News Briefs | FYI
January 24, 2022
SPI forms workgroup to address K-12 staff shortages
Earlier this month, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the formation of a working group to address staff shortages being experienced in California schools. Schools across the country are seeing workforce shortages as is the case in every sector in the country due to the pandemic. California schools are struggling to find teachers, substitute teachers, bus drivers and other staff during this period.
The workgroup will bring together school district leaders and representatives of associations that represent schools and staff including certificated staff, classified staff and administrators. Representatives from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing will also work with the group. The goal of the group will be to brainstorm strategies that can help schools increase staff size. Workgroup members may focus on several topics including:
  • Compensation
  • Training
  • Establishment of workforce pipeline programs
  • Educator housing programs
  • Best practices to support recruitment
Thurmond has recently announced plans to focus on workforce strategies that will help to recruit 10,000 mental health clinicians in schools and to retain 15,000 teachers who are currently working in classrooms but need assistance in completing induction requirements. There are also efforts to use scholarships and residency programs to attract new staff to California schools.
Thurmond also plans to convene a meeting of representatives in the next few weeks to develop strategies to attract new staff to California schools. Anyone with ideas or experience in recruiting school staff who wish to participate in workgroup meetings should email
Inaugural LAUSD cohort joins Cahn Fellows Program
The Cahn Fellows Programs has announced its inaugural Los Angeles cohort for the Distinguished Principals Program as it expands into the second largest school district in the country.
Six high-performing principals representing each of LAUSD’s local districts make up the inaugural cohort, which was announced in October. During the fellowship, principals will experience professional, intellectual and personal growth through a curriculum featuring faculty from Teachers College, Columbia University and renowned experts in the field, that is designed to increase leadership skills, retention in education and student outcomes.
Cahn Fellow nominees to the 2021-22 Los Angeles cohort class for the CFP Distinguished Principals Program include:
  • Christine Moore, Luther Burbank Middle School
  • Andres Favela, James A Garfield Senior High
  • Lisa Dachs-Ornelas, Beachy Avenue Elementary
  • Nidia Castro, Northridge Academy High School
  • Paul Valanis, Angels Gate Continuation High
  • Antoinette Cass, Open Charter Magnet
As part of the yearlong program, Cahn Fellows and their respective Allies (aspiring school leaders chosen by each Fellow) are asked to identify a leadership challenge they are facing in their school that will have a positive impact on student achievement when addressed effectively. This focus on real challenges with measurable results allows Cahn principals to more readily apply academic research to practice and take an active approach to their learning.
Throughout the year, Fellows and Allies study a core leadership curriculum designed to address issues urban school leaders face today, including the impacts of racism and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the course of study Fellows will learn from leadership experts and Cahn Alumni Advisors while studying topics that include school culture and climate, data inquiry, neuroscience of leadership, 360 assessment, effective communication, wellness for leaders, organizational change, and diversity, equity & inclusion.
“This is an exciting and innovative learning opportunity for our participating school leaders and our district would not be able to create this unique learning experience on its own,” said Marco A. Nava, administrator, Induction & Credentialing Programs, LAUSD.
New guide identifies funding for ‘principal pipelines’ A new tool aims to help districts identify federal funding sources to support “principal pipelines.” “Strong Principals, Strong Pipelines: A Guide for Leveraging Federal Sources to Fund Principal Pipelines” was developed by the Wallace Foundation, Policy Studies Associates and Education Counsel and focuses on financing for principal pipelines — a comprehensive and aligned set of policies and procedures for preparing, placing, supporting and evaluating school site leaders. Research has shown districts with strong principal pipelines see improvements in student achievement. The guide describes seven “domains” of activities related to principal talent management and specifies federal funding sources (e.g., IDEA, AMER) that may be most promising for each one. Funding information for activities in all seven domains is also compiled into a single “at-a-glance” table. Part 2 of the guide provides details about each funding stream, including its purpose and core allowable uses; how it is allocated (e.g., by formula or in the form of competitive or discretionary grants); and the primary recipients. The authors recommend staff members who lead pipeline development efforts use the guide in consultation with district federal program officers.
Awards season
Students from the broadcast journalism class at El Camino High School in Oceanside won first place at the All American High School Film Festival in New York City. In October, the students traveled to the festival, where their film “The Masked Robber” picked up first place in the PSA category. Their submission, which was about COVID-19 mask-wearing etiquette, was one of more than 40 films out of 1,500 submitted from around the country in their category.
ACSA wants student articles for Leadership magazine
Calling all California students! ACSA wants to hear about your experiences in K-12 education. This is your chance to be heard by the state’s school administrators. Submit your article to ACSA’s Leadership magazine by Feb. 14 for a chance to have your work published. Topics may include experiences in distance learning, mental health, returning to campus/in-person instruction, student athletics, missing out and making it work, what the pandemic has taught you, and being at home/family dynamics. Find full submission details at
Help shape investments in broadband internet
Help shape broadband investments in school communities. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will host broadband grant program public virtual listening sessions in connection with the five new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Sessions will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Pacific) on Wednesdays, Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and Feb. 23. Register at
Panelists needed to help set CalAPA standard score
The CTC’s Performance Assessment Team is convening educator panels to set the passing standard score for the California Administrator Performance Assessment. Applications must be submitted by Feb. 28, 2022. The CalAPA will be reconvening the initial standards setting panel from 2019 and is seeking a limited number of educators to fill empty positions on the panel. Please direct any questions to
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