April 21, 2015
State School Bond Initiative, Governor’s Executive Order on Water Conservation, and the NextGen Experience
In last month’s Message from the Chair, I introduced myself as your new Chair, talked about my personal and professional background, and outlined some of my priorities as Chair, including 21st Century classrooms and how they contribute to teaching and learning. In this month’s Message, we will get right to work on critical issues for the C.A.S.H. organization – the Californians for Quality Schools (CQS) Initiative and responding to the Governor’s Executive Order on water conservation.
Gathering Signatures for the State School Bond Initiative
On March 23, 2015, the California Attorney General’s Office completed and released its Title and Summary for the State School Bond initiative, which is a significant milestone in C.A.S.H.’s pursuit of placing a $9 billion State School Bond on the November 2016 ballot. Specifically, this milestone allows our CQS initiative team to gather signatures, and they began doing so immediately after the Attorney General’s Title and Summary was released.
While our effort is proceeding on schedule, we need your help to ensure that we are successful. C.A.S.H. believes that the School Facility Program (SFP) has been a very effective state/local partnership that should continue. Currently the SFP has more than $2.0 billion in projects that cannot be funded, and a pipeline of projects that will continue to grow in the absence of state support. C.A.S.H. believes that the State of California has a Constitutional obligation to ensure all students have access to adequate facilities – if there is not a State School Bond on the 2016 ballot, more students will be deprived of access to quality schools until 2020 or later.
For this reason, I urge you to contribute to our effort to ensure that the State School Bond Initiative qualifies for the November 2016 General Election State Ballot. Please visit the C.A.S.H. Issues Committee website for the State School Bond Initiative and make a contribution. For more information about how you can help please contact Aileen Dalen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
California’s Drought: Governor’s Executive Order B-29-15
On April 25, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown enacted Executive Order B-29-15 which proclaims a, “…State of Emergency to exist throughout the State of California due to severe drought conditions…” The Order will affect all Californians, and will certainly have implications for schools. The Order calls for the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) to impose restrictions on water to achieve a 25% reduction in potable urban water through February 28, 2016; specifically, the Order states that, “…The Water Board shall impose restrictions to require that commercial, industrial, and institutional properties, such as campuses, golf courses and cemeteries, immediately implementing water efficiency measures to reduce potable water usage…” This is serious stuff.
While the Water Board is in the process of developing the specifics of the Order, I urge you to begin thinking seriously about water efficiency and management in your district and at your school site – this is not a trendy issue that will come and go like we have seen with other issues. Water efficiency will become an increasingly important issue for schools to consider. While specifics of the Order and what it will mean for local agencies such as schools are being developed, there are things you can do immediately to prepare, such as bench marking your current water use and determining which plants or turf are “functional” and which are “secondary,” as landscaping is one of the highest uses of water in schools.
C.A.S.H. is and will continue to be a leader on the issue of water efficiency and management in educational environments. We know that, already having picked the low-hanging fruit in many cases, schools are unsure of what new water restrictions might be, and how they should respond. We have begun to work with other educational organizations to advocate for increased resources for the education community to implement water saving measures, and to ensure that schools are not singled out. We are developing training opportunities such as workshops and webinars to provide informational resources for districts. Finally, the C.A.S.H. Environmental Committee is reforming under the leadership of Julie Arthur (Palm Springs USD), and drought mitigation strategies for schools is a primary area for the Committee.
As you have probably heard, C.A.S.H. is hosting a Spring NextGen Symposium on Friday, May 8 in San Diego. This Symposium is FREE to all school district and county office of education staff. We have school districts that are bringing their facilities and educational teams to this event. I encourage you to do the same.
In conjunction with C.A.S.H., this Symposium is sponsored by DLR Group, HMC Architects, Lionakis, LPA Inc., PBK, and, S.I.M. Architects.
This Symposium offers education from nationally renowned speakers in the area of education delivery in next generation learning environments, how these environments enhance student achievement, role of technology, and transitioning existing sites into next generation classrooms. For the Symposium agenda click here.
The Symposium will also include simulated next generation classroom spaces where you can experience products and services provided by the following companies:
- Contrax Furnishings
- Kimball Office
- Office Depot
- Virco Manufacturing Corporation
- VS America Inc.
- Mohawk Group
- Tandus Flooring Inc.
- Cisco Systems
I look forward to welcoming you to this symposium in San Diego!
~ C.A.S.H. Staff