California Educator

April/May 2020

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Page 34 of 51

T H E C A L I F O R N I A L E G I S L A T U R E passed SB 117, a COVID-19 budget trailer bill, which was signed March 17 by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bill includes protections for school districts, county offices of education and charter schools that have closed due to the pandemic, and implements elements of the governor's earlier executive order. Specifically, the bill: • Holds harmless for ADA requirements. Funding based on average daily attendance reported to the California Department of Educa- tion (CDE) will continue, meaning all school employees will continue to be paid. • Protects state preschool and child care funding. Attendance and reporting requirements for child care and development programs are waived. These programs will receive reimbursement using the most recent certified record or invoice available. • Waives penalties related to instructional days and minutes requirements. Instructional days and minutes required by the Education Code are deemed to have been met during the period of closure due to COVID-19. • Extends time for student assessments. Extends the testing win- dow for the following assessments by the length of time a school is closed due to COVID-19, or until the end of the testing window specified in the Education Code, whichever comes first: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC), and physical performance tests. (The CDE is discussing whether it will seek a federal waiver from testing.) • Extends timelines for special education compliance to coincide with the school closures. Existing law requires a 15-day timeline to prepare a proposed assessment plan after referral of a student to assess if they have special needs. This timeline stops when the school closes due to COVID-19 and begins again when the school reopens. • Provides additional funding for local educational agencies to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) and/or supplies and labor related to cleaning school sites. The bill appropriates $100 million from Proposition 98 general education funds to pay for PPE and/or cleaning up school sites. Bill Protects Schools During COVID-19 SCF Heads for the Ballot O N A P R I L 2 , the Schools and Communities First (SCF) campaign announced the submission of more than 1.7 million signatures to qualify the initiative for the November 2020 ballot — the most signatures ever submitted in California for a ballot initiative. This historic benchmark was achieved weeks ahead of sched- ule and surpassed the original 1.6 million goal set by the campaign. The SCF initiative would direct $12 billion every year to the most pressing needs in our communities, including critical local services and schools (see story, page 34). "We are witnessing the need for this very measure as educators, health care workers, first responders and communities grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic," says CTA Pres- ident E. Toby Boyd, noting that many students and families lack access to the internet and devices needed for distance learning. "SCF will help provide the resources our students, families and communities need for public education, health care, hous- ing and public safety." 33 A P R I L / M AY 2 0 2 0 Advocacy L E G I S L A T I V E U P D A T E Is this property used EXCLUDED SCF exempts land that is used for producing commercial agricultural commodi es. Is it used open public EXCLUDED SCF exempts such as historical Is this property with... A single-family home Apartment buildings of any size Mobile homes Vaca on homes Senior centers Assisted living facili es What about... Live/Work spaces Home offices Home-based businesses Yes Yes Does SCF Impact________________?

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