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TUSD receives funding to address college admission courses

New state funding with help Turlock Unified School District high school campuses, including eCademy, put strategies into place to increase completion of classes students need to enter college.

The TUSD Board of Trustees received information regarding the A-G Completion Improvement Grant Plan, and how it relates to TUSD during Tuesday's board meeting. The bill is funded through AB 130 to help increase the number of high school students who graduate from high school with A-G eligibility.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Assistant Superintendent Heidi Lawler. “The legislation has put a focus on A-G completion for students, and it aligns with the work we’ve done at educational services to put in place a system for college readiness.”

A-G requirements are minimum courses required universities in California look at when high school students are applying for admission. Those courses included classes in: History, English, mathematics, science, language other than English, visual/performing arts and a college preparatory elective.

While these courses are necessary for college admission, Lawler stressed that the goal is for all students to meet these requirements regarding their intention to go to college or not.

The bill also puts an emphasis on helping unduplicated students who, according to Lawler, are English learners, have economic disadvantages and foster youth. These students have typically had a more difficult time competing in A-G courses.

TUSD’s expected allocation of funds is approximately $900,000 and eCademy is expected to receive $150,000. However, the California Department of Education notified local education agencies that the initial calculation of allocation of funds was in error, therefore the exact funding is pending. A requirement of receiving funds is for school agencies to develop a plan and present it at a public meeting at a governing board.

The bill allows funding to be used for: Professional development, advising plans, tutoring programs, expanding access to coursework, advanced placement fees and opportunities to retake courses, with 70 percent of the funds required to be used for student support and the remaining 30 percent toward professional development.

Part of TUSD’s plan that will be presented to the board in the coming months is developing a systematic monitoring and intervention strategy to increase A-G competition capacity. Also, to determine which courses are more difficult for students to complete.