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Monday, July 22, 2024


Q&A: Dr. Stefan Bean talks about overcoming adversity, his path to county superintendent and his vision for OC schools
Dr. Stefan Bean’s journey to becoming Orange County’s superintendent of schools reads like a movie script, a cinematic tale of resilience and odds overcome. But, as he notes, it’s really a testament to the importance of community. Born in Saigon during the Vietnam War, his early years were defined by adversity. After contracting polio at age 2, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, he was abandoned by his biological parents and discovered alone on the city’s war-torn streets. Then came a lifeline in the form of Operation Babylift, a humanitarian program that connected Vietnamese orphans with adoptive families in the United States.

Weekly roundup: Anaheim students cultivate community farm fest, Cypress High School graduate selected in MLB draft, and more
On a 2.5-acre farm in Anaheim, students spent their Saturday teaching community members how to make strawberry jam with fresh fruit grown right from the Magnolia High School campus garden. This was just one of the agricultural activities planned for families at the Magnolia Agriscience Community Center’s first-ever farm berry festival. About 80 students organized the July 13 event to educate the community on sustainable gardening practices utilizing accessible, locally-grown produce.


Anaheim Union High School District banks on international students amid enrollment crisis
With declining enrollment and sagging attendance rates, attracting F-1 visa students paying $15,250 tuition is another way district officials have sought to inject revenue into a cash-strapped budget to maintain staffing levels before initially approving 119 teacher layoffs in March. The board voted unanimously to allow Lumicend, a newly formed Irvine-based company, use of the district’s intellectual property, especially that of Oxford Academy in Cypress, in efforts to secure international school partnerships and recruit at least five full-time F-1 visa students every school year.


California voters could give schools $10 billion. How much would it help San Diego County — and how fair is it?
This November, California voters will decide whether to pass a $10 billion school facilities bond to help districts and community colleges renovate and replace aging school buildings across the state. But several say it will not come close to meeting many schools’ enormous facilities needs.


Sunol recall vote ousts school board members who pushed to ban gay Pride flags
Voters have officially ousted two Sunol Glen Unified School District board members, culminating a recall effort sparked by their push to ban Pride flags from being flown on local campuses last year. Results certified by Alameda County Friday show the recall was narrowly decided.


LAUSD parents of students with special needs say they’re facing backlash
Parents of LAUSD students with special needs say they are facing backlash after the district attempted to pull out members of a panel that advocates for the students’ needs, the 74 reported. The Community Advisory Committee — made up of roughly 20 teachers, parents and members of the community — proposed the Improving Special Education Resolution. They have since advocated for more parental communication and more support for students. Parents have claimed that after the resolution was proposed, LAUSD tried to remove committee members focused on special education. The effort was not successful, but parents have still questioned LAUSD’s priorities.

West Contra Costa sued over poor building conditions, teacher vacancies
A group of educators, staff and parents are suing the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) for failing to address poor building conditions, teacher vacancies and violating the rights of students, particularly Black, low-income and multilingual learners. The lawsuit, filed late Friday by civil rights law firm Public Advocates and pro bono counsel Munger, Tolles & Olson, comes months after 48 Williams complaints were submitted to the district. It’s the first time a school district has been sued under the landmark Williams v. California settlement in 2004, which established the complaint process, the right to textbooks, clean, safe schools, and qualified teachers for all California public school students, said Karissa Provenza, Public Advocates attorney.

Summer meal aid delayed to many families across the country
California was one of 37 states to launch SUN Bucks, a federal program to provide children from low-income families with food assistance over the summer, but in some states, families won’t receive the Summer EBT (electronic benefits transfer) cards until the summer is over, Chalkbeat reported. The aid is $120 per school-aged child, many of whom rely on school meals. With the Summer EBT, families can buy groceries.


San Diego students explore public health advocacy at summer camp
Nearly 40 high school juniors and seniors are taking time off from their summer vacation to be part of a one week public health advocate camp at the Linda Vista Innovation Center. It’s a collaboration between the San Diego County Office of Education and County Public Health Services. The students are learning about public health career options and topics such as mental health, sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, said Marti Brentnall, TB prevention coordinator for the county.


School Board Candidates Must File Paperwork by August 9 to Get on the Nov. 2024 Ballot
Races for seats on school boards in all 28 public school districts in Orange County are on the Nov. 5, 2024 ballot.

Gender-identity law brings state in line with SFUSD
The first-of-its-kind gender-identity law California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed earlier this month brings state policy in line with San Francisco’s — and The City’s school district had previously received flak from some of the new law’s most vocal critics. Newsom signed into law on July 15 Assembly Bill 1955 — aka the SAFETY Act — which bars public-school districts from requiring staff to notify parents if their children change their preferred pronouns or gender identities. California is the first state to pass such a law.

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