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Thursday, June 25, 2020


State Department of Education to study school safety data, examine ethnic studies options
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond on Wednesday outlined two upcoming efforts that the California Department of Education will lead as schools tackle questions about educational equity, racial injustice and the presence of law enforcement on school campuses. During a virtual media briefing, Thurmond announced that he will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30 that will examine the data and research that exists regarding the impacts of police programs on school campuses. The public forum, which will be streamed live on Facebook, will be a discussion between researchers, police organizations, advocacy groups and legislators.


Santa Ana Unified reopening plan raises concern about lost students, money
Students in the Santa Ana Unified School District could attend classes on campus as little as once a week, depending on their grade, under a plan presented this week to the School Board. But board members of the county’s second biggest school district expressed concerns about that re-opening plan, and on Tuesday they pushed off a final decision until July, until some changes are made.

Students protest racism at Capistrano Unified meeting, request change from the school board
A group of San Clemente High students and alumni are asking Capistrano Unified School District officials to make changes at its campuses to address the issue of racial inequality head-on. In an open letter to the south Orange County school district, students lamented the district’s response as “inadequate” to recent national events, including the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. The letter also detailed shortcomings in how the district has addressed allegations of racial inequality within schools and bullying of students because of race and a lack of an all-inclusive curriculum that mirrored the entire student body.


Fullerton School District Board Members Reconsider Black Lives Matter Resolution Again
Fullerton School District board members today will once again reconsider a resolution declaring Black Lives Matter amidst pressure from hundreds of educators, parents and community members calling for it to be adopted. The district’s Board of Education voted unanimously around midnight on Wednesday to adjourn their meeting after seven hours and to continue it at 5 p.m. Thursday. This is the second time such a resolution was before them without voting on it.

In South OC’s Wealthy, Mostly White School District, Students of Color Tell Stories of Racism, Harassment and Inaction
At a high school tucked away in the hills of San Juan Capistrano, a grand staircase separates the upper level of the campus from the lower level. During the school year, Latino students usually fill the lunch tables downstairs, while mostly white students and others sit upstairs. San Juan Hills High School alum Olivia Fu — now a junior at Stanford University — remembers training to be a member of the school’s student leadership program, “Link Crew,” when a senior member, giving a tour of the campus, pointed to the tables near the bottom of the stairs and said “that’s where the beaners sit.”


Student Group Calls for CUSD to Teach About Juneteenth
In an Instagram post, the student group Strength Over Silence called for Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) to teach about Juneteenth. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is a June 19 holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is generally not taught in school history classes, but awareness of it has recently spread through social media.


Sacramento City Schools Consider Ending Police Contract For School Resource Officers
The Sacramento City Unified School District is considering fully divesting from the Sacramento Police Department. The district currently has a contract for a little over $500,000 with the police department, set to expire on June 30. But in light of recent nationwide discussions and the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, advocates and some board members are now calling for the district to not renew this contract.


District police eliminated from Oakland schools: Board votes to abolish agency
The Oakland school board voted unanimously to eliminate the district’s police department Wednesday in a historic vote following nationwide protests that have pushed education officials to end their agreements with police. The measure, the George Floyd Resolution to Eliminate the Oakland Schools Police Department, redirects $2.5 million in funding from the police department to students.


California school districts should spend less on police, more on counselors, state leaders say
As some school districts in California move to dismantle their police departments, the state took a stand this week: All school districts should spend less money on police and more on counseling and other services to support students.

California schools must provide daily live interaction, access to technology this fall
California schools will need to offer daily live instruction and regular communication with parents, among other requirements, in order to receive state funding for the upcoming school year. In March, schools across California closed their campuses to prevent the spread of Covid-19, causing districts to rush to put together distance learning plans, ranging from online group projects to virtual lectures to paper-pencil packets.

Some California teaching credential requirements will ease thanks to budget deal
A new California budget, hammered out by Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators over several weeks, makes it easier for teacher candidates affected by coronavirus-related school and test center closures to complete credential and permit requirements. The changes affecting teacher candidates were spelled out in trailer bills to the budget made public Tuesday.

State Senate action allows California voters to decide on affirmative action
California voters will have a historic chance on Nov. 3 to decide whether race, ethnicity and gender can again be considered in admissions at the state’s public universities and in government contracts, possibly overturning a 24-year-old ban on such affirmative action.

Seeking guidance for reopening schools?
Across California, school districts, county offices of education and the state are planning how to reopen schools in the fall to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. Scroll down to view guidance documents issued by the California Department of Education, county offices of education and other agencies and organizations. We will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.


California schools chief: Officers needed on some campuses
California’s top schools official said Wednesday his office is working to re-imagine the role of police officers at the state’s 10,000 public schools but said some schools would still need officers on campus to protect students’ safety. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the officers would be needed to protect students from dangers, including school shootings or bomb threats but officers would no longer be called upon to discipline misbehaving students.

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