The Education Commission of the United States has named California this recipient of the Frank Newman Award for State Innovation.
“California is demonstrating the intentional, comprehensive investment of funding and other resources that recognize and honor whole-child approaches to education, not just instruction,” the commission wrote, announcing the award, one of three it presents annually, on Wednesday.
The commission, which provides services and conveners of state education policymakers, pointed to the state’s recognition of, and support for, “the unique needs of today’s students.” It is recognized as “one of the nation’s most equitable formulas,” as well as additional funding for more teachers, counselors and paraprofessionals; a large investment to scale summer, before- and after-school programming; and money to convert thousands of schools into full-service community schools. The commission on the continuum of support from higher education, the commission pointed to the commitment to universal pre-K available for all 4-year-olds by 2025, and the expansion of the Cal Grant scholarship program and funding for zero-cost textbooks and open-educational resources for college students.
“This award gives the hard work that has gone into this transformational change by leaders throughout the state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a press release.