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Latest COVID-19 News from the CA Department of Education
Latest COVID-19 News from the CA Department of Education
Corrie Pelc
Monday, April 06, 2020

State Superintendent Thurmond Announces COVID-19 Response Funding Available to School Districts

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that $100,000,000 in funding will be distributed to local educational agencies (LEAs) throughout the state. The funding was included in Senate Bill 117, one of two COVID-19 emergency bills passed by the California Legislature on March 17, 2020.

“I am very grateful to the members of the state legislature for their rapid response in providing this essential funding to assist LEAs during this very challenging time,” said Thurmond. “These funds will allow district administrators to ensure that sites are properly cleaned and sanitized, keep school staff safe, provide nutritious meals, and focus on implementing a distance learning infrastructure that is equitable and accessible to all students.” The priority for these funds is health and safety needs for LEAs, including  student meal access, during COVID-19 closure periods.[ED1]

To receive the funds, eligible LEAs had to be operational as of March 4, 2020. Funding is allocated to LEAs based on 2019–2020 average daily attendance (ADA) funded by the California Department of Education in February 2020. Eligible LEAs will receive $17.37 per ADA, with a minimum funding allocation of $250.

The State Controller’s Office will issue payments for the SB 117 funds to each county treasurer’s office within three to four business days. The apportionment letter, allocation detail, and payment schedule for this funding are available at on the CDE’s SB 117 COVID-19 LEA’s Response Funds web page.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces New Guidance on Grading and Graduation for Seniors 

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) have issued new guidance on graduation requirements and grading for seniors. The guidance is based on feedback from local education agencies, and was produced in collaboration and alignment with higher education institutions. 

“We are thinking of our seniors and the impact that the current COVID-19 public health emergency and subsequent physical closure of schools has had on them, and we hope that this guidance will help relieve some stress and anxiety,” said Thurmond. “We are doing everything we can to support all our schools and students, and will continue to address seniors’ needs going forward.”

“All seniors who are on track for graduation should be able to graduate,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “This new guidance further illustrates how students can and should be held harmless in grading, and how their work can be acknowledged.” 

The guidance addresses A-G requirements and provides admissions updates for higher education for both current seniors and juniors. 

For example, colleges have agreed to accept credit/no-credit or pass/fail grading where districts have decided to use it for A-G courses and other courses without impact on grade point averages. California is also extending flexibility on a wide range of issues, including testing requirements, timing of transcripts, and considerations about financial aid.

The CDE continues working with the University of California, California State University, community college system, and private and non-profit universities on solutions to many ongoing college admissions challenges.

Please find the grades and graduation guidance document as well as more school information and resources regarding coronavirus on the CDE’s COVID-19 web page.