Dear Parents and Fellow Employees,
As we approach the winter break, I just wanted to thank you for a great 2013, which brought many positive developments and accomplishments in our schools.
Much to everyone’s relief, we finally began a school year without the threat of cuts in statewide funding for education. An improving economy combined with California voters’ approval of Proposition 30 tax revenues and the state’s approval of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, are bringing additional resources.
During the summer, our school district earned a key waiver from federal No Child Left Behind rules. This waiver removes burdensome regulations, allowing greater flexibility as to how we spend millions of dollars in federal funding on additional academic help for students. More than $5 million was immediately allocated to schools to provide academic interventions for our K-12 students. Similarly, the LCFF provides long overdue flexibility in terms of how we use state funding. The LCFF has already made a tremendous impact on our daily work. We have quickly begun the challenging but necessary process of engaging diverse groups of stakeholders in the development of our Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP.
We’ve earned several significant grants that will help to keep us at the forefront of professional development for teachers as we implement the Common Core standards, which are key to preparing students for success in college and careers.
We saw continued growth in student achievement, with eighth grade algebra proficiency far exceeding state averages, and 93 percent of twelfth graders passing the California High School Exit Exam. Graduating seniors in our school district earned a record $76.6 million in scholarships and grants this year. That amazing total is about $24 million more than the previous record set last year and represents more than a four-fold increase since 2007.
We can all be proud of our first new high school in 18 years, McBride High School, and our long-awaited new aquatics center at Cabrillo High School, both of which opened this fall. Many other Measure K school construction and renovation projects are progressing nicely as we strive to modernize our school facilities.
And of course our students, employees and schools continue to amass an impressive collection of regional, state and national honors, making us all proud to be part of the LBUSD family.
Thanks to your support and perseverance, we have not only survived some tough times, but we can look forward to even greater success for our students in 2014 and beyond.
With deepest appreciation, I wish you a happy holiday season.
Christopher J. Steinhauser
Superintendent of Schools