Court rules in favor of eliminating pension “spiking”

5 Aug
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On July 30, 2020, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Association v. Alameda County Employees Retirement Association that the Legislature was allowed to eliminate pension “spiking,” where employees artificially increased their earnings (and, in turn, their pension) in their last year of work by cashing out leave time and working extra shifts at higher rates. In 2012, the Legislature enacted the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), which made several revisions to...

New CSBA-supported legislation will address infrastructure needed to close the digital divide

5 Aug
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With the 2020–21 school year right around the corner and a state order mandating that about 90 percent of students begin the academic year solely with distance learning, there is an immediate need to close California’s digital divide. To do so, 700,000 students will need to be equipped with computing devices and another 300,000 with hotspots to connect to the internet, according to the California Department of Education. Two CSBA-supported bills recently introduced in both houses of the Legislature would...

Federal legislation proposes free meals for all children, extension of waivers

4 Aug
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New federal legislation would allow all children to access breakfast, lunch and after-school snack programs either in school or through “grab and go” and delivery options during the 2020–21 school year. House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) introduced the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act on July 30 amid a national child hunger crisis and as school meal programs are struggling financially to maintain critical services. CSBA, as part of a larger nutrition coalition, supports...

State issues updated guidance on reopening school waiver process

4 Aug
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On the evening of Monday, Aug. 3, the California Department of Public Health released updated guidance for reopening California schools. The updated guidance outlines the waiver process through which local educational agencies in counties on the COVID-19 monitoring list can seek to resume in-person instruction at elementary schools. It also provides the parameters under which youth sports and physical education can take place and expressly forbids school-sponsored events such as pep rallies, school dances, field trips and other activities that cause students...

CSBA legal webinar explores challenges of serving students with disabilities in the new school year

3 Aug
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When schools closed for in-person instruction in the spring to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students with disabilities were among those most negatively impacted by the loss of face-to-face interaction with teachers, specialists and aides. To aid board members and local educational agencies, CSBA recently held a pair of webinars exploring the many legal impacts on governance and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic with top education law attorneys from CSBA‘s premier affiliate law firms. Focus areas in the second webinar...

Hardships exacerbated by the pandemic can be addressed through community schools model

31 Jul
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mother and child at door
Students, their families and educators continue to experience increased physical and mental health concerns, isolation and economic hardship as a result of COVID-19. To best serve their communities, many districts and schools will need to develop stronger systems of support to meet student needs. In a July 28 webinar hosted by Policy Analysis for California Education, experts pointed to the community school model as a promising approach for coordinating available resources in service of student learning and well-being. Community schools...

Officials underscore key considerations for nutrition services amid COVID-19

30 Jul
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With the magnifying glass currently on when students and teachers may return to their classrooms, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the jobs of millions of school classified and support service staff. For vital nutrition services employees, experts say that “prevention is the best medicine” and open communication is fundamental toward keeping cases out of the kitchen and campus at-large. Made available through the California Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Food Safety and the Institute...

CDE outlines timeline and stakeholder engagement in Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan

29 Jul
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This school year’s Local Control and Accountability Plan has been replaced by the Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan, as outlined in Senate Bill 98, the education funding trailer bill. The California Department of Education is holding a series of webinars to guide local educational agencies through the document. A July 28 webinar outlined the timeline and process for the Learning Continuity Plan and focused on the stakeholder engagement portion of the document. An additional CDE webinar is scheduled for Aug....

New report highlights ways to focus on SEL during tumultuous year

28 Jul
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With the dust now settling across California as to how teaching and learning will begin in the 2020–21 school year, guidance from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning provides education leaders with recommendations for how to prioritize safe, supportive, culturally sustaining and equitable learning environments for students and adults. The robust report, Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Roadmap for Reopening School, offers key considerations to address the layered impact of schools closures, COVID-19, the...

Pressure to close digital divide gains urgency; learning loss funds one piece of the puzzle

27 Jul
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State officials are calling California’s digital divide an “all-hands-on-deck situation” considering the very short time available to equip 700,000 students with computing devices and another 300,000 with hotspots to connect to the internet. The matter — the focus of the California Department of Education’s Closing the Digital Divide Task Force for months — takes on added urgency in light of a state order mandating that roughly 90 percent of students will begin the 2020–21 year solely with distance learning. In...