GUSD, MHUSD receive more state funds to implement CCSS

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Yesenia Salazar, 10, and Kevin Rojas, 7, answers questions on a

Gilroy and Morgan Hill Unified school districts got their final piece of the $1.25 billion block grant from the state today, Tuesday, as State Superintendent Tom Torlakson announced the second-half release of funds to support their move to the Common Core academic standards.
GUSD received $1,143,806 in its second apportionment to push its overall allotment to $2,276,706, while MHUSD received $878,476 for a $1,748,576 total in state funds dedicated to the implementation of the new state-developed curriculum.
California adopted the CCSS in June 2010 and school districts must fully implement them by the 2014-15 school year.
Navigator Schools’ Gilroy Prep received a $24,433 portion from the state to bring its total to $48,633.
Districts received the first half of the funds in September and the second half – about $622 million today. Each district decides how to use the funds, which can be allocated for teacher training and to purchase new materials or new technology with the purpose of implementing the CCSS. The total amounts to $200 per student.
CCSS, which California and 45 other states have voluntarily adopted over the past few years, are designed to provide all students with the deeper learning, critical thinking, and other skills they need to prepare for college and a career.
“California took a major step toward college and career readiness for all our students when we adopted the Common Core back in 2010,” said Torlakson, who urged the inclusion of Common Core funding in this year’s state budget. “The state made a significant down payment on that commitment with this first block grant – but we must do more. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Capitol to support our schools as they support our kids.”
The release of these funds is the latest of several steps taken in recent weeks and months to continue California’s transition to the Common Core State Standards, which outline what students will be expected to know and be able to do at each grade level.
One of the biggest steps forward came last month, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 484, legislation that Torlakson sponsored to open the door to modern computer-based assessments designed to measure knowledge and skills, and inform teaching and learning in the classroom.
In addition to AB 484, lawmakers also approved Senate Bill 201 and AB 899, which authorized the State Board of Education to move forward on adopting English language arts/English language development instructional materials and aligning the state’s English language development standards with the Common Core math standards.
Last week, the State Board of Education adopted the state’s first math framework aligned with the Common Core. The framework provides instructional guidance for teachers and administrators, including grade-level explanations and examples of the standards for mathematics practice and content, integrating mathematical thinking, and conceptual understanding with procedural skills and application.

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