A PLAN TO REBUILD CALIFORNIA'S
The goal of Kathleen Brown's education plan is a quality school and a quality education for every child in California. The purpose of the plan is to prepare them for the world and the workplace of tomorrow. To reform California's schools and to get California moving again, Kathleen Brown proposes:
* A master plan for k-12 education
Kathleen Brown proposes bringing together a team of teachers, administrators, education experts, business and community leaders, parents, and students to draft a k-12 education master plan for the 21st century. The plan will set forward clearly defined goals and standards for student performance, school safety, school-to-work programs, parental involvement, and teacher development.
* The California jobready program to prepare students for the work of tomorrow
Kathleen Brown proposes creating the "California jobready program" in every high school in the state. Students would have three options: they could prepare for a traditional higher education, they could enroll in a special job preparation program to develop skills needed for the workplace, or they could combine the two.
In partnership with businesses and community colleges, high schools would develop job preparation courses and arrange apprenticeships. These programs would be tailored to the job needs of businesses, which would play an active role in establishing the curriculum and testing standards.
Businesses would adopt students, follow their progress through school and provide them with jobs during the summer and after they graduate.
* Computers and advanced technology in every classroom
Kathleen Brown proposes a $300 million school safety and classroom technology bond package. $100 million will be used for computers, software and other equipment to outfit schools for the
* Fundamental reform of bilingual education
Kathleen Brown believes California must overhaul bilingual education so that its primary goal is to teach kids english within a specified amount of time. The state should set a standard for schools: young children must learn english by third grade; older children must learn within a limited number of years. The state should set the standards and provide the funding; the districts should develop the program and be held accountable for results.
* Ensley-Rice disciplinary schools for non-violent, first-time offenders
Kathleen Brown proposes that when kids caught with guns are sentenced by the juvenile system to home probation or are let go without probation, they be required to attend a special county disciplinary school for up to one year.
These schools will educate kids, but they will also provide punishment, prevention, and counseling. Students will attend for 10 hours a day, six days a week. In addition to the regular school curriculum, they will receive intensive anti-drug education, hear from ex-gang members, and visit prisons, hospital emergency rooms, coroner's offices and morgues.
They will be taught how to resolve conflicts, and they will work -- cleaning up graffiti, or doing other forms of community service. Finally, their parents will be required to become involved in their rehabilitation and education. Facilities for the Ensley-Rice program will be financed with $100 million of the $300 million bond package described earlier.
These schools will be named in memory of Demetrius Rice and Micheal Ensley, the two teenage boys who were shot and killed at los angeles schools earlier this year. The Ensley-Rice schools would be eligible to receive state education funds, which will cover about $5,000 of the $12,000 annual cost per student.
* New funds for school safety equipment and security measures. To help fight school violence, Kathleen Brown proposes that $100 million in bond sales be used for security measures like metal detectors, cameras and other new school safety equipment.
* Tough new penalties for carrying guns within 1,000 feet of schools and other places where children gather
Kathleen Brown proposes making it a felony to carry a gun within 1,000 feet of schools and other areas where children congregate -- including parks, playgrounds, youth centers, and other recreation areas. Currently, this is only a misdemeanor, and the violator is often not prosecuted. Those sentenced to probation or less would be sent to Ensley-Rice schools.
* Expanded anti-drug and anti-alcohol education programs
Kathleen Brown proposes expanding anti-drug and anti-alcohol education to every kid in every school, and increasing the number of times they get the message. California used to spend $30 million in support of anti-drug education, but that funding was cut in 1992. Kathleen Brown proposes allocating $50 million a year for these programs.
* Cutting administrative spending by an average of 13 percent
Kathleen Brown proposes limiting each school district's administrative expenses to 20 cents for every dollar spent on instruction -- an average cut of 13 percent. That would free up $411million, which can be used to pay for the jobready program, Ensley-Rice schools, anti-drug education, and other programs in her plan. The California century school program to reward academic
Kathleen Brown proposes creating the "California century school program," to identify and reward merit schools that improve the most in preparing students for the workplace of the 21st century.
Kathleen Brown will create an education progress index (epi), based on academic achievement, dropout rates, attendance, graduation rates, college qualification rates, and parental involvement. Schools that make substantial improvement in their epi will be designated as "century schools," and rewarded with financial incentives.
Administrators and teachers in the school will be free to allocate the extra money for purposes ranging from books, supplies, and facilities to additional hiring and salaries.
* New education contracts to increase parental involvement in their children's education
Kathleen Brown proposes creating voluntary education contracts to increase dramatically parental involvement in their children's education. Under these contracts, parents will agree to spend a certain number of hours per year at the school, working with children or assisting in parent patrol teams for security. Students will commit to spend a certain amount of time on homework, and to limit television on weeknights. And schools will agree to treat parents as equal partners in the education of our children.
* Eliminating the cap on the number of charter schools in California
To increase local control, public school choice and innovation, Kathleen Brown proposes eliminating the cap on the number of charter schools in the state. Charter schools are one of the most exciting developments in education today because they allow parents, teachers, and other community leaders to customize the education of their children, while holding them accountable for results.
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