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Legislation & Advocacy

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Budget & Finance

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Curriculum & Instruction

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Torlakson Writes Letter Opposing Federal Public Charge Proposal to Deny Immigrants Visas

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson sent a letter on November 14 to the federal Department of Homeland Security opposing efforts to deny immigrants permanent residency or visas if their households benefit from aid programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Medicaid.

In California, an estimated one million students are living with one parent or guardian who is undocumented. And there are many more students with parents on visas or as permanent residents who could be impacted by such changes as well...

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Torlakson Assures Schools Closed Due to Hazardous Air Quality that State Funding Will Continue

On November 16, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson reminded educators who close schools because of dangerous air quality that they can apply for a waiver to ensure they do not lose funding because of a drop in attendance. He also pledged that they would be assisted by administrators from the California Department of Education.

State law allows schools to continue to receive state funds from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) if they have to close because of a natural disaster such as floods, fires, earthquakes or other extraordinary conditions, such as hazardous air quality...

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CDE Announces 2018 Rates for High School Graduation, Suspension and Chronic Absenteeism

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on November 19 that the high school graduation rates for 2018 remain near an all-time high. Among students who started high school in 2014, 83 percent graduated with their class in 2018, an increase from 82.7 percent from the year before. The state's graduation rate has increased substantially since the class of 2010 posted a 74.7 percent rate.

“Our graduation rates continue to rise, reflecting the passion and dedication by educators over the past eight years to transform our education system with a more equitable funding system, higher academic standards and more emphasis on career technical education,” Torlakson said...

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Governance & Leadership

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Operations & Technology

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Facilities & Planning

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Thurmond Names Lupita Cortez Alcalá as CDE’s Incoming Chief Deputy Superintendent

On November 20, Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Tony Thurmond announced Lupita Cortez Alcalá as his pick for Chief Deputy Superintendent.

Cortez Alcalá is currently the Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, administering over $2 billion in financial aid, and is a prominent voice in the statewide discussion on college affordability and reform of financial aid...

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Cleaning Up Wildfire Ash Safely
CDPH Recommends Ways to Avoid Potential Health Hazards

On November 15, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today advised residents of recent burn areas to use caution in cleaning up ash from wildfires. The ash from trees burned in forest fires is relatively nontoxic and similar to ash that might be found in your fireplace. However, ash from burned buildings, vehicles, and similar items may contain many toxic substances, including arsenic, asbestos, lead, and fine particles that can aggravate asthma and other respiratory problems...

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ACSA Launches Fatal School Violence Toolkit, with Checklist of Things To Do Before, During and After an Incident

The first priority of educators nationwide is to provide a healthy and safe school environment for all students and staff. ACSA has taken a proactive role in school safety with the creation of the Fatal School Violence Toolkit.

“We believe there is a need to have serious discussions about school safety,” said ACSA President Holly Edds. “With regard to school violence and threats, we are facing new challenges every day, and we’ve built this toolkit to include resources designed to save lives.”...

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