Teachers nationwide show strong support for mental health, SEL focus to improve school safety

22 Aug
African-American teacher
As the nation’s schools begin a new academic year, a survey finds that most teachers say the majority of their students do not feel very safe at school. And to have the biggest impact on improving school safety, educators surveyed by the Education Week Research Center said none of their top three choices include “hardening” measures such as security cameras or police officers. Instead, all three focus on students’ social-emotional well-being and mental health. Education Week’s 2019 Safety and Social-Emotional...

New study finds high-need students see both benefits and pitfalls from LCFF

20 Aug
Latino student
Six years after California policymakers enacted the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 public schools, the goal of providing additional resources to high-need districts is being met. A new study, however, suggests several hurdles still need to be addressed to ensure all students receive the support they need. Researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California found that while more money is being funneled to districts serving larger populations of low-income students, English learners and homeless or foster youth, high-need...

Concerns about bias, anti-Semitism dominate Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum feedback

19 Aug
public school building
After myriad advocacy organizations sounded their opposition to the first draft of California’s Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, the State Board of Education indicated in a statement that the curriculum will be “substantially redesigned.” The statement, from State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond, board Vice President Ilene Straus and board member liaison to the Instructional Quality Commission Feliza Ortiz-Licon, acknowledges that a “model curriculum should be accurate, free of bias, appropriate for all learners in our diverse state, and align with Governor...

Update: SB 328 placed on Assembly Appropriations suspense file

14 Aug
Senate Bill 328 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge) was placed on the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file during the committee’s hearing this morning. The Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees will both hear their respective suspense files the last week of August, determining whether SB 328 (along with the numerous other fiscal bills on the suspense file) will advance to the floor in September.  The Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis of the bill opines that the measure could result in “tens of millions...

Watching out for the health and safety of student athletes

13 Aug
Whether it’s hitting a home run, crossing the finish line or simply being part of a team, extracurricular athletics are influential to the educational experience of many students. Students in these programs experience enhanced school engagement by being part of an athletic program. Research shows that higher grades, graduation rates and scores on state assessments, as well as lower dropout rates, are seen among student athletes in comparison to non-athletes. To actualize these positive attributes, and, most importantly, to properly...

Nationwide poll sees school funding’s importance rise in the eyes of parents, teachers

12 Aug
Awareness and frustration with the continued underfunding of the nation’s public schools has reached a point at which 58 percent of teachers say they would vote to strike for higher funding for school programs. And for the 18th consecutive year, Americans said the lack of financial support is the biggest problem facing their local schools. These attitudes are just some of the key findings in the 2019 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, available at www.pdkpoll.org/results....

President’s Message: Welcome all students back to school — and plan to keep them there

7 Aug
We cling to the last days of summer, but the passage of time is relentless and unsentimental. Vacation has already ended for some school districts and county offices of education; others will open their doors in the coming weeks. This is a critical time as children transition back to the schedules and rigors of school life. Educators have to be ready to welcome students from day one, and we must also keep that same energy and engage all students —...

New Laws for California Schools: AB 272, student smartphone use

6 Aug
CSBA’s “New Laws for California Schools” series highlights new K-12 education laws signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019. New laws are effective Jan. 1, 2020, unless otherwise noted. The 2019 legislative year ends on Sept. 13; Gov. Newsom then has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto all bills passed by the Legislature. CSBA’s ‘What’s New for 2020’ report will be available in October. Assembly Bill 272 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance), signed into law by Gov. Newsom on July 1, allows...

New report finds fewer complaints by LGBTQ students are investigated under Trump administration

5 Aug
LGBT Textbook
A new Center for American Progress report finds that unresolved complaints to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights related to sexual orientation or gender identity have increased by 20 percent since the repeal of Obama-era guidance that protected transgender students. The guidance cited Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which bars sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funds, as protecting all students on the basis of their gender identity “including discrimination based on a...

Professional development institute with spotlight on whole child draws 3,000 educators

2 Aug
From counseling services to chronic absenteeism to disciplinary alternatives, more than 3,000 education professionals converged in Long Beach from July 28–31 to home in on equitably supporting every student with a whole-child approach. Those topics were among the many covered at the third annual California Multi-Tiered System of Support Professional Learning Institute. The institute’s theme of “All Means All: Know My Name, Face and Story” was present throughout, with speakers and presenters sharing their life and educational stories as examples...