Author - John Cradler

CUE Legislative Update – June 2018

State Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 822

California Senate votes to establish net neutrality

Current Status of SB 822: On May 30th the California State Senate voted 22 to 12 to approve SB 822. State Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 822 to establish California net neutrality rules and policies to take the place of the repealed Federal net neutrality rules. SB 822 states the intent of the Legislation is to: enact legislation to effectuate net neutrality in California utilizing the state’s regulatory powers and to prevent Internet service providers from engaging in practices inconsistent with net neutrality.

SB 822 next proceeds to the Assembly heard by the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee and then the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee. CUE Legislative Consultant (John Cradler) testified along with representatives of several other entities, at the Senate Appropriations Committee in support of the bill.

CUE representatives John and Ruthmary Cradler and TURN Executive Director Mark Toney, with Senator Weiner at the press conference.

After being voted out of Suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the bill proceeded to the Senate Floor. CUE representatives joined with other members of the neutrality coalition established by Senator Wiener to meet with Senate members and participate in a press conference in an effort to secure sufficient votes to get the bill passed by the Senate. Photos show Senator Weiner and Dodd conducting the press conference and CUE representatives John and Ruthmary Cradler and TURN Executive Director Mark Toney, with Senator Weiner at the press conference.

CUE will continue to work with the net neutrality consortia to support the bill as it proceeds through the State Assembly. CUE has submitted a support letters for SB822 in both the Senate and Assembly. Scott Weiner previously voted to support the CUE-initiated AJR7–net neutrality resolution. Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, the author of AJR7 is a co-author of SB822. It was reported that the CUE–sponsored, AJR7 was a major factor in encouraging Senator Weiner to introduce SB822.

For details go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB822

Media Literacy Legislation passed the State Senate

SB 830, by Senator Dodd and Principal Co-Author Assembly Member Mullin would require the State Curriculum Commission to develop, and the state board to adopt, reject, or modify, a model curriculum in media literacy for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, for voluntary use by educators. The bill would require the Commission to submit the model digital literacy curriculum to the state board on or before January 1,2023, and would require the state board to adopt, reject, or modify the model curriculum on or before March 31,2023, in accordance with specified procedural requirements. SB 830 focuses on “digital citizenship” and “media literacy” which are broad terms that encompass consumption and use of media and digital products defined as follows:

  1. Digital citizenship means a diverse set of skills related to current technology and social media, including the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior.
  2. Media literacy means the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and use media and encompasses the foundational skills that lead to digital citizenship.

The Instructional Quality Commission shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, reject, or modify, a model curriculum in media literacy for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, for voluntary use by educators. The model curriculum in media literacy shall be designed for the purpose of providing instruction in the safe and responsible use of media and supporting pupils’ use of critical thinking skills when consuming media. The bill would require the State Department of Education to make available on its website a list of resources and instructional materials on media literacy, including media literacy professional development programs for teachers.

Status of SB 830: On March 14th, the bill passed the Senate Education Committee 4 to 2, and on May 30th it passed the Senate Floor, 12 to 11. Next it will be scheduled to be presented to the Assembly Education Committee. ISTE has suggested some amendments to incorporate the use of ISTE standards which we may consider. For details go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB830

CUE Initiates a Resolution to Increase State Support for Educational Technology

As discussed in the last Update and at the last CUE Board Meeting, CUE initiated a resolution that would declare that the Legislature strongly support, specific guidelines, incentives, and funding, as needed, for the development and implementation of an educational technology plan. Such a plan would provide for K- 12 school districts, in concert with California Department of Education (CDE) County Offices of Education (COE), sufficient professional development and support needed for teachers to effectively utilize digital resources in support of State adopted Curriculum Frameworks. It also addresses the establishment and implementation of Computer Science, Digital Media, Internet Safety, and Digital Citizenship Standards, home technology access to the high-speed Internet, and other related resources and policies.

The resolution would provide an education technology agenda or platform, to be formally supported by the State Legislature, to help inform State education programs, policies, and potential legislation for the future.

Current status: The draft resolution (v.16) has been reviewed by CDE staff and Tom Torlakson, and is ready to be introduced by interested State legislators.

California Governor’s Proposed Budget

The May Revision includes total funding of $96.2 billion ($57.4 billion General Fund and $38.8 billion other funds) for all K-12 education programs. The revision increases Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by $277 Million. This increase brings the Governor’s total proposed LCFF augmentation in 2018-19 to $3.2 billion. This augmentation is slightly more than needed to reach the LCFF target funding rates. Of the $3.2 billion, $3.1 billion is provided for reaching the target rates and $166 million is provided on top of the target rates (reflecting a 0.3 percent increase). The May Revision proposal effectively serves to provide a larger cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) to the program (3 percent rather than the statutory COLA rate of 2.71 percent).

While the Governor proposed increased and full funding for LCFF it does not earmark funds specifically for education technology. While it is positive that he increased LCFF, educators will still need to convince their school and district leadership to allocate a portion of the LCFF funding for educational technology and related professional development and technical support. The CUE Educational Technology Resolution (discussed above) adresses the need to make State funding available, based on local needs, for accessing, implementing, and supporting education technology. http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2018-19/pdf/Revised/BudgetSummary/K-12Education.pdf

CUE Advocacy Strategy

As opportunities arise, CUE continues to be proactive in the development, co-development, and sponsorship of state and Federal legislation and resolutions. The CUE Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC) meets monthly to take positions on relevant bills and other related actions suggested by the CUE Legislative Consultants and the Committee members.  Anyone who is interested in being involved in supporting the CUE advocacy effort should contact Mary Kopp, CUE Senior Program Manager, mkopp@cue.org or John Cradler, cradler@earthlink.net

The Rise and Fall of Educational Technology Support in California

Over the past 40 years in California, there was a major increase, and then a recent and sudden decline, in support for educational technology. In preparing information for the 40th Anniversary of CUE (Computer Using Educators) and to document the history of legislation, policy, and funding from 1982 until 2014, it became clear that during the past four decades there has been a high level of state and national support for policies, planning, legislation, and funding, for a wide range of educational technology resources and services.

Most of the CUE pioneers who returned to CUE conference this year were involved in implementing a wide variety of initiatives during the past 40 years, including Teacher Education and Computing Centers (TECC), AB 803 School-Based Educational Technology Grants, Model Technology Schools (MTS), Statewide Educational Technology projects, Soft Swap, Software Preview Centers, Instructional Technology Clearinghouse, California Learning Resource Network (CLRN), California Technology Project (CTP), California Technology Assistance Projects (CTAP), CalSAVE, TICAL, Telemation, and more.

In addition to these state-supported initiatives, there were several significant national programs initiated since 1980: a National Office of Educational Technology, a National Educational Technology Plan, a National Director of Educational Technology, Star Schools video-based distance learning projects, Technology Innovation Challenge Grants, Regional Technology Education Centers, Preparing Tomorrows Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grans, and Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) grants–all of which have recently been terminated.

In conversations with many of the CUE pioneers, it became evident that the opportunities made possible by supplemental funding and programs authorized by legislation provided the time and incentives to be innovative, and for professional growth. This enabled them to get involved in and become leaders in CUE as a place to share and disseminate effective practices and program through CUE-sponsored state and regional conferences and publications. Many state- and federally- funded projects supported the growth of CUE by providing funding to send educators to CUE conferences, furnishing technology support and equipment for CUE conferences, and events co-funded by state-funded projects, content for many presentations and exhibits of promising practices, and co-sponsoring with CUE statewide and regional professional development events. CUE representatives are also involved in state educational technology planning committees and commissions as well as opportunities for legislators to become engaged in educational technology programs and projects made possible through legislation which they had authored or supported.

At the 2018 Spring CUE Conference, many of the pioneers noted the numerous important state and federal initiatives and programs they initiated no longer exist.

Due to both state and national budget cuts, the state and federal funding for educational technology as well as more than 35 other “categorical” programs were eliminated with the funds going directly to schools under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

Over the past three years, CUE has encouraged school districts to incorporate necessary educational resources into their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP). A few districts are using LCFF to support local educational technology resource needs. However, most are under pressure to use the funds for salaries, facilities, and other locally determined needs. State and national programs and projects offered a variety of benefits that are not possible with LCFF, including funding and guidelines that support: 1) projects to innovate and test new applications of technology to support teaching and learning; 2) dissemination and local adoptions of effective practices and programs; 3) staff and resources needed to objectively review and align with content standards, and; 4) recommend effective digital instructional resources.

These projects generally resulted in replicable practices that would show significant improvement in teaching and learning by reducing local duplication of effort. Regional services saved significant local funding and equity was addressed because small and rural districts without local resources could apply for categorical project funding for needed technology support and training.  

It is important to mention that nearly all educational programs and projects legislated from 1982 to 2014 were based on well-documented needs determined by surveys of teachers and school administrators, external evaluations of educational program needs, educational research, policy decisions made by legislators, school boards, educational associations, and community organizations.

The State Superintendent’s California Educational Technology Blueprint for 2012 clearly recommended continuing many of the programs and services supported by the previous legislation with modification and expansion to address the Blueprint’s recommendations. At this year’s Spring CUE Conference, there was much discussion the importance of looking at what worked in the past four decades and using that information to help the future of technology in education. Available extensive evaluation data documents the cost-benefits and effectiveness of most of the programs and services previously available to California teachers and administrators.

CUE is helping to fill some of the gaps left by the cuts but cannot offer the millions of dollars and leverage of resources previously available from the state and federal sources, not to mention the current and emerging equity of technology access issues. However, CUE is taking a lead role in actively engaging in activities to support legislation and policies that address the need for support of, and open access to technology to support teaching and learning at school and at home.

John Cradler is a legislative policy consultant with CUE and works with the CUE board, staff and Legislative Advocacy Committee to advise on policy, legislation and other public initiatives to support CUE’s mission and vision. He can be reached at jcradler@cue.org.


Expanded Support to Sustain Net Neutrality 

net neutrality

With the FCC plan to eliminate net neutrality heading toward becoming a formal regulation, opponents are now moving on two fronts.  First, 21 states and the District of Columbia filed suit in federal court to block the FCC’s turnabout. In the Senate, Democrats claim to be near the 51-vote tipping point to block the plan. Second, the Internet Association, which represents such as Netflix, Google, Apple, and Facebook, stepped in for the first time to oppose the switch away from net neutrality.

Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General joined the nationwide lawsuit, and issued this statement:

The online world should be preserved against imposed fees and limitations. Internet access is a utility — just like water and electricity.  Net neutrality is a guideline that protects all Internet users.

It should be mentioned that we had intended for CUE sponsored, Assembly Joint Resolution No.7 to support making the Internet a public utility as was done in 1934 for telephone service under the Rural Electrification Act. 

CUE Responds to Net Neutrality: The FCC votes to repeal Net Neutrality but. . .   

leg advocacy

In flagrant disregard to the will of the people, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to end net neutrality.

Net neutrality is a key component to a free and open Internet. Net neutrality prevents Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T from censoring access to content they don’t like, giving higher speeds to content providers who pay more, and charging different rates to consumers to access different types of sites.

FCC Logo

CUE is a strong supporter of net neutrality and worked with California Assembly Member Kevin Mullin to introduce Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) No. 7 which passed both houses of the State Legislature. The Resolution requested Congress and the President of the U.S. to retain the net neutrality rules. In spite of this support by the CA Legislature, along with the majority of the U.S. population, the FCC voted to end net neutrality.

Opposition statement by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel who submitted one of the two no-votes:

“I dissent from this rash decision to roll back net neutrality rules and the corrupt process that has brought us to this point. And I dissent from the contempt this agency has shown our citizens in pursuing this path today. This decision puts the Federal Communications Commission on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.”

Jessica Rosenworcel, received the CUE Legislative Advocacy Award last year and supported the AJR 7 in its development and will advise on next actions to take in the ongoing fight to repeal the FCC recommendation.

The national fight to protect a free and open Internet is far from over. The FCC decision will be challenged in the courts and by many members of Congress. CUE Legislative Consultants will closely monitor and suggest future actions CUE could initiate on it’s own, and/or with associations, to over-ride the FCC decision.

To Take Action: If you are not pleased about the repeal of net neutrality, you should contact your representative or senator at Contacting Congress and give them your thoughts. With significant public support it is possible that Congress could pass legislation to restore some or all of the previous net neutrality regulations.

Change.org's Petition on Net NeutralityChange.org has nearly 2.2 million signatures on a petition to Congress. CUE members can help them.

Signing Change.org’s petition is a great first step in making your voice heard, but your representatives in Congress, who oversee the FCC, need to hear from you by phone too. 

It’s easy to do, only takes a minute, and is very effective. Click here to quickly and easily have your phone connected to your representative’s office.

Looking for an even quicker way to help? Send a tweet to the FCC with one click

After the new rules are in place, it will be important to monitor your Internet service provider and file complaints when you see content being prioritized or throttled. Complaints about the FCC action should be filed with the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice.

Stay informed by going to cue.org and checking the CUE Legislative Updates link.

Further Reading:

Scott Weiner's Net Neutrality Response for California

Scott Weiner’s Net Neutrality Response for California

California’s Legislative response to Net Neutrality


More details about the Net Neutrality voting

More details about the Net Neutrality voting

CUE Supported Legislation Approved by Gov Brown

ca-logoCUE Advocacy Update

Assembly Bill 2329, Computer Science Plan by Assemblywoman Bonilla was signed by Governor Brown September 27th, 2016. This bill was actively supported by CUE as well as most of the education associations potentially part of the Coalition mentioned in this article. The bill requires State Superintendent Torlakson to convene an advisory panel to prepare recommendations for a K-12 Computer Science Strategic Implementation (CCSSI) Plan to be adopted by the State Board of Education and implemented by the California Department of Education on or before July 1, 2018.

The CCSSI Plan would provide recommendations to address:

  1. Provision of professional development for education in computer science
  2. Teacher certification pathways in computer science
  3. Defining computer science education principles to meet needs of K-12 students
  4. Ensure all pupils have access to computer science from K-post secondary education
  5. Ensure school districts have adequate broadband connectivity and infrastructure
  6. Ensure school districts have hardware and software
  7. Increase participation of underserved pupils in computer science education

The 23-member panel is to include:  Six K-12 teachers, representatives of the State Superintendent, Governor, Senate, and Assembly, the CTC, private sector technology industry, UC, CSU, Community Colleges, private colleges, county offices of education, the Instructional Quality Commission, STEM education representatives, school administrators, a public school pupil, a parent organization, and the National Computer Science Teachers Association. Click here to see the text and legislative history for AB 2329.

Funding for Computer Science: The bill states that if State or Federal funding is not available, the Panel will investigate the process and ability to accept grants and accept public and private donations to fund the convening the

CUE 2016 Student Showcase photo credit Danny Silva

2016 CUE Student-Powered Showcase
photo credit: Danny Silva, CUE

Panel and preparing the Plan. The bill supports President Obama’s Computer Science for All initiative, which provides Federal funding for the next three years for states to increase access to computer science education in elementary and secondary education classrooms. Under the program, states would submit comprehensive five-year “Computer Science for All” plans in order to be eligible for federal funding. In addition to state-level grants, the Federal budget allocates competitive grant funding for districts to execute computer science education expansion efforts to serve as models for national replication.

Computer Science Standards Defined: The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is a professional association that supports and encourages education in the field of computer science and related areas. CSTA has developed Computer Science Standards which provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum and its implementation at the K–12 level which are found at: http://csta.acm.org/Curriculum/sub/K12Standards.html  The CSTA Standards are intended to:

  1. Introduce the fundamental concepts of computer science to all students, beginning at the elementary school level.
  2. Present computer science at the secondary school level in a way that can fulfill a computer science, math, or science graduation credit.
  3. Encourage schools to offer additional secondary-level computer science courses that will allow interested students to study facets of computer science in more depth and prepare them for entry into the work force or college.
  4. Increase the availability of rigorous computer science for all students, especially those who are members of underrepresented groups.

The Panel will be able to refer to the CSTA Computer Science Standards because CSTA will have a representative on the Panel. Given the work already done in this area by CSTA and others, it seems that the panel would not have difficulty completing its work well before the July 1, 2018 deadline as stated in SB 2329. CUE actively supported AB 2329 and submitted support letters urging the Governor to sign it. It is suggested that the next steps would be to work with the CDE and Assemblywoman Bonilla to enable CUE to have a representative on the advisory panel as described in the bill.

If you are an active CUE member and would like to participate in CUE’s efforts to support implementation of this bill, please contact John at the email below.

cradlerJohn Cradler is a legislative policy consultant with CUE and works with the CUE board, staff, and Legislative Advocacy Committee to advise on policy, legislation, and other public initiatives to support CUE’s mission and vision. He can be reached at jcradler@cue.org and cradler@earthlink.net