By Matt O’Donnell
The Vallejo City Unified School District, in an email sent to students and their families across the district Wednesday, says it will comply with a state mandate that students and staff must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend school in person.
The district will host two upcoming vaccination clinics for students and staff: Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Vallejo High School and Thursday, Oct. 14 at the same time at Hogan Middle School.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that students and staff would need to be vaccinated to attend school in person.
Source: Vallejo City Unified School District plans to follow vaccine mandate for students, staff – Times-Herald
By Emily Deruy
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that students will soon need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend school in person in California. Here’s what you need to know about the new vaccine mandate.
Q: What is the new requirement?
A: Children must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend schools in person, starting the school term after the vaccines have full approval from the FDA for two different groups. The requirement will be phased in by grade span, first grades 7-12 and then K-6. School staff will also need to be vaccinated by the time the requirement applies to the first cohort.
Source: What California’s new student vaccine mandate means for your child – Times-Herald
California will soon require all public school students age 12 to 17 years old to get the COVID-19 vaccine once the shot is fully authorized by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announced the new emergency order on Friday while visiting a middle school in San Francisco.
The COVID-19 vaccine will now join a list of 10 other vaccinations required for children to attend school in the state.
The governor said the state will issue the mandate in the next school term following the FDA’s authorization, the earlier being January 1, 2022 and the latest being July 1, 2022.
At that same time, staff members at all California schools will also need to be fully vaccinated. The state issued a mandate in August for teachers and school staff members, but now it has eliminated the option to submit to regular COVID-19 testing in place of getting the vaccine.
Source: California to require public school students age 12-17 to get COVID vaccine – ABC7 Los Angeles
By John Fensterwald, EdSource
One of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s and the Legislature’s most ambitious and expensive education programs — the extension of the school day and of the school year for elementary school students — won’t happen this year, at least in most districts.
And that’s now OK with the Legislature and the Newsom administration, which had funded it to start right away.
School districts and charter schools say they are struggling to find enough teachers, substitute teachers, bus drivers and Covid contact tracers to fill existing and new pandemic-related jobs, so adding before- and after-school positions is unfeasible, they say.
Source: California staffing shortage delays ambitious program to extend school day and year – The Vacaville Reporter
By John Woolfolk
California will be the first state in the country to require public school teachers and staff to either be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday as many of the state’s 6.1 million students return to classrooms for the fall term amid a sharp rise in infections.
“We think this right thing to do and a sustainable way to keep schools open,” Newsom said at a news conference at Carl B. Munck Elementary School in Oakland.
The new policy for school staff will take effect Aug. 12, and schools must be in full compliance by Oct. 15. Free testing is available to schools through the state’s K-12 school testing program.
Source: California Gov. Gavin Newsom extends statewide vaccine or test order to teachers – The Vacaville Reporter
By Carolyn Jones, EdSource
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.
Source: How California plans to deter costly special education disputes – Times-Herald
By Matt Miller
Thanks to legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week, some students who did not qualify for graduation in June may now be able to do so just one month later.
Newsom inked Assembly Bill 104, which relieves some students’ requirements, retention and grades because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The legislation was listed as urgent and immediately applies to all school districts, retroactive to the 2020-21 school year and applied to the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
“For many, distance learning has not been ideal across the state,” said Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Superintendent Kris Corey. “We don’t want to penalize and hurt students for things that may have been out of their control. This was not a normal situation. Students should not be punished for a pandemic.”
Source: New state bill helps students with grade relief during pandemic
By John Woolfolk
Lawmakers are expected Thursday to approve a $6.6 billion bill aimed at enticing more public schools to reopen this spring, but it doesn’t appear to be driving districts around the state to bring kids back earlier than they had already planned.
While the bill offers financial incentives to reopen by the end of March, with decreasing amounts offered until May 15, several districts say their reopening timelines instead depend on two factors: teacher vaccinations and falling local infection rates. Both of those were underway before Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced their compromise legislation Monday, and many districts had already hammered out agreements with teachers’ unions that would be difficult to change.
Source: COVID: Teacher vaccination a main driver in reopening schools – Times-Herald
By Taryn Luna and John Myers, LA Times
Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders announced an agreement Monday to give school districts $2 billion to open schools for students in transitional kindergarten through second grade by April 1, focusing on California’s youngest children after almost a year of distance learning.
The negotiations wrapped up over the weekend, according to sources close to both the governor and the Legislature who confirmed its basic components.
The plan, detailed in Assembly Bill 86, provides financial incentives to school districts that offer in-person instruction in counties with fewer than 25 new daily confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents, a threshold almost all California counties currently meet as the winter’s rapid spread of the virus had slowed.
Source: Newsom, legislators strike deal to reopen California schools
By Thomas Gase
When it comes to COVID-19 in Solano County, it’s like officials have heard three voices, just like in the 1989 film, “Field of Dreams.”
The first two voices say, “If you build it, they will come” and “Ease his pain.” Solano has hosted five vaccination clinics in the last two weeks at either the Solano County Fairgrounds or Benicia gym and giving out approximately 9,000 shots to people aged 75-and older or in the first tier of Phase 1, you could say the county has received that message and gotten work done.
It’s that “go the distance” message that seems to be confusing people. While many people want to return to in-person instruction with schools, distance learning seems to be the pick for the foreseeable future.
Source: When will schools go back to in-person instruction in Solano County? – Times-Herald
By Richard Bammer
A Fairfield-Suisun Unified official says that while Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed $227 billion 2021-2022 budget “is not without its challenges,” which include deferral of payments from the state to the district, it requires attention to a “critical cash management” in the coming months.
In a press release and an interview earlier this week with The Reporter, Laneia Grindle, director of fiscal services for Solano County’s largest district, said there is good news, too, even amid the pandemic and the virtual learning model.
In a Jan. 8 statement about the new budget, Newsom promised a commitment to “equity in and for our school communities,” reflected by the highest level of K-14 school funding in the state’s history, $90 billion, and targets the “inequitable impacts of the pandemic on schools and families,” including $2 billion to support a safe return to in-person instruction, $4.6 billion to help students recover from the pandemic’s impacts, and $400 million for school-based mental health services.
Source: FSUSD official: State’s 2021-22 budget presents challenges – The Reporter
By John Fensterwald
Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed his solution to a long-running, contentious dispute over the Local Control Funding Formula, the equity-based formula for distributing the bulk of money that school districts get from the state.
At issue is whether school districts can use leftover, year-end funding intended for “high-needs students” however they want. Newsom’s answer is, no, they can’t; the money must be committed to those students — who generally are the farthest behind academically and face the challenges of poverty — and districts must document that.
Some of those who have been calling for reform for years say the governor’s approach is a big step forward but not fully right.
Source: Gov. Newsom calls for closing big ‘loophole’ in funding for high-needs students – The Reporter
By Los Angeles Times
Gov. Gavin Newsom said he believes California schools can begin to reopen even if all teachers are not yet vaccinated against Covid-19, provided that proper safety measures and supports are in place — although some teachers unions, including United Teachers Los Angeles, have said vaccinations should be a prerequisite to resuming in-person instruction.
“We can safely reopen schools as we process a prioritization to our teachers of vaccinations,” Newsom said Wednesday.
“I’d love to have everybody in the state vaccinated that chooses to be vaccinated,” he said during a briefing held to announce the future opening of a new community vaccination center at the Oakland Coliseum. “Not only would I like to prioritize teachers, we are prioritizing teachers.”
Source: California schools can safely move to reopen, Newsom says
By John Woolfolk
Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers are in talks on a new path for getting more public schools to reopen as the governor’s late-December plan offering money and aid for those that move quickly to bring students back on campus comes under withering fire from districts, teacher unions and legislators.
Monday was the deadline in Newsom’s $2 billion Safe Schools for All Plan announced Dec. 30 for schools to file reopening plans and qualify for the funding, but the Legislature has yet to act on it, leaving its status in doubt.
And last week, a bill was pulled from committee that would set a requirement for schools to reopen within two weeks of case rates falling to the level state and local health orders say is safe to resume in-person instruction. Nannette Miranda, spokeswoman for Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco who authored that proposal, AB 10, said lawmakers and the administration are now working on a single compromise solution.
Source: Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom, lawmakers in talks on school reopening path – Times-Herald
By Jacob Jackson
California is on the verge of creating a cradle-to-career data system that could help policymakers identify effective educational policies while providing students and families with new tools to investigate college and career options.
With support from Governor Newsom, the Cradle-to-Career Data System Act in 2019 established an inclusive, transparent planning process that outlined how to build and implement such a system. To begin creating the data system, the governor’s 2021–22 budget proposes $18.8 million to improve existing data, develop the capacity and technology to link data across systems, and expand student-facing tools for college and career planning.
The completed data system may take four years to phase in, but it would allow the state to answer important questions, such as how prepared are high school students for college? What are the effects of financial aid on college completion and workforce success? How does early childhood education affect students in the long run?
Source: Newsom’s Budget Advances Long-Overdue Education Data System – Public Policy Institute of California
By Susan Hiland
A review last week of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget by the Fairfield-School School District shows both cause for optimism and concern.
Staff shared highlights of the governor’s 2020-21 budget plan for the coming year at the school board meeting Thursday. The discussion was cut short due to time limits for virtual meetings.
Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of Business Services, gave the presentation, which showed that the past year’s $5.6 billion state surplus is gone and the budget reflects a $54.4 billion deficit.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board hears overview of governor’s proposed school budget
By Evan Webeck
Following widespread and sustained reductions in COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday lifted the regional stay-at-home order that had placed the majority of Californians under some of the nation’s tightest restrictions for much of the past two months.
Hospitalizations have fallen substantially in nearly every region of California to the point where, this past weekend, there were fewer COVID-positive patients being treated in hospitals around the state than any point since the week prior to Christmas. Cases, too, are coming at their slowest rate since the second week of December. However, the hardest-hit regions are still averaging more infections and have more patients hospitalized and in intensive-care units than before the order was put in place, according to data compiled by this news organization.
Source: Coronavirus: Major improvements in cases, hospitalizations in California prompt lifting of stay-at-home order – The Reporter
By John Fensterwald, EdSource
Five statewide organizations representing school districts and county offices of education that had refrained from commenting on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to entice school districts to begin reopening are urging major revisions they say would make the plan feasible.
They issued a letter to Newsom outlining the revisions on Tuesday, two days before the state Senate will begin hearings that will determine if or when the governor can move forward with the plan.
Newsom is proposing $2 billion in incentives to districts that adopt a safety and health protection plan, comprehensive Covid testing procedures and a schedule to phase in the return of elementary students. Starting with transitional kindergarten through 3rd grade, they would commit to bring back students for in-person instruction starting Feb. 15, if infection rates in their counties have fallen by then — or to postpone until they do.
Source: More school organizations urge revising Gov. Newsom’s reopening plan – The Reporter
By Susan Hiland
A long-awaited decision by the Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board to either return to in-person learning or to continue distance learning is going to have to wait due recent changes from the state.
Schools are currently prohibited across the Bay Area from going to in-person learning due to the governor’s stay-at-home order.
The staff recommended that the governing board table consideration of reopening plans Thursday night until the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Safe Schools for All” plan is approved by the Legislature. This would allow the school board to consider the state plan as an option for reopening.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school board tables talks on resumption of in-person learning
By John Woolfolk
California officials Thursday ordered schools statewide to begin reporting new coronavirus cases within 24 hours and their reopening status every two weeks as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s broader effort to spur a return of kids to the classroom.
That effort marks a change from last summer when the state was encouraging schools to start the new school year in online-only “distance learning” and had no plans to comprehensively track school cases or reopening. Districts and teacher unions have cited a lack of information about school outbreaks and reopenings as a concern. The infection information is to be reported to the state effective immediately and the reopening status starting Jan. 25, but it was unclear how much would be publicly available and when.
“Getting our kids and staff back into the classroom safely will help us continue turning the corner on this pandemic,” Newsom said in a statement.
Source: Coronavirus: California details plan to track school cases, reopening – The Reporter