News Briefs | FYI
April 25, 2022
Fund provided 1.2 million students with devices
The digital divide has narrowed for California’s K-12 students thanks in part to federal funding, according to a recent blog post from the Public Policy Institute of California.
The share of low-income households with K-12 students that had reliable internet access increased from 45 percent in spring 2020 to 64 percent in spring 2021, according to a report from PPIC last year.
Districts received federal support to help narrow the gap from the $7.2 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, which was authorized by Congress in March 2021.
The funding allows districts, charter schools and libraries to purchase or seek reimbursements for laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, routers and other eligible equipment or services.
While these services were required to be delivered between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, the FCC announced earlier this year that the service delivery date would be extended to June 30, 2023.
According to the post, more than 500 California districts applied for support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund, providing 1.2 million students with devices and connecting around 900,000 students with broadband.
“The ECF has the potential to eliminate the vast majority of unmet need for devices, but sustaining broadband access and replacing out-of-life cycle devices may be a challenge in the long term — after the fund runs out,” the blog authors write.
Read the full blog post at
Darling-Hammond testifies to House subcommittee on SEL
Learning Policy Institute President and CEO Linda Darling-Hammond testified recently to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Social and Emotional Learning and Whole Child Approaches in K–12 Education.
On April 6, Darling-Hammond joined others in addressing the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to discuss the federal role in supporting social and emotional learning and whole child approaches in K–12 education.
Darling-Hammond, who is also president of the state Board of Education, discussed the need for research-based solutions to ensure that all children have access to high-quality educational opportunities that support their ability to learn effectively.
“Research and the wisdom of practice offer significant insights for policymakers and educators about how to develop such environments,” Darling-Hammond noted in her conclusion. “The challenge ahead is to assemble the whole village — schools, health care organizations, youth- and family-serving agencies, state and local governments, philanthropists, and families — to work together to ensure that every young person receives the benefit of what is known about how to support his or her healthy path to a productive future.”
Read her full testimony at
Briefs examine equity in afterschool, summer programs
Two new briefs from the Wallace Foundation have identified major challenges to ­equity in out-of-school-time programs, and leading practices that can help make those programs more accessible and welcoming for all children and teens.
High-quality afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time programs can provide young people with enriching experiences — from developing academic and other skills to building positive relationships with peers and adults.
These new briefs summarize findings and ideas that emerged from Wallace-commissioned research.
“From Access to Equity: Making Out-of-School-Time Spaces Meaningful for Teens From Marginalized Communities” reports that although many out-of-school-time programs seek to address inequity, programs also can perpetuate “a deficit-oriented” approach, in which Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander youth are seen as “at risk” and in need of being “fixed.”
Moreover, the brief says, out-of-school-time staffers, many of whom come from the same backgrounds as program participants, have reported marginalization or tokenization on the job — and although these employees often care deeply about their work, they can struggle with remaining in the field because of low wages, job instability and other factors.
A number of actions could change this picture, according to the brief. They include adopting a “strengths-based, humanizing, and dignity-based approach” to programming; hiring and retaining program leaders and staff members who are more representative of the racial and cultural backgrounds of the participants; and paying those workers a livable wage.
As part of the project, a team of high school and college researchers surveyed close to 200 teenagers in fall 2020 and conducted four online focus groups. Their work is summarized in a companion brief, “Youth Perspectives on Designing Equitable Out-of-School-Time Programs.” Among the findings are indications that program participants are sometimes treated differently from others because of race, gender identity or other factors and that encountering obstacles to program participation is not unusual, especially for young people of color. The youth researchers recommend ways to move the field toward greater equity, including eliminating discriminatory behavior by program staff members and participants, and ensuring that programs have the resources to lower program fees or other barriers.
Find these two briefs on ACSA’s Resource Hub at
AG settles lawsuit over project located next to high school
California Attorney General Rob Bonta has reached a settlement with the City of Fontana for violating state environmental laws when it approved a warehouse development next to a high school.
The settlement announced April 18 will resolve allegations that the City of Fontana violated the California Environmental Quality Act in approving the Slover and Oleander warehouse project in south Fontana, a 205,000-square-foot project that shares a border with a public high school and is located in a low-income neighborhood that suffers from some of the highest pollution levels in all of California.
As part of the settlement, developer Duke Realty will be required to adopt substantial mitigation measures to minimize the impacts of the Slover and Oleander warehouse project to the surrounding community. The settlement also requires the developer to establish a $210,000 community benefit fund that will be used to enhance landscaping buffers at Jurupa Hills High School, which shares a border with the project, and to purchase and distribute a five-year supply of high quality air filters to households in the area.
Early Ed teacher grant applications due May 6
The Early Education Teacher Development Grant provides funding to LEAs to identify, recruit and retain a robust early education workforce and increase specific competencies for early educators. The Request for Applications is due by May 6, 2022. More information is at or by emailing
RFA open for Classified Credentialing program
The state has allocated $125 million to expand the Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program for five years. Grant awards of up to $4,800 per participant per year may be made to applicants. Eligible applicants are LEAs interested in securing grant funding to recruit and support classified staff who already hold an associate or higher degree to complete a bachelor’s degree and earn a California teaching credential. The Request for Application is available, and proposals must be received by 5 p.m. June 10, 2022. Visit the CTC grants webpage for more information.
Grants for school nurses implementation available
The National Association for School Nurses is offering implementation grants for projects designed to increase access to and confidence in the pediatric vaccine. The association is inviting school nurses and organizations including schools and districts to apply for a range of $5,000 to $10,000 grants. For more grant information, visit
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