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Thursday, April 25, 2024

On Our Virtual Route 66 This Week: On Education Watch


By Diana Lambert, EdSource

Budget shortfalls have led 100 California school districts to issue layoff notices to 1,900 teachers.

Read more

Financial aid and admissions officers across California’s colleges and universities are navigating longer hours and more stress, as they deal with unprecedented havoc in this year’s rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

Hear from financial aid workers as they help students and their families navigate the application morass.

Why has California seen heavier impacts from the FAFSA delays? And what is the state doing to mitigate the fallout?


California education news: What's the latest?

Our picks from other sources

During test-optional college admissions, exam-prep companies still thrived

By Sam Becker, BBC, April 17

‘Let her speak!’ USC campus reels after valedictorian’s speech is canceled

By Caroline Petrow-Cohen, Angie Orellana Hernandez and Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, April 18

College is hard enough — try doing it while raising kids

By Jon Marcus, The Hechinger Report, April 18

Report: Cost of College, Stress Pushes Students to Consider Stopping Out

By Ashley Mowreader, Inside Higher Ed, April 18

Also of interest

How One School District Is Making Equity Work: In the latest Sparking Equity podcast, host Pedro Noguera, dean of USC Rossier School of Education, and Executive Producer Louis Freedberg visit Glen A. Wilson High in Hacienda La Puente School District, outside of Los Angeles. Under Supt. Alfonso Jimenez, a comprehensive equity strategy has close the achievement gap while raising achievement for all students without conflict. Go here for Spotify, here for Apple or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Inside California Education: In the latest episode of the Inside California Education TV series produced by PBS KVIE, explore a unique housing program in Los Angeles that serves students previously experiencing homelessness, meet NASA Aerospace scholars in Contra Costa, discover how an organization called Umoja is creating community on campuses, and see how students throughout California can reduce their student loan debt through the volunteer College Corps program. Watch here.

California's Teacher Education Program "Deserts": April 23 at noon. The UCLA Center for the Transformation of Schools hosts a webinar on research that profiles nine rural border counties in California that have limited access to Teacher Education Programs (TEPs). These counties, which CTS researchers classify as “TEP deserts”, face unique challenges in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers. Register here.

Making the Numbers Work: Building a Paid Teacher Residency Program That is Sustainable and Strategic Within Your District Budget: April 24. Learn how strategic teacher residencies models work toward our goals to diversify the future teacher pipeline for our increasingly diverse student populations, work to strengthen the learning experiences of our new teachers, and work within existing district budgets, especially as many are facing shortfalls this year. Go here to register.

2024 Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference: Join Catalyst California (formerly Advancement Project California) in Sacramento on April 24th and 25th for their Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference: Bridging Systems to Center Racial Justice for Children and Families. The first in-person Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference in nearly five years, you will be among other advocates, community leaders, students, and policymakers from across California to discuss the issues impacting early childhood and K-12 education. Register here.

Science of Reading & Multilingual Learners: May 7. Research has revealed much about how students learn to read, but the science of reading is not always reflected in literacy materials and classroom practice. This is especially true for multilingual learners (MLLs) who are experiencing a profound literacy opportunity gap. Join the English Learner Success Forum to learn from top researchers, practitioners, and state and local leaders on what they see as the components of a quality literacy curriculum for MLL success. Learn more and register here.

Labor-management conference: June 24-26. The California Labor-Management Initiative invites school districts to send teams to the annual conference in San Diego to hear from experts and exemplar districts, and discuss opportunities to build labor and management teams in difficult times. Teams should include the superintendent, HR director, certificated and classified union leaders, and a school board member. School teams also can attend. Go here to register and learn more.

Apply To Be State’s Student Board Member: The California State Board of Education is accepting applications for the 2025-26 Student Board Member position. It is open to any California resident enrolled in a public high school who’ll be a senior in  2025-26. The person must commit to at least two consecutive school days every other month for board meetings and sufficient time to review the agenda materials in advance. The state will pay a $100 stipend per day plus travel expenses. To watch a former student board member talk about his experiences, go here. The deadline to apply is Sept. 20. For more information and to apply, go here.


By Len Gutkin


Plus: On “folx,” and “Ashkenormativity.”


By Sarah Brown, Sonel Cutler, and Alecia Taylor


In the hearing, on Columbia’s response to alleged antisemitism and pro-Palestinian protests, lawmakers asked its president whether professors would be punished for comments on the war.


By Beckie Supiano


Revealing unseen parts of their identities could help science instructors show students what’s possible for them, a researcher says.



Watch our explainer to better understand how researchers and policymakers are defining rural colleges, and why it is important to support these institutions.


The Republican-backed legislation signed by Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, would bar the state’s Council on Postsecondary Education from considering the student body’s racial makeup at public colleges and universities as part of the council’s performance-based funding model. The new law is part of a surge in anti-DEI legislation in the states. (Lexington Herald-Leader, The Chronicle)


The Board of Regents prohibited requiring prospective students, potential hires, and employees seeking promotion to disclose their views on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but did not specify penalties. Lawmakers approved a similar policy with a $10,000 fine for violations, and voted to withhold $36 million in funding unless the board dropped such requirements. (Associated Press, The Chronicle)


The state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is teaming up with the 12-campus University System of Maryland in a program that will allow incarcerated people to earn bachelor’s degrees and credit-based certificates by using Pell Grants, for which they recently became eligible. (The Baltimore Sun, The Chronicle)



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UPCOMING: May 1, 2024 | 2 p.m. ET. Learn how rural colleges can team up with small-town employers to provide technical training in manufacturing, health care, engineering, and agriculture. With Support From Ascendium. Register here.

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