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

November 30, 2018

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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Education Groups Launch Campaign to Provide Arts Education for All Students

November 1, 2018

Every student has the right to a dynamic, creative education, and California Education Code requires it. Yet 88 percent of California schools are failing to meet this standard. That's why California State PTA joined forces with Create CA to launch one of the most impactful public will campaigns for the arts in recent history to demand arts education for all students. See the campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to spark a movement with the public, parents, educators, artists and policy makers to demand a comprehensive, sequential arts curriculum for all children in grades K-12...

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Flu Shots Recommended for Kids Age Six-Months-Old and Up

October 20, 2018

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) urges Californians to get the influenza (flu) vaccine to protect your health during the upcoming flu season.

In California, flu usually begins to increase in late November or December. It takes a couple of weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity, so now is the time to get vaccinated to have the best protection now the flu season has started.

“Getting vaccinated is the best line of defense against flu," said Dr. Karen Smith, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "You can prevent missing work or school, visits to the doctor or hospitalization, and protect others from coming down with the flu."...

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Suicide on Campus: How Schools are Dealing with the Crisis Under New Legislation

October 20, 2018
By Gail Marshall

It’s never too soon to plan for the unthinkable.

No one knows that better than two Rancho Cucamonga school districts, which this summer suffered four student suicides during the first two weeks of school.

The victims, two boys and two girls, were ages 10-16. Three were in Chaffey Joint Union High School District, which encompasses 12 schools, and one 10-year-old boy was enrolled in Alta Loma School District, a K-8 district...

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New Laws Will Require Charter Schools to Provide Meals, Sexual Health Education

October 20, 2018

The Legislature has expanded requirements for charter schools in 2019. Assembly Bill (AB) 1871 will require charter schools to provide meals to needy students, while AB 2601 will require charters to provide sexual health education to students in grades 7-12.

Assembly Bill 1871

Starting on July 1, 2019, AB 1871 will require California charter schools to provide needy students with one nutritionally adequate free or reduced price meal each day. Charter schools were previously exempt from this state mandate. This change will be reflected by adding Education Code section 47613.5. Non-classroom based charter schools will be required to provide free and reduced price meals to eligible students on days when the students are scheduled for two or more hours of educational activities at a charter school facility...

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Brown Vetoes Bills Involving Later School Start Time, Suspension Ban and Standardized Testing

October 3, 2018

In a flurry of activity during late September and early October, Governor Jerry Brown signed scores of bills. But he also vetoed a number of bills as well, including three that are of interest to K-12 educators:

Brown Vetoes Later Start Time for Middle School, High School Students

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill on September 20 requiring that California middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., saying the decision of when to start classes should be up to schools not the state...

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Brown Signs Bills Impacting Medi-Cal Billing, Migrant Students, and Banning For-Profit Charter Schools

October 3, 2018

During late September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed several bills backed by the California School Boards Association (CSBA):

Brown signed Assembly Bill 3192 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach), a CSBA co-sponsored bill that will streamline the process for receiving Medi-Cal funding. The bill requires that, by Jan. 1, 2020, the California Department of Health Care Services prepares and distributes a fiscal and compliance guide for the LEA Medi-Cal Billing Option. This guide will provide greater clarity and consistency for schools receiving funding from this program...

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenges to Two California Gun Safety Laws

September 6, 2018

On August 3, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra hailed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recent rejection of challenges to California's Gun-Free School Zone Act in Gallinger v. Becerra, and California's Unsafe Handgun Act in Peña v. Lindley.

"The Court ruled in favor of protecting our children, our law enforcement, and our public safety,” said Attorney General Becerra. “California will continue to lead and remains committed to protecting its residents and reducing gun violence.”...

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DeVos Considering Policy to Make It Easier to Arm Teachers, NEA Says Students Need More Books, Not Gun in Classroom

September 6, 2018

On August 23, President Lily Eskelsen García of the National Education Association (NEA) opposed the proposed guidance by the Department of Education. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is considering guidance that will allow Title IV-A funds to be used for arming teachers.

“The idea of arming teachers is ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous. Arming teachers and other school personnel does nothing to prevent gun violence...

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CDE Creates Team to Recommend Updates in Charter School Law

August 22, 2018

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on August 14 that he is creating an Action Team on Charter Schools to review laws governing California’s charter schools, and provide recommendations about any needed changes to the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Governor, State Board of Education, and State Legislature.

The guiding law for charter schools - the California Charter School Act - was enacted 26 years ago but has had few changes and little comprehensive review since then. In the meantime, California’s population and student population have increased significantly, our demographics have shifted, and our education system has been transformed with the introduction of new academic standards and new systems for funding and evaluating schools, Torlakson said...

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CSBA Legislative Update
Bills Signed to Streamline Credentialing Requirements, Delay Start of Board Member Terms Following Election

August 7, 2018

(Editor’s note: the California School Boards Association (CSBA) published this summary of new legislation on July 25, 2018)

The first crop of 2018 bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown includes CSBA’s first signed co-sponsored bill of the year, and a measure that delays the required start date of a school or county board member’s term of office by one week. Assembly Bills 2285 and 2449 were both signed into law on July 20.

AB 2285 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) - Out-of-state prepared teachers - Co-sponsor - CSBA co-sponsored AB 2285 to remove critical barriers for teachers credentialed in other states to attain a clear credential in California...

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