Find the latest announcements and launches from the Linked Learning Alliance here—plus reflections and insights about what’s happening across the field.
This week, the California State Legislature returned from an extended recess triggered by a spike in COVID-19 cases statewide. The Senate Education Committee also met to discuss a small number of bills, including Assemblymember Shirley Weber’s bill on Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dollars, AB 1835.
K-12 districts continue to plan for fall in light of the Governor’s recent announcement that schools in counties on the state’s monitoring list will not be allowed to provide in-person instruction. These schools will be able to resume in-person instruction once their county is removed from the monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Also this week, the California State University (CSU) Trustees approved the addition of an ethnic studies course as a college graduation requirement.
The California Department of Education (CDE) rolled out the draft Learning Continuity Plan template sooner than expected. Here we provide more details about the template, along with information about CDE’s upcoming webinars on the topic.
Also, with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, many school districts, and even entire counties, have indicated that they will start the school year with distance learning. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond signaled his support of this approach in light of health and safety considerations.
When summer comes to an end, what will school be like? Educators across California and the country are working hard to answer that question, drawing on available guidance and taking into account local context. As we note below, reopening schools has also become a political issue, with state and federal leaders weighing in on what is needed.
In other news, the University of California (UC) Regents confirmed Dr. Michael Drake as the next president of the UC system. He will be the UC’s first Black president.
This week, we’re pleased to see that the state budget largely protects education from the proposed cuts in the May Revision. That said, there will likely be more work on the budget in the near term--with potential activity when the legislature returns from Summer recess on July 13.
Also, the California Department of Education is rolling out a series of ethnic studies webinars, the first of which is scheduled for July 7. We provide details on these webinars below, along with the social media channels you can use to learn more about these opportunities.
This week has brought a great deal of budget analysis, which will continue for the foreseeable future. It appears that Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) base grants will remain at 2019-20 amounts, and there will be very few direct cuts to categorical programs. Though there is no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2020-21, the significant cuts to LCFF base amounts outlined in the Governor’s May Revise have been avoided by all accounts.
In addition to budget news, we share updates on an Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA-5), Assemblymember Weber’s measure that addresses affirmative action, which will be placed before voters in November (referenced in last week’s blog post).
California’s Legislature met the June 15 Constitutional deadline for passing a balanced budget, but negotiations with the Governor are still in process, Assemblymember Shirley Weber’s Constitutional Amendment (ACA5) also appears to be headed for the general election ballot, which would allow voters to reinstate affirmative action in state employment, plus an opportunity to participate in a "Closing the Digital Divide Task Force Update" session.
Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) across California are considering how schools will be structured in the fall given the impacts of COVID-19. With lots of decisions to make, LEAs can now look to guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Education (CDE). Here we provide links to those resources, along with an overview of some of the salient themes they address.
Wednesday and Thursday were big days for California’s budget process. On Wednesday, the state legislature put forward a joint budget package, a show of Senate and Assembly solidarity in their pursuit of protecting education funding. On Thursday, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee discussed the nuances of the plan, and laid out several specifics regarding funding they think should be made available for educational purposes. The Legislature’s preK-14 budget rejects direct cuts to LCFF, Career Technical Education, and other categorical programs. The final budget details are now being hammered out. We’ve captured all of that and more below.
The Capitol was abuzz this week, with meetings on Memorial Day and a full convening in the Assembly chambers on Tuesday, to continue to find a way forward on the state budget given the looming June 15 deadline. Read on for updates about action taken on federal funds distribution, legislators’ response to proposed Career Technical Education cuts, and plans for the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community College systems’ approach to engaging students in learning this Fall.