News Briefs | FYI
February 7, 2022
Enrollment-based funding would benefit larger districts
A shift to enrollment-based funding would be a boon for some districts and create losses for others, according to a recent blog post from the Public Policy Institute of California.
As the state Legislature considers changes to California’s Average Daily Attendance funding model in response to an absenteeism crisis, the authors looked at how an enrollment-based funding model would impact districts.
California is currently one of seven states that use ADA, according to the post. While the majority of California school districts have high attendance levels, districts with lower attendance tend to be larger districts and districts that serve more high-need, Black or Latino students, according to the authors. These districts would stand to gain from a switch to enrollment-based funding. For example, Los Angeles Unified School District, which had average daily attendance of around 77 percent of fall enrollment in the five years before the COVID-19 pandemic, could see a 22 percent increase — more than $1 billion — under this model, according to the authors.
Districts with high attendance may see less of an increase or even a decrease depending on if enrollment-based funding comes as new supplemental funding or if school spending levels remain the same.
“Changing from attendance- to enrollment-based funding would be a big switch that could potentially mean more funding for underserved student groups, though the financial implications would vary significantly across districts,” the authors write. “The impact would also depend on the extent to which COVID-era enrollment declines persist, and whether enrollment-based funding means expanding or simply reallocating current state K–12 funding.”
Read the full blog post from PPIC.
New guide supports inclusion for Down syndrome students
Two Down syndrome advocacy groups have produced a new resource to support inclusive education for young people with Down syndrome in schools.
The National Down Syndrome Society and Down Syndrome Education International have announced a new guide, “Down Syndrome: Guidelines for Inclusive Education,” which aims to equip educators, administrators, therapists, and other support personnel with tools to improve education outcomes for young people with Down syndrome alongside their peers both with and without disabilities.
This publication is the result of a years-long effort by a volunteer working group assembled and supported by NDSS and DSEI staff members. The group utilized recommendations developed by an expert working group of a United Kingdom All Party Parliamentary Group on Down Syndrome and customized them to the U.S. context.
“It’s been settled for decades that students with Down syndrome and other disabilities belong in classrooms alongside their nondisabled peers. Federal law requires that inclusion be the rule, not the exception. Yet families across the country still struggle to access a quality, inclusive education,” said NDSS President & CEO Kandi Pickard. “As the mother of a school-age child with Down syndrome, I know these guidelines will be a vital tool for parents, educators and administrators. I am thrilled that NDSS is helping make this publication available to support our community and expand inclusion in classrooms across the U.S.”
The publication is divided into three sections: first, a set of recommendations to federal lawmakers highlighting opportunities to increase and improve inclusive educational supports for young people with Down syndrome; second, a research-based profile of strengths and challenges associated with Down syndrome and recommended interventions and supports; third, principles and practices educators can employ to support individuals with Down syndrome across settings and age groups.
“Research has shown us that having Down syndrome leads to a specific learning profile which affects the children’s progress. This knowledge has been powerful in enabling us to tailor interventions that build on their strengths and address their challenges,” says Sue Buckley, director for Science and Research at DSEI. “We have evidence that if we both adapt teaching to this profile and teach children and young people in inclusive settings, they gain in language, reading, math and social outcomes. I hope the practical, evidence-based guidance in this document will lead to inclusion in schools for all our children.”
The guidelines can be downloaded free of charge at
What 400,000 COVID tests looks like
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools received its allocation of nearly 400,000 iHealth test kits from California Department of Public Health. Each iHealth test kit includes two tests. On Dec. 22., Gov. Gavin Newsom announced approximately six million at-home rapid tests would be provided by the CDPH for all K-12 public school students in California. Upon learning the state’s plan to issue the tests, SBCSS immediately worked to organize a distribution plan to deliver the hundreds of thousands of test kits within the county..
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools staff members Pablo Arechavaleta, Michelle Johnson, Carmen Morgan, Matias Soto receive at-home antigen (rapid) COVID-19 test kits on Jan. 8.
Apply for CA Pivotal Practice Award by Feb. 11
Applications for the California Pivotal Practice Award Program for 2022 are now open. As part of the CDE’s California School Recognition Program, this is one of many ways to celebrate excellence in education and honor exemplary schools, districts, teachers, students and classified employees. The award is being utilized by California in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program to celebrate districts and schools that have completed an online application highlighting an innovative practice that was implemented during the 2020–21 school year, when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are due on Feb. 11, 2022. More information about the award is available at or by sending an e-mail to the Awards Unit at
Nominate your high school counselor for award
Each year, the California Student Aid Commission solicits nominations recommending a California high school counselor who demonstrates effectiveness for serving students in preparing for and pursuing their higher education. The candidate may be nominated by his or her district and county leadership, fellow school counselor/teacher, school principal or another site administrator. The Arthur S. Marmaduke High School Counselor Award, which includes a plaque and $1,500 check, is presented at the awardee’s high school or virtually via Zoom. The application process and criteria are available at and the deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2022.
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