President’s Message: Help make sure that every student is counted

27 Mar
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By CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez As school board members and education leaders, we all agree that every student counts. That mantra will be put to the test this month as invitations to complete the 2020 U.S. Census begin arriving in mailboxes. While U.S. Census Bureau and California officials will ramp up their outreach efforts in the coming weeks, we also play a key role in making sure school-aged children are not forgotten. Traditionally, some of our youngest citizens have not...

Coronavirus update: Stimulus set to deliver $13.5B in emergency funding for K-12 schools; a look at CalPERS and CalSTRS impacts

26 Mar
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The U.S. Senate on Wednesday night unanimously passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to aid the country amidst the massive economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of note, the stimulus will deliver $16.5 billion in emergency funding for K-12 education, with $13.5 billion via formula grants for elementary and secondary education. A share of $3 billion will also be available for governors in each state to allocate to local educational agencies hardest hit by the pandemic. Importantly, in addition to...

Serving students with disabilities during school closures: Updated federal guidance

25 Mar
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public school building
California schools are taking extraordinary measures to continue to provide high-quality educational opportunities to all students while school sites are physically closed. According to the California Department of Education’s Special Education Guidance for COVID-19, at this time, the federal government has not waived the requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. When a school district continues to provide educational opportunities to the general student population during physical school site closures, the district is obligated to provide students with disabilities...

Coronavirus, school closures bring major changes for testing season

24 Mar
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test answer sheet
Tests used for K-12 accountability, advanced course credit and college admissions are the latest segment of education to experience major repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures. Standardized assessments will likely be cancelled in most states this school year, high schoolers will take their Advanced Placement exams at home, and the SAT and ACT won’t be administered until at least June, among other changes. Waiver flexibility for standardized state testing California is among the long list of states...

Study finds schools increasingly rely on and benefit from anonymous school safety tip lines

23 Mar
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More than half of U.S. public middle and high schools operate a tip line aimed at increasing student safety, and more than three in four principals reported that tip lines made them more aware of overall safety issues at their schools, according to recent survey results. The study, “Tip Lines for School Safety: A National Portrait of Tip Line Use,” was conducted by RTI International with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice. Findings were based on responses from a...

Resource suite for schools and families during COVID-19 closures

20 Mar
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Student health and well-being Suggestions for educators on addressing the social and emotional needs of students from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Materials for schools and districts to support for their students and community around COVID-19 and pandemics from the National Association of School Psychiatrists Resources for COVID-19 from the California Association of School Psychologists Pandemic flu checklist: K-12 school administrators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Countering coronavirus stigma and racism: Tips for teachers and other educators from the...

Coronavirus update: California officials to provide ongoing guidance to LEAs dealing with COVID-19 closures

19 Mar
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State education and health officials convened March 18 for a webinar meant to ease some concerns held by county and district leaders surrounding the long-term, widespread school closures caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, more than 98 percent of the state’s 6.2 million public school students remain out of school due to the rapidly evolving pandemic. During the webinar, officials from the Governor’s Office, California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Health and...

COVID-19, board meetings and Brown Act requirements

18 Mar
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governance meeting
The following update provides guidance on the Brown Act provisions waived under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order, and information about the procedures your governing board can use to conduct board meetings during this unique time. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order: On March 12, 2020, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order that, in part, authorized governing boards to hold public meetings via teleconference and to make public meetings accessible by telephone or otherwise electronically to members of the public during this time,...

Coronavirus update: Passage of Senate Bill 117 offers relief to school districts, COEs

17 Mar
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On Monday, March 16, the Legislature and the Governor took special action to support agencies grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, including passage of SB 117, a bill providing relief to school districts, county offices of education, and childcare centers. CSBA appreciates the swift work to pass legislation that will provide relief to public schools coping with the impact of COVID-19. SB 117, which directly reflects the advocacy of CSBA and other members of the Education Coalition, provides $100 million to...

Governor issues executive order ensuring state funding for coronavirus-related school closures

16 Mar
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Early on the evening on March 13, 2020, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order addressing some of the unresolved questions prompted by coronavirus-related school closures. The order ensures that districts will receive state funding as normal and will not lose Average Daily Attendance (ADA) revenue when closing schools to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order requires that school districts and county offices of education use this funding to support distance learning and high-quality educational opportunities, offer school meals...