Weekly roundup: Brea Olinda Unified rolls the dice, new proposed state legislation, and more

After months of counting votes, a local school board election was decided with a good old-fashioned roll of the dice.

The race between Brea Olinda Unified School District incumbent board member Gail Lyons and first-time candidate Lauren Barnes to represent Trustee Area 5 was a tight race, which ended in a tie after final ballots were counted multiple times from the Nov. 3 election.

computer and newspaper

But how does a local district settle a tie? In Brea Olinda Unified, they literally roll the dice.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the district held a special board meeting where Lyons and Barnes each respectively rolled a pair of dice. According to an article in the Orange County Register, whoever got the highest roll – or the most pips – those little white dots on the red dice – would take the Trustee Area 5 seat.

In the end, Barnes rolled snake eyes – or a two – and Lyons rolled a two and a one for a total of three.

Lyons will be sworn in for another four-year term on Dec. 14.

And here are some of the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • California state legislators this week proposed legislation that would require public school students to physically return to school in stages by early spring. The new “urgency bill” – AB 10 – proposes that once a county enters at least the red tier, schools would have to adopt a plan to offer in-person instruction within two weeks.
  • New national, state and district-level data finds students — especially those in high-poverty communities — are falling further behind their peers, exacerbating gaps in education, reports the Washington Post.
  • To help mitigate learning loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Santa Ana Unified School District is raising the bar of the F grade from 50 percent to 55 percent. District officials said the new policy went into effect last month and will be in effect for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.