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Monday, June 29, 2020


Irvine middle schooler takes third at National History Day finale
A local student has won third place in the 2020 National History Day competition, which live-streamed this year’s awards ceremony from Washington, D.C. Natalie Miller of Lakeside Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District took the honor in the Junior Paper category for her submission, “Ex Parte Mitsuye Endo: Breaking through Barbed Wire.” The project documented the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ex Parte Mitsuye Endo decision, which in 1944 ruled that the federal government could not detain citizens who were considered loyal to the United States, as it did with Japanese Americans during World War II.


Winners announced for Orange County Artist of the Year 2020
Barring worldwide pandemics becoming “a thing,” it is a cinch there won’t be another contest quite like the 2020 version of the Orange County High School Artist of the Year program. While participation jumped by nearly 50 percent from 2019, this year’s program almost didn’t happen. A lack of funding in the fall almost killed the program, until Chapman University stepped up to partner with the The Register on a multi-year agreement.


Online or in the classroom, teachers and students must show up every day, new rules say
When it comes to education, the new state budget goes beyond providing $70.5 billion in funding for K-12 schools — it sets fundamental accountability rules for a new era of distance learning in California by requiring teachers to take online attendance and document student learning. The budget bill, which Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign, anticipates that schools will continue to rely heavily on online instruction when campuses reopen in the fall. It also implicitly acknowledges the deep learning losses of the last semester, especially among students from low-income families, when school systems struggled to get all students online.


Anti-Racism Protest Held Outside Capistrano Unified School District Offices
An anti-racism protest was held outside the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) offices on Wednesday, June 24, while the Board of Trustees held a virtual meeting. Students and parents recalled their personal experiences with racism in the school district, including discrimination and microagression, some classrooms segregated with people of color being treated unfairly, as well as educators and officials not taking their claims seriously.


As LA public schools plan for fall, calls grow for improved online learning
As the coronavirus pandemic shows little signs of slowing down, calls are growing for the Los Angeles Unified School District to improve upon a hastily launched system of online learning for the coming academic year. A report compiled by parent advocacy organization Speak Up found the district’s distance-learning program has been “inconsistent at best and discriminatory at worst.” The report added that live online instruction, mandatory grades and consistent scheduling are critical to online schooling.


Blacks, other people of color under-represented among San Diego teachers
Across San Diego and throughout California, teachers in many public schools don’t look anything like the students they teach. Ten of San Diego County’s 42 public school districts did not employ a single Black teacher last school year, and seven others had one Black educator on staff.


Bay Area districts weigh how big of a risk to take in reopening schools: ‘It’s a gamble’
Research into the new coronavirus has moved “lightning fast” since the global pandemic began, but uncertainty around how the virus affects kids and how infectious they might be has made decisions around reopening California schools especially fraught. Children appear to be less likely to become infected with the coronavirus and when they do, they’re not often seriously ill, but it’s not clear how easily they spread the virus to others — a key question facing public health and education leaders.


This is hell': Parents and kids hate online classes. Going back to school likely will include more of it.
In his suburban New Jersey home-turned-classroom this spring, parent Don Seaman quickly found himself in the role of household vice principal. Now that the year's over, Seaman has strong feelings about the experience: Despite the best efforts of teachers, virtual learning didn't work. At least not uniformly, if his three children in elementary, middle and high school are any indication. "The older kids were saying, 'This is hell,'" Seaman said. "My kids feel isolated, and they can't keep up, and they're struggling with it."


California parents weigh risks, benefits of sending kids back to school
As schools plan to reopen, California parents are asking themselves if it is better to send their children back to school and risk them getting the coronavirus or keeping them at home to do distance learning. School districts across California are creating plans to reopen. Some of the ideas set out by the California Department of Education include students attending school in person two days a week or every other week and doing distance learning the other days. In some cases, districts are planning to allow families to decide whether to send their children to school or continue with distance learning from home.

California Legislature approves state budget; here are the highlights for education funding
With crossed fingers, the Legislature passed and sent a 2020-21 state budget to Gov. Gavin Newsom that will rely on $14 billion in additional congressional coronavirus relief to avert cuts to early and higher education. State funding for K-12 schools will be the same as last year, although school districts and charter schools will have to wait for a year to be repaid for $11 billion in funding.


California Legislature Sends Budget Compromise To Gov. Newsom’s Desk
California lawmakers approved a spending plan to plug a $54 billion deficit Friday, sending it to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Unlike a previous version passed on their June 15 deadline, this plan reflects an agreement between legislative leaders and Newsom. The Assembly passed the “budget junior” bill on a party-line vote Friday afternoon. It passed the Senate Thursday night. Just before the Assembly vote, Newsom called the measure “responsible” and indicated he would sign it.


Ambitious research project — to review how every school in America responded to COVID-19 — aims to deliver its first findings in early July
A new research effort underway at Tulane University aims to track how every K-12 school in the United States — district, charter and private — responded to the coronavirus pandemic and the abrupt shift to remote learning that came with it. Led by economist and education researcher Douglas Harris, the project is part of REACH, the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice, based at the university in New Orleans. “Our primary purpose is just, how can we be helpful?” Harris said.

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