University Public School Principal Carla Fachner got a bit muddy Friday, but it was all for a good cause.
Fachner and her students were celebrating their near-perfect score on an annual examination. They earned a 939 for the Academic Performance Index, which is one of the highest scores in the state.
API scores are released twice a year to rank schools and track growth at a statewide level. The first, released in the spring, is a base figure, while the ones released in the fall reveal if the school is improving and has met its growth targets. Those make up the Annual Yearly Progress scores.
Both are calculated by the California Department of Education, and help determine how much state funding a campus can receive based on what goals each school has met.
Last year, students at University Public School earned a 887 base API score - one of the highest in Lodi Unified School District - and were aiming for a 900 this year.
When the goal was set, students got to choose what the reward would be if they were successful. They opted to celebrate with mud, which included dumping it on the heads of their teachers.
On Friday, they also enjoyed slipping and sliding along a muddy plastic plume and jumped into a mud-filled swimming pool.
Last year, the principal took two pies in her face and dyed her hair purple when the annual score went up.
API scores will be made public for all schools on Thursday. For more information, visit www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar.
Lodi Unified School District among winners of construction bond lottery
Lodi Unified School District is among the 43 school districts in California that have been selected by lottery as recipients of $700 million in Qualified School Construction Bond tax credits.
Lodi will receive $5.5 million, according to a press release Friday. It is the only San Joaquin County school to qualify.
"This tax credit program will jump start new school construction and modernization projects throughout the state that, in turn, will stimulate the economy and create jobs," state Superintendent Jack O'Connell said in a written statement.
"The Qualified School Construction Bond program will not infuse communities with new money but will help school districts use their local bond dollars more efficiently. Finding new ways to save money is especially welcome by school districts in these tight budgetary times," he said.
The new QSCB tax credit program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was signed into law by the president in February.
ARRA allows tax credits on $22 billion nationwide to QSCB for this year and next. California's share is an estimated $2.7 billion over the same two-year period. Of this sum, $582 million already has been directly allocated to the state's 11 largest school districts; $700 million was available through the lottery to qualifying school districts; and $73 million is available to allocate this year to qualifying charter schools.
The remaining estimated $1.3 billion will be allocated in 2010.
The California Department of Education awarded the $700 million in tax credit bond authorizations to 43 qualifying school districts and county offices of education during a drawing that was held Friday morning at department headquarters in Sacramento. More than 230 applications were received totaling more than $3.7 billion in requests.
- News-Sentinel staff