Daily Business Report-June 23, 2017
A Greenfield Union student takes notes during class at Kendrick Elementary School in Bakersfield. The district is one of 15 CALmatters studied to understand how well the state’s new school funding formula is working. (Henry Barrios/The Californian)
Is California’s Investment in Needy
Students Paying Off?
Few Signs That Achievement Gap is Closing
By Jessica Calefati | CALmatters
California’s new system for funding public education has pumped tens of billions of extra dollars into struggling schools, but there’s little evidence yet that the investment is helping the most disadvantaged students.
A CALmatters analysis of the biggest districts with the greatest clusters of needy children found limited success with the policy’s goal: to close the achievement gap between these students and their more privileged peers. Instead, test scores in most of those districts show the gap is growing.
The test scores echo a broader and growing concern about the Local Control Funding Formula from civil rights groups, researchers and legislators.
That formula sends more money to schools with higher concentrations of foster youth, kids learning English and students from low-income families. But four years after it was adopted, there are few signs the program is working, and questions have arisen about whether the $31 billion invested so far is being spent effectively.
The concern has created a high-stakes confrontation with Gov. Jerry Brown, the formula’s architect, because his goal of shifting more responsibility to the local level means the state does not track basic information, such as how much grant money each district gets for needy students and how they spend it.
“The state has spent tens of billions of dollars trying to lift poor kids and not one penny evaluating whether any of it is working,” said Bruce Fuller, an education policy professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “That’s outrageous. We’re heading into year five. It’s time to discern what’s effective and where we’re just wasting money.”
Brown, who once championed the new system as”revolutionary,” declined to grant an interview, and his office did not address many of the questions posed to them about the formula’s performance.
Last month, however, speaking at a Capitol news conference, the governor defended the state’s limited role in monitoring the formula’s impact.
“We want the activists, the parents, the teachers to go to their local boards and put pressure on them,” he said. “They can drive their own cars, park in the local parking lots and argue there.”
“But if there is something that we need to handle, we will,” he added.
Two years after the state adopted the new funding formula, it created new tests for measuring student performance. Experts say it’s too early to draw sweeping conclusions from the new test scores in 2015 and 2016, but they are still troubled that the early results show little improvement for the neediest students and, in many cases, a widening achievement gap.
The CALmatters examination of the 15 largest school systems where nine out of 10 kids qualify for extra funding shows that serious problems remain. Large majorities of students in these districts, which are mostly in Southern California, still fail state tests. And although test scores are improving, the growth lags behind progress made by students not targeted by the new policy.
CALmatters is a nonpartisan media venture explaining California’s policies and politics
on the Rise in San Diego Region
San Diego-area technology hiring is on the rise for the second half of 2017, according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report.
Twenty-one percent of CIOs say they plan to add full-time technology professionals to their teams, up six points compared to the previous report released in December 2016. In addition to hiring plans, the report also highlights technology skills in demand, CIOs’ top concerns and factors contributing to local hiring growth.
“Overall, demand for skilled IT talent remains high and many San Diego companies seem optimistic about the second half of the year,” said Kyle Houston, branch manager for Robert Half Technology in San Diego. “Companies are hiring for initiatives such as SharePoint Online, Office 365 and SCCM-related implementations, in particular.”
In addition to the 21 percent of CIOs forecasting hiring growth, 62 percent of CIOs expect to maintain staff levels by filling vacant roles. An active hiring environment is contributing to a competitive market for IT talent: 61 percent of San Diego hiring leaders say that it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals in today’s market.
Lufthansa to Launch Non-Stop Service
Linking Frankfurt and San Diego
Lufthansa will offer direct flights between its largest hub, Frankfurt, Germany, and San Diego on a year-round basis beginning in March 2018.
The flight represents a speedy, efficient and convenient connection between Europe and Southern California for both business and leisure travelers, said Kimberly Becker, president/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
The flight will operate out of Frankfurt International Airport five-times weekly. The flight, which will maintain year-round service to the European Union, will connect to over 85 destinations in Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. New destinations available with a single flight connection include: Bangalore, Casablanca, Florence, Gdansk, Kiev, Krakow, Nuremberg, Riga, Riyadh, St. Petersburg, Sofia and Zagreb.
This will be the only European flight serving San Diego International Airport with a morning departure. It will take off from Frankfurt at 10 a.m. (Frankfurt time) and arrive in San Diego at 1:20 p.m. local time. The return flight leaves San Diego at 3:20 p.m. and arrives in Frankfurt at 11:40 a.m. (Frankfurt time, the following day). Flights will operate every day except Wednesdays and Fridays.
Lufthansa, which has never served SAN before, will use the 279-seat Airbus 340-300 aircraft on the route configured with Business, Premium Economy and Economy class cabins. The flight will be co-marketed and sold in conjunction with United Airlines.
Housing Expert Hired as CEO of New
Regional Task Force on the Homeless
The San Diego County Regional Task Force on the Homeless has selected Gordon D. Walker as its new chief executive officer. Walker most recently served as director of Utah’s Division of Housing and Community Development where he gained national attention for his efforts to reduce homelessness.
Officially formed in March, following the merger of two regional homeless agencies with insufficient planning structures, the regional task force is responsible for developing a data-driven regional plan that helps bring regional homeless service providers in 18 cities and the unincorporated areas into alignment.
“I’m excited to join the Regional Task Force on the Homeless and help contribute to developing strategies that will reduce homelessness in San Diego County,” said Walker, who served as deputy undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Reagan administration.
“It is clear from Mr. Walkers’ track record that he is the effective leader we need to build this organization,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who chairs the task force.
O.B. Apartments Sell for $1.7 Million
A 6-unit apartment building in Ocean Beach has sold for $1,675,000 to the Mills Family Trust. The seller was the Frederick W. and Leone P. Jackson Trust. The complex, located 4918-4924 Santa Monica Ave., is two blocks from the beach and is surrounded by restaurants and shopping. Kidder Mathews presented the seller.
The Alternative Board Expands in San Diego
The Alternative Board, an international franchise organization that provides business owner advisory boards and coaching services for business owners, CEOs and presidents, has expanded into San Diego with the addition of a new franchise unit.
The Alternative Board San Diego Central has recently opened under the direction of Tanya Scott. She will serve as president of the new franchise unit, and along with Linnea Blair and Paul Byrne, will chair business owner advisory boards and deliver coaching services to business owners in San Diego and surrounding areas. TAB business owner advisory boards are comprised of an exclusive group of local business owner members who run non-competing businesses. Each month, these members come together to share expertise, solve challenges, and help each other seize new opportunities to achieve enhanced profitable growth and success.
Tanya Scott – Tanya Scott is a partner with Hutchinson and Bloodgood LLP, a regional CPA firm. She has been working with business owners since 1989.
Water Authority Adopts $1.58 Billion Budget
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday adopted a $1.58 billion budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, representing a 2 percent increase from the current two-year budget due largely to increasing water supply and treatment costs. The board also adopted rate increases for calendar year 2018 of 3.7 percent for both untreated and treated water; actual increases will vary among the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies based on each agency’s unique circumstances.