Superintendency Council Minutes from 3-10-16

posted Mar 21, 2016, 1:01 PM by Kristi Kirsch

Association of California School Administrators – ACSA




Meeting Minutes from March 10, 2016





Brad Pacheco, Deputy Executive Officer of Communications & Stakeholder Relations


     CalPERS surveys resulted in a desire for more interactions between contracting employers and CalPERS leadership.  Their visit to the Supts. Council is designed to meet that goal.


Cheryl Eason, CFO


Feedback from the Annual Feedback surveys over the past two years was to create a single point of contact with CalPERS to address critical and timely needs (Engagement Opportunities).  CalPERS has created an Employer Response Team. This team can address this type of need with an 85% success rate.  Also, there was interest in creating a small forum titled the Employer Response Dialogue.  Other engagement opportunities available to employers include Stakeholder Engagement Briefing, Benefits Education Event, School Employee Advisory Committee and Educational Forums.  The attached CalPERS document identifies contact information for the aforementioned communication opportunities.  CalPERS has invested significant time and money to train staff to address the needs of members and employers in a more timely fashion.  Outreach and education will be an ongoing goal of CalPERS.


Alan Milligan, Chief Actuary


CalPERS board has adopted a risk mitigation plan designed to reduce risks associated with potential volatility.  CalPERS has membership that, depending upon their years of service, are operating within different retirement funding formulas.  Reduced volatility risks will result in a drop in expected returns from 7.5% to 6.5%.  Benefits for school employees are not a generous as employees from other public sectors.  Constitutional protections do not allow for changes in funding formulas for existing employees.  The 2015-2016 investment performance is not looking well.  Thereby the 2016-2017 investment rate will reflect prior year's investment performance.  A neutral performance would be 7.5%.  A poor performance would be a negative rate, 2015-2016 may be a negative rate.  Employee contributions are directly related to rate performance.  CalPERS will know the final number sometime in June 2016.  How would we as Superintendents respond to comments that the CalPERS system is unsustainable and over inflated?  CalPERS Rep:  "It is difficult to debunk.  CalPERS forecasts are based upon an expected return and not a fixed return rate.  In order to offset this perception, CalPERS is investing in lower risk / lower volatility stocks, bonds, etc.". What positive steps is CalPERS taking to offset public perception that the public pension system will bankrupt the state?  CalPERS rep.:  "Transparency, create an ambassador program to share the facts.  Only 2.8% of CalPERS retirees receive a $100,000 pension.  Public school employees receive an average of $30,000 per year pension.  Other public pension programs are in worse shape than us.  We are proactive in researching existing CalPERS employee salaries to determine the appropriateness of permissible compensation.  We are better positioned to audit employee salaries and step in when necessary." What is CalPERS plans to audit now and in the future?  CalPERS rep.:  "The CalPERS board is open to more audits.  We have 3,000 employers, yet only 100 audits per year.  An audit plan is being presented to the CalPERS board this summer.  Audits would be more 'risk based' and more focused on processes (i.e.: payroll).  The top five audit findings will be shared with employers in upcoming newsletters and communications to assist employers be compliant.  CalPERS school employers make up one pension group.  Cities and municipalities may be members of CalPERS, however do not belong to the school employers group."


Donna Lum, Deputy Executive Officer of Customer Service & Retirement - Present

Doug McKeever, Deputy Executive Officer of Benefits Policy & Planning - Present

Doug Hoffner, Deputy Executive Officer of Operations - Present

Rita Gallardo, Chief Stakeholder Relations - Present

David Teykaerts, Manager for Stakeholder Outreach - Present


Accountability - Wes Smith


There was a public hearing within the CDE to solicit input regarding accountability.  ACSA had several Superintendents speak to the CDE regarding accountability.  CDE is looking at multiple measures and school climate.  ACSA is promoting the need for a set of discreet indicators which parents can easily understand.  The system will reflect the measure of growth for each students and sub-groups of students.  The goal should be measuring continuous improvement and not punitive action.  The CDE will come back in May to present their accountability plan.  Question: What will be the role of the County?  Wes:  "Counties should provide services and support to districts.  There are examples of counties that provide assistance to district in need."  Will counties have oversight?  Response: "There isn't conversation within this process as to the oversight role in districts.  Some counties embrace the role of oversight and others not so much.  Counties are redesigning their programs and services and oversight responsibilities similar to district redesigning their programs and services.  Would districts want oversight from the county office or the CDE?"


Government Relations Update:


Today the CDE is hearing from Superintendents regarding LCFF and LCAP.  They want to hear from practitioners.  Regarding LCFF, there is perception out there that LCFF funds aren't being used in the manner for which they were intended.  Special interest groups are lobbying legislatures to further regulate LCFF funds to ensure what they believe is appropriate expenditures.  Regarding LCAP, the CDE also wants to hear from Superintendents as they begin to determine the methodology for reporting assessment data (i.e.: New formula to generate an API).


SB 178


     Not discussed – Suggested Read


SB 277


     Not discussed – Suggested Read


Morgan Hill Data Issue


This case has been going on for four years.  The claim is that the CDE is not overlooking district's in how they are serving students with disabilities.  FERPA is outdated and doesn't address today's updated data systems.  FERPA allows that certain data be made public.  The judge involved requested data be released as allowed through FERPA.  The judge has attempted to change the request to include only pertinent information.  The judge has appointed a 'master'.  This person would analyze the information requests and determine which data should be permissible in relation to the requested information and FERPA.  Some school attorneys state that by releasing information, the CDE could be further sued if it's found that student services weren't rendered currently or in the past.  This issue is ongoing and no definitive release of information has been determined.


Vaccination Issue


     Anti-vaccination group has tried to repeal the vaccination law and/or recall legislatures.  This group may be approaching you to get on your board agenda item regarding this issue.


State Budget


More prop. 98 funds.  Any new funds may be 'one-time'.  Governor's proposal for payment of mandated funds in January.  The LAO is recommending that district's could get $450 for the next three year, however district's would not be able to receive funding beyond the next 2-3 years.  LAO states that if the state continues to pay mandates under the current formula, it would cost the state over 150 billion dollars currently and in the future.





Qualified for November ballot.  Governor is opposed to bond.  Unions are trying to force a conversation that with prop. 30 and bond on ballot, they are sure to fail.  ACSA hasn't taken position on bond.  ACSA is trying to formulate a strategy to keep issues separate.  ACSA wants support 'pro-education initiatives.  Governor does not want to use 'general obligation' bonds for schools.  If passed, there would become issues of equity and equality of accessing the bond funds within all CA districts.


Prop. 30


There is an initiative to continue Prop. 30 funding.  Supporters (including CTA) are getting signatures to get this issue on the upcoming ballot.  The proposal does not change anything other than extending it twelve more years.  It is difficult for tax measures to pass when there there is a state bond on the same ballot.  ACSA feels as though it will take a local effort solicit support for this ballot measure and they will be providing district's with material for this purpose.


Early Childhood 


Block Grant proposal.  This would not go into affect in 16-17.  Legislators concerned with there only being two public hearings.  Goal is to add more pre-school spots.  ACSA will propose no changes to TK.  ACSA wants to stream line requirements that don't align to TK and Kindergarten.  ACSA has no consensus regarding teacher qualifications.  Superintendents were concerned that if there isn't funding for pre-school and all TK students, then district's would either have to pay for the programs or possibly charge tuition.


Teacher Shortage


No governor's proposal at this moment in time.  Several bills are out there which would require a one-time appropriation of funds for this purpose.  ACSA has yet to support any bill at this moment.  ?How would one time $ alleviate the short fall?  ACSA Rep.:  "I.e.: Support a three year grant for programs such as 'Cal-Teach'.  Most legislative proposals reflect it being 'easier' to become a teacher.  In general, new teachers do not come from the top 1/3 of college graduating class.  Statement, "If we were adequately funded, we could create programs to attract the top 1/3 into teaching."  ACSA should talk to legislators about 'natural pathways' into teaching.  We have many classified employees that would be good teachers, however, they don't have have a natural pathway into teaching through higher educations.  Whenever there is a teacher shortage it seems as though the CTC increases rigor of becoming a teacher, thereby the shortage of speech pathologists.


A couple of guest speakers (with doctorate degrees) spoke to the council about the teacher shortage.  Projected need of teachers in 14-15 was 22,000.  Systems were only producing 15,000 teachers.  There are many people out there with teaching credentials.  Many of these people with credentials, not currently teaching and/or once were teaching, do not want to return to the classroom for such little money.  One-third of the current teacher population is over 50 years old.  In the last 10 years there has been a 75% decline in enrollment in teacher credentialing programs.  Last year 30% of the credentials issued were issued to people that did not participate in a traditional credential program (PIPS, SIPS).  The teacher shortage is not a statewide issue, it is more of a community and/or regional issue.  District's surrounded by many secondary institutions are not experiencing the shortage as much as district's not surrounded by secondary institutions.  Many districts are designing their own credentialing programs as permissive through state agencies and regulations.  Many district are producing their own teachers.  In many areas the need to staff a classroom trumps the need to staff a classroom with a credentialed teacher.  Incoming teachers do not have skills in framework knowledge and preparedness to lead a classroom effectively.  CSU systems are working in partnership with other educational agencies, including districts, to diligently to address the issues of teacher shortages.  The negative narrative about the current state of teaching is not attracting young people to this work.  The classroom of today is not the classroom of the 50 year olds when they began teaching.  Young people think about their future differently, they can't imagine doing anything for 30 years.  They want to do something for five years and move on.  How can we brand our classroom and system to attract this your person?  ACSA and the educational community are engaging in dialogue about this dilemma openly and honestly.  


There are CSU programs which afford people the opportunity to complete a BA and credential within a four year period of time.   However, current salary schedules place these people lower because they don't have 30 units of post BA units.  Being at that lower salary level until graduate units are obtained is not an attractive feature for potential teachers.  


There are far reaching implications on how to prepare this new generation of young person to be an effective teacher within this era of common core.  Veteran teachers are swimming in common core and they are looking forward to pending retirement.  Regional educational leaders need to create a task force to address this issue.  Considering this teacher shortage issue is not a state wide issue there is not going to be a one-size fits all solution, however it is wise for ACSA Region leadership to research other ACSA Regions movement (task force creation) in this area.


The ongoing teacher shortage has garnered significant attention in the Legislature this year. Legislators have introduced bills on a spectrum of potential solutions including beginning teacher training, an assumption of loans program, as well as a range of other teacher recruitment and retention proposals. Additionally, a number of spot bills have been introduced in both houses and by legislators of both parties, signifying widespread legislative interest in addressing the issue. 

The following bills are among the substantive proposals on the issue so far: 

  • SB 62 (Pavley) – Brings back the Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE) in exchange for at least four years teaching at certain high needs schools
  • SB 915 (Liu) – Re-establishes the California Center on Teaching Careers (CalTeach) to, among other things, develop public relations campaign for teacher recruitment, conduct outreach activities, and create a referral database for public school teachers
  • SB 933 (Allen) – Establishes a California Teacher Corps teacher residency program, which provides grants for training and mentoring during participation in a teacher credentialing program
  • SB 1381 (Mendoza) – Implements a $5,000 tax credit for qualified full-time teachers beginning January 1, 2017
  • AB 1918 (O’Donnell) – Allows COEs to issue temporary credentials to certified employees of nonpublic nonsectarian schools whose credentials are being processed by Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC)
  • AB 2122 (McCarty) – Establishes a program to recruit classified school employees to enroll in teacher training programs
  • AB 2248 (Holden) – Requires the CTC to issue five-year preliminary credentialswithin 30 days of receiving all necessary documentation to teachers who were prepared out of state 
  • AB 2336 (Olsen) – Extends emergency substitute permits for general education for up to 60 days, and for special education up to 40 days
  • AB 2401 (O’Donnell) – Restores in fiscal year 2016-17 a yet to be determined amount of funding for Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Induction programs
  • AB 2815 (O’Donnell) – Requires alternative teacher programs to address the special education teacher shortage

We will updated as these proposals move forward.

Exemption from CalSTRS 180-Day Rule - To help LEAs address the immediate teacher shortage, CalSTRS has issued new guidance outlining how to fill certain positions with recently retired educators. As you know, retired teachers are subject to a “separation-from-service” requirement, which imposes punitive penalties for retired CalSTRS members rehired within 180 days of retirement (a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their benefit or annuity).

We have been working closely with stakeholder groups and CalSTRS to ensure school districts and COEs can quickly obtain exemptions to CalSTRS’s 180-day separation-from-service rule. The result is the attached Employer Circular (located here), which offers a detailed step-by-step exemption process. 

LEAs can rehire individuals within 180-days of their retirement without impacting their retirement security. Here is an outline of how it works:

  1. Governing Board Resolution. The LEA governing board must adopt a resolution (and not by consent calendar) that names the individual(s) to return and states findings, such as the position’s critical need and that the vacant position was not created by retiree. The attached Circular includes a model resolution that will satisfy this requirement.
  2. CalSTRS Submission. CalSTRS must receive the above resolution and Request for Separation-from-Service Requirement Exemption (SR 1897) form before the individual begins performing services. This form is attached in this email and available on CalSTRS’ Secure Employer Website. 
  3. Thirty-Day Approval PeriodWithin 30 days, CalSTRS will notify the employer and retired member about whether the exemption is approved.

Capitol Advisors strongly advise allowing 45 to 60 days to complete the above process. This allows time to receive the approval of CalSTRS before the individual performs any work. This is critically important because a retiree is subject to a significant penalty without prior CalSTRS approval, especially those who retired under the Retirement Incentive Program. The exemption does not affect the annual post-retirement earnings limit ($42,732 in 2016–17). Keeping in mind the lead time needed for this process, please note that an LEA may start this process before or after the individual has retired.

Reserve Cap:


Not triggered unless state puts prop. 98 money in rainy day fund.  LAO indicates that the rainy day fund won't be triggered until 2018-2019.  This may give legislators an opportunity to adjust this program within that period of time.  ?At our last meeting, Wes said ACSA was not interested in the rainy day issue and CSBA was taking the lead, now we're hearing something new?  ACSA Rep.:  "We would all agree that the reserve cap is not good policy.  Would we appreciate having it repealed? Yes.  What is the political expense of repealing this issue?  We're on board with repeal, however, we're not actively pursuing the repeal because of potential political fall-out.  We're going to engage in the conversation and we want to be part of the conversation.  We have to prioritize our issues, and this issue may not be on the top of that list."




    LAO estimates the 25%-50% of new LCFF funds are being used to support increased CalPERS / CalSTRS contribution.  Legislators have no interest in setting aside additional funds for district's to off-set this increase outside of LCFF.


Funding Adequacy


    As much as we're grateful for LCFF funds, be reminded it is only a restoration of funds not received several years in the past.  Comparatively California is still below the national average of per pupil spending.  Other states have progressive property tax rates which are used to fund public schools and California's prop. 13 tax rate is different.   Legislators are interested in categorical funding for BTSA and after school programs.  There are many requests for categorizing one-time funds.  For example, The state PTA has a proposal to use one-time money (1 Billion) for parent training."


LCAP Collaborative


Collaborative consists of 14 districts from throughout CA.  Goal is to learn to shape the LCAP into a strategic and useable plan.  This is a systematic approach to leadership reflective of coherent and distributive leadership (leading from the middle).  Another goal is to utilize the 6 strands of leadership (I.e.: Communication, technology, etc.) which were shared on day 2 of the Supts. Symposium in Monterey to guide this collaborative.  Further information of guiding practices and professional development in those 6 areas will be forthcoming next year.


Superintendents Symposium Debrief


     Pros:  Student presentation, speakers, collegial conversations

     Cons: Some presenters for sessions seemed uniformed and disconnected, timing of symposium and scheduling of sessions  

                created conflicts with other responsibilities, timing of Superintendents Council meeting, workshops seemed like a  

                vendor session and not a learning opportunity, relevancy of technology offerings was not current


Superintendents Symposium 2016-2017


Monterey Portola will still be under construction next year.  They won't provide the outside tent.  Thereby, ACSA is looking at a new location for the Superintendents Symposium in 2017 (we're contracted with Monterey through 2018).  An RFP went out for the 2017 ACSA Superintendents Symposium.  Three places responded.


1.  Marriott - Palm Desert (Feb. 8-10) 2017  Rates $229

2.  Hyatt - Indian Wells. (Feb. 8-10) 2017  Rates $234

3.  La Quinta - Palm Desert (Feb. 14-16) 2017  Rates $269


More information will be forthcoming in the future.


David E. Garcia


Empire Union School District

116 N. McClure Road

Modesto, CA  95357

(209) 521-2800

209) 521-4010 Fax