Children Now’s efforts were “absolutely critical” (Mike Kirst, President, CA State Board of Education & key education advisor to Gov. Brown) in passing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which helps ensure all children have equitable access to a quality K-12 education. LCFF is the most comprehensive and beneficial reform the state has made to how funding for schools is determined since the 1970s.
Children Now created the national pressure that helped spur Disney’s decision to dramatically reduce its junk food marketing to kids, setting a strong precedent for other children’s media companies to follow suit.
Children Now was instrumental in blocking proposed budget cuts and restructuring that would have virtually destroyed California’s early learning system. As a result, the final cuts were $400 million less than originally proposed, program quality controls were preserved, and Transitional Kindergarten for 40,000 young children will move forward.
California applied for federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) funding and was awarded $53.2 million. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson publicly credited Children Now for providing critical assistance on the state’s successful application.
Children Now lead the way to making California’s educational data system (CALPADS) fully operational. This system is foundational to improving education outcomes in our state. Student-level data collection includes everything from demographics and enrollment to course completion and suspension/expulsion information.
By bringing business, civil rights, parents, education reform groups, and traditional education organizations together in the best interests of kids, Children Now defeated Assembly Bill 5, which would have weakened California’s teacher evaluation policy.
Children Now protected the health and education of California’s foster children by securing $200 million in additional base funding for child welfare services and funding to extend foster care eligibility up to age 21, and by preserving critical education funding for foster kids.
Children Now’s advocacy efforts, highlighting the importance of afterschool programs in academic achievement, health, fitness, and safety, helped protect Proposition 49 from strong pressure to cut its funding, ensuring continued afterschool opportunities for approximately 400,000 kids.
Senate Bill 429, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2011, addresses the issue of summer learning loss for students in need by enabling summer program providers to better meet the distinct needs of individual communities. The bill increases flexibility in program hours, enrollment, and facilities use.
Children Now was instrumental in the passage of Assembly Bill 2244, a federal health care reform implementation bill that ensures 575,000 California children with pre-existing conditions can access health coverage.
Senate Bill X5 2, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2010, ensures researcher access to student-level data, a critical component of better using data to improve the state’s education system. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature with unanimous support.
Following a comprehensive strategic planning process, Children Now launched The Children’s Movement of California to organize the broad but otherwise diffuse support for prioritizing children’s health and education in public policymaking. You can join the Movement here.
Senate Bill 1357, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2010, defines “chronic absence” as a key indicator of academic failure/dropout, requires the California Department of Education to incorporate attendance data into the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), and establishes the intent to use this data to create early warning systems.
The crafting and passage of Senate Bill 19, which removes all barriers to the use of achievement data linked to individual teachers and principals for the purpose of evaluation, a critical step in ensuring that California is eligible to compete for the federal Race to the Top education funding.
The 2008 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being is an innovative online tool enabling the discovery of best practices in improving children’s well-being; it’s another example of the critical role Children Now plays in researching and bringing attention to children’s issues. See it here.
Senate Bill 1629, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2008, introduces stronger accountability measures to improve early care and education program quality for over 1.7 million California children.
Senate Bill 1298, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2008, initiates the data system needed to improve all children’s educational achievement. All of the nearly 6.6 million children in early care and K-12 education in California will benefit.
After attending a national Children Now conference on children’s educational programming, FCC Commissioners champion federal policy expanding the quantity of children’s educational programming. The policy went into effect in 2007 and is credited to the work of Children Now.
Senate Bill 437, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2006, streamlines the enrollment process for public children’s health insurance in California, so tens of thousands more children get the coverage that’s available to them.
Assembly Bill 172, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2006, expands preschool programs, resulting in 12,000 more slots being created for children.
Senate Bill 638, co-sponsored by Children Now and signed into law in 2006, protects and implements the voter-approved Proposition 49, equitably expanding after school programs to hundreds of thousands more children throughout California.
Dora the Explorer is the first Latina cartoon heroine, instead of the rabbit that was originally planned for the show, because Nickelodeon executive Brown Johnson attended a national Children Now conference on the lack of diversity in children’s shows.
Launched in 1998, Children Now’s “Talking with Kids About Tough Issues” has helped hundreds of thousands of parents speak to their children about drugs, sex, violence and other difficult issues.