As the state budget crisis continues, cuts to education are decimating the infrastructure and capacity of our public education system to fulfill its democratic mission of providing education for all our citizens.
Over the past year, First Congregational Church and Alianza Charter School have held house meetings that focused on challenges in education. In October a regional House Meeting was held to continue our work to identify and clarify the Education Agenda item for our Regional Agenda to be finalized in February. Follow-up House Meetings have been scheduled for each county with the plan to then reunite to finalize the education strategy and issue agenda for 2012.
This team has also begun to study the financial narrative of education in the State of California and will be initiating research actions locally and on the state level. Representatives of the COPA Delegation to the Northern California IAF Economic Conference participated in the Education Workshop where a tentative plan was made to have a Northern CA IAF Education Conference sometime in 2012 as we continue to explore opportunities for acting together on education issues as the Northern California IAF.
COPA has engaged in Parent Achievement Academies within three institutions: Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salinas, Alianza Charter School in Watsonville and Live Oak Elementary School in Live Oak. The Parent Achievement Academies focus on developing joint leadership between teachers and parents, strengthening the network of relationships that support our children’s learning: parent-teacher, parent-parent, parent-child and teacher-teacher. The Parent Achievement Academies teach and develop the habits and practices needed for parents to support their children’s path to college.
In 2010, the curriculum for the Academies was developed with the Live Oak Elementary School principal and participating teachers. COPA will be leading the Academies again in 2012.