Weekly NewsBrief 3/16/20-3/22/20
Expect California schools to remain closed until summer, governor says – By John Fensterwald, EdSource
California also to seek federal waiver from state standardized testing this year
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that most school districts should expect to remain closed for the rest of the school year and not reopen in a few weeks, as many parents are anticipating, because of escalating coronavirus infections.
“I need to be honest and transparent with you,” he said to parents and educators, citing the “changing nature of the dynamic” of the pandemic and the need to continue social distancing by having students remain at home.
“Don’t anticipate schools are going to open in a week. Please don’t anticipate in a few weeks,” he said.
During his press conference, he also suggested that school sites may be repurposed to provide childcare during the closures for low-income children and parents with no other alternatives. He said there would be more details in coming days.
Governor Gavin Newsome, gov.ca.gov
Maryland Senate passes sweeping schools reform bill with amendments that would halt plan in bad economy – By Luke Broadwater, Baltimore Sun
After hours of debate, Maryland’s Senate late Monday night passed an ambitious, expensive overhaul of the state’s public schools, but only after amending the bill to halt the plan in the event of an economic downturn or if it isn’t achieving academic progress.
Nearing midnight, the Senate voted 37-9 to approve the recommendations of the so-called Kirwan Commission, which proposed the $4 billion-per-year overhaul of Maryland’s public schools ― boosting teacher pay, expanding vocational training, and funding additional services for children in the poorest communities. Six Republicans, including the Senate GOP’s leader and top budget expert, joined their Democratic colleagues in voting for the amended bill.
The legislature is rushing to pass the educational overhaul ahead of the early closure of the 441st General Assembly session, which will end abruptly Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.