EdBrief

California State PTA Opposes Trump Administration "Zero Tolerance" Immigration Policy, Including Separation of Children, Parents

June 29, 2018

In a statement issued on June 20, the California State PTA called on the Trump administration to change course on immigration policy. The PTA statement said:

California State PTA believes that the new "zero tolerance" policy implemented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice must be halted. This immigration policy is tearing families apart, separating children from their parents and forcing them into vulnerable situations when there is no federal mandate to do so. This is cruel and inhumane.”...

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Vaccination Law “Restoring Community Immunity in California’s Schools,” According to Bill’s Author

June 29, 2018

Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician and member of the California Assembly, and the author of legislation to increase vaccination rates, commented in mid-June on data released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) demonstrating that, in its second year of implementation, Senate Bill 277 continues to keep children and communities safe and healthy from vaccine-preventable disease.

“With more than 95 percent of Kindergarteners fully vaccinated for the second year after implementation of SB 277, I am pleased that SB 277 is restoring community immunity in California’s schools,” said Dr. Richard Pan. “I want to thank public health and school officials who are working hard to educate families about the importance of vaccination to keep students safe from preventable, contagious diseases”...

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Trump Pondering Merger of Education Department with Labor Department; Educators Quick to Object

June 29, 2018

On June 20, several news agencies reported that the Trump Administration is considering making a formal proposal to merge of the federal Department of Education with the federal Department of Labor into a single agency as part of a larger plan to restructure the government.

President Donald Trump's proposal would be a long shot since reorganizing the government will need approval from Congress. Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, tried and failed to combine several agencies focused on trade and commerce...

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Tuck, Thurmond Advance to November Runoff for State Superintendent

June 14, 2018

Candidates Marshall Tuck and Tony Thurmond will face each other in a runoff election on November 6 for the job of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

As of June 11 (with some ballots from the June 5 election still being tallied), Tuck had received 1,597,243 votes (37.4 percent of the total) and Thurmond had received 1,497,385 votes (35.1 percent of the total). Thurmond and Tuck both ran well-funded campaigns, but neither of them came close to the 50 percent majority needed to win the job outright in the June 5 primary. As the top-two finishers in the field of four, Tuck and Thurmond advance to the November runoff (in which they will be the only two candidates on the ballot)...

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Court Sides with Transgender Student on Bathroom Policy

June 1, 2018
By Moria Balingit, Washington Post

A federal judge in Virginia sided on May 22 with a transgender teenager who spent most of his high school years fighting to use the boys’ bathroom, ruling that school officials violated his constitutional rights.

Gavin Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board after it barred him from the boys’ bathroom. The case made Grimm, now a 19-year-old activist in Berkeley, Calif., the face of a national fight for transgender student rights and ascended to the Supreme Court...

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Thurmond, Tuck Compete for Voters’ Attention During Last Week of Campaign for State Superintendent

June 1, 2018

Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck - the two major candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction - made a last minute sprint for votes during the past week, with election day looming on June 5.

Traditionally, California voters only “tune in” to the race for State Superintendent during the last ten days or so of the campaign. And this year appears to have followed that longstanding trend. In an early April poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, Tuck and Thurmond each received 13 percent support, with a whopping 74 percent of voters still making up their mind...

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SBE President Michael Kirst - Longtime Advisor to Jerry Brown, and Architect of LCFF - Plans to Step Down

May 18, 2018

State Board of Education President Michael Kirst plans to step down when Governor Jerry Brown leaves office in January. Kirst announced his intentions during the State Board of Education meeting in Sacramento on May 9.

Kirst, who is an emeritus professor of education and business administration at Stanford University, was first appointed to the state board back in 1975, during Brown's first term as California’s governor. Kirst has advised Brown on education policy for 44 years...

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New Campaign by California Department of Public Health Targets Tobacco Industry's Deceptive Marketing to Youth

May 18, 2018

In an effort to combat the tobacco industry's latest marketing strategies aimed at getting youth hooked on nicotine, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) launched a new "Flavors Hook Kids" campaign on April 24.

The campaign warns parents and concerned adults about the increasing availability of flavored tobacco products targeted to teens. The campaign also highlights how easy it is for kids to purchase flavored tobacco products online...

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Mandatory Armed Guards in K-12 Schools? No Thank You

May 18, 2018

(Editor’s note: on May 16, the Los Angeles Times published the following editorial.)

Mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Fla., in February are terrifying, abhorrent and a sign of something extremely troubling in our society. But we shouldn't be misled into believing they're common.

In fact, in the more than five years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, there's been one shooting involving an injury or fatality for every 1,000 schools in the country. According to David Ropeik, a Harvard scholar who studies risk, the chance of a child being shot and killed in school is far lower than the chance that he or she will have an accident on the way to or from school, catch a potentially fatal disease while in school, or suffer a potentially deadly injury playing sports at school...

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State Supreme Court to Hear Case on Unfunded Education Mandates

May 3, 2018

On April 18, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging the State’s use of unfunded mandates to avoid paying schools for required programs and services. The announcement marked the latest development in the cast California School Boards Association (CSBA) v. State of California, a case filed in 2011 by the California School Boards Association and its Education Legal Alliance, along with the Castro Valley Unified School District, the San Diego Unified School District, and the County Offices of Education for Butte and San Joaquin counties.

“Unfortunately, the State has a long and troubling history of saddling school districts with expensive mandates without providing the money needed to pay for the new requirements,” explained CSBA President Mike Walsh. “This violates not only provisions of the State Constitution and the principle of local control, but also common decency when California ranks near the bottom nationally in school funding and our schools are struggling to cope with rapidly rising costs.”...

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