built, we want them shelved.  The studies are clear: twin tunnels won’t create more water for drought-thirsty California,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli. “Rest assured, we will continue to voice our legitimate concerns and promote alternatives to the tunnels, including more storage, conservation and desalinization.”


Assembly bill would allow patients to opt out of mail-order prescriptions

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Mark Helm of Sanger gives himself an injection every other day so his blood will clot.

He has hemophilia, and the medication keeps the blood disorder in control. He also takes drugs daily for HIV, which he acquired decades ago from blood transfusions that were needed during bleeding episodes.

Helm, 56, is careful not to skip his prescription medications. But because he gets his drugs by mail, on occasion they arrive late at his home, he said. "One time, they screwed it up for 10 days and I did run out of my HIV medications."


Families need more help saving for college

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The Legislature is considering a bill that would increase college savings, slash student debt and, by improving access to higher education, strengthen our economy through shared prosperity.

Assembly Bill 1956 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, would provide a 20 percent tax credit, targeted at lower- and middle-income Californians, for contributions to 529 college savings accounts.

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Teachers renewing California credential must sign abuse reporting form, bill proposes

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Every five years when renewing their credentials, California school employees will be required to read and sign a document that lays out the requirements for them to report suspicions of child abuse, if newly crafted state legislation is approved.

In addition, Assembly Bill2560, prompted by this newspaper's continued coverage of abuse reporting failures, would clean up language from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, stressing that teachers must call either police or Child Protective Services when they suspect a child has been abused.


New law affects sports for Valley kids

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FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) -- A new law that is now taking effect across the state will impact thousands of little leagues and club sports.

AB465 gives parents more power to ensure those who coach their kids go through a tougher hiring process. The bill aims to weed out anyone with a history of violence or sexual abuse.


Common Core funding

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Our students and teachers will soon be reaping the benefits of a new infusion of state funding dedicated to preparing students for rewarding careers in the 21st century economy, ("Vallejo to get $1.4 million for Common Core standards," Nov. 13).

Last January, the original 2013-14 budget proposal submitted by the governor to the Legislature contained no money for schools to implement Common Core standards. As chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, I worked to change this and made securing state funds to provide teacher professional development and technology improvements my number one priority.


Old Standardized Test Must Be Left Behind To Move Ahead, Bonilla Says

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Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 484 on October 2, ending California’s K-12 standardized testing system and moving toward a new one. STAR testing will no longer be administered, it will be replaced by Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (MAPP) tests aligned with the Common Core curriculum.

New tests are computerized and adaptive to student responses, rooted in the nationwide effort Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. According to the bill’s author, Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, the tests are “computer adaptive, which means if they answer questions correctly it will become harder. But, if they’re missing a number of questions the test will then go down a level to see what the level of learning actually is.”


Bonilla and Frazier Budget Town Hall Packs The House

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In a standing room only Budget Town Hall, Assemblymember’s Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) and Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) discussed the state budget and collected feedback with the independent, nonpartisan organization, Next 10.

The event was so popular; people who showed up late had to be turned away as there was little standing room available.


California's fee for half-day preschool likely to be eliminated

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A much-disputed daily fee for families with children in state-funded preschool programs likely will be removed from next year's state budget over concerns it has kept families from enrolling.

Assembly Member Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, who chairs the budget subcommittee on education finance, said the fee, which was added to the budget last year to help offset state costs, was a mistake.


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