Weekly roundup: State budget proposal adds funds for new teachers, OCDE steps up efforts to curb hate incidents, and more

Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed a proposed budget for next fiscal year that anticipates nearly $4 billion more in revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges.

An analysis of the budget proposal by EdSource shows how Newsom hopes to continue massive investments for teacher recruitment and training, and for transforming special education.

Newsom also proposed spending hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to boost the lowest-performing districts and to expand community schools, which address the physical and mental health of students through partnerships with community services, according to EdSource.

News graphicUnder the proposed budget, total funding for K-12 and community colleges would increase $496 per student to $12,600 in 2020-21. That record amount — 80 percent more per student than at the low point following the Great Recession nine years ago — shows significant improvement, Newsom said.

With fewer college students pursuing teaching careers following post-recession teacher layoffs in most regions of the state, severe shortages have left districts — particularly in rural and low-income areas — without fully credentialed teachers in special education, bilingual education and the STEM fields of math and science. Newsom’s budget includes a $100 million investment to fund 5,000 new teachers.

“I applaud Governor Newsom’s K-12 education budget proposal and am especially excited to see expanded investments in the quality of classroom teaching, particularly in the critical areas of math, science, special education and bilingual education,” Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the State Board of Education said, according to EdSource.

“Our state cannot close achievement gaps in student learning without first closing quality gaps in classroom instruction caused by California’s teacher shortage. Some students spend the year in classrooms staffed by highly trained, highly prepared teachers. But many others do not.”

Here are some other education related stories from throughout the region for the week ending Jan. 17.

  • UCI’s School of Physical Sciences will host its annual physics show and lecture for K-12 students on Saturday, Feb. 1. This year’s theme? Superpowers.
  • The Anaheim Elementary School District has joined the Los Angeles Unified School District and the San Diego Unified School District in a lawsuit against Juul Labs, Inc., the leading e-cigarette manufacturer.
  • Students in OCDE’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program hosted at University High School, received a great surprise from SoCal Helpful Honda people.
  • Will the Huntington Beach City School District close one of its seven elementary schools? Around 400 people packed into the boardroom Tuesday, Jan. 14 to learn about the district’s plans to address a fiscal shortfall.
  • A charter school with ties to a conservative think tank and a curriculum focused on “classical education” could open in Orange by the fall. The school, which recently received approval from the Orange Unified School District, would be the first of its kind in Orange County, officials said.

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