News Briefs | FYI
February 14, 2022
Federal bill seeks to restore special education funding
A bipartisan, bicameral bill to restore full funding for educational and early-intervention services for children with disabilities was reintroduced on Capitol Hill this month.
The Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act (HR 6532), was re-introduced by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Jared Huffman (D-CA) and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) on Feb. 1.
Children and families’ need for early intervention and pre-school special education services has only increased over the past several decades. However, federal investments have not kept pace with the number of students requiring these services, according to a news release from Rep. DeSaulnier. Programs funded through Part B, Section 619 and Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act — which assist states with early intervention services for children with disabilities ages 3-5 and 0-3, respectively — are woefully underfunded, despite high demand for the services these programs provide.
The legislation, which is supported by ACSA and the California School Boards Association, would assist states in providing this critical support by bringing funding for these programs back to where it belongs.
“One of the most important things we can do to support children with disabilities and their families is ensure that every child has equal access to high quality early childhood and educational services that will set them on the path for success in education and developmental outcomes,” said Congressman DeSaulnier, in a release. “I am proud to partner with my colleagues in the House and Senate on both sides of the aisle in introducing the Funding Early Childhood is the Right IDEA Act to ensure that the programs that promote inclusive, quality education for infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities have the resources they need.”
Summer Food Service applications now available
Applications are now available for the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, both federally funded, state-administered programs that serve free meals to children 18 and younger when school is out of session. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2022.
Summer meal programs have provided children with essential meal service throughout the pandemic. From January 2021 through November 2021, nutrition programs including SFSP and SSO have provided more than 967 million meals to children throughout the state.
“Our summer meal sponsors were critical in allowing us to meet the demands brought on by the COVID crisis, and I commend our school districts and other organizations that made these meals possible,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in a release. “The ability to feed the most vulnerable kids throughout the state, in multiple locations, would not be possible if these organizations did not participate.”
Summer meal sites are located in communities where at least half of the children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. All meals meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition requirements, and no paperwork or personal information is required for children to participate. Organizations eligible to participate in summer meal programs include schools, camps, nonprofits, tribal governments and government agencies.
In addition, beginning July 1, 2022, California will become the first state in the nation to implement a Universal Meals Program in which all children are eligible to receive a free breakfast and lunch regardless of their individual eligibility. Under the Universal Meals Program, public schools, county offices of education and charter schools will offer breakfast and lunch to all students during school days, including summer school. The breakfast and lunch offered to students must meet the National School Lunch and School Breakfast meal pattern provided under those programs or either the SSO or SFSP.
For more information about Summer Meal Programs, visit the California Department of Education Summer Meal Programs web page,
CDE: Student teachers can administer assessments
Because of the continuing challenges related to COVID-19, including Local Educational Agency staffing shortages, some LEAs have asked the CDE for clarification on including student teachers as potential ELPAC test examiners and CAASPP test administrators and test examiners. Testing regulations state that ELPAC test examiners and CAASPP test administrators must be an employee or contractor of the LEA. Depending on their local agreement with the student teacher, if the student teacher is considered an employee or contractor, LEAs may allow the student teacher to administer the Summative ELPAC and the CAASPP tests during the spring 2022 administration window. Before the student teacher administers these assessments, these conditions must be met:
  • The student teacher must be appropriately trained.
  • The student teacher must sign a security affidavit.
One exception is the test examiner for CAASPP alternate assessments, who must be an employee of the LEA or contractor of an LEA or a nonpublic school. These test examiners must be familiar with a student’s preferred mode of communication to administer an alternate assessment. In addition, student teachers may not be trained as test examiners to administer the CAASPP alternate assessments, as they are not certificated or licensed.
Nominations accepted for Committee on Accreditation
Nominations are being accepted for two TK-12 and one institution of higher education Committee on Accreditation members to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Prospective members must submit application materials (available at by Feb. 28, 2022. Submit applications to
CAASPP testing notification template updated
The California Department of Education has updated the Statewide Testing Notification template, which contains language that can be inserted into a parent/guardian handbook or other annual parent/guardian notification documents. The Testing Notification Template is available in English and the other top seven languages spoken in California schools at
Panel will set standards for Ed Specialist CalTPA
The deadline to apply to be a member on the Education Specialist CalTPA Standard Setting Panel is Feb. 28, 2022. The Education Specialist CalTPA will be convening a standards setting panel to establish initial passing standards and are seeking approximately 20 educators to serve on this workgroup. The Mild to Moderate Support Needs panel will meet May 24-25 while the Extensive Support Needs panel will meet May 26-27. Both panels will meet in Sacramento. The application for the panel requires: public education experience, college/university experience, certification information and subject area expertise, and additional professional qualifications. Please direct any questions to
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