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Thursday, January 14, 2021


L.A. school board authorizes lawsuits over governor’s budget plan, meal-program costs
The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday agreed to authorize litigation against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen schools and, separately, to file litigation to recover the costs of providing free meals to adults in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The board on Tuesday also passed a resolution that formally expressed the district’s dissatisfaction over the level of funding assistance from other government agencies. The board vote, taken during a closed-session meeting, does not commit the Los Angeles Unified School District to legal action, but it provides the superintendent with a tool for leverage without having to return to the board a second time for permission to file suit, said a district spokesperson.


Cross country could be the first high school sport to return. But it’s complicated
High schools throughout the Bay Area have been in limbo for months, waiting for clarity on if and when their teams can compete this school year. California’s indefinite stay-at-home order complicates the timeline.


Why attorneys for Southern California schools blame victims for their own sexual abuse, bullying
When lawyers representing Moreno Valley Unified School District argued that 13-year-old Diego Stolz and his family were partly to blame for his death at the hands of two bullies, it wasn’t the first time such an argument was used — and likely won’t be the last. “I think it’s a disgusting strategy,” said lawyer Morgan Stewart, whose Irvine firm has sued districts whose defense attorneys have responded by blaming his clients for their alleged abuse. “It bothers me at a core level.”


Clovis parents urge school board to defy COVID-19 health orders, bring more students back
Clovis Unified School District parents and trustees voiced their frustration Wednesday night at not being able to let more children onto campuses this year. The Fresno County Department of Public Health halted CUSD plans to bring back more students until at least Feb. 1 due to the number of COVID-19 cases in the region.


California school officials push for standardized testing waiver amid Covid-19 spike
As Covid-19 cases continue to soar in California, a majority of the State Board of Education is now in favor of pursuing a waiver from the federal government that would remove the obligation to carry out standardized testing for the second year in a row. The U.S. Department of Education waived federal testing requirements following abrupt school closures in March 2020, but this school year, the department intends to resume testing. Now, as California faces the largest daily number of cases it’s experienced yet, State Board of Education members say they want a testing waiver to be made available for states.

In the Right Direction? Perspectives on Gov. Newsom’s Education Budget
EdSource asked leaders representing all segments of California’s education system to comment on Gov. Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal. This year, we’ve presented their responses in reverse alphabetical order, which seemed apt for these topsy-turvy times. Scroll down and click on the photos to read their thought-provoking responses on the governor’s plans for early education, K-12.


Community groups join LAUSD-led campaign to speak out about Newsom’s school reopening proposal
More than a half-dozen educational and community organizations have joined in a campaign led by the Los Angeles Unified School District to apply pressure on the state to adopt a school reopening plan that would, in their opinion, better address the needs of the state's most vulnerable students.


Pasadena Unified suspends limited in-person classes, citing coronavirus surge
Citing the recent surge in coronavirus cases and advice from city and county health officials, Pasadena Unified School District has suspended in-person programming for the limited number of students who have been on campus for classes and childcare.


Newsom calls textbooks “racket,” proposes money to create free ones
The price of college textbooks is often top of mind for college students, for understandable reasons, but also the governor, apparently.  Gov. Gavin Newsom called textbooks a “racket” during his press conference unveiling his budget proposal last week, saying he was “committed” to addressing the “usurious costs associated with textbooks.” “And so we’re going to do more this year… on open source textbooks,” he said. The typical full-time college student in California spends $800 on textbooks and related materials annually.


Nearly a year into remote learning, UCLA report captures the depth of America’s ‘digital divide,’ with 1 in 3 households facing limited tech access
Mariah Hawkins wants to become a nurse. At 15, she is a 9th-grade student at iLEAD Academy in northern Kentucky, a selective regional high school where students take college-level courses in preparation for fast-growing STEM careers. In December, the school received a $100,000 grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Tech Challenge. Yet just halfway through her freshman year, Hawkins is afraid of failing out, not because the work is too hard, but because she does not have reliable internet access.

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