June 2020 Vol. 26, 6
A pencil eraser erasing the word budget on a piece of paper
May Revision cuts LCFF by 10 percent, introduces proposals in effort to mitigate impact

Reflecting California’s pandemic-induced $54 billion budget deficit, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his May Revision on May 14, estimating that the Proposition 98 guarantee will decline by $19 billion. The Governor also outlined several proposals that he said could mitigate the impacts of dramatic revenue declines on state funding. “We are not just going to roll over and accept $19 billion of cuts to public education,” he said.

  • Stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 news and resources, and access CSBA’s funding advocacy toolkit at www.csba.org/coronavirus.
New Title IX sexual harassment regulations – what to watch for
The U.S. Department of Education has issued new federal regulations to implement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits a recipient of federal financial assistance, including an elementary or secondary school, from discriminating against any individual on the basis of sex in any education program or activity.

The new regulations, which will become effective on Aug. 14, 2020, cover a wide range of sexual harassment related topics, including how recipients must handle claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. Thus, a more in-depth analysis will be needed in due course to determine when and to what extent these new regulations supplant, supplement or supersede California’s robust sexual harassment laws and regulations. A few key provisions of the new federal regulations are summarized below.

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Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez | Azusa USD

Suzanne Kitchens | Pleasant Valley SD

Vice President:
Susan Heredia | Natomas USD

Immediate Past President:
Emma Turner | La Mesa-Spring Valley SD

CEO & Executive Director:
Vernon M. Billy

The California School Boards Association is the essential voice for public education. We inspire our members to be knowledgeable leaders, extraordinary governance practitioners and ardent advocates for all students.

California School News (ISSN 1091-1715) is published 11 times per year by the California School Boards Association, Inc., 3251 Beacon Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691. 916-371-4691. $4 of CSBA annual membership dues is for the subscription to California School News. The subscription rate for each CSBA nonmember is $35. Periodicals postage paid at West Sacramento, CA and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to California School News, 3251 Beacon Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691.

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President’s Message: Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez
Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez headshot
Facing a daunting task, we must put students first
Now that the 2019–20 school year is coming to a close, we must shift our focus to reopening schools and how we can do so in a way that’s safe, equitable and effective for students, staff, families, and community. While that will require detailed discussions, input from all stakeholders and guidance from our counties, public health officials and the state, we must not lose sight of what really matters: the academic, physical, social and emotional development of California students.
LEA leaders need more state-level guidance to reopen schools safely
As school districts and county offices of education close out the 2019–20 school year with distance learning, education leaders are looking for guidance from the state and federal governments on how to reopen schools next semester safely. District and county office boards across the state are planning now for what school will look like when students return to campus, while facing the daunting challenge of implementing physical distancing measures at a time when budgets are taking a severe hit.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said at a May 13 press conference that the state does not expect a common start date for schools to reopen and that a state task force will provide guidance on how to reopen, but did not indicate when this guidance would be released.

CSBA webinars provide guidance on Brown Act waivers; legal information on special education
The third and fourth entries in a series of CSBA webinars to help governance teams best navigate the uncertainty of school closures focused on how board meetings can be conducted while adhering to still-active Brown Act requirements and offered a summary of the latest legal information and insights into how local educational agencies are adapting to the new realities of distance learning.
state board
State Board’s virtual meeting focuses on new realities, future projects and plans
At its first meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic completely changed the shape of California’s public school system, the State Board of Education on May 7 virtually addressed how the crisis will shift its own policy work, priorities and timelines. Much of the discussion focused on how the state can offer support and flexibilities to local educational agencies during this unprecedented time while also not straying from years-in-the-making accountability and assessment systems.

To frame the meeting agenda, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and State Board President Linda Darling-Hammond outlined some of the realities facing LEAs and previewed what the next school year may bring. From the 400,000-plus students who at that time needed a device at home to connect with distance learning to concerns about the exacerbation of longstanding achievement gaps, Thurmond overviewed the California Department of Education’s array of task forces to address critical issues.

Fauci says ensuring student and staff safety before reopening schools is a ‘moral imperative’
Questioned about what it will take to safely reopen businesses and schools to jump-start the American economy, Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned on May 12 that “consequences could be really serious” if states move too quickly to return to business as usual.

Asked by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) whether school administrators could feel safe welcoming students back to campus in the fall, Fauci explained that widespread, readily available testing should be in place so that students and school staff could be adequately screened.

Mandated reporters help ensure the safety and well-being of children during COVID-19
While learning loss has been at the forefront of concerns about the impacts of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shuttering of schools across the country poses additional risks for children who may experience abuse and neglect in their households. The economic crisis has brought financial stress to millions of families that have lost income and are experiencing food and housing insecurity. Coupled with more time at home due to shelter-in-place orders, these factors make abuse and neglect a top concern for children’s well-being.

Experts worry about increased rates of child abuse at a time when mandatory reporters such as doctors, teachers and nurses have fewer interactions with children. Even while teachers and schools conduct teaching and learning remotely, they must be alert to students who may be facing child abuse and neglect at home. Since March, when California’s shelter-in-place order took effect, police and sheriff’s departments have noted a sharp decrease in the number of reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Los Angeles County typically receives nearly 1,000 calls a day of suspected abuse but has seen a 50 percent drop in daily reports since schools have been closed.

Districts get creative in celebrating the class of 2020
Since the graduating class of 2020 began its time in high school, California has been plagued by wildfires and the smoke and power shut-offs that came along with those natural disasters. Some students have lost their homes or dealt with other losses as a result, and nearly all have at one point had to adapt to school closures caused by dangerous conditions. This March, after State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond’s announcement that schools in California would likely remain closed for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, district leaders began working to ensure the graduating class of 2020 is still able to participate in some form of the rites of passage these students have earned.

Within a couple weeks of Thurmond’s announcement, district leaders in places such as Santa Rosa City Schools, Gilroy Unified School District and Conejo Valley USD began crowdsourcing ideas on how their communities could celebrate their high school seniors while following social-distancing measures that bar the congregation of large groups.

county boards
A time to work hard … and slow down
By CCBE President Janet Wohlgemuth
I hope this message finds you healthy and safe. The past several months has been trying for all of us in the education field. Many county offices of education have been faced with tough decisions and are having to develop new styles of learning for all of our California students.

Like most of you, we at the Monterey County Office of Education are learning how to “Zoom” and work from home. COEs have been thinking outside the box to hold meetings, trainings and support our parents, students and each other. Many of you have seen your communities come together to support their students by holding parades through student neighborhoods, placing signs of support to staff and students, and posting messages of how they are all missed.

county boards
Monterey County school helps students soar to new heights
A Monterey County Office of Education school is taking at-promise students from the streets to the classroom and into the sky. Bob Hoover Academy, in partnership with Monterey COE’s Alternative Education Department, created the Sea Air Fire Earth (SAFE) Flight program under the umbrella of the career technical education portfolio. While the program includes aviation topics, it is not about making pilots. It is about providing the students with inspiration, successes, hope and opportunity through flight.

Originally conceived as an after-school program, the academy now includes all aspects relating to student flight and aviation ground training operations, as well as consulting services to help develop aviation-related educational curriculum. SAFE program academic instructors are funded through the county office and flight instructors are funded through the Bob Hoover Academy, a nonprofit organization. The partnership is a great example of the public and private sectors coming together to provide opportunities for students who need them the most.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382

ATTENTION: All in-person CSBA events are cancelled through June due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information about events, visit www.csba.org/TrainingAndEvents.
Thanks for reading our June 2020 newsletter!