EdBrief

NSBA Supports U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Citizenship Question

July 15, 2019

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), representing more than 90,000 local school board members across the nation, working with and through our state associations, commends the June 27 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dept. of Commerce v. New York. This is a decision that could have a profoundly positive and long-lasting impact on schoolchildren in our public schools.

Census numbers are used to calculate funding for a myriad of federal and state school responsibilities, including Title I services, Head Start, federal nutrition programs, special education initiatives and many more education and development programs. An inaccurate population count will truly harm all students, families and communities. Including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census would produce an undercount, significantly reducing resources for public schools and that would put student achievement and well-being under further stress...

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California Vaccination Rate Drops as Doctors Grant More Exemptions. Is There a Link?

By Soumya Karlamangla and Melody Gutierrez - Rep: July 15, 2019

California’s kindergarten vaccination rate dropped again in the most recent school year as more parents sought permission from doctors to not immunize their children, according to new state data.

The troubling trend comes amid a national measles outbreak as well as intense debate over whether California should strengthen its school immunization laws.

California already has one of the strictest vaccination laws in the country, preventing children from skipping their shots unless a doctor says they have a medical reason to be exempt. Some health advocates fear that parents are obtaining exemptions for their children without valid medical reasons. Those advocates are now pushing lawmakers to clamp down on fraudulent exemptions...

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New Guidelines for School Districts Making Decisions About Student Activities During Periods of Poor Air Quality

June 12, 2019

During the first week of June, the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association (CAPCOA) released an air quality guidance template for local school districts to assist in making decisions about school activities during periods of poor air quality, including episodes involving wildfire smoke, high ozone levels, Spare The Air days, etc.

These guidelines are advisory (not mandatory), and are intended to help local school districts decide when outdoor activities should be curtailed, etc. The guidelines can be downloaded at:

http://www.capcoa.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2019/06/Air-Quality-Guidance-Template-for-Schools-Updated-5.13.2019.pdf...

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Thurmond Appoints Stephanie Gregson, Sarah Neville-Morgan as CDE Deputy Superintendents

June 12, 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced on June 5 that he has appointed Stephanie Gregson, EdD, as the Deputy Superintendent for the Performance, Planning, and Technology Branch (PPTB) at the California Department of Education (CDE).

Dr. Gregson is the former Director of the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division at the CDE. During her tenure as Director, her division developed frameworks for history and social science and health education. Dr. Gregson also led the largest state adoption of instruction materials for kindergarten through grade twelve science and the development of standards updates, including the first-ever state kindergarten through grade twelve Computer Science content standards...

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Seventy-Five Education Organizations Sign on to Foundation’s Letter to DeVos on Teacher Diversity

June 3, 2019

The Association of American Educators Foundation, a 501(c)(3) educational foundation supporting the mission of the Association of American Educators (AAE), a national non-union professional association, has sent a letter signed by more than seventy-five education organizations to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and leaders in Congress calling for their help in addressing the lack of teacher diversity in our nation’s classrooms.

The letter is dated May 22, 2019, and cites federal data and university studies, including reports that 53 percent of public school students are children of color, while only 18 percent of teachers identify as a person of color. Studies reveal this disparity causes overall lower student achievement and outcomes, especially in populations of at-risk students and students of color...

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Photo of Educators Holding Noose Prompts Concern

May 20, 2019

California Teachers Association President Eric C. Heins and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García issued the following comments on May 10 regarding a recent photograph of Palmdale educators posing for a photograph holding a noose:

“We are shocked and saddened at the deeply disturbing photo taken recently at a school in Palmdale. Such a picture, and its resulting hurt and division, has no place on any school campus or in our education communities. A noose is a painful and racist symbol of our history.

“The California Teachers Association and the National Education Association have a deep and long-standing commitment to human rights, social justice and equity...

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What Is the Impact of the Trump Administration’s Rescission of Federal School Discipline Guidance?

May 7, 2019

The purpose of U.S. public education is to provide an opportunity for every student to develop the skills and capacities they need to become contributing members of society. Unfortunately, too many U.S. schools employ harsh, zero-tolerance discipline policies resulting in suspensions and expulsions for minor offenses that can push students out of school and onto a path to prison. These policies are disproportionately applied to students of color, students with disabilities, and other historically underserved students.

Recognizing these facts, the Obama administration issued nonbinding guidance for states, districts, and schools on school discipline and discrimination in application of these policies. The guidance reflected a large body of research showing that exclusionary policies were ineffective and applied in discriminatory ways. Despite the preponderance of research shared within the guidance, the Trump administration rescinded it in December of 2018...

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PPIC Poll

Lack of State K–12 Funding Raises Concern, and Most Say Teacher Salaries are Too Low

May 7, 2019

Californians have a split opinion on charter schools, with roughly equal shares supporting them and opposing them. And while most believe that parents in low-income areas should have the option of sending their children to charter schools, there is a high level of concern that charter schools take state funding away from traditional public schools. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey released on April 24 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Californians hold mixed views on charter schools, with 49 percent of adults in favor and 46 percent opposed. Support is somewhat higher among public school parents, with 59 percent in favor and 38 percent opposed. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (51%) and whites (50%) are more likely than Asian Americans (43%) and African Americans (36%) to favor charter schools in general...

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California Districts Fight Student Vaping in Schools

By Lauren Katims - Rep: May 7, 2019

By the time Makayla Klug, now a senior at Laguna Beach High School, turned 8, she was put on bed rest to manage her physical pain. Doctors diagnosed her with meningitis, optic-neuritis and encephalitis – inflammatory diseases that kept her off her feet for nearly two years.

Her family lived next to a longtime fire station, and Klug’s mom eventually made the connection that the sickness was most likely caused by exhaust from outdated fire trucks and poor ventilation, which contaminated Klug’s home.

Laguna Beach city officials refuted the cause, and before the family could build its case, the deadline for suing the city had passed and the case was closed. But, for Klug, who suffers dizziness and headaches whenever she breathes any form of smoke, from exhaust to tobacco, it will never be over...

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California’s Improved Vaccination Rates Keeping Measles at Bay

By Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle - April 19, 2019

The United States is in the middle of what may end up the largest measles outbreak in two decades.

Dozens of new cases are being reported each week. As of April 11 — date of the most recent data published by the recent data published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 555 cases had been confirmed.

That’s just 112 shy of the number of cases reported for all of 2014, the worst year on record since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. The current outbreak was triggered at since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. The current outbreak was triggered at multiple spots around the country, but it’s being fueled almost entirely by one source: large pockets of unvaccinated people...

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