Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers have reportedly reached agreement on a spending plan for 2020-21, one that’s expected to hold funding for K-12 schools and community colleges at their current levels.
That’s significant because the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged California deep into a recession, resulting in a $54 billion shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
As EdSource reports, Newsom and the state Legislature came up with dueling budget proposals that both relied on an influx of federal dollars to close the gap. The big difference is the governor’s plan, released in May, would have imposed cuts to K-12 education if the extra funding didn’t materialize.
Newsom ultimately agreed to nix the cuts by relying on $12 billion in deferrals, using a mechanism that allows districts to spend money one year and receive revenue for it the next.
EdSource points out that deferrals, which were used during the Great Recession, can create cash-flow problems for some districts. But if California gets additional federal money, the state may only defer about $6 billion.
And here are some other stories we’ve been tracking this week:
- With students facing increased levels of stress and anxiety, some school districts in California are turning to mindfulness practices that can be taught remotely.
- A half-dozen students from Orange County schools have earned honors in a social media art contest established to underscore the importance of census participation.
- The Orange County Board of Education hosted a special meeting to discuss reopening schools, inviting health and policy experts who mostly argued against the use of face coverings and social distancing measures recommended by the California Department of Public Health and OCDE.
- California now requires face coverings in public spaces, but the state is still discussing whether students will have to wear masks in school when social distancing is not possible — or if they’ll simply be encouraged to do so, the Sacramento Bee reports.
- In the wake of George Floyd’s death, school boards serving Irvine, Fullerton and Anaheim districts are considering resolutions that express support for the Black Lives Matter movement and call for greater equity, tolerance and cultural awareness.
- The Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board of Education has voted to rename Plummer Auditorium amid concerns that its namesake might have had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
- The Capistrano Unified School District says middle and high school students won’t necessarily return to in-person instruction five days a week when classes resume. Some may learn remotely, while others could receive instruction through a hybrid model.
- The Santa Ana Unified school board is discussing a reopening plan that would offer distance learning and in-person instruction and be flexible enough to adjust to shifting state guidance.
- State Schools Chief Tony Thurmond outlined two efforts that the California Department of Education will lead as schools tackle questions about educational equity, racial injustice and the presence of law enforcement on school campuses.
- A Newport Harbor High School student used social media to organize a commencement march along the coast for fellow graduates of the Newport-Mesa district.
- Parents also organized a drive-by celebration around Fashion Island to recognize more than 200 graduating seniors from Corona del Mar High.
- Garden Grove Unified has announced a new partnership aimed at increasing access to mental health services for the district’s approximately 41,000 students, along with their families and employees.
- A group of current and former students in the Capistrano Unified School District is calling on educational leaders to make meaningful changes that address racial inequality.
This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.