U.S. Chief Ed Thurmond unites future of education after California pandemic
For Tony Thurmond, California’s African-American State Superintendent of Public Education, American public education will never be the same after experiencing what it has for the past two years.
“The pandemic has really shed light on places with big holes, gaps and inequalities,” Thurmond told California Black Media (CBM). “In a nation with the wealth we have, there must be a digital divide, I think this is just a great example of the kinds of inequalities that have existed.
But Thurmond is hopeful. Working with lawmakers in both the Senate and the California Assembly, he sponsors and supports a number of targeted laws that, if approved, will increase access to education and improve education for blacks, Hispanics and other children who were most -affected by the pandemic. Many of the children targeted by Thurmond’s programs do not perform better on standardized state tests.
As a former member of the Assembly, representing 15you A district in Alameda County from 2014 to 2018, Thurmond is familiar with the production of sausages, which is part of policy making. He uses the knowledge of this process, he says, to transform public education.
He told CBM: “Our number one bill is Senate Bill (SB) 1229. The bill, authored by Senator Mike McGuire (D-North Coast), offers incentives to hire 10,000 professionals to support growing mental health needs. student health. SB 1229 provides a $ 25,000 grant to ambitious mental health clinicians who are committed to serving at least two years as a mental health professional in a school district or youth service community in high-need areas.
Approximately eight million Californians, most of them from colorful communities, live in areas with a shortage of behavioral health professionals.
“There is no doubt that our students need all kinds of support for academic recovery, but our students and families really need to heal from the trauma that is this pandemic. Thurmond said. “We have seen a jump in suicides for black students; we are seeing an increase in hospitalizations for young people. “
Tackling children’s literacy and biliteracy is another of Thurmond’s priorities. Last year, he announced his vision that by 2026, all California students will be literate by third grade. It brought together a state literacy working group of experts and community partners to develop a strategy to achieve this goal. In addition, to support the initiative, Thurmond promised to provide one million donations of books to needy students, and he exceeded his goal with more than five million free online books downloaded.
Thurmond sponsored three bills focused on expanding literacy, working with two lawmakers: Senator Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara) and Assembly member Mia Bonta (D-Alameda).
The first is the Senate bill (SB) 952 (Limón), written to help existing schools switch to bilingual immersion programs. The second, Assembly Bill (AB) 2498 (Bonta) will expand Freedom School’s programs, evidence-based Afrocentric literacy programs that have been shown to help students improve their reading by one to two levels in a class in just six weeks. The third is AB 2465(Bonta), which will expand literacy programs to finance home visits.
According to Limon, bilingual schools have demonstrated cognitive, social, cultural, economic and educational benefits for students. They are effective in bridging the gap in achievement, and test results show that most bilingual schools outperform other similar demographic schools.
Assembly member Mia Bonta (D-Alameda), a member of the US Literacy Working Group, said: “AB 2465 is inspired by the recommendations of the State Supervisor’s Working Group to improve reading to third grade.”
There are several other game-changing education accounts that Thurmond is sponsoring. They are among them SB 830, introduced by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-Thousand Oaks). Legislation calls for funding for schools based on enrollment in the school district instead of attendance. It will also fund efforts to tackle chronic absences and absenteeism.
Then there is AB1614, legislation introduced by Assembly members Al Muratsuchi (D-Rolling Hills Estates) and Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), who serves as chairman of the assembly’s education committee. This bill will increase the funding base for schools to provide more flexibility to all school districts across the country.
According to Thurmond, the SB 830 gives districts predictability in how they receive funding and gives them important resources to deal with one of our most confusing challenges: tackling chronic absences in ways we have never seen before. This will put students and schools on a better path to further reducing educational opportunities and gaps. “
Thurmond threw his support behind him AB 2806, legislation that would help reduce the number of pre-school children removed. This bill was introduced by Assembly member Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park). He is a sponsor of AB 2088 introduced by Assembly member Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), who will provide paid internships to students as part of their courses or career paths. Another bill that Thurmond believes will help address the challenges ahead is AB 2794 which will fund a pilot program for school deescalation professionals administered by the California Department of Education (CDE) to provide one-time grants to local education agencies to create or expand security programs in non-police schools. The bill was introduced by MP Mike Gipson (D-Carson).
Thurmond notes that there appears to be no opposition to any of the bills he supports.
“I think the biggest challenge is that these accounts have a price and they want money,” Thurmond told CBM.
“I just happen to think that while they’re all important if you’re investing in mental health, if you’re investing in programs like literacy and bilingual programs, those programs are going to have a high return on investment for California schools.
With funding from Governor Gavin Newsom in the state budget and approved by the legislature, Thurmond’s Ministry of Education implements the planning and implementation of the Universal Prekindergarten (UPK) Grant program. The initiative will expand the kindergarten for every four-year-old child. The budget covers a program offering two free meals (breakfast and lunch) during each school day to K-12 students. The budget is also $ 3 billion to set up community schools across the state that offer additional services to students and families.
State Ed Chief Thurmond Is Piecing Together the Future of California’s Post-Pandemic Education – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link State Ed Chief Thurmond Is Piecing Together the Future of California’s Post-Pandemic Education – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel