California Educator

October/November 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 55

AB 101: Historic ethnic studies bill becomes law CTA-co-sponsored AB 101 (Medina) adds ethnic studies to California's high school curriculum starting in the 2025-26 school year, and adds the completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies to the state high school graduation requirements, commencing with students graduating in the 2029–30 school year. AB 101 is key to promoting respect and understanding among races, supporting student academic success, and teaching lifetime critical thinking skills for the 21st century. " The inclusion of ethnic studies in the high school curric- ulum is long overdue," says bill author Assembly Member Jose Medina. " The signing of AB 101 is one step in the long struggle for equal education for all students." AB 101 was signed into law by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 8. AB 438: Parity for education support professionals CTA-co-sponsored AB 438 (Reyes) would require certain notices and opportunities for a hearing in the event of the layoff of education support professionals to establish an equal process for all educators. "Every student's school day depends on the work of thousands of education support professionals, from office workers to food service workers and custodians," says CTA President E. Toby Boyd. "In the absence of adequate workplace protections, more than 2,000 classified staff have been laid off since March, even though our schools have not lost state funding. This bill recognizes the hard work of these essential school employees by providing them with greater stability and professional rights as they strive to support their families." AB 438 was signed into law by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 8. AB 367: Free menstrual products in schools and colleges CTA-supported AB 367 (Garcia) would require all public schools that serve students in grades 6-12, the CSU system, and all community colleges to stock their restrooms with menstrual products. Doing so helps ensure all students have equal access to education, regardless of their gender or economic status. AB 367 was signed into law by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 8. SB 294: Removes retirement limitations for educators CTA-co-sponsored SB 294 (Leyva) removes the 12-year limitation for CalSTRS or CalPERS service credit earned during employer-approved compensated leave. This cap unfairly singles out education employees, harming the ability of elected union leaders to take a leave of absence to represent their union without losing benefits during their time of service. SB 294 was signed into law by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 5. O N S E P T . 21, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and education leaders including CTA President E. Toby Boyd announced a statewide literacy campaign aimed at helping every California student learn to read by third grade by the year 2026. The effort includes a biliteracy mile- stone for dual-language learners. Thurmond will convene a task force comprising education leaders and practitioners, researchers, parents, students, and other experts to identify key strategies for focusing on literacy. Their recommendations will inform legislation, authored by recently elected Assembly Member Mia Bonta (D-Alameda), to advance the campaign goal. The legislation will be introduced in 2022. Recommendations will likely include a variety of resources to advance literacy and biliteracy, family engage- ment approaches, and other reading strategies. Town hall meetings in the coming months will allow the task force to present ideas to the public and the public to give feedback. Thurmond anticipates the legislation will lay out a multifaceted strategy that considers issues of readiness, chronic absenteeism, needs of students with disabilities and multilingual learners, early education, and socioeconomic factors that impact a student's ability to learn to read. Boyd says that after decades of dis- investment in public schools, this year 's education budget reflects our shared values and priorities. "Expanding transitional kinder- garten, increasing [the number of ] community schools, and additional resources for social and emotional supports for students are significant investments that will help support our neediest schools — and are key pro- grams we need to combat illiteracy," he says. "Equally important will be addressing the needs of our dual-lan- guage learners. Biliteracy is a strength of our global economy." New Statewide Literacy Campaign By Julian Peeples 34 Advocacy

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - October/November 2021