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

23 Jun
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...

Schools must keep needs of English learners in mind when crafting reopening plans

16 Jun
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Latino student
The disruption in learning due to COVID-19 school closures has impacted all students, but when the 2020–21 academic year begins, there are undoubtedly certain students who will need additional help and resources to catch up and stay on track. Experts and practitioners who gathered virtually for a June 9 Californians Together webinar, “Communities of Practice: Centering English Learners in the Pivot to Reopening Schools” agreed that, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic in providing instruction, supporting English learners must...

Adopting policy for COVID-19 mitigation during campus reopening

15 Jun
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students taking test
After an extended period of campus closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local leaders are weighing what actions and resources will be needed for schools to physically reopen. As board members and superintendents review guidance issued by CSBA, state agencies and other organizations, it is important to remember that the reopening process will look different in every community. Each district will need to develop plans based on its own needs and circumstances. “As long as COVID-19 still presents...

President’s Message: Facing a daunting task, we must put students first

12 Jun
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Now that the 2019–20 school year is coming to a close, we must shift our focus to reopening schools and how we can do so in a way that’s safe, equitable and effective for students, staff, families, and community. While that will require detailed discussions, input from all stakeholders and guidance from our counties, public health officials and the state, we must not lose sight of what really matters: the academic, physical, social and emotional development of California students. An...

Education leaders grapple with what is needed to reopen schools

12 Jun
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To shed light on some of the key considerations for school leaders as they plan to reopen schools, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research hosted a webinar on June 2 featuring local and statewide experts and research perspectives. In “Back to school: What parents can expect & policymakers can do,” panelists addressed what is needed to ensure students can return to a campus that is not only physically safe, but allows for continued learning and attending to students’ social,...

Latest U.S. Senate Committee hearing on reopening schools focuses on learning loss, equity and funding

11 Jun
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Amidst a global pandemic and nationwide protests over the unjust murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions’ June 10 hearing, “COVID-19: Going Back to School Safely,” featured senators and education leaders discussing what is needed to reopen schools for the 2020–21 school year. Chief among the concerns expressed were testing and contact tracing abilities, desperately needed funding, providing equitable supports, and the urgent need to address the exacerbation of...