CUE Hosts Fall CUE Forum for State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Candidates: After much planning with several challenges, the CUE staff organized a public forum at the Fall CUE Conference which provided an opportunity for Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond, the two candidates for SSPI, to be interviewed and answer audience-submitted questions. Each candidate was also interviewed for CUE Live. On CUE Live, Tony Thurmond mentioned ACR 268, the CUE-sponsored Educational Technology Resolution which he authored.
Both candidates focused on their intentions to address the lack of education funding. Thurmond focused on expanding support for pre-school and professional development and promised to proactively work with the State Legislature and Congress. Authoring the Educational Technology Resolution (ACR 268) is clear evidence of his support for educational technology. Tuck referred to his experience with the Los Angeles Charter Schools and focused on partnerships with business and industry to support education.
Assembly Member Tony Thurmond is the new California SSPI: Assemblyman Tony Thurmond won the race for SSPI, defeating Marshall Tuck in the nonpartisan contest. Thurmond is one-term Assembly Member representing parts of Oakland and other East Bay communities. A social worker by training, he ran several nonprofits serving children before turning to political office. He served on both the board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District and on the Richmond City Council. He was backed by the California Teachers Association (CTA) and other labor unions representing educators and university faculty. CTA president Eric Heins said, “electing Gavin Newsom governor and Thurmond state superintendent were the top priority for CTA. “It’s clear that educators played a pivotal role in this election,” pointing to phone banking, door-to-door canvassing and other activities by CTA members on behalf of Thurmond.
The CUE-Sponsored Educational Technology Assembly Resolution: On August 30, 2018, Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 268, by Assembly Members Tony Thurmond, Kevin Mullin, and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, passed both the California State Assembly and Senate. ACR 268 was Chaptered on September 11, 2018 as Resolution Chapter 221, Statutes of 2018. ACR 268 was initiated by CUE with support from other education entities. CUE Legislative Consultant, John Cradler, prepared ACR 268 with input from, the California Department of Education, CUE leadership, the California Emerging Technology Fund, and Napa County Superintendent of Schools, Barbara Nemko.
Assembly Member Thurmond, the principal author of ACR 268 recently tweeted:
Integrating technology in K-12 education prepares students for success in college & careers. My ACR 268 was chaptered today and sets CA on the path of leading in education tech. It makes educational technology a state priority and calls for a state summit to develop new legislative budget proposals.
ACR 268 identifies 17 critical needs, ranging from professional development to technology access, to be made available on an equitable basis to all regions of the State. Many of the needs listed in the Resolution were based on the California Educational Technology Blueprint initiated by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson in 2011 known as A Blueprint for Great Schools. The intent of ACR 268 is for the Legislature to encourage the new State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Governor, the State Board of Education, with support from the California Legislature, to move forward with a comprehensive educational technology plan with recommended policies, legislation, and State and/or Federal funding as needed. For the full text of ACR 268 see page 4 & 5 of this report or click this link.
Implementing the Recommendations of ACR 268: With the new State leadership there will be a need and an opportunity to establish new plans and initiatives to address priorities in many areas and especially education. The next step is to work with State Superintendent Thurmond, in his new role, to enable the State Board of Education and Governor Newson become familiar with ACR 268 and to understand that the State Legislature has made a formal commitment to making educational technology support and access a major priority. Conducting an educational technology summit in 2019, as resolved by ACR 268, will be the first step in establishing a State plan for implementing policies, programs, needed funding, and possibly legislation to ensure that the priorities established by ACR 268 and the existing Blueprint for Educational Technology are implemented. Some of the next steps for implementing ACR 268 are as follows:
- Survey CUE membership regarding priorities for education technology.
- Conduct a CUE Spring Conference session to obtain input from CUE members.
- Identify partner entities to work with CUE to plan and co-sponsor the Summit for Fall of 2019.
- Work with Superintendent Thurmond to engage the State Board and Governor.
- Identify and invite State legislators to actively participate in the Summit.
- Identify possible legislation and policies to be supported in the Summit.
- Expand the ACR 268 priorities to incorporate CUE-survey findings.
- Discuss effective programs documenting evidence of effective educational uses of technology.
- Determine who to invite to the Summit.
- Prepare a Plan that defines how technology is incorporated into California education.
- Ensure that the press publicizes Summit recommendations and actions to be taken.
- Plan follow-up to enable implementation of Summit recommendations.
The anticipated 2019 Educational Technology Summit could be modeled after the 1991 Educational Technology Summit which was a major factor in the development of SB 1510, in 1992 by Senator Becky Morgan and Assembly Member Sam Farr, which defined and authorized funding for CTAP, SETS, Model Technology Schools, and School-Based Grants. CUE leadership and members played a major role, with partners including CTA, CFT, CSBA, and others, in helping to establish and participate in this Summit. You can watch a short, professionally produced two-part video of the 1991 summit on YouTube: Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.
California Net Neutrality Legislation (SB 822) Signed by the Governor: The Net Neutrality for California bill, SB 822 by Senator Scott Wiener, Senator Kevin deLeon, Senator Jerry Hill, Assembly Member Kevin Mullin, and 19 other co-authors to enact the California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018, passed both houses and was signed by Governor Brown on September 30, 2018. SB 822 is the first major State level, net neutrality legislation and has evolved as a model for at least 30 other states. Several of our Congressional Delegation strongly supported this State initiative including U.S. Congressional Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, Ana Eshoo, and Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Almost every major newspaper has publicized the passing of SB 822 as a major effort to restore net neutrality. As mentioned in prior Legislative Updates, CUE was a major and active supporter of this bill and had sponsored AJR 7 by Kevin Mullin, the net neutrality resolution that led to the introduction of SB 822. Scott Wiener stated:
We passed the strongest net neutrality standards in the nation. This is about a level playing field and an Internet where we as individuals get to decide where we go on the Internet instead of being told by Internet service providers, or manipulated by Internet service providers, into going where they want us to go.
Implementation of SB 822: Now that the bill has passed, it is being challenged by the American Cable Association (and others) in the U.S. District Court for California and will be considered during January/February 2019. Meanwhile, over 20 other States are introducing and passing similar legislation and related resolutions. Also, now that Democrats control the U.S. Congress, there is a possibility that Federal Legislation can be moved forward to re-instate net neutrality at the Federal level. The advocacy groups include the National Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), CoSN, ISTE, and others, continue to advocate for both State and Federal net neutrality legislation. Additionally, FCC Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, (former CUE advocacy award recipient) continues to advocate for restoration of net neutrality as evidenced by her tweet:
California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a net neutrality bill. A hefty thank you to the Golden State for your effort to get right what the FCC got so wrong when it rolled back open Internet protections late last year. The fight to save net neutrality continues!
CUE will continue to monitor and actively support potential Federal legislation and efforts to restore net neutrality.
SB 830-Media Literacy Bill Signed and Chaptered: CUE is a major supporter of SB 830 by Senator Dodd, which would establish and fund implementation of new State Curriculum standards and guidelines related to media literacy and digital citizenship. This bill would require, on or before July 1, 2019, the California Department of Education (CDE) to make available to school districts on its website a list of resources and instructional materials on media literacy, as defined, including media literacy professional development programs for teachers. According to SB 830, “Digital citizenship” means a diverse set of skills related to current technology and social media, including the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior. “Media literacy” means the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and use media and encompasses the foundational skills that lead to digital citizenship. This bill passed both the Assembly and Senate and was signed by the Governor on September 17, 2018.
Implementation of SB 830: We will be collaborating with the CDE to identify ways that CUE can contribute to planning for the implementation of SB 830. For example, CUE may be able to contribute content to the CDE SB 830 website and advise on its development. Media literacy is clearly a component in AJR 268 and is mentioned in the CUE Legislative Platform.
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, email@example.com or John Cradler, firstname.lastname@example.org.
To sign up for breaking legislative advocacy news and updates, subscribe to our email list by signing up here: cue.org/leg-updates.