Monthly Archives: April 2020

Significant aid from state and federal government will be needed for schools in coming recession, panel finds

30 Apr
public school building
School closures and a tanking economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic laid the backdrop for a panel discussion on April 28 about the current and future state of education funding in California, hosted by Policy Analysis for California Education. Panelists shared concerns about how schools will fare in the face of the severe economic downturn, agreeing that the most vulnerable students would be hardest hit, and that an infusion of state and federal funds is imperative to preserve public education...

Conducting remote school board meetings: What board members should know

29 Apr
governance meeting
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed daily life in California, including how the public’s business is conducted at school district and county office of education board meetings. For some board members, the idea of discussing agenda items in person, with members of the public sitting together in a packed room and lines of community members addressing the board from the same microphone may already seem like the distant past. Like so many in K-12 education, board members are making significant...

Budget subcommittee takes on big questions around school finance, learning loss, the future

29 Apr
While legislators, state officials and education advocates may have left with more questions than they arrived with, an Assembly Budget Subcommittee hearing on April 28 punctuated the COVID-19 pandemic’s massive impact on K–12 schools. The parties learned that many of the answers largely hinge upon the May Revision and the whole budget process moving forward. The lengthy Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance hearing explored COVID-19 implications for school finances, accountability and safety; how California can mitigate learning...

New CSBA webinar series brings members up to speed on governing during COVID-19

28 Apr
pencils and coins
Guidance aimed to help members navigate challenges caused by the pandemic As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the daily lives of students, families, teachers and staff, governance teams have been forced to make decisions based on rapidly evolving information from health officials and state and federal leadership that significantly affect their communities. CSBA is hosting a series of webinars to help local educational agencies best navigate the uncertainty of school closures caused by the novel coronavirus as...

Board member electronic communications in the virtual world of COVID-19

27 Apr
California’s stay-at-home order and social distancing requirements imposed to maintain the health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic have created a virtual world for most, including governing board members. Given that board members are increasingly, and perhaps solely, using electronic means during this time to communicate with their superintendents, each other and the public, it is important to be aware of the proper use of electronic resources, especially in regard to the Brown Act. Although Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order...

New report projects significant learning loss due to COVID-19 school closures

24 Apr
With the nation’s unprecedented measures to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, school systems made an abrupt transition from classroom instruction to distance learning. In some cases, districts paused learning altogether while they scrambled to address logistical issues such as the digital divide and preparing teachers to use remote learning approaches and tools. And all of this took place in the context of a public health and economic crisis combined with sustained physical isolation. Education leaders and families have...

Student mental health services move online as counselors and teachers connect with children

23 Apr
computer user
With the implementation of distance learning in full swing in districts throughout the state, one of the many questions that remains is how to provide the mental health supports that so many California students have access to on campus — especially now, as many children and families are in desperate need of such support. School mental health practitioners and state education officials addressed this challenge virtually April 16 for the second part of the three-part webinar series hosted by Wellness...

Changes to special education processes announced by the Office of Administrative Hearings

22 Apr
Announced on April 15, 2020, and effective on the same date, the Office of Administrative Hearings will be conducting all mediations, prehearing conferences and due process hearings remotely, either through video conference or by telephone. All special education hearing rooms at OAH locations are closed to the public, and no hearings or mediations at off-site locations will take place. The link to the OAH order can be found here. OAH is a neutral state agency that helps solve disagreements between...

Legislators, district administrators outline needs, goals to close the digital divide

21 Apr
Just hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 April 20 media briefing overwhelmingly focused on efforts to bridge the digital divide, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond welcomed legislators and representatives from internet service providers to the first meeting of the newly created Closing the Digital Divide Task Force. In proclaiming that California must work to “let the internet flow like electricity,” especially during a time of widespread distance learning, Thurmond commended the companies and individuals that have partnered with...

Ensuring proper use of district technology loaned to students and staff

20 Apr
computer science
School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have required local educational agencies to find creative ways to implement distance learning districtwide and to address the needs of employees working from home. Districts are doing all they can to convert curriculum to an online or alternative platform, respond to the needs of students who do not have devices or internet access at home, develop multiple methods to reach students, and prepare teachers to deliver instruction remotely, all on very short notice....