As December winds down, I’d like to thank everyone in our school communities for such a productive 2015. Students and teachers have been hard at work, in many cases grappling with newer academic standards and tests that have required patience and persistence. Their work is supported by a highly capable school board, devoted parents and thousands of behind-the-scenes employees and community partners who help to keep our students safe, healthy and learning as much as they can.
California’s rebounding economy and the implementation of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula for schools continue to bring much needed resources to students. Some of these resources are targeted to help our most vulnerable populations, including homeless and otherwise disadvantaged children. Other funding aims to help all students regardless of their station in life – including, for example, funding to cover the costs of SAT college entrance test prep and Advanced Placement college prep exams, saving parents hundreds of dollars while removing barriers to college entrance. The results of these and other efforts produced a record-setting 2015, with significant increases in AP participation, improved graduation rates, and $96 million in scholarships earned by graduating seniors.
In 2016 we expect even greater progress as we continue to invest in our students, who always do amazing things when we give them the chance. Thank you to everyone who helps to provide our students a gift that can never be taken away – the gift of a great education.
I wish all of you a restful winter break and a happy holiday season.