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Wednesday, July 29, 2020


OC Board of Education to sue Newsom as it seeks the full reopening of schools
Two weeks ago, the Orange County Board of Education gained national attention when it endorsed reopening public schools without social distancing or face masks. Now, the board plans to file a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s public health officer, Sonia Y. Angell, asking that state orders be set aside that have most schools opening online in the fall. The suit seeks in-person teaching and the resumption of campus activities. The board voted 4-0 during a closed session Tuesday night, July 28, to file the lawsuit. Board of Education members said the law firm Tyler & Bursch, with offices in Anaheim and Murrieta, will represent them for free.

Newport-Mesa Unified repeals change in curriculum plan following protest at Corona del Mar High
Less than 24 hours after hundreds of parents, students and teachers protested a block-learning curriculum recently approved by the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board, officials have reversed course and repealed their plan. Last week, the school board had approved a change to how classes were scheduled deciding students’ curriculum would be split between the fall and spring semesters, with a portion of the subjects taught for a couple of hours each day during one semester and the other subjects taught the second semester – a contrast to the traditional method of studying all subjects throughout the year.


Orange County Board of Education Decides To Sue Gov. Gavin Newsom Over School Closures
The Orange County Board of Education in a closed session Tuesday night decided to sue Gov. Gavin Newsom to let schools in high-risk California counties reopen for the 2020-21 school year. In an announcement earlier this month, Newsom said that any counties on the state coronavirus watch list, which includes Orange County, could not have students in classrooms. In a 4-0 vote, the board decided to move forward with the lawsuit. Trustee Beckie Gomez was absent from the meeting when the decision was made. Public commenters came out on both sides of the issue, but an overwhelming majority were against the board pursuing any type of litigation.


How Los Angeles and San Diego Unified Started Driving State Education Policy
Back in May, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a new draft of his budget, based on the bleak financial outlook caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. California’s rosy fiscal position had evaporated in a matter of weeks and it was time for the bad news: Schools would take the biggest hit. At the time, the state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego Unified, had been cultivating a partnership for weeks. And even though they had different purposes in mind for the new alliance, the moment of Newsom’s cuts was going to be a big moment for them.


The SF schools plan: Weeks — or more likely months — of distance learning
San Francisco students will spend several weeks if not months in distance learning, followed by a limited return to in-person instruction, with no more than a third of the district’s 53,000 school children allowed back on any given day.


Why Is There No Consensus About Reopening Schools?
Here’s what we know: With too many variables and too few studies, schools lack the tools and data they need to balance education and health.


California charter schools sue state for not funding additional students this year
Four growing charter school organizations are suing Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education, charging that the state’s formula for funding K-12 schools during the pandemic will illegally deny payments for additional students in their schools. Their schools are being underfunded by millions of dollars and their students’ constitutional rights are being violated, the lawsuit claims.


Teachers Union OKs Strikes If Schools Reopen Without Safety Measures In Place
The head of a powerful national teachers union told members Tuesday that its leadership would support "safety strikes" if health precautions are not met amid calls for schools to reopen as coronavirus cases surge. Randi Weingarten, who leads the American Federation of Teachers, is leaving the final decision to local unions on whether to strike. The AFT — the nation's second-largest teachers union, with 1.7 million members — also unveiled several benchmarks that it said should be met before schools can fully welcome back students and staff.


State Study Confirms Child Care Centers Could Close Due To COVID-Related Costs
It's been a busy few months for Rebecca Fielding-Miller. As an epidemiologist and assistant professor at UC San Diego, she's been helping in the fight against the coronavirus. But as the mother of an almost-three-year-old, she's also been trying to get work done with a toddler at home. Her daughter's childcare center closed in March, so Fielding-Miller and her husband did split shifts, pre- and post-nap. Then they hired a babysitter part-time. Then full time. But as the end of summer approached, the babysitter needed to go back to school.


Laguna Beach USD to survey parents on schooling during pandemic
The Laguna Beach Unified School District will resume distance learning on Aug. 24, following parents’ mixed reaction to a school reopening plan discussed at the school board meeting on Monday. Laguna Beach Unified’s Board of Education directed staff to survey parents on whether they would choose a virtual academy for the entire 2020-21 school year or a hybrid trimester model that would allow some students to attend in-person classes two days per week. District administrators will directly contact parents with a link to the survey.

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