Debate has raged over how best to regulate spending under the state's new "Local Control Funding Formula," which would allocate millions of extra dollars to school districts to support low-income and English-learning students. Civil rights groups and school officials have been sharply divided, with advocates calling for tight oversight of how the money is used while school districts seek more flexibility.
The plan was championed by Gov. Jerry Brown, but the decision ultimately comes down to the state Board of Education, which will vote on final regulations today during their meeting at the Department of Education on N Street. The hearing begins at 8:30 a.m. and dozens are expected to testify.
The stakes are high, so whatever the outcome, this decision certainly won't be the end of the story. Dan Walters has more on the controversy in his column.
VIDEO: A new bill from Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, would ban "affluenza" as a legal defense, but that's just common sense, Dan Walters says.
APP-Y NEW YEAR: The Sacramento Bee is pleased to announce a major update and new design for the Capitol Alert Insider Edition app.
The new 2014 version:
- Works on both your iPhone and iPad with a single subscription.
- Offers faster access to our bills-to-watch guide and legislative directory, along with new district maps.
- Includes a new section on legislative committees.
- Lets Insider Edition app subscribers comment and share with one another.
- Includes all the previous Insider features, including early access to Field Polls and Bee editorials on state topics and a curated Capitol Twitter feed. Easily email chiefs of staff, schedulers and legislative directors from within the app.
To subscribe, go to www.sacbee.com/insider. It's free this week, $19.99 a month after that.
H2-OH NO: As California's water crisis deepens, farmers continue to wait for Gov. Jerry Brown to make the official drought declaration. Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, and a dozen other legislators, mostly from the Central Valley, will gather on the west steps of the Capitol at 11 a.m. to call for a drought declaration and rally in support of placing a water bond on the 2014 ballot.
POWER UP: A star-studded line-up of Sacramento politicians is joining the California Center for Research on Women & Families for today's policy summit on women's health, wealth and power at the Sacramento Convention Center from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Among those slated to speak are Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach; state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara; Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; state Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles; state Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Cañada Flintridge; Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens; and Diana S. Dooley, the state secretary of health and human services. The event's keynote speaker is Sandra Fluke, who first made headlines when she testified before Congress that insurance plans should cover birth control.
GOING UNDER: The Assembly Select Committee on Sea Level Rise & the California Economy will hold its fourth and final hearing from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in Room 126 of the Capitol. State agencies such as the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and the Coastal Commission will testify on how they are addressing the threat. The committee plans to release a report with legislative recommendations in late February.
IN THE BIG HOUSE: The leaders of California's three public higher education systems--Janet Napolitano of the University of California, Timothy P. White of California State University and Brice Harris of the California Community Colleges--will all be in Washington, D.C., today for President Barack Obama's summit on increasing college access for low-income and disadvantaged students. The event begins at 9 a.m. EST and continues through the day. Follow the action from 3,000 miles away on Twitter with the hashtag #OpportunityForAll.
HEALTH CARE CONCERNS: The Sacramento Press Club hosts former Congressman and California Department of Finance director Tom Campbell for a luncheon at the Capitol Plaza on Ninth Street at noon. Campbell, who is now the dean of Chapman Law School, will discuss how non-profit hospitals are adjusting to the Affordable Care Act and potential new state insurance mandates.
ARE YOU FEELING LUCKY?: The jackpot isn't quite as big as last month's Mega Millions lottery, but candidates for April's local elections will find out the order their names appear on the ballot at 11 a.m., when the Secretary of State's office holds a randomized alphabet drawing.
Editor's Note: This AM Alert was updated at 10:26 a.m. Jan. 16 to correct that the Select Committee on Sea Rise & the California Economy is in the Assembly.
PHOTO: A second-grader reads her assignment in her English language learning class at Cordova Villa Elementary School on Monday, June 10, 2013 in Rancho Cordova, Calif. The Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench.