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Friday, June 26, 2020


Majority on O.C. School Board talk against masks, social distancing for next school year
When the Orange County Board of Education met this week to talk about how schools should reopen from the coronavirus shutdown, one of the central subjects of the debate was conspicuously missing: facemasks. In a spacious room with at least 40 people – in front of an online audience that over the course of the evening grew to more than 700 hundred – only one board member, Beckie Gomez, as well as county employees and a handful of attendees, wore facial coverings.


Corona del Mar High graduates celebrate in drive-by fashion
Tempered expectations came with the territory, particularly for the class of 2020, after the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc on the high school experience. Campuses closed due to the pandemic, sending students home away from their classmates, friends, and teammates. In the three months that have passed since that new normal, students grasped on to whatever they could find to stay connected — a Zoom call or a FaceTime session.


Orange County Debates Requiring Children to Wear Masks When Schools Reopen
The Orange County Board of Education organized a special meeting Wednesday evening and invited policy and health experts as well as educators who all voiced support against requiring face coverings at school. That conclusion – as well as what some observers called the stacked nature of panel experts – have triggered serious blowback from many educators, parents and community members who are upset over the stance of the panelists and believe masks and social distancing are necessary to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus.


Are students subject to the mask order? Gavin Newsom says California doesn’t know yet
California issued a mandatory mask order last week, but state officials are still debating whether students should have to comply once schools reopen. During a Thursday press conference to provide COVID-19 updates, Gov. Gavin Newsom said a mask mandate for students remains under discussion.


DeVos issues rule requiring public schools share more COVID-19 aid with private schools
The Trump administration on Thursday moved forward with a policy ordering public schools across the U.S. to share coronavirus relief funding with private schools at a higher rate than federal law typically requires. Under a new rule issued by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, school districts are ordered to set aside a portion of their aid for private schools using a formula based on the total number of private school students in the district.


Two San Jose school districts terminate police contracts for campus patrols
Two San Jose school districts have joined a nationwide movement to eliminate the presence of police officers on campuses by terminating their contracts with the San Jose Police Department. The Alum Rock Union and East Side Union High School District’s boards of education unanimously decided Thursday night not to renew years-long contracts with the city’s police department that funded school resource officers and were expiring this summer. San Jose Unified — the city’s largest public school district — will discuss its contract with the police department at its next board meeting on August 6.


Long road ahead to close California’s digital divide in education before new school year begins
California needs at least 708,400 laptops and 322,100 Wi-Fi hotspots to connect all students to the internet from home, a significant jump from previous estimates, according to data from the California Department of Education shared with EdSource on June 17.

California school leaders ambivalent as they await vote on state budget
Advocates and lobbyists for California’s K-12 school districts are expressing both relief and apprehension on the eve of the Legislature’s expected approval Friday of a 2020-21 state budget. The deal will raise spending to the current year’s level by restoring billions of dollars in cuts Newsom had proposed and will add more federal aid dollars to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.


Teachers union calls for elimination of LAUSD police force
The United Teachers Los Angeles union is calling for the elimination of the Los Angeles Unified School District police department, it was announced Friday, June 26. The UTLA “House of Representatives” passed a motion Thursday night to eliminate LAUSD school police and redirect funding to mental health and counseling for students, said Anna Bakalis of the union.


Education Dept. Rule Limits How Schools Can Spend Vital Aid Money
In a new rule announced Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signaled she is standing firm on her intention to reroute millions of dollars in coronavirus aid money to K-12 private school students. The CARES Act rescue package included more than $13 billion to help public schools cover pandemic-related costs. Lawmakers from both parties countered that the aid was intended to be distributed based on how many vulnerable, low-income students a district serves.


California Assembly to cast final vote on state budget
The California Assembly will return to work on Friday from their summer recess to vote on a spending plan that closes the state’s estimated $54.3 billion deficit through a combination of temporary tax increases, delayed spending and cuts to colleges, courts and state worker salaries. The vote comes after the state Senate approved the $202.1 billion spending plan late Thursday, hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a “budget emergency” for the first time.

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