Ninth Circuit upholds existing FAPE rules in A.W. v. Tehachapi Unified School District

1 Jul
On June 25, 2020, in a special education case in which CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance filed an amicus brief, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the district in an unpublished opinion in A.W. v. Tehachapi Unified School District, upholding the district court’s decision on a couple of issues, including that the school district was not required to seek a due process hearing when it believed it was providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE). In 2015,...

Governor signs 2020–21 budget package; CSBA webinar dives into details

30 Jun
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday night signed the 2020–21 state budget that leans heavily on deferrals in lieu of cuts to K–12 education funding and counts on significant additional federal funding to bolster schools financially in their monumental task to safely reopen schools. In a CSBA webinar on June 29, which drew nearly 500 attendees, experts offered insights into budget implications for schools and other policy changes during COVID-19 (view the slideshow presentation). Breaking down the finances and deferrals While...

E-rate program regulations and innovative district solutions to digital divide explored in webinar

29 Jun
A June 25 webinar hosted by New America’s Open Technology Institute featured advocates for closing the homework gap and three school district representatives from across the nation attempting to do so right now. At least 7 million students in the U.S. currently lack broadband access and “even when schools are back full time, those 7 million or more students will still be on the wrong side of a persistent homework gap that reinforces education inequities, especially in low-income and rural...

California education officials announce plans to re-examine policing on school grounds

25 Jun
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced June 24 two ways in which the California Department of Education intends to support schools as districts throughout the state address concerns surrounding educational equity and racial justice. Since the inception of the school resource officer decades ago, many families — especially families of color — have raised questions about the necessity of police in schools while pointing to research showing that Black children in particular are more likely than their white...

State budget provisions complicate school reopening under COVID-19 conditions; Mega-deferrals established and major cuts avoided

24 Jun
pencils and coins
While touted by Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders as preserving K–12 funding and positioning schools to reopen this fall, the 2020–21 state budget trailer bill language strips local educational agencies of critical flexibility needed to safely and effectively resume instruction. Distance learning Assembly Bill 77 states that in-person instruction should be offered to the greatest extent possible, only allowing distance learning under two circumstances: On an LEA or schoolwide level as a result of an order or guidance from...

Mandated reporters help ensure the safety and well-being of children during COVID-19

23 Jun
public school building
While learning loss has been at the forefront of concerns about the impacts of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shuttering of schools across the country poses additional risks for children who may experience abuse and neglect in their households. The economic crisis has brought financial stress to millions of families that have lost income and are experiencing food and housing insecurity. Coupled with more time at home due to shelter-in-place orders, these factors make abuse and neglect...

Revised playbook offers chronic absenteeism strategies amidst COVID-19

22 Jun
The Attendance Playbook — originally released in 2019 by the nonprofit Attendance Works and Georgetown University-based think tank FutureEd — has been updated to account for the challenges posed by transitioning to fully virtual or blended learning models. The resource, Attendance Playbook: Smart Strategies for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in the COVID Era, contains strategies to address mild to severe student chronic absence and divides strategies into three tiers of intervention. It also identifies the problem each intervention solves and highlights...

Education leaders call for greater funding for COVID-19 challenges in U.S. House Committee hearing

19 Jun
The overarching theme of a recent U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee hearing echoed what many in education have been repeating since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: schools need more money to ensure the safety and high-quality education of all students. Witnesses spoke during the June 15 hearing of how local educational agencies have thus far met the nutritional needs of students, and in some cases were able to accommodate technology and internet access needs among their...

Legislators call out resources, liability and lack of direction as concerns in reopening schools

18 Jun
With local educational agencies equipped with federal, state and county guidance on reopening campuses for the 2020–21 academic year, a June 16 joint Assembly Education Committee hearing cast concerns about the practicality and affordability of welcoming students back to the classroom. A yet-to-be finalized state budget and ongoing education funding concerns served as an ominous backdrop for the proceedings. CSBA, both independently and through its membership in the Education Coalition, comprised of the state’s nine largest statewide education associations, continues...

Budget negotiations to intensify as Legislature meets June 15 deadline

17 Jun
The Legislature on Monday, June 15, passed a 2020–21 budget bill that staves off immediate and drastic cuts to K–12 education, however, the spending plan is far from final as negotiations with the Governor’s Office continue. The Legislature’s action meets the requirement that lawmakers pass a balanced budget by midnight on June 15; Gov. Gavin Newsom has 12 days to act on the measure. The two sides will continue to negotiate and adopt an amended budget that will help answer...