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In This Moment (12/11): Legislators Meet for a Single-Day Session

December 11, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education released a Request for Information on Expanding Work-Based Learning (WBL) Opportunities for Youth. We provide a link below that can be used to offer input on stabilizing and increasing WBL during these challenges times.

In other news, the State Legislature gaveled in its 2021-22 legislative session Monday as all 120 members took the oath of office both in person and remotely. Leadership from both houses were re-elected and briefly outlined their priorities for next year.

If you have additional policy updates that would be valuable for the Linked Learning field, please share them with

Expanding Work-Based Learning Opportunities for Youth

The U.S. Department of Education is looking for stakeholders to share strategies to expand work-based learning (WBL) for students primarily between the ages of 16-17. According to a recent Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) newsletter, these WBL opportunities “...may include, but are not limited to, paid internships, work study, cooperative education, apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. Input on stabilizing and increasing WBL will also be critical to mitigate the potential short- and long-term impact of the pandemic on youth employment.”

OCTAE has launched a Request for Information (RFI) on Expanding WBL Opportunities for Youth. Please use this link to submit your comments by January 13, 2021.

Education Bills

In town for a single-day organizational session on Monday, Legislators introduced legislation on high-profile issues. With over 180 bills introduced, proposals included COVID-19 relief efforts, solutions to address the impact of the pandemic on schools and students, combating global warming, and more.

Based on these early bill introductions, school reopening has emerged as an early priority. Additional areas of interest for legislators include student learning loss and how to address the glaring inequities of the digital divide, student mental health, child care, COVID testing, the availability and use of personal protective equipment, and ways to support students during this difficult time.

Given Linked Learning’s attention to student supports, we wanted to flag

SB 14 (Portantino) Pupil health: school employee and pupil training: excused absences: youth mental and behavioral health. This bill would expand the list of excused absences for a student to include absences for the benefit of the mental or behavioral health of a student. The bill would also require the California Department of Education to identify an evidence-based training program on youth mental health and behavior health and require LEAs to use the program to train their classified and certificated school employees that have direct contact with students.

Hundreds more bills are expected to be introduced before the February 19 deadline to introduce legislation. We will continue to monitor these bills and provide updates as they become available.