• California election: Full steam forward for Nov. and 2024
    STEAM Initiative

    California election: Full steam forward for Nov. and 2024

    On the subject of California elections, it’s out with the outdated and in with the brand new.

    Secretary of State Shirley Weber on Friday licensed the outcomes from the June 7 main election, which for a lot of Californians in all probability already looks like a lifetime in the past because the state’s political focus shifts to the complicated and controversial initiatives on the November poll and the persistent rumors that Gov. Gavin Newsom could also be considering a presidential run in 2024.

    Nonetheless, there was one key new takeaway from the June main outcomes: Regardless of considerations of low voter turnout, a report 7,285,230 residents solid ballots — a brand new excessive for a California gubernatorial main, Weber introduced. Though that represents simply 33% of ballots mailed to energetic registered voters, the turnout was however outstanding contemplating the dearth of drama in prime statewide races and the absence of statewide poll measures, a Public Coverage Institute of California evaluation discovered.

    On to November 2022 — and, sure, even 2024:

    • Timing is all the pieces: Proponents of an initiative to boost California’s minimal wage to $18 an hour by 2025 introduced Friday they’re suing Weber to get the measure on the November poll, CalMatters’ Jeanne Kuang writes. Though the marketing campaign turned in additional than one million signatures in mid-Might — greater than sufficient to qualify the measure — county election authorities didn’t end verifying signatures by final month’s deadline, bumping the initiative to the November 2024 poll. Within the lawsuit, marketing campaign supporters declare the pandemic prevented them from gathering sufficient signatures earlier and allege that Weber’s workplace erroneously instructed counties they’d till mid-July, quite than June 30, to confirm signatures. Weber’s workplace declined to touch upon the pending litigation. A Secretary of State information for poll measure proponents lists the deadline as June 30 to qualify for the November poll.
    • Negotiations can go a good distance: Additionally slated for California’s November 2024 poll is a measure that may hike taxes on residents incomes greater than $5 million to pay for pandemic detection and prevention packages. However the initiative’s proponents, cognizant of the more and more precarious economic system and quickly rising inflation charges, are searching for to barter a take care of Newsom’s administration to bolster state public well being funding with out having to boost taxes or put a measure earlier than voters, California Healthline stories. It may very well be the most recent instance of an off-ballot compromise: This yr, advocacy teams and lawmakers struck offers obviating the necessity for initiatives to reform California’s medical malpractice legal guidelines and slash the usage of single-use plastics.
    • Newsom says hypothesis that he’s contemplating a presidential run is “nonsensical,” whilst 2024 suspicions swirl: The governor returned to California on Friday from a high-profile journey to Washington, D.C., capped off by conferences with Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the remainder of California’s Home delegation. He additionally had lunch with Vice President Kamala Harris and expressed his “unwavering assist for the (Biden) administration,” in accordance with his press workplace. It’s a sentiment Newsom has reiterated in numerous interviews — whilst his marketing campaign adverts in Florida and requires the Democratic Celebration to face up extra aggressively to Republicans gasoline hypothesis he could be considering a presidential bid. Whereas in D.C., Newsom instructed the Sacramento Bee that the Florida adverts had been a direct response to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration threatening to wonderful the Particular Olympics $27.5 million if it didn’t drop its COVID vaccine mandate forward of final month’s USA Video games in Orlando. However, when requested if he’s contemplating operating different out-of-state adverts within the close to future, Newsom mentioned, “I’d be mendacity if I urged in any other case. … However that’s to not counsel that I’ve something particular in thoughts.”
    • Nicknames galore: No matter whether or not the 2 males will face off in 2024, DeSantis and Newsom have provide you with pet names for one another. DeSantis’ supporters have taken to referring to Newsom as “Governor French Laundry,” whereas Newsom’s marketing campaign has dubbed DeSantis “Governor DeathSantis” for his COVID insurance policies.

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    Crime dominates LA, SF elections

    George Gascón, pictured right here as San Francisco District Legal professional, speaks at a information convention in San Francisco on March 19, 2012. Photograph by Beck Diefenbach, Reuters

    Maybe nowhere are Californians’ considerations over crime and homelessness — and disagreements over one of the best ways to deal with such points — clearer than in upcoming elections in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Let’s take a more in-depth look:

    • We’ll know by Aug. 17 if the marketing campaign to recall Los Angeles County District Legal professional George Gascón collected sufficient legitimate signatures to power an election. However the progressive prosecutor isn’t shying away from his controversial insurance policies: Gascón introduced Thursday that he’s interesting to the California Supreme Court docket a case introduced by a union of his personal deputy district attorneys difficult an order banning them from pursuing longer jail sentences for repeat offenders, the Los Angeles Instances stories. “Take into consideration Biden coming in and maintaining Donald Trump’s cupboard — that’s what it’s like,” Gascón instructed Politico. In the identical interview, he mirrored on San Francisco voters recalling District Legal professional Chesa Boudin earlier this yr: “One of many errors that Chesa made that I discovered from it — and he’ll readily acknowledge — is he was making an attempt to speak to individuals about knowledge. Individuals don’t care about knowledge. That is about feelings. That is about the way you understand and really feel. And you can’t use knowledge to take care of emotions.”
    • Crime is serving as a significant wedge challenge within the Los Angeles mayor’s race. Billionaire developer Rick Caruso, who’s depicted himself as robust on crime, was getting ready Friday to slam U.S. Rep. Karen Bass for her assist of progressive metropolis legal professional candidate Faisal Gill — just for Bass to withdraw her endorsement of Gill, the Los Angeles Instances stories. The Bass marketing campaign says she withdrew her endorsement on Wednesday, although Gill mentioned the congresswoman yanked it on Friday.
    • In the meantime, San Francisco is roiling from Friday adjustments to the district legal professional’s workplace. Brooke Jenkins — appointed by Mayor London Breed to switch her former boss, Boudin — introduced a wave of hirings and firings that counsel she’s getting ready for a tougher-on-crime method than her predecessor. Jenkins employed as her second-in-command Ana Gonzalez, who led the DA’s gang unit till she was fired by Boudin. Amongst these Jenkins fired was an legal professional who represented the workplace on San Francisco’s Innocence Fee, which investigates attainable wrongful convictions, and an worker who created the workplace’s first public knowledge software visualizing case resolutions. “I promised the general public that I’d restore accountability and penalties to the felony justice system whereas advancing sensible reforms responsibly,” Jenkins mentioned in an announcement. Boudin, who hasn’t dominated out operating towards Jenkins in November to reclaim his seat, tweeted a fire emoji in response to a San Francisco Chronicle opinion column arguing that it’s “exhausting to consider a self-described progressive prosecutor is behind” Jenkins’ imaginative and prescient for the DA’s workplace.

    Newsom opens up on wide selection of matters

    Gov. Gavin Newsom on the California Democratic Celebration headquarters in Sacramento on Sept. 14, 2021. Photograph by Fred Greaves, Reuters

    Whereas in Washington, D.C., Newsom shared his ideas on all the pieces from the Gascón recall to UCLA becoming a member of the Huge 10 in a wide-ranging interview with Fox 11’s Elex Michaelson. Listed here are some key takeaways:

    • On whether or not Gascón has carried out a very good job as Los Angeles County’s district legal professional: “I don’t know sufficient in regards to the job he’s carried out. I’m deeply involved in regards to the criticism — and we’ve expressed ourselves very publicly alongside these strains, together with in Los Angeles because it pertains to a few of the points taking place in retail theft, a few of the points taking place within the railroad yards, and I’ve expressed my very own points privately, as properly. And I’ll go away the extra goal evaluation of his job to locals that’ll have the chance to make that dedication” if the recall effort towards him qualifies for the poll.
    • On whether or not California ought to take into account altering its legislation banning state-funded journey to sure pink states following Newsom’s family trip in Montana: “I truthfully haven’t given it actually two seconds of thought. … It’s an open-ended query. Now that this has been dropped at the fore, I’m unsure I’m the most effective, most goal particular person at this second to determine. I’ll go away it to extra goal minds.”
    • On whether or not California ought to terminate its COVID state of emergency by enshrining in laws Newsom’s remaining government orders, resembling one waiving a requirement that a physician log out on every PCR take a look at end result earlier than it’s launched to sufferers: “I hold telling the Legislature — particularly a few of these people on the market outraged, and so they didn’t even introduce laws to alter it. I imply, you may’t make these things up. It’s the worst of politics: They determine issues then provide nothing in options. … However a few of these issues are tough as a result of they’re scope of follow points, they’ve penalties throughout the spectrum, and folks would like to have a governor do it after which say, ‘I’d do it in a different way and what’s unsuitable!’ I’ve been on this enterprise maybe too lengthy.”
    • On UCLA leaving the Pac-12 convention to hitch the Huge Ten: “I’ve sturdy opinions about this for no different purpose than that as a member of the (UC Board of) Regents, we had been by no means consulted, by no means requested for an opinion, and so they didn’t even have the decency to offer a heads-up. … Belief me after I say this: We’re not going to be trying into it, we’re already trying into it, inside minutes after studying about this within the newspaper.”
    • On making pizza dough from scratch after receiving an out of doors pizza oven for Father’s Day: “It takes me 4 hours! As a result of each needs to be carried out and one of many youngsters says, ‘No, not that one, no, put that on my brother’s, no I don’t need it,’ so I’ve to custom-make this stuff. Gotta get the wooden proper, all the pieces’s — it’s a lot enjoyable. However these are issues that matter, proper? … It does matter as a result of the youngsters have enjoyable with all that.”

    Tech summit comes as lawmakers weigh key votes

    A vista of Sonoma Valley wine nation. Photograph by way of iStock

    Some state lawmakers are spending a part of their month-long summer season recess on worldwide journeys funded by particular curiosity teams that foyer them on varied points — however the junkets gained’t come to an finish when the Legislature returns to Sacramento on Aug. 1. Shortly after enterprise resumes on the state Capitol, lawmakers and choose tech lobbyists will descend on a Napa Valley resort and spa for a two-day occasion dubbed the Know-how Coverage Summit, Los Angeles Instances editorial author Laurel Rosenhall reported Sunday. Lobbyists can win entry by making a donation of at the very least $10,000 to the occasion’s sponsor, a basis affiliated with the California Legislative Know-how and Innovation Caucus. Democratic Assemblymember Evan Low of Cupertino, who leads the tech caucus, is below state investigation for having stopped disclosing donations made to the muse at his request, as Rosenhall reported in a sequence of 2020 CalMatters investigations into lawmaker-affiliated nonprofits.

    The donations could also be a small worth to pay for lobbyists trying to affect lawmakers’ positions on controversial tech payments dealing with do-or-die votes in August, the ultimate month of the legislative session. One of many high-profile proposals goals to carry social media firms answerable for deploying options they know will addict youngsters. Though the tech trade has already succeeded in watering it down, a distinguished lobbyist instructed me final week the aim is to cease it fully. Different contentious payments would strengthen youngsters’ privateness protections on-line and tighten laws for the cryptocurrency market.

    • Rosenhall writes: “I’d like to know if the lawmakers elected to serve the general public can be discussing these points with tech lobbyists over wine tastings and spa therapies subsequent month. Wouldn’t you?”

    CalMatters Commentary

    CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: Most Californians don’t just like the route the state is heading in. A brand new mission examines potential situations for altering its future.

    Californians ought to determine if their automobiles can spy on them: Residents can weigh in on whether or not to place privateness and security earlier than automakers’ earnings by commenting on the California Privateness Safety Company’s draft guidelines on firms’ use of non-public automobile knowledge, argues Justin Kloczko of Client Watchdog.

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    Dozens of felony circumstances dropped over crimes and misconduct by East Contra Costa cops, district legal professional says. // Mercury Information

    ‘She shouldn’t have misplaced her life:’ Neighbors, consultants query police response to break-in. // San Diego Union-Tribune

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    71 cities and cities are paying tech employees to desert Silicon Valley. It’s working. // Wall Avenue Journal

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  • California to create educating credential overlaying pre-Ok by way of third grade that requires literacy coaching

    California to create educating credential overlaying pre-Ok by way of third grade that requires literacy coaching

    Photograph by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Company for EDUimages

    A preschool scholar exhibits his classmate a spider he constructed from pipe cleaners and a paper cup.

    The California Fee on Instructor Credentialing agreed this week to create a brand new educating credential for pre-kindergarten by way of third grade that may require instructor candidates to point out they’re skilled in the right way to train studying.

    The choice got here after the fee addressed criticisms {that a} separate credential that lacked  an identical literacy instruction coursework and a studying efficiency take a look at might undermine separate efforts to enhance studying instruction in elementary grades.

    The critics included two influential legislators who questioned whether or not the fee had the authority to determine an early childhood schooling educating credential – significantly one that would “sidestep” reforms to show foundational studying abilities. The fee tried to guarantee them that wouldn’t occur.

    Establishing an early childhood schooling credential has been talked about for years and was a suggestion in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2020 Grasp Plan for Early Studying and Care. But it surely has gained urgency due to the phase-in by 2025 of transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds plus plans to develop state-funded pre-kindergarten.

    The Palo Alto primarily based Studying Coverage Institute initiatives between 12,000 and 15,000 lecturers shall be wanted to fill transitional kindergarten positions, and but solely about 8,000 new lecturers – about a mean of 1,000 lecturers per grade – have yearly been becoming a member of the educating workforce by incomes the present TK-8 “a number of topic” credential.

    Hanna Melnick of the institute mentioned one supply of TK lecturers might be the estimated 29,000 baby care lecturers in California who already a maintain bachelor’s diploma, one of many conditions of the brand new credential; a few of these might be ladies of coloration who workers many child-care facilities.

    One other supply might be elementary faculty lecturers who need to train TK, with its smaller class sizes, in the event that they take an extra 24 items of school programs on early baby improvement, which might additionally qualify them for the brand new PK-3 Early Childhood Schooling Educating Credential, as it is going to be formally known as. As of August 2023, TK lecturers who’ve a a number of topic credential can even must have the extra credit to ensure that their districts to obtain state funding for college students in these school rooms.

    Beside filling vacancies, the brand new credential would enhance studying, mentioned Deborah Stipek, former dean of the Stanford Graduate Faculty of Schooling and an early childhood authority who served on the governor’s job drive.

    California is certainly one of few states within the nation that hasn’t had a educating credential centered on younger kids and one of many few through which most lecturers obtain their credential in a one-year program after incomes a bachelor’s diploma. “As dean of Stanford for 12 years, I used to be conscious of the constraints to cram instruction by way of a a number of topic credential overlaying 3 to 13-year olds,” she mentioned. “You possibly can’t think about how irritating that’s.”

    It’s necessary that early schooling lecturers absolutely perceive the neuroscience and emotional development of younger kids and that instruction in math, science and studying from grade to grade monitor their improvement, she mentioned.

    Third grade is essential in literacy improvement; the flexibility to learn at grade degree is a powerful indicator of future success at school. And but solely 48.54% of all third graders in California met or exceeded requirements in English language arts in 2019, the final yr earlier than the pandemic. Solely 37% of low-income college students, 31% of Black college students and 38.5% Hispanic college students have been studying at grade degree.

    Battle over literacy requirements

    Final October, the Legislature determined that one reply to this drawback is to revamp how lecturers pursuing a a number of topic credential are instructed to show studying in instructor preparation packages. Senate Invoice 488 arrange a 4-year plan to finish the state’s Studying Instruction Competence Evaluation or RICA, a a number of alternative and quick reply take a look at with a low cross fee that many lecturers revile as a poor technique of measuring tutorial competence (see readers’ feedback to this EdSource article). Changing it could be a literacy efficiency evaluation that every one a number of topic credential seekers should cross. In an effort to decide what the evaluation would measure, the invoice charged the credentialing fee with revising the instructor efficiency expectations for educating studying. A 27-member working group is predicted to finish a draft of those expectations this fall.

    Decoding Dyslexia CA and different advocates of reforming how studying is taught have hailed the passage of SB 488 however questioned whether or not it could apply to the PK-3 credential. After studying the proposal for the brand new credential the fee would think about, Sen. Susan Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, the sponsor of the laws, and Assemblyperson Patrick O’Donnell, D-Lengthy Seaside, concluded that it wouldn’t and opposed it in a June 13 letter to the fee.

    “Establishing a brand new a number of topic credential administratively, for the very grades through which studying instruction competence is a very powerful, signifies that not one of the protections within the legislation would apply,” they wrote in a June 13 letter, urging the fee to not proceed with the brand new credential.

    Others expressed opposition or instructed alternate options.

    “California has a literacy disaster and claims to be centered on getting all youngsters studying by third grade. As a substitute, this new PK-3 ECE credential paves the best way for lecturers in Ok-3 school rooms who haven’t been skilled in the right way to train studying. It’s not honest to lecturers and it’s not honest to youngsters,” mentioned Lori DePole, co-state director of Decoding Dyslexia CA.

    In a written remark, Rachel Hurd, a San Ramon Unified board member, instructed that the fee give attention to the rapid want, a credential for transitional kindergarten and pre-kindergarten, and postpone a kindergarten to threerd grade credential. “As a state, we can’t let a instructor scarcity permit us to threat decreasing the bar for any of our college students. Additional, setting lecturers up for failure is the worst factor for instructor retention,” she wrote.

    The California Academics Affiliation instructed making a PK-3 strand inside the multisubject credential and never a separate credential. “We worth coherence throughout credentials and oppose any effort to fragment the educating area,” it said. The Affiliation of California Faculty Directors favored exempting skilled baby care lecturers who certified for an expedited PK-3 credential from taking the efficiency evaluation.

    However the proposed PK-3 credential additionally was enthusiastically supported by child-care advocates and common transitional kindergarten supporters, together with Kidango, the biggest pre-school supplier within the Bay Space, and Early Edge California.

    In response to the feedback, the fee workers revised its proposal 4 days earlier than its June 15 assembly. It emphasised that subject material necessities for PK-3 instructor preparation packages embrace rigorous age-appropriate instruction in math, English language arts together with the educating of studying, dyslexia and English Language Improvement. Candidates additionally ought to cross RICA or “another Literacy Efficiency Evaluation developed in response to SB 488.”

    However the revision additionally mentioned that instructor prep packages might develop their very own literacy efficiency evaluation, technically already permitted underneath state legislation, so long as the fee accredited it. This feature angered literacy reformers like Todd Collins, a Palo Alto Unified board member and organizer of the California Studying Coalition, who known as it an ”end-run round SB 488.”

    After a prolonged dialogue and plenty of public feedback, commissioners adopted the revised PK-3 proposal whereas specifying that studying requirements adopted underneath SB 488 would absolutely apply. Commissioners clarified that any different literacy efficiency evaluation proposed by a instructor preparation program should show it is going to be as dependable and legitimate as a state evaluation – a excessive bar that might be troublesome to attain, and uncommon, mentioned Mary Vixie Sandy, the fee’s govt director.

    After the vote, DePole of Decoding Dyxlexia mentioned she was “inspired” that the fee dedicated to together with the brand new SB 488 literacy necessities within the new credential pathway and apply a brand new efficiency evaluation to each a number of topic and PK-3 credential candidates.

    Stipek urged the fee to undertake the proposal, which she mentioned struck the precise steadiness between a give attention to baby improvement and rigorous coaching in math and literacy instruction. “It’s nearly as good as it’s going to get now. It’s time to go to the following step,” she mentioned.

    The following step shall be for the fee workers to draft laws, incorporating the fee’s suggestions for requirements and efficiency expectations, after which start a months-long public remark and revision course of. Universities and different credentialing packages would start providing credential programs for the PK-3 credential in fall 2023.

    In the meantime, the workgroup for implementing SB 488 will proceed drafting new literacy requirements and instructor efficiency expectations towards the purpose of changing RICA with a efficiency evaluation beginning July 2025.

    Supporters of SB 488 hope that the mix of stronger, research-based requirements and the efficiency evaluation will rework studying instruction statewide. Sandy is optimistic.

    “Efficiency assessments drive studying extra powerfully than standardized exams,” she mentioned.

    To get extra studies like this one, click on right here to join EdSource’s no-cost each day e mail on newest developments in schooling.

  • California to spice up variety of bilingual academics in Asian languages
    Bilingual Education

    California to spice up variety of bilingual academics in Asian languages

    CREDIT: Educators 4 Excellence

    Instructor Vivian Wang teaches the “Head and shoulders, knees and toes” track to her Mandarin immersion class at Broadway Elementary in Los Angeles Unified.

    It’s about to get simpler to change into a bilingual instructor in Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin and different Asian languages in California.

    Faculty districts in California wrestle to rent bilingual academics in all languages, together with Spanish, however the scarcity is extra extreme for academics who’re fluent in Asian languages. Many districts need to begin or broaden twin immersion packages in Asian languages however wouldn’t have sufficient academics with bilingual authorizations in these languages to take action.

    “Now we have dire shortages of bilingually licensed academics in these languages,” stated Magaly Lavadenz, professor and government director of the Middle for Fairness for English Learners at Loyola Marymount College. “Lecturers are in excessive demand, and there’s a giant scarcity of them, and districts actually need them and households and communities actually need them.”

    The finances put forth by the California Legislature contains $5 million for the Asian Language Bilingual Instructor Schooling Program Consortium, which helps put together bilingual academics in Asian languages, equivalent to Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Hmong.

    This system swimming pools assets at 10 California State College campuses to permit college students enrolled at any campus within the consortium to take courses on the different campuses to obtain their bilingual authorization. A bilingual authorization permits academics to show English language growth to college students who’re studying English, and to show main instruction in a language apart from English.

    A big portion of the funding will go towards serving to college students pay for courses. As a result of so few college students are likely to enroll in these courses, most bilingual training courses in Asian languages are supplied in the course of the summer season or in “extension packages,” which requires college students to pay extra tuition with much less entry to monetary help.

    “This summer season some college students wished to take the courses, however they couldn’t, and the rationale why is cash,” stated Fernando Rodríguez-Valls, bilingual authorization program coordinator at CSU Fullerton.

    The funding will even assist pay stipends to professors who’ve low numbers of scholars of their courses as a result of for summer season courses, professors are sometimes paid per pupil enrolled.

    Nikki Dominguez, coverage director for the nonprofit group Asian People Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, which advocated for the funding, stated having extra bilingual educators in Asian languages will assist enhance language proficiency each in these languages and in English.

    “The Asian American group has the best limited-English proficiency stage in adults in communities of colour right here in California, and we all know that language accessibility is necessary,” Dominguez stated.

    As well as, she stated twin immersion packages, which educate all college students, these proficient in English and people proficient in different languages, are a approach to enhance understanding and stop anti-Asian discrimination.

    “We don’t need to wait till these incidents of hate and violence occur however actually have a look at how we are able to spend money on prevention, and one of many methods we are able to do that’s dual-language packages. We all know, and analysis has proven, that this can be a very efficient approach to create extra understanding and appreciation throughout ethnic teams,” Dominguez stated.

    Lavadenz stated along with getting ready extra bilingual academics, California additionally must spend money on skilled growth for academics as soon as they start instructing, which might assist districts maintain academics long run.

    “What we’re seeing within the discipline, and particularly amongst Asian language educators, is that if the varsity tradition and the district local weather doesn’t help their skilled growth, they find yourself going to a different district the place they’ll discover the group and help for their very own skilled progress,” Lavadenz stated.

    A number of organizations that advocate for bilingual training and English learners, together with Californians Collectively, the California Affiliation for Bilingual Schooling, and SEAL, applauded the funding for bilingual educators in Asian languages however urged the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom to additionally proceed funding for different tasks that helped put together bilingual academics, such because the Bilingual Instructor Skilled Improvement Program and the Educator Workforce Funding Grant program. The grant program has funded coaching since 2020 for academics and paraprofessionals on particular training and implement the English Learner Roadmap, a information for districts to raised help college students who’re studying English. Newsom proposed $15 million to proceed this system, however the Legislature didn’t embody the funding in its finances invoice.

    “Any coverage implementation takes greater than two years,” stated Lavadenz. “It’s like pulling the rug out from underneath a system that was actually working.”

    Below the Bilingual Instructor Skilled Improvement Program, county workplaces of training and college districts supplied college-level programs to arrange academics to work in bilingual school rooms. This system expired in 2021.

    “It was disappointing to see that the Bilingual Instructor Skilled Improvement Program (BTPDP) was not funded,” wrote Anya Hurwitz, director of SEAL, a nonprofit group that gives coaching to assist faculties develop robust bilingual packages. “The findings in our newest coverage transient present that BTPDP works and with correct help, faculty districts can “develop their very own” academics to assist fill the essential bilingual instructor scarcity within the state. However districts can’t do it alone. They want sufficient state funding to implement these efficient methods.”

    To get extra studies like this one, click on right here to join EdSource’s no-cost every day electronic mail on newest developments in training.

  • California Credit Union Offering Teacher Grants for Innovative Projects
    Coding and Robotics

    California Credit Union Offering Teacher Grants for Innovative Projects

    <p>Credit Union Encourages Los Angeles County Teachers to Apply for a Class Project Grant</p>

    LOS ANGELES, Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — California Credit Union encourages Los Angeles county teachers who have an innovative class project idea to apply for a credit union grant through its bi-annual Teacher Grant program.

    California Credit Union Logo (PRNewsfoto/California Credit Union)

    California Credit Union Logo (PRNewsfoto/California Credit Union)

    The California Credit Union grant program is available to full-time teachers in Los Angeles and Orange county, or credit union members teaching in California, looking to fund special learning opportunities for their students. The project should have clearly defined learning objectives tied to students’ academic needs, display creativity, and benefit a significant number of students. Ten California Credit Union grants of $500 each will be awarded to area teachers in October in the fall program.

    “Helping teachers provide an engaging, meaningful student experience is one way we’re supporting education in our communities. We know the challenges our teachers and students have experienced over the last year, and hope this grant will help make a special project come to life,” said California Credit Union President/CEO Steve O’Connell. “We encourage any teacher who has a class project idea that needs a little extra funding to apply for one of our grants.”

    Interested teachers can find more information and apply online at ccu.com/teachergrant. The application deadline is October 1, 2021.

    Since the creation of the program in 2012, California Credit Union has awarded $135,000 in teacher grants to benefit students across Southern California. Last year’s grant program funded a wide range of projects, including art expression programs focused on social change, anti-racism, diversity & inclusion, a cooking channel for special needs students, a mobile library, ASL instructional videos for families, coding & robotics programs, and a volunteer student reading program in assisted living facilities, among others.

    About California Credit Union
    California Credit Union is a federally insured, state chartered credit union founded in 1933 that serves public or private school employees, community members and businesses across California. With more than 165,000 members and assets of over $4 billion, California Credit Union has 25 branches throughout Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. The credit union operates in San Diego County as North Island Credit Union, a division of California Credit Union. California Credit Union offers a full suite of consumer, business and investment products and services, including comprehensive consumer checking and loan options, personalized financial planning, business banking, and leading-edge online and mobile banking. V isit ccu.com for more information, or follow the credit union on Instagram® or Facebook® @CaliforniaCreditUnion.



    View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/california-credit-union-offering-teacher-grants-for-innovative-projects-301366857.html

    SOURCE California Credit Union

  • How California plans to deter costly special education disputes
    Special Education

    How California plans to deter costly special education disputes

    Credit: Andrew Reed/EdSource

    Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Alameda during a March 2021 press conference.

    The threatened deluge of post-pandemic special education litigation may be averted — or at least minimized— by a new initiative in California encouraging parents and schools to resolve disputes before heading to court.

    The state budget, signed Friday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, sets aside $100 million for resolving special education conflicts between parents and school districts, which escalated during remote learning.

    The money will go toward outreach, such as brochures, meetings and presentations, to help parents and school staff understand the rights outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the federal law that requires districts to educate students of all abilities. The goal is to improve communication and build trust between parents and schools, so conflicts can be resolved quickly and more easily.

    None of the money can go to attorney fees.

    “I had tears of joy when the governor signed it. We worked so hard to make this happen,” said Veronica Coates, director of Tehama County’s Special Education Local Plan Area, who helped craft the legislation. “We won’t escape all disputes, but this means we can devote more resources to helping kids, not paying lawyers.”

    In addition, the state set aside $450 million for extra tutoring, therapy and other services that students with special needs missed during remote learning. It also funded the first steps of a system similar to what other states use to help parents get support from neutral facilitators during special ed meetings. The aim is for parents to better understand the special education process and needs of their children.

    Many students in special education fell behind during distance learning because so many services for disabled students — such as speech or physical therapy — were nearly impossible to deliver virtually. Under federal law, parents can sue a school district if they feel their children aren’t receiving services they’re entitled to in their individualized education program, or IEP.

    Special education lawsuits can be expensive for school districts. The cost of providing special services might be relatively minimal — say, a few thousand dollars — but if the district loses the case, it often owes parents for their attorney fees, which can top $100,000. The district also has to pay its own attorneys, although those costs are typically lower. In some cases, a judge orders districts to pay for costly services such as boarding school for students with severe challenges.

    Schools in California have so far paid more than $5.4 million in attorney fees for Covid-related special education disputes, Coates said, adding that the number is probably far higher because only a quarter of districts responded to a survey on the topic. Less than half that total — $2.3 million — went to providing services to students in those disputes, she said.

    Disputes usually center on the number of hours of extra services a student might need. A district might say a student is entitled to two hours a week of speech therapy, for example, but a parent might want eight. If the parties can’t compromise, either side has the option of requesting a hearing with the state Office of Administrative Hearings. The department assigns a mediator to help the parties resolve the matter, and if that fails an administrative law judge will hear the case.

    California sees far more special education disputes, on average, than most other states. In 2018-19, parents’ requests for mediation in California represented nearly half of the requests nationwide, according to the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education. California’s rate of mediation requests was four times higher than the national average. The number of cases in California jumped 84% from 2006-07 to 2016-17, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, costing schools millions.

    Last year, the number of cases filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings actually fell 16%, according to the department, although that number may increase this fall as schools get caught up with student assessments and evaluations. In 2020-21, when most schools were closed due to Covid-19, the Office of Administrative Hearings received 3,908 cases, 87 of which couldn’t be resolved through mediation and ended up in court. The previous year, the office received 4,650 cases and held 91 hearings.

    Many of the cases post-pandemic are centered on “compensatory education” — extra services to help students catch up to the benchmarks in their IEPs. Compensatory education can mean one-on-one tutoring, summer or after-school programs, extra therapy or other specialized assistance.

    Matthew Tamel, a Berkeley attorney who represents school districts, said so far his volume of special education cases hasn’t increased since the pandemic, but “the cases are more intense, harder to settle.” They often center on what services a student needs to catch up following campus closures. A parent might want 400 hours of speech therapy for their child, for example, while the district believes the actual estimate of lost time is closer to 100 hours.

    State funding to help resolve these disputes before they head to court is a welcome development that will hopefully lead to smoother negotiations and outcomes that are reasonable for both sides and beneficial for students, Tamel said.

    “When schools first closed, it was a very difficult time. Everyone thought it would just be a few weeks, and it turned into a year and a half in some districts. Not everything was perfect when schools first closed,” he said. “Most families understand that. … This fund will hopefully help students get the services they need to make up what was missed in 2020 without having to go to court.”

    But some say the state’s promotion of out-of-court dispute resolution favors districts, not parents. Without hiring lawyers or professional advocates, parents might be at a disadvantage when negotiating with districts over the services they believe their children need. Lower-income parents are especially vulnerable because the only way they can get reimbursed for attorney fees, which can cost upwards of $400 an hour, is by going to court, said Jim Peters, a Newport Beach advocate who helps parents in special education disputes.

    “I support the idea in general of alternative dispute resolution, but in this case it’s disingenuous,” said Peters, who helped organize a class-action special education lawsuit against the state last year. “The money won’t be given out based on a child’s needs, it’ll be given out based on which parents can afford to hire attorneys.”

    Angelica Ruiz, a parent in San Bernardino County whose 12-year-old son, Arthur, has moderate-to-severe autism, said she never would have won extra services for her son if she didn’t have a professional like Peters advocating on her son’s behalf.

    Courtesy Angelica Ruiz

    Angelica Ruiz and her son, Arthur.

    During remote learning, Arthur suffered anxiety and behavior meltdowns as the pandemic wore on. He’d often refuse to participate in online classes. He began hitting himself, his personal hygiene declined and he suffered from severe insomnia, Ruiz said.

    Peters helped her son get extra therapy and other services, she said. It didn’t solve everything, but it made a big difference for Arthur, she said.

    “Sitting in a room with all these people from the school, it can be intimidating,” she said, describing her meetings with her son’s teachers, therapists and school administrators. “Most parents aren’t trained to do this, we don’t always know what we’re entitled to or what we should be asking. … Parents should not have to file (a suit) just to get the services their kids need. We shouldn’t have to fight over it.”

    But solving conflicts like Ruiz’s is exactly what the new state fund will do, said Coates, the special education director from Tehama County, and Anjanette Pelletier, special education director for San Mateo County. By minimizing the role of attorneys and advocates, parents of all incomes should have access to fair, free dispute resolution. And disputes will be settled quicker, allowing students to receive services sooner, they said.

    Pelletier and Coates began working on the legislation a year ago, when they noticed a sharp uptick in litigation in their counties related to special education during campus closures. The lawsuits not only delayed districts from providing services to students, but they also generated mistrust and antagonism between families and school staff, they said.

    “Schools were in a bind,” Coates said. “This was born out of a need to help our students get services faster, and improve relationships with families.”

    Another issue is the ongoing shortage of special education teachers, worsened by the pandemic, Coates and Pelletier said. Special ed teachers are already facing high levels of stress trying to help students during Covid; they don’t need the additional stress of litigation, they said.

    Working with Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Fairfield, and others, the pair helped create the legislation and shepherded it through the budget process. Ideally, the $100 million for outreach will benefit not just families but school administrators as well, they said.

    “That’s the dream, that administrators learn to improve communication with all families,” Pelletier said. “We’re not going to get rid of all disputes, but hopefully this will allow us to do what’s best for kids and spread the resources more equitably.”

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