What is CA doing to address looming teacher shortages?

While the state did pass Props 51, 55, 56 and 58, there is a lot of work to do at the state level. Here is a list of education-related state bills currently making their way through the legislature to specifically address the looming teacher shortage and a link to an article from California School Boards Association describing the history of education funding in our state:

SB 62
(Pavley, D-Agoura Hills)
Assumption Program of Loans for Education
This bill was introduced last year and passed the Senate. The bill would reinstate and improve the Assumption Program of Loans for Education, or APLE program. In existing law, the program forgives up to $11,000 of college loan debt for a person who teaches for four consecutive years, with additional loan forgiveness for those teaching in specific subject areas and certain schools. CSBA supported the bill.
The loan assumption language was removed from the bill with the August 19 set of amendments. The bill now deals with the Public Utilities Commission.

SB 915
(Liu, D- La Cañada Flintridge)
California Center on Teaching Careers
This bill would re-establish the state’s CalTeach program to help recruit individuals into the teaching profession. CSBA has taken a support position on the bill.
The program was re-established through the 2016-17 enacted State Budget. 2016-17
Funding: The budget allocated $5 million in one-time Proposition 98 funding for the program.

SB 933
(Allen, D-Santa Monica)
California Teacher Corps Act of 2016
This bill would make grants available to individual and consortia of local educational agencies to help establish and maintain school-based teacher preparation residency programs. A prospective teacher would teach alongside an experienced mentor teacher while receiving teacher training in a credentialing program at an institution of higher education. The bill is supported by CSBA.
The bill was held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file.

SB 1413
(Leno, D-San Francisco)
Teacher Housing Act of 2016
This bill would authorize a school district to establish and implement programs that address the housing needs of teachers and school district employees who face challenges in securing affordable housing.
The bill was approved by the Legislature and has been sent to the Governor for his consideration.

AB 1756
(Bonilla, D-Concord)
Four-year Integrated Teacher Credential Programs
The intent of this bill is to incentivize the creation of teacher preparation programs where students earn a baccalaureate degree and a teaching credential concurrently within four years, including student teaching. The bill creates a grant program for one-time funding to postsecondary institutions. The program will be administrated by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, with a total of 40, one-year grants available in the amount of $250,000 each.
The program was established through the 2016-17 enacted State Budget. 2016-17 Funding: The budget allocated one-time funding of $10 million from the General Fund.

AB 2122
(McCarty, D-Sacramento)
California Classified
School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program
The bill would require the CTC to issue a request for proposals to all school districts and county offices to seek funding for a new classified employee teaching credentialing program. The new program is designed to address shortages areas in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, where the existing program focused only on K through 3rd grade. Applicants will receive grants up to $4,000 per participant, per year; up from $3,500 in the existing program. The author intends to provide grants for up to 1,000 new participants per year.
The program was established through the 2016-17 enacted State Budget. 2016-17 Funding: The budget included $20 million in one-time Proposition 98 funding for the program.


Westview HS Paper Endorses only Patel in the PUSD Board of Education Race

Last week, the WVHS Nexus published responses by all nine PUSD Board of Education candidates to several questions posed by Chief Editor Brandon Victor. Topics covered allocating funds, improving student learning, healing internal divisions, and why should we vote for you. I got a copy of the paper and was impressed with the layout, writing and broad range of student-focused topics covered.

In the same edition, the editorial staff decided to announce their endorsement in the PUSD Board of Education election.

“The Nexus Editorial Board originally anticipated endorsing two candidates for the two available seats, but a majority opinion could not be reached n both members. That being said, a unanimous vote was reached in support of one candidate: Darshana Patel.”

WVNexusEndorsement.jpgThis endorsement was unexpected and sincerely appreciated since my top priority is in high-quality education for our children and I value youth civic engagement. Read the full article here.

I humbly accept this endorsement and look forward to the opportunity to serve our entire community as a PUSD School Board Trustee.

Elect Darshana Patel – Qualified, Dedicated, Trusted, Endorsed.

patel4pusd | @patel4pusd


Interview with Craig Sewing on The American Dream

craig-sewing-american-dream-combined-logos-flatOn October 6th 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to appear on The American Dream TV Show with fellow #powayusd candidate Debra Cooper. Craig Sewing is an engaging and gracious host who asked us several relevant questions in a fast paced exchange. We covered topics from PUSD budget, candidate forums, our post-election plans and, if elected, what would success look like in four years. Watch the video excerpt to hear my answer (live recording). Special thanks to George Lorimer for arranging this interview. #patel4pusd #powayusd

Follow the Show and Craig at…
* Twitter: @craigsewing
* Instagram: @craig_sewing
* Facebook: facebook.com/craigsewing

Dr. Darshana Patel Endorsed by Key PUSD Stakeholders

Dr. Darshana Patel, candidate for Poway Unified School District Board of Education, has earned the endorsement of three key organizations representing members of the PUSD Community: Coalition for Effective School Board Leadership, Poway Federation of Teachers and Poway School Employees Association.

On August 24th, the Coalition for Effective School Board Leadership endorsed Dr. Patel.cesbl_logo Of the nine candidates in the race, eight candidates vied for this endorsement and only two met the 6 criteria: integrity, focus on students, understand complexity of public education regulation, consensus building, understand school board governance and advocate for fiscal responsibility. The Coalition is comprised of well-respected educators, community members and business leaders across the entire PUSD area.

On September 12th, The Poway Federation of Teachers announced endorsement of Dr. pft-logoPatel. All nine candidates were considered and only two were endorsed. The PFT endorsement process was rigorous, with a questionnaire, board interview and member open question session. In their endorsement, PFT cited three qualities that stood out with Dr. Patel: she will put students first, support teachers and work collaboratively with all stakeholders.

On September 19th, The Poway School Employees Association unanimously voted to pseaendorse Dr. Patel. The PSEA organization also had an open endorsement process with questionnaires offered to all candidates. While a few candidates were interviewed, only two were endorsed, and Dr. Patel was one. Dr. Patel is committed to advocating for respectful dialog with employee groups since all staff can impact the quality of education PUSD offers.

Dr. Patel has earned other significant endorsements as well – for a complete list, please visit her endorsements page (https://patel4pusd.wordpress.com/supporters/)


What do you know about PUSD? – Curriculum

One of the primary areas of over site for the Board of Education is curriculum. There are many federal, state policies and county policies in place to guide our curriculum offerings and support differentiated learning to meet the educational needs of all of our students.

In the fourth video in my series, What do you know about PUSD?-Curriculum, I provide a high level overview of PUSD curriculum. School district policy clearly states that, “Development and implementation of a standard-based District course of study shall be considered a top priority of the District and an ongoing process which is part of the routine operations of the District.” The policy continues to articulate that, “All teachers shall follow the prescribed course of study as adopted by the Board of Education and shall meet any additional requirements that the Board may indicate.”

It is important for the Board to take this responsibility very seriously and balance resource management with the educational needs of our students.

Watch the video and learn more!
#patel4pusd www.patel4pusd.wordpress.com @patel4pusd


What do you know about PUSD? – School Funding

When I was PTA VP Legislation and Advocacy I wrote several articles in the school paper about school funding. I’ve collected some of that information and created the third video in my series, “What do you know about PUSD?”

School funding is complex and follows many rules and regulations that make budget processes very different from standard corporation budget practices. PUSD funding faces the additional challenge of receiving less in special categorical funds (than neighboring districts) due to our demographics. Add in our complex array of Community Facilities District (CFD) and School Facilities Improvement District (SFID) areas and you can quickly see its not standard business.
Watch the video and learn more!

Key endorsements earned!

It’s official – I am very excited to announce that I have been endorsed by two amazing organizations:
The Coalition for Effective School Board Leadership and the San Diego County Democratic Party, both this week.

Learn more about the CESBL and their grassroots effort to support high-quality education for PUSD in the linked website: http://www.coalition4effectiveschoolboard.com/

In their endorsement press release they remarked,
“Darshana Patel, who has an extensive science and engineering background, will bring a positive and collaborative attitude to the role of school board trustee. She is known for
the combination of her evidence-based decision making and the ability to lead by consensus. A parent, school district volunteer, and past president of the Rancho Peñasquitos Town Council, Patel is a civic-minded, well-respected, and well-informed community leader. She has a solid understanding of the district’s curricular and funding priorities and believes in keeping the focus on education when making decisions. Patel will bring a steady hand to the school board. Coalition member Scott Fisher noted, ‘I trust Darshana Patel to effectively navigate the waters of Poway Unified during the coming years.’ “

Learn more about the San Diego County Democratic Party on their website.

I am honored to have the SDCDP endorsement since I have been a lifelong Democrat and our views on education policy are aligned.

What do you know about PUSD? Board of Education

As a candidate for the PUSD Board of Education, I think it is helpful to inform voters of the responsibilities of a Board Member and to be familiar with the Board Policies and Procedures. The second whiteboard video in my series, What do you know about PUSD?, focuses on a brief overview of the Board of Education. Of course, there is a lot more to know about being a Board member, so feel free to browse the link above on the PUSD website to get all the details.