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Secretary DeVos on Espinoza v. Montana case: Religious Discrimination is Dead
June 30, 2020 - US Dept. of Education
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case:
"Today’s decision is a historic victory for America’s students and all those who believe in fundamental fairness and freedom. Each and every student needs the freedom to find their education fit, and today the Highest Court in the Land has protected that right by ensuring that families can use taxpayer funds to choose schools that match their values and educational goals, including faith-based schools. I applaud the Court’s decision to assign a manifestation of the 'last acceptable prejudice' to the dustbin of history where it belongs. Montana and other states should be very clear about this historic decision: your bigoted Blaine Amendments and other restrictions like them are unconstitutional, dead, and buried. Too many students have been discriminated against based on their faith and have been forced to stay in schools that don’t match their values. This decision represents a turning point in the sad and static history of American education, and it will spark a new beginning of education that focuses first on students and their needs. I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America."
2020 State Bill Tracker:
9 proposed laws that could impact education in OC
By: Fermin Leal September 25, 2019
The California State Legislature is busy considering dozens of proposed education bills that could affect everything from charter schools and mental health support to when the school day should start for middle and high school students.
The OCDE Newsroom has compiled a digest of a few of these bills. We’ll try to update this list, and we may write more in-depth posts on specific bills in coming weeks as they make their way through the capital.
Assembly Bill 8, student mental health: This bill would require, on or before Dec. 31, 2024, a school or a charter school to have at least one mental health professional for every 600 students, generally accessible to students on campus during school hours. (Bill was withdrawn by author)
AB 16, homeless youth reporting: This bill would require a school district to ensure that each school within the district identifies all homeless children and youths enrolled at the school, and would also require the district to annually report to the department the number of homeless children and youths enrolled. (Before the governor for final approval)
AB 331, ethnic studies curriculum: The bill would add the completion of a one-semester course in ethnic studies to the high school graduation requirements commencing with the 2024-25 school year. (Author has withdrawn the bill, promising to bring it back in 2020)
AB 751, optional SAT/ACT 11th-grade tests: The bill would give districts the option of giving the SAT or ACT college entrance exams instead of the Smarter Balanced 11th-grade tests in math and English language arts. More than two dozen school districts already are paying to give the exams to all students, in addition to the state-mandated Smarter Balanced tests. The federal government would have to sign off on the use of a multi-test option for an 11th-grade school accountability measure. (Before the governor for final approval)
AB 1233, AP exam fees: This bill would establish a grant program for purposes of awarding grants to cover the costs of advanced placement examination fees for eligible low-income high school pupils and foster youth high school students. (Before the governor for final approval)
AB 1505, charter school petitions: The bill would give school boards the power to reject a charter school application based on duplication and saturation of charter schools. It also would sharply narrow grounds for appealing charter denials to the State Board of Education. It would set clearer criteria for renewing a charter school and it would require that charter schools hire credentialed teachers for all core academic classes. (Before the governor for final approval)
Senate Bill 328, school start times: Would require the school day for middle schools and high schools, including those operated as charter schools, to begin no earlier than 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., respectively, by July 1, 2022. (Before the governor for final approval)
SB 276, tighter vaccination exemptions: Would authorize a physician or registered nurse employed by the California Department of Public Health to review records of student vaccination exemptions at schools where the immunization rate is below 95 percent, as well as physicians who have granted more than five medical exemptions per year. Parents will be able to appeal a denial of an exemption to a medical appeals board. (Signed into law by the governor on Sept. 9)
ACA 4, voting age: The California Constitution authorizes any person who is a United States citizen, at least 18 years of age, and a resident of the state to vote. This measure, in addition, would authorize a U.S. citizen who is 17 years of age, is a resident of the state, and will be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next general election to vote in any intervening primary or special election that occurs before the next general election. (Currently being considered by legislators)
A version of this post first ran in August 2019.
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Attention parents! This is not your traditional sex ed class. New materials have been mandated by law exposing students to sexually explicit curriculums.
Do you know what will be taught to your children? Did you know that parents can choose to completely or partially opt-out of sex-ed?
Click on the button below for an overview of the new sex-ed course, the opt-out form, as well as for instructions on how you can let your concerns be heard.
Coming to A School Near You
Healthy Kids Survey
Many parents are unaware that this survey is being conducted in schools. Here is a sample of the high school version. An elementary school survey has also been designed. We are recommending that parents opt-out.