New Reports

Hannah Melnicoe, Cory Koedel, Arun Ramanathan

Marin County school districts have been facing unprecedented pushback when trying to pass parcel taxes. This case study uses district financial and demographic data as well as interviews and focus groups with advocates and district and county leaders to investigate this change. It finds that (1) the current statewide financial situation is not sustainable for districts, (2) districts report feeling a tension between teacher compensation in high-cost Marin and spending in other areas, (3) there is high overall awareness of this issue but limited public awareness of the nuances of district flexibility to respond to the impacts of rising pension costs, and (4) that parcel taxes have faced increasing opposition in Marin County due to concerns that funds are not directly reaching students. The report ends with suggestions for districts who are facing rising costs and voter resistance to raising local taxes.

Carrie Hahnel, Hannah Melnicoe

Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) faces a looming deficit and must make significant budget adjustments to avoid state intervention. This case study explores how SCUSD got to this point, how its finances compare with other districts in Sacramento County, and what the implications are for students, particularly those with the greatest needs. It finds that while SCUSD experiences many of the same fiscal pressures as other California districts, it is also unique. As compared with neighboring districts, SCUSD spends far more on health care and a smaller share of its budget on salaries for pupil support personnel, teachers, classified instructional staff, and office staff. This study of SCUSD offers considerations for policymakers and lessons that may apply to other districts facing a similarly troubling combination of statewide cost pressures, tense labor-management relations, and high health care costs.

Upcoming events

PACE - UCB GSE Logos
College admissions policies are receiving renewed attention amid numerous developments in California and nationally. Join PACE and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education at an event offering a fresh look at the research on college admissions and the implications for California.
Friday, November 22, 2019 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Booth Auditorium, 175 Boalt Hall (2770 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704)
PACE Speakers - Cottingham Humphrey Manansala ODay Plank
Speakers: Ben Cottingham - Policy Analysis for California Education Dan Humphrey - Independent Consultant Ed Manansala - El Dorado County Office of Education Jennifer O'Day - American Institutes for Research David Plank - Policy Analysis for California Education
Friday, December 13, 2019 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Tsakopoulos Library Galleria (828 I St, Sacramento, CA 95814)

Media


Continuous improvement

Projects

  • College and career readiness is at the heart of California’s State Standards. This project examines many aspects of these standards, including how well they correlate with measures of postsecondary success across the State’s three segments of higher education.

  • Getting Down to Facts II provides in-depth analysis of the state education system as of 2018 and looks at what is working well and where improvement is still needed. The report’s findings are contained in 35 separate studies thoroughly researched by over 100 leading academics from top research institutions across California and the United States.

  • This work documents the important collaboration between LEAs, higher education segments, workforce groups, and community organizations to improve college and labor market outcomes across California communities.

  • This research partnership is focused on producing research that informs continuous improvement in the CORE Districts and policy and practice in California and beyond.

  • Calls for “continuous improvement” in California’s K-12 education system are central to current discussions about school improvement in the state. This project seeks to define continuous improvement both in theory and in practice and support it at all levels of the system.

  • How does the public view California’s schools and education policy effectiveness? Do voters understand the challenges that California faces, and are they prepared to make the tough choices and tradeoffs that potential solutions entail?

  • The Local Control Funding Formula Research Collaborative (LCFFRC) brings together a diverse set of policy experts who, since 2014, have been documenting implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California’s pathbreaking finance and governance system.

Policy Analysis for California Education

 
Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) is an independent, non-partisan research center led by faculty directors at Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of California Davis, the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of California Berkeley. PACE seeks to define and sustain a long-term strategy for comprehensive policy reform and continuous improvement in performance at all levels of California’s education system, from early childhood to postsecondary education and training. PACE bridges the gap between research and policy, working with scholars from California’s leading universities and with state and local policymakers to increase the impact of academic research on educational policy in California.

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