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Monday, January 11, 2021


Here are a few takeaways from the governor’s proposed budget for 2021-22
Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his preliminary spending plan for 2021-22 on Friday, laying out a $227.2 billion blueprint that would increase funding for public health, schools and economic relief. The proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 reflects both the governor’s priorities and an improved revenue outlook, fueled by the continued gains of California’s wealthiest taxpayers. But even though revenue looks healthy this year, fiscal experts are projecting a structural deficit beginning in 2022-23. While Newsom’s spending plan serves as a starting point for lengthy fiscal deliberations, he is asking the Legislature to take swift action on a number COVID-19 relief packages, including school reopening grants. Here are five takeaways:


Push to open public schools in February thrills some parents, terrifies some teachers, as COVID surges
The new year brings a ray of hope for California parents like Kate Gude, who has watched with mounting worry as her four kids suffer social isolation and reduced instruction time from online learning. The first COVID-19 vaccines were given to health care workers a month ago, teachers whose safety fears have blunted reopening efforts are next in line, and the governor has a new $2 billion plan aimed at getting kids back into classrooms over the next three months.

Jack Mandel left a lasting legacy, helping Santa Ana students get to college
It was about 14 years ago when Jack Mandel individually invited a group of twenty-something to his home in Fullerton. “Invited” really is not the correct word. “I expect you to be at my home,” Mandel told Rosa Diaz. “I will receive you in the receiving room.” Diaz, as with the others invited, credits Mandel’s assistance with getting her to college. When budget cuts limited after-school hours for Santa Ana school libraries, Mandel, a longtime Orange County judge, figured out a way to keep the Santa Ana High School library open so students could study there under his mentorship and tutoring.

Her success reveals a new path; Santa Ana Unified to the Ivy League
Cielo Echegoyen, as a teen, helped her father's immigration case. Now she wants to study medicine. Harvard grads have been mentors.


Stunned teachers and scared students: How the Capitol insurrection is overtaking lessons
The storming of the U.S. Capitol has leapt to the fore as teachers and students struggle to make sense of the violence.


North County parents unite to form group to expedite school reopening
They organized in response to protracted school closures that began in March, with parents asking themselves how they could expedite the move from distance learning back to campus.


Clovis Unified delays return of in-person instruction. Here’s why and its latest plans
Clovis Unified students who were looking to soon return to the classroom for the first time this school year will have to keep waiting at least a few more weeks. Clovis Unified School District announced Friday evening that students of all grade levels who were scheduled to phase back into the classroom in January will not be able to receive in-person instruction until at least Feb. 1. Thus, those students must continue to learn via online through the end of the month.


Some California teachers and staff to receive Covid-19 vaccines beginning this week
Teachers and school employees in Mariposa County are expected to be among the first of California’s 1.4 million teachers and other school staff to be vaccinated for Covid-19 when they roll up their sleeves for the shot on Monday. Half of the rural county’s school staff, 146 people so far, have signed up for the vaccination, said Mariposa County Health Officer Eric Sergienko. A team of nurses will travel from school to school to vaccinate those who have registered to receive the immunization.

California governor takes steps toward expanding transitional kindergarten
Gov. Gavin Newsom is making strides toward realizing his vision of preschool for all the state’s 4-year-olds in the proposed budget he released Friday for the coming fiscal year.  Newsom hopes to increase access to transitional kindergarten, or TK, programs by giving $250 million to school districts as an incentive to expand these programs, as well as $50 million for teacher preparation and $200 million to build out the necessary facilities for TK and other early education programs.

Gov. Newsom proposes $4.6 billion for summer school, more learning time in 2021-22 budget
What a difference a year makes. Confident of a continued economic recovery from the Covid recession, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday presented a record $89.2 billion for K-12 schools and community colleges next year that will provide billions in additional revenue and new spending — plus 3% more for the University of California and the California State University. The highlight is $4.6 billion for summer school and extra learning time to confront the academic setbacks most students, particularly low-income students and those with limited internet access, have faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newsom proposes increased funding to California’s colleges and universities to mitigate Covid-19 impact
But higher education leaders must wait for federal stimulus to fully restore last year’s cuts.


LBHS Students Deliver Care Packages to the Homeless
The memory of a homeless woman sitting in the cold on a bench eating a hot dog in front of the Laguna Beach Public Library was one that stuck with Zoey Cutter, 16, a sophomore at Laguna Beach High School. So, when her mother suggested she and her 17-year-old brother Jake, a junior at LBHS, do something kind for others over the holidays, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.


California budget urges $90 billion for schools, reopening
California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed Friday a $90 billion budget aimed at helping schools rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, as he pushes public schools to resume in-person classes quickly. Most of California’s 6 million public school students have not seen the inside of a classroom in 10 months, since the state’s first shutdown in mid-March that closed classrooms in most of the state’s more than 1,000 school districts.

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