The CFT is posting relevant stories for educators and staff here
as they come out — from the CFT, AFT and AFL-CIO; the
governor; the California Department of
Education; the Community College Chancellor’s
Office; and the general media. In addition, you can find in
our COVID-19 resources:
Sept 2 | AFL-CIO launches “Am I Safe at Work” tool
Far too many employers are putting the lives of working people at
risk. We are being asked to work without the adequate protections
and protocols that help keep us safe from becoming infected with
the coronavirus. The AFL-CIO is launching the Am I Safe at Work
online resource to help union members and all workers find out if
employers are doing enough to keep us safe.
“No one should be at risk of acquiring COVID-19 because they are
working tirelessly to provide necessities for their family and
our country,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka. “Working people
have organized to fight for safer working conditions for decades,
forming unions to win protections and save lives.”
Trumka says the AFL-CIO’s new web tool will help workers
demand safer workplaces as the federal Occupational Safety and
Health Administration fails to hold employers accountable. “We
will do all we can to help keep all workers safe, but federal
OSHA needs to issue an enforceable, emergency workplace COVID-19
Aug 22 | EDD announces $300 weekly benefit extension
California’s application was approved for the federal Lost Wages
Assistance program, which will provide an extra $300 a week to
anyone receiving at least $100 a week in regular state or federal
unemployment benefits, the Employment Development
Department announced. The state will receive an initial
amount of $4.5 billion, with the possibility of additional
The $300 a week supplement will be available for a minimum of
three weeks, retroactive to Aug. 1, to people who are “currently
eligible to receive at least $100 per week in benefits, and who
have provided a self-certification that they are unemployed or
partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19,” the
Aug 16 | Weingarten in the New York Times
“When it comes to the health and safety of our children, we must
spare no expense, put politics aside and act immediately,”
says AFT President Randi Weingarten in her latest New
York Times column on the need for schools to reopen
July 24 | DeVos diverts federal funds from public schools
The Trump administration is dangerously failing public school
students, teachers, and staff in its handling of the COVID-19
pandemic and rush to reopen in-person instruction.
But perhaps the worst offender is the person who should be a
voice for public education: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
DeVos recently ruled that CARES Act relief funds can be diverted
from public schools to wealthy private schools, a move so
egregious that the State
of California filed a lawsuit to prevent her from
diverting these dollars intended for public education. Of $13
billion in the CARES Act earmarked for public education, $1.65
billion is intended for California schools.
AFT President Randi Weingarten penned an
op-ed in the New York Daily News on July 23 calling out
the actions of DeVos: “What we won’t stand for is needlessly
putting ourselves, our students and our communities in harm’s way
because our federal government refuses to take the necessary
precautions to get the virus under control, and refuses to make
the necessary investments to make our schools safe.”
Speak out against DeVos’s decision to place the needs
of wealthy private schools over those of public school students
by signing the AFT
petition. Tell Betsy DeVos to stop diverting public funding
away from our public schools.
July 17 | Governor says most schools will not physically reopen
Today, Governor Newsom held a noon press conference to
lay out new state guidance on the reopening of schools for the
fall 2020 semester.
While the governor addressed some of the demands that CFT
articulated to him and state leaders in the letter that
we sent on Monday, CFT still believes that there is more to be
done to ensure the safety of California’s teachers, school staff,
students, and communities.
The governor laid out five main points that comprise the state’s
guidance for school reopening. They are as follows:
- Safe in-person school based on local health data, meaning
that counties must be off the state monitoring list for 14 days
before they can reopen.
- Masks are required for all school staff and students in 3rd
grade and older; masks or face shields are strongly encouraged
for students in 2nd grade and younger.
- A physical distancing standard that requires school staff
stay six feet away from one another and from students.
- Regular testing for staff based on cohort models, paid by
health plans, as well as prioritizing the state’s contact tracing
system for schools.
- Rigorous distance learning that includes daily live
interaction between staff and students and appropriate
curriculum, including curriculum for English language learners
and students with IEPs.
While we believe these steps move toward the demands that CFT has
outlined, we do not think they go far enough to protect the
health and safety of our school communities, and we will continue
to advocate for greater measures to ensure that the demands
articulated in our letter to state leaders are realized.
Governor Newsom also indicated that reopening guidance for the UC
and CSU systems and our state community college system are in
development and will be announced soon.
July 13 | LA Unified to continue 100% distance learning this
Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s
second-largest school system ,will continue with online learning
until further notice because of the worsening coronavirus surge.
As COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket in Los Angeles County,
the district said it could not protect the health and safety of
half a million students and some 60,000 employees.
This decision comes on the heels of an
informal online poll undertaken by the 33,000-member United
Teachers Los Angeles, AFT Local 1021. In the short
timespan of only 12 hours, 83 percent of teacher
members responded that LAUSD should not physically reopen
schools and to refocus on distance learning.
“In March, UTLA called on LAUSD officials to close schools in
light of the growing urgency of the COVID health crisis, and they
closed them,” UTLA President Cecily Myart-Cruz said. “It was the
right thing to close school campuses then, and it’s the right
thing to keep them closed now. In the face of the alarming
spike in COVID cases, the lack of necessary funding from the
government to open schools safely, and the outsized threat of
death faced by working class communities of color, there really
is no other choice that doesn’t put thousands of lives at risk.”
With the district’s decision, the focus now turns to bargaining
with LAUSD to negotiate the terms of remote learning, which will
need to be collaborative and productive in order to ensure a
robust and strong remote learning program. The next bargaining
session between LAUSD and UTLA is this Thursday.
In this time of crisis, Myart-Cruz said, educators must continue
to lead with parents, students and the community.
“We must continue to take bold action together to build
well-funded schools with the necessary conditions to protect
everyone’s health; robust student supports, including increased
mental health and academic services; and resources for hard-hit
communities so they can survive this crisis, such as income
replacement and rent and mortgage forgiveness,” Myart-Cruz said.
June 25 | CFT publishes checklist for safe reopening of schools,
The CFT does not encourage the physical reopening of
school sites until it is safe to do so. At a minimum,
the CFT recommends coordination with state and local public
health guidelines on every checklist item in this document to
help prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
A Checklist for Safely Reopening Schools and
Colleges identifies the growing number of issues
that should be addressed prior to the physical reopening of a
school district through a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU,
between the local union and the district.
June 22 | Agreement reached on state budget
The governor and the California Legislature reached agreement on
a state budget that promises to preserve funding for schools and
colleges. More details will be forthcoming.
“Our state’s leaders must place California children ahead of the
state’s billionaires. In fact, billionaires have only continued
to profit as the most vulnerable Californians suffer from a
global pandemic and economic downturn. While this budget prevents
the worst cuts in the short term, it still puts our students and
our communities at risk. As teachers and classified professionals
we will continue to demand the revenues our students need to
succeed.” — Jeff Freitas, CFT President
June 19 | UpFront with Freitas, Weingarten on Facebook
On Juneteenth, CFT President Jeff Freitas talks with AFT
President Randi Weingarten on Facebook Live.
June 18 | All Californians asked to wear face masks
To prevent a surge in coronavirus cases, the governor in
conjunction with public health officials asked all Californians
to wear masks in public, with a few exceptions.
June 12 | UpFront with CFT President on Facebook Live
CFT President Jeff Freitas talks with CFT Secretary
Treasurer on Facebook Live.
June 8 | CDE releases guidance for reopening schools
Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s
This guidance was created through the statewide reopening schools
task force that fostered a collaborative process for educators
and stakeholders to lend their important voices. Also informed by
the technical assistance and advice of many health and safety
organizations including the Centers for Disease Control,
California Department of Public Health, California Division of
Occupational Safety and Health, the intent of this document is to
be a guide for the local discussion on safely reopening schools.
June 5 | Community College Chancellor’s Call to Action
More than 69 percent of California Community
College students identify with one or more ethnic groups —
this means the system serves the most diverse student
populations in all of higher education. On Wednesday, the
Chancellor’s Office hosted a “Call to Action” webinar. Chancellor
Oakley and system leaders called for our system to actively
strategize and take action against structural racism. In this
webinar, Chancellor Oakley called for action across six key areas
that will require their own work plan.
June 3 | Governor makes safe voting possible for all
At the urging of CFT and other unions and election advocates,
today Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order
ensuring Californians can exercise their right to vote in a safe,
secure and accessible manner during the upcoming election.
Recognizing the threat COVID-19 continues to pose to public
health, the governor last
month signed an executive order requiring county
elections officials to send vote-by-mail ballots to Californians
registered to vote in the General Election, while also
ensuring in-person access for those who need it.
The new executive order ensures in-person voting opportunities
are available in sufficient numbers to maintain physical
distancing. It requires counties to provide three days of early
voting starting the Saturday before election day and requires
ballot drop-box locations be available between October 6 and
November 3, while also allowing counties to consolidate voting
locations, with at least one voting location per 10,000
June 1 | George Floyd killing sparks worldwide protests
Just as states are beginning to reopen, George Floyd, a black
resident of St. Louis Park, Minn. Floyd was handcuffed and pinned
to the ground by a local police officer’s knee, and later died.
Following the incident, all four police officers involved were
fired. One officer has been charged with third degree
Protests have erupted worldwide in reaction to this racial
injustice. The labor movement continues to fight for reforms in
policing and to address issues of racial and economic inequality.
May 28 | Education Coalition calls for funding solution
The Education Coalition, comprising the nine statewide K-12
education associations that work closely to advocate for the six
million students in California’s public schools and colleges,
urged California’s lawmakers to adopt a funding solution to the
COVID-19-related budget crisis in the June budget. The group said
that without adequate funding, schools cannot open on time
Under the governor’s proposed budget, a 10 percent cut ($6.5
billion) to the Local Control Funding Formula equates to:
- Cutting $1,230 per student, or
- Cutting $21,667 per classroom, or
- Increasing class sizes by 19%, or
- Laying off more than 57,600 teachers, or
- Laying off more than 125,000 education support professionals.
The group announced that preparing each classroom, library, gym,
lunchroom, and school bus for the safe return of students,
teachers, and staff will require significant resources and
planning. Without adequate funding, this will not be feasible,
even after public health officials provide guidance and
clearance, given the additional staff needed and associated
“We are here today to speak as one voice to unequivocally say to
our elected leaders in Sacramento – Our schools cannot safely
reopen with the proposed cuts to public education,”
said Jeff Freitas, president of the CFT.
May 27 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly Summary
Chancellor Oakley opened by asking community college personnel to
remind their communities to fill out the census — and to vote in
this year’s election.
Governor’s May Revision of state budget
- The community college system will see a $1.5 billion decrease
in overall funding compared to the January proposed
budget. By comparison, the Great Recession, which devastated
the community college system, also endured $1.5 billion in cuts,
but it was over a span of five years.
- Oakley reiterated that this budget process will be very quick
so it’s important to send a unified message. Stakeholders
will likely have limited opportunities to provide public
- The system is thinking about ways to mitigate cuts to student
support services so that it can avoid big changes to the
- The community colleges are likely to be fully online or
partially online in the foreseeable future.
Recent guidance issued
- The chancellor’s
Executive Order 2020-07 was recently released to
temporarily suspend Title 5 regulations, allowing an expanded
use of classroom instructions.
Recovery and social media advocacy
- Continue to share community college stories. For example, 7
in 10 California nurses receive their training at the community
- The Chancellor’s Office is encouraging stakeholders to become
active in social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,
and to use the following hashtags:
May 22 | Up Front with CFT President Jeff Freitas
CFT President Jeff Freitas gives a shout out to the
union’s support staff members during Classified School
Employee Appreciation Week and speaks to the meaning of
May 20 | Education Coalition demands safe reopen
Education Coalition says schools need more, not less,
funding to reopen safely
California’s schools will not have enough money to safely reopen
their doors to students under the governor’s proposed budget, the
Education Coalition said on Wednesday. In an open letter to
state policymakers, the group asked for resources to add
staff and create a safe learning environment with smaller class
sizes in line with social distancing guidelines, school
disinfection and other needs “to open schools safely and on
The Education Coalition comprises nine statewide K-12
education associations and unions, including the CFT, and
provides consensus positions to protect the integrity of
Proposition 98 and funding in the budget for K-12 public
May 14 | Governor releases state budget May Revision
Proposed 10 percent cut in K-12 schools and
community colleges will hurt students and threaten economic
Here are the key points.
- There has been a 23 percent cut in state revenue in the last
- Last year’s state budget allocated $81.8 billion for
- The May Revision released today allocates $70.5 billion — a
13 percent decrease.
- The governor proposes a whopping 10 percent cut to eduction
to help make up the $15.1 billion shortfall.
- 10 percent reduction across the
board to the K-12 Local Control Funding Formula
- Across-the-board reductions to
categoricals — minus special education
- 10 percent cut to the community
colleges Student-Centered Funding Formula
- 10 percent base cut to CSUs and
The May Revise also shifts around funds:
- The share of Prop 98 will increase to 40 percent of the
state’s General Fund
- $4.4 billion from the federal CARES Act will be directed to
learning loss. The governor said these funds could
possibly go to extending the school year, summer school, or
other options to make up learning loss.
- Another $1.6 billion more in federal money will be
directed to Proposition 98.
- $2.3 billion currently directed to CalSTRS and CalPERS to pay
down pension obligations will be redirected to address the
immediacy of the public education system, split over two years.
“You start adding this up, we’re north of $10 billion,” said Gov.
Newsom. “But we will need to get the federal government to
do more in terms of education. No one has been hiding
that it’s a very discouraging moment.”
May 13 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly Update
- The Chancellor’s Office issued no new guidance memos or
executive orders this week, but more are coming in the next two
- The California Community Colleges sued U.S. Education
Secretary Betsy DeVos because the U.S. Dept. of Education has
arbitrarily excluded as many as 800,000 community college
students from the benefits of the CARES Act. The California
community colleges alone serve an estimated 70,000 undocumented
students, many of whom have DACA status. Several California
districts joined in the lawsuit including Foothill/De Anza, Los
Rios, San Diego, and State Center. The Chancellor’s Office has
established a DACA communications tool kit.
Find the toolkit here.
- The chancellor shared examples from three colleges of the
challenges and successes regarding taking programs/courses
online: 1) Skyline College – Cosmetology Program: 2) Madera
Community College Center – LVN to RN Bridge Program; 3) Foothill
College – Radiologic Technology Program.
- Works in Progress, still: Dual Enrollment/Middle College,
Veterans Student Resources and Programs, Part-Time 67
percent Law, Distance Education Plans.
- For more information, please refer to the archived webinar
for today’s call and others available
- There will be no weekly webinar next week (May 20). They will
reconvene on May 27.
May 11 | AFT moves biennial Convention online
The AFT announced that its biennial convention during this
presidential election year will be moved online. Also, the
Convention dates were slightly changed from July 27-30 to
to July 28-30.
May 8 | CA voters to receive mail ballots for November 3
Governor Newsom issued an executive order
requiring each county’s elections officials to send
vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General
Election to all registered voters. Californians who may need
access to in-person voting opportunities — including individuals
with disabilities, individuals who speak languages other than
English, individuals experiencing homelessness, and others — will
still be able to access in-person voting opportunities.
May 7 | CFT responds to budget shortfall projections
The California Department of Finance released a memo today
that projects the state budget will have a shortfall of $54
billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To put that amount in
perspective, during the 2009 recession, the state shortfall was
In his daily press conference, Governor Newsom called on the
federal government to provide relief for California. CFT, in
conjunction with the AFT, has done the same.
Newsom reiterated that the shortfall is due to the pandemic and
not mismanagement. Just 90 days ago, when the governor releases
his budget proposal for 2020-21, the state projected a $6
billion surplus. And one year ago California had a
$21.4 billion surplus.
“We are not alone,” Newsom said. “Every state in the nation
will be struggling. California is not different. What is
different is that our economy is the fifth largest in the
nation. And we are better positioned to deal with this shortfall,
better than in the past even.”
Referring to the state’s historic surplus before the pandemic, he
said, “We are proud of the work we’ve done, and the work of
former Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature. But this is bigger
than anything we’ve ever seen. We cannot do it alone.
This moment will require a historic partnership with
the federal government.”
The governor lauded Californians who have helped to “flatten the
curve,” and called out extraordinary front line
workers, including educators. ”Just ask our teachers who are
doing distance learning, and who are doing it heroically,
shifting almost overnight.”
May 6 | Workers’ Comp for workers who get COVID-19
Governor Newsom issued an executive order that will
make it easier for essential workers who contract COVID-19 to
obtain workers’ compensation benefits. The order adds a vital
layer of protection for essential workers who are putting their
lives at risk during the pandemic. It will allow frontline
workers to access healthcare and other benefits from workers’
compensation without costly delays that could endanger their
May 6 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly Summary
Chancellor Oakley will
provide his State of the College Address during the Board of
Governors meeting scheduled for May 18-19.
- The Stay Enrolled, Succeed
Online student campaign has been effective with
thousands of social media hits and connects everyday. Student
news organizations will hold a teleconference with the chancellor
on May 12 at 2 pm.
Direct emergency aid to students: The
California Promise Program, CalWORKS, and Rising Scholars are
currently available to support students during this difficult
time. EOPS, MESA, Student Equity & Achievement are also
available to students who demonstrate financial. Some programs
are flexible, but others have certain conditions or
Flexible calendar obligations: The
Chancellor’s Office understands that schedules have changed due
to the current situation but asks that colleges document all
changes, such as adding flex days, for auditing
purposes. Flex time is not required but
must be approved if used. For more information, email the Chancellor’s
ASCCC Professional Development: The Faculty
Leadership Institute will be a virtual event held June
17-19. Curriculum Institute Week is July 6-10, and the
Academic Academy is October 8-10.
New memos coming
Method for Emergency Condition Allowances will
be released today.
SEARS Data & Local Cost of Attendance
Second Principal Apportionment: P2 is
currently being calculated and adjusted.
For more information
May 1 | CFT President on International Workers Day
Watch Up Front with CFT President Jeff Freitas, who is live on
Facebook Fridays at 3 pm. This week Freitas honors International
May 1 | UC-AFT launches Virtual Picket on May Day
UC President Janet Napolitano has pledged no layoffs for
essential workers through June 30 — and has been silent on
what happens after. Knowing that COVID-19 will continue to
threaten our communities long after that date, UC-AFT
knows that students need faculty to be there for them,
whether it’s online or on campus.
UC-AFT is demonstrating its commitment to teaching with
resilience and compassion no matter the challenges. On May
1, UC-AFT launched an action for job security, and
invited all UC workers and allies to join them. A “virtual
picket” shows a mosaic of faces and stories to recreate the
experience of standing up together. It will be publicized in
traditional media and social media. Join the picket in support of
May 1 | Governor honors International Workers Day
On International Workers Day, Governor Newsom today recognized
the contributions and sacrifice of California’s essential
workforce, including health care workers, farmworkers, grocery
workers, teachers, classified employees, caregivers and countless
others keeping the state operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This May Day is particularly special as we recognize essential
workers who go to work every day to ensure that Californians are
cared for in our hospitals and nursing homes and in their own
home, and that we can all access essential services like food,
child care and utilities during this challenging time,” said
“At the same time, many California workers have been displaced
and are struggling to get by. Today we thank our essential
workers and let those who have been displaced by this virus know
that we see you, we appreciate you, and we have your backs.”
The governor highlighted the extensive list of state resources
available, many through executive order, for essential
workers and resources for those who may have lost their jobs as a
result of the pandemic.
April 30 | AFT releases plan to reopen schools
The AFT has released a detailed road map that, in the
absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, charts a path to safely and
responsibly reopen school buildings and other institutions
crucial to the well-being and economic vitality of our
The 20-page, science-based
“Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities”
sprung from an intense collaboration of public health
leaders and frontline workers to prepare for
what happens next in the period between flattening the curve
and truly eradicating the virus.
It features five core pillars that
inform our decision to reopen the
country based on the science as well as educator and
healthcare expertise—not on politics or wishful thinking.
To gradually reopen, we need to:
Maintain physical distancing until the
number of new cases declines for at least 14 consecutive days.
Reducing the number of new cases is a prerequisite for
transitioning to reopening plans on a community-by-community
Put in place the infrastructure and resources
to test, trace and isolate new cases.
Transitioning from community-focused physical distancing and
stay-in-place orders to case-specific interventions requires
ramping up the capacity to test, trace and isolate each new
Deploy the public health tools that
prevent the virus’ spread and align them with education
strategies that meet the needs of students.
- Involve workers, unions, parents and communities in
all planning. Each workplace and community faces unique
challenges related to COVID-19. To ensure that reopening plans
address those challenges, broad worker and community involvement
is necessary. They must be engaged, educated and empowered.
Invest in recovery: Do not abandon
America’s communities or forfeit America’s future. These
interventions will require more—not less—investment in public
health and in our schools, universities, hospitals, and local
and state governments. Strengthening communities should be a
priority in the recovery.
The blueprint acknowledges Americans’ eagerness to
return to some semblance of “normal.” But to do
so, we must meet an unprecedented challenge:
figuring out how to reimagine our society and
the physical places we hold dear — public schools,
places of worship, workplaces, restaurants and more —
in ways that put our ultimate
priorities first: the safety and well-being of working
families, especially frontline workers, and the economic
health of society.
Our schools, in addition to educating students and acting as
centers of the community, enable parents to work outside the
home, meaning their safe reopening is a
pivotal — if not the most pivotal — factor in remaking the
The comprehensive document addresses complexities and provides
specific guidance for transitioning from lockdowns to other
public health approaches. And it is the only plan we
know of that marries the instructional and social-emotional needs
of students and the logistics of programming in schools with the
imperative to adopt public health tools that prevent viral
April 29 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly Summary
Chancellor Oakley thanked everyone who participated in last
week’s Community College Advocacy Day, which was attended by over
2,000 people. Also April was “Community College Month,” and
Oakley thanked everyone in the system for the great work they are
The chancellor reminded attendees that life as we know it will be
different, and while social distancing continues, the colleges
will continue to improve the online education platform. At
the same time, the Chancellor’s Office has developed a task
force to ensure safe return to campuses. It will examine and
suggest policies on social distancing to protect
students and staff regarding cleanliness and expand efforts
to adapt to student-faculty-staff needs. Daily Covid-19 updates
from the communications unit will continue .
- The “Stay Enrolled Campaign” has 8 million digital and social
media impressions. Student news organizations will hold another
teleconference with Chancellor Oakley during the second week of
May. The Chancellor’s office has secured funding to provide
captioning requirements and services for disabled students.
- Regarding the CARES Act, on April 9, the U.S. Secretary of
Education announced $6 billion of the $13.95 billion total would
be distributed immediately to provide direct emergency cash
grants to students. Colleges must have completed the
Certificate of Agreement to obtain funds. California is expected
to receive $354.5 million in CARES Act funding for K-12 and
higher education. The unfortunate and disappointing news: Many
disadvantaged student populations were left out, such as
undocumented students, or undercounted, including part-time and
Executive Orders issued in the past week
Works in Progress: Dual Enrollment/Middle
College, Work Study for Credit Students, Financial Aid, 67%
April 28 | Governor suggests schools reopen late summer
In his daily noon press briefing, Governor Newsom suggested
that K-12 schools could start in late July or early August for
next school year, though he added that nothing has been decided
yet. It’s unclear whether campuses would physically reopen
or online learning would resume as part of an early start to the
Dr. Sonia Angell, director of the California Dept. of Public
Health, presented an overview of some of the areas the governor
and the California Dept. of Education is looking at for K-12
schools to reopen safely.
April 28 | Community colleges essential to recovery
When the shelter-in-place order is finally lifted, millions of
Californians will be seeking employment in a drastically
different economy. Some workplaces will not survive; others will
be profoundly changed or take years to recover. In any scenario,
California’s 114 Community Colleges will be crucial to our
You can already see evidence of this at City College of San
Francisco where fashion and design students have volunteered to
help make desperately needed face masks for health care
professionals, and our advanced nursing students have petitioned
the governor to temporarily relax certification requirements so
they can assist on the front lines against COVID-19.
Read this op-ed in the San Francisco Examiner by
CFT Vice President Jenny Worley, also president of the San
Francisco Community College Federation of Teachers, and
Shanell Williams, president of the Board of Trustees for City
College of San Francisco.
April 25 | “I miss being with my students”
“I miss the face-to-face contact.”
“Something is missing.”
“I miss being with my students.”
As Allan Hancock College’s part-time instructors adapt to the
“new normal” brought on by the coronavirus, one theme is
constant: With all classes now being taught remotely, they miss
being in the classroom with their students.
what faculty said when Mark Miller, president of
the Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College,
surveyed them for his weekly column in the Santa Maria Times.
April 24 | CFT President on Facebook Live
Watch Up Front with CFT President Jeff Freitas, who is live on
Facebook Fridays at 3 pm. This week Freitas was joined by CFT
Council of Classified Employees President Carl Williams.
April 23 | Governor announces more student loan relief
Governor Newsom announced that 21 of 24 private student loan
servicers have agreed to provide payment and other relief to
borrowers, including more than 1.1 million Californians with
privately held student loans.
The federal CARES Act provided much-needed relief for
students with federal loans, including the suspension of monthly
payments, interest, and involuntary collection activity until
September 30. However, the CARES Act did not address millions of
student loan borrowers with federal loans that are not owned by
the U.S. government as well as loans made by private
Under the new initiative by California and other states, students
with commercially owned Federal Family Education Loan or
privately held student loans may also be eligible for expanded
relief. Relief options include providing a minimum of 90 days
forbearance, waiving late payment fees, ensuring that no borrower
is subject to negative credit reporting, and helping eligible
borrowers enroll in other assistance programs.
Newsom also signed an executive order to stop debt collectors
from garnishing individual recovery rebates under the CARES Act,
as well as other federal, state or local government
financial assistance. (Funds may still be garnished for
child support, family support, spousal support or criminal
restitution for victims.)
“Californians are reeling from the financial impact of COVID-19,
the recently unemployed and those with student loan debt are
among the hardest hit,” said Governor Newsom. “The last thing
they deserve is to see more money withheld as they try to put
food on the table and pay their rent or mortgage.”
April 23 | Governor rolls back LCAP deadline for schools
California school districts to get 5-month reprieve to adopt next
year’s accountability plan
Governor Newsom issued an
executive order that extends the deadlines for districts
and charter schools to submit Local Control and
Accountability Plans (LCAP), which are multi-year planning
documents tied to budget projections. By law, LCAPs
must be developed in collaboration with parents, students,
teachers, and community groups to detail how districts will
use state resources to improve student learning and narrow
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, school leaders are appropriately
focused on managing the immediate needs of their students and
Instead of submitting a three-year LCAP on July 1, districts will
submit an update of COVID-19 related impacts on students and
plans to address those impacts. They will be required to explain
steps they have taken to deliver high-quality distance learning
opportunities, provide school meals in non-congregate settings,
and arrange for supervision of students during ordinary school
hours. They will also be required to explain the steps they have
taken to meet the needs low-income students, English learners,
and foster youth. The report will help provide transparency
and accountability to communities as intended in the LCAP.
In the fall, districts and charter schools will work with
stakeholders on abbreviated one-year LCAPs, with a deadline of
December 15 for submission. The deadline for approval by a county
superintendent or State Superintendent Thurmond is January 14,
The governor’s executive order also waives required physical
education minutes and annual physical fitness testing that
requires on-site instruction. Academic assessments were
previously waived under a separate order
April 22 | National unions send joint letter to Congress
AFT signs on with national unions and AFL-CIO in letter to
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect every family, every
community and every one of our affiliates, the AFT is
focusing its advocacy on keeping people safe and healthy,
particularly healthcare and other frontline workers; buffering
families from the impact of the economic downturn; fighting for
extending vote by mail and other democracy reforms for the 2020
elections, given the pandemic; and, finally, listening to experts
on the hows of reopening our country — safely.
The AFT has worked with the AFL-CIO and other unions to develop a
set of five economic essentials that will keep Americans safe,
employed and healthy, and that will invest in state and local
governments and public schools — institutions that have
demonstrated just how critical they are as anchors of our
communities right now, and how they will be needed to be the
engines of America’s recovery from this pandemic. Advocacy for
these economic essentials is especially vital as Mitch McConnell
and President Trump continue to try to hold funding for state and
local government and schools hostage to push their dangerous
reopening agenda and create even more division.
America’s five economic essentials are spelled out in the letter
below and focus on:
- Expanding health insurance for all
- Helping frontline workers stay safe
- Ensuring workers are employed, and
protecting earned pensions;
- Keeping state and local governments,
public schools and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working;
- Investing in infrastructure.
AFT is working with the AFL-CIO and other unions to launch a
campaign to engage members and communities and ensure these
elements are included in whatever legislation Congress
April 21 | AFT blasts Trump’s order to halt immigration
The AFT sent out this statement from AFT President Randi
Weingarten, Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson and Executive
Vice President Evelyn DeJesus on Trump’s latest plan to
“temporarily suspend immigration”:
“We know the president is the master of diversion and deception,
but it’s hard to follow his logic with this order: Is our country
doing so well right now that governors can reopen gyms, beauty
salons and bars for business? Or are we in such terrible shape
that we must close our borders even more? If it’s the latter, why
is the president—instead of working on testing, securing personal
protective equipment for frontline workers, or planning to ensure
a safe reopening of the country—decreeing by tweet his racist and
xenophobic plan to halt immigration, which will do little to stop
the spread of COVID-19 but plenty to rile up his base?
“Trump’s failure to prepare for this crisis has put millions of
lives at risk. Instead of leading, Trump has shown that he will
blame anyone, from immigrants to America’s governors, to distract
from his failure to protect us. We reject this callous, racist
proposal, which would do more to create chaos than to actually
help in this time of great need.”
April 20 | Closing the digital divide now, maybe forever
70,000 laptops being distributed, 100,000 hot spots
In the governor’s daily press conference, First Partner Jennifer
Siebel Newsom empathized with the fear parents have about their
children falling behind due to not having distance learning
technology at home, and assured parents that this is being
Approximately one in five students in California lack high-speed
Internet or an appropriate computing device at home. In a parent
survey two weeks ago, 50 percent of low-income families and 42
percent of families of color reported that they lacked the
laptop, Chromebook, or tablet needed to access distance learning.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the
CDE surveyed more than 1,000 districts in the state to define the
need for student connectivity at home and that devices are
now being distributed due to unprecedented private sector
support. Thurmond thanked the companies, foundations, and state
agencies involved in getting out the technology necessary to help
close the digital divide — whether it be laptops, tablets, or
Specifically, a total of 70,000 laptops and tablets are now being
distributed. Among the private companies contributing technology
is Google with its Chromebooks, Apple and iPads, and
Microsoft with its Surface devices. Starting the first week of
May, Google will roll out 100,000 hotspots. The state is even
converting seven school buses into mobile hot spots.
Superintendent Thurmond has created a task force to examine
closing the digital divide, something he notes has been needed to
be addressed for a long time. He expressed hope that solving the
problem during the pandemic may help solve this decades-old
problem. Thurmond is co-chairing the task force with Sen. Connie
Governor Newsom specifically called out classified staff who are
helping to make the schools run right now and assist with
April 17 | CFT President on Facebook Live
Watch Up Front with CFT President Jeff Freitas, who is live on
Facebook Fridays at 3 pm. See all of
our Union Broadcasts here.
April 17 | AFT President on MSNBC
Yesterday, AFT President Randi Weingarten joined Dr. Jeff Gardere
on MSNBC to talk with Nicolle Wallace about ways that we can be
successful academically while in quarantine. On the show,
Weingarten said, “we have to reduce stress on parents and kids,
we have to keep it simple, and we have to have a routine.” Help
us spread the word by sharing the segment with your members and
followers. This is a Facebook link.
April 16 | EDD expands phone hours for unemployment
Governor Newsom announced that 2.7 million Californians have now
applied for unemployment insurance. To meet the skyrocketing
need, the Employment Development Department (EDD) has added
dozens of new employees and phone lines are now open for 12 hours
a day. At the governor’s direction, the EDD will launch
a new call center on April 28 that will operate 7 days a week
from 8 am to 8 pm. EDD will also implement a
one-stop shop for those applying for Pandemic Unemployment
Assistance. The Unemployment Insurance Branch will be
upstaffed with 1,340 employees, including 740 EDD employees and
600 employees from across state government.
April 15 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly Summary
Chancellor Oakley began the weekly webinar by thanking all
community college employees and students. “The work that we do is
incredibly important,” he said. ”We educate the first
responders that are currently saving lives.”
Oakley requested participation in next week’s Board of Governors
Virtual Advocacy Day (April 22 from 9 am to 10:30 am). Virtual
Advocacy Day is a tele-townhall and takes the place of the
chancellor’s weekly webinar.
The chancellor announced the launch of Spanish
marketing outreach for the new student campaign, “Stay
Enrolled, Succeed Online.” And
he called out his op-ed in the San Diego
Don’t let California’s Community College system be devastated by
the coronavirus recession.
Update on Board of Registered Nursing clinical
Waivers on 75% nursing clinical hours in patient
- New clinical setting must be approved by a Nurse Education
- Written agreements for clinical sites no longer required
- Mental health/psychiatric nursing, obstetrics, and pediatrics
75% direction patient care clinical hours reduced to 50%.
CalWORKs Program: Governor’s Executive Order
- Suspends all state law requiring redetermination of CalWORKs
recipients for 90 days
- Suspends any month or partial month from counting against the
48-month time limit
- Federal time limits remain in effect and may impact student
- SB 117 ensures the continuity of payments for subsidized
childcare programs during the COVID-19 emergency
- Child Development Centers may claim CalWORKs childcare
reimbursements for up to 30 days
- Providers serving families utilizing CalWORKs states One,
Two, or Three must be reimbursed using the most recent monthly
invoice, or attendance record, or total certified
authorizations both part-time and full-time.
CARES Act Update – The Federal Stimulus
Institutional awards are calculated using 75% of full-time
enrollment of Pell recipients at an institution and 25% of
institutional award is calculated using full-time enrollment of
non-Pell recipients. (Students who were exclusively online prior
to the pandemic are not included in this calculation.)
- Total funds for California Community Colleges:
- Funds for Emergency Assistance to Students:
- Funds for Assistance to Colleges:
- Distribution of first half allocation of $6 billion CARES Act
dollars is designed for emergency assistance to students.
- Funds will go directly to institutions through the Title IV
- Provides institutions with significant discretion on how to
award this emergency assistance to students.
- Colleges must complete a Certificate of Agreement and submit
it to U.S. Department of Education.
For more information, visit
the Chancellor’s Office website.
will be recorded and posted online here.
April 14 | Governor forecasts how schools might reopen
EdSource sums up the governor’s daily press conference where he
discussed when schools might reopen and the changes we might
April 14 | Governor issues indicators for shelter-in-place
Governor Newsom unveiled six key indicators that will guide
California’s thinking for when and how to modify the stay-at-home
and other orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor noted that the progress in flattening the curve,
increased preparedness of our health care delivery system and the
effects of other COVID-19 interventions have yielded positive
results. However, these actions have also impacted the economy,
poverty and overall health care in California. Any consideration
of modifying the stay-at-home order must be done using a gradual,
science-based and data-driven framework.
April 14 | AFT mourns loss of members in NYC
Politico has reported that 50 New York City Department of
Education employees have died from the coronavirus. As of April
10, 48 school-based New York City employees — 22
paraprofessionals, 21 teachers, two administrators, one
facilities staffer, one guidance counselor and one food service
staffer — have died. Two central office employees have also died.
Forty of these are members of the United Federation of Teachers,
including 11 retirees. Please join us in taking a moment to honor
their memory by sharing this story online.
| CARES Act apportionments for California
AFT prepares state-by-state apportionments
California will receive $15.321 billion from the federal stimulus
CARES Act. Of that, $5.8 billion will be allocated to local
governments in California with populations over 500,000. The
CARES Act also includes an Education Stabilization Fund totaling
$31 billion. See how that breaks out for California
education below in the AFT-produced summary.
April 10 | Sign on to the Worker’s Bill of Rights
If you haven’t already done so, please add your name to support
the Workers Bill of Rights. The COVID-19 crisis is exposing the
gaping holes in our social safety net and laying bare just how
rigged this economy is against workers and how tilted it is to
the wealthy and powerful. It’s time for decision-makers to hear
from us about what we demand to weather this crisis and the
changes we need to create an economy that prioritizes working
people going forward. We need to act now so that working people
won’t be left behind without an income, without a home and
without basic protections.
April 10 | Inside Higher Ed: UC-AFT demands support
University Council-AFT President Mia McIver and more members say
UC lecturers, “who teach one-third of all credit hours across the
UC, are being denied basic health and safety standards by UC
administrators” during the Covid-19 pandemic. UC-AFT says now
that classes have moved online and lecturers are working from
home, UC administrators refuse to pay for things such as
ergonomically sound desks and strong internet connections for all
lecturers that need them to teach effectively and safely from
April 9 | CDE releases guidance on childcare
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond
announced that the California Department of Education and
the California Department of Social Services have issued new
guidance that will facilitate child care for children of
essential critical infrastructure workers, children at risk of
abuse or neglect, and children with disabilities or special
health care needs. The guidance was a requirement of Governor
Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-45-20, issued on April 4.
The new guidance addresses how the essential worker
prioritization will roll out, as well as how child care programs
and providers can safely provide care. Specifically, the
CDSS and the CDE will share data and information to identify
students who may be eligible for the pandemic SNAP (Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program) benefit, to reduce food insecurity
and ensure children receive nutritious meals at low or no cost.
guidance about child care and flexibility with the
pandemic SNAP benefit
CDSS guidance about healthy and safe practices in
child care settings
April 8 | CFT Newsroom – Custodians on front lines
From custodians and computer techs to food service crews and
health clerks, classified employees have distinguished themselves
on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I get it.
People are scared,” said San Diego custodian Robert Wilmer.
“Every time there’s a crisis the question comes up, ‘What are the
custodians doing to protect us?’ We have our protocols and we
April 8 | CFT Newsroom – Millions of Grab & Go Meals
More than 40 Lawndale food service employees are AFT 4529 Local
members. All will receive their regular salaries during the
shutdown. Most are taking part in seven Grab & Go’s at district
schools. “We know there is a need for this at our school,” said
April 8 | CFT Newsroom – Health clerk perspective
For months, health clerk Cathy Pierce said, she and other school
district staff heard about the coronavirus “like everyone else —
bits of news and gossip.” Pierce began to receive more credible
information about COVID-19 and changes coming at all levels of
government and education the week before her elementary school
shut in March. She has since come up the coronavirus learning
curve, and now sees her work in a different light.
April 8 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly summary
Chancellor Oakley began by thanking his staff for finally
reaching an agreement with the Board of Registered Nursing on
clinical hours waiver and flexibility. This flexibility is only
effective during the current crisis. He also thanked faculty for
the great job they are all doing transitioning their courses to
online, and said the key word moving forward will be
“resiliency.” This crisis has exposed a lot of challenges, he
said, but we will overcome because we are resilient.
The Chancellor’s Office announced a new guidance memo and
two new campaigns:
On other topics, the chancellor:
- is asking districts and individuals to focus on cybersecurity
as phishing and spoofing attempts continue to escalate;
- highlighted San Diego Community College District for
successfully launching online counseling office hours;
- is asking organizations to sign on to a joint letter seeking
continued financial support from the state in regards to the
upcoming “workload budget”;
- proudly reported that emergency direct aid grants for
students were fully subscribed;
- is asking people to subscribe to the Chancellor’s Office
daily COVID-19 Special Updates by emailing Communications@CCCCO.edu or
signing up on the website.
This webinar has been recorded and will be uploaded
Wednesday’s webinar here.
April 6 | Newsday: AFT President “lets trust teachers”
AFT President Randi Weingarten’s opinion piece in Newsday
discusses the impact of school closures and the COVID-19
pandemic on students. She says, “At this extraordinary time,
let’s trust teachers. I propose giving teachers the latitude to
sum up either the semester or the school year, depending on how
long schools are closed, by creating age-appropriate capstone or
term projects that demonstrate students’ learning for the year.”
April 6 | CNN follows AFT nurses at work
CNN aired an exclusive look inside the University Hospital of
Brooklyn, which is part of the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences
University and has been designated as a COVID-19 hospital. The
piece features AFT members working on the frontlines of the
coronavirus crisis and shows how vital our work is to fighting
this pandemic. It’s an incredible reminder for Americans that
healthcare workers are stretched thin during this time and are in
vital need of personal protective equipment, which our union has
been fighting for.
April 1 | Governor’s press conference focuses on K-12
The governor references Superintendent Thurmond’s memo
to superintendents saying schools will likely not reopen this
academic year, but that the goal is to increase the education
occurring at home. Gov. Newsom has worked with labor to get
comprehensive protocols to advance distance learning. In order to
do that, the state needed private sector support. Google
stepped up in a partnership that will provide “100,000 points of
access” to provide wifi and high-quality access to broadband
internet for the next three months to address the
digital divide. In addition, Google will be
providing thousands of Chromebooks. And the governor thanks
moms for the extraordinary work they are doing at home now, and
offers his deep respect and admiration for the work of mothers.
Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction, joined the press conference to say schools
are continuing to provide education, but from home, where it is
safe. Out of an abundance of caution, he has urged
superintendents to educate our kids at home only through the end
of this school year. “We urge these efforts to be accelerated by
providing wifi and more training for our teachers,” Thurmond
said. “Our campuses are closed to kids, but school is not out for
Linda Darling-Hammond, the president of the State Board
of Education, said almost every district is launching a
distance learning program, with increased wifi connectivity and
hot spots to allowing distance learning where needed. She said
today the CDE will post guidance on graduation requirements and
grading and that some districts are planning
hold commencement ceremonies in the fall. The CDE will also
issue a joint statement today about college admissions. The
colleges have agreed to accept Pass/No Pass grading and have
extended flexibility for payment, financial aid and more.
Students will not have to take the SATs for admission.
Food distribution: The state received a waiver
from the federal government that will allow more Grab-n-Go
meals to reach students. Hammond said the CDE is making
sure as many students are being fed as possible. About 5,200
sites across the state are offering students Grab ‘N Go
Child care: A number of districts are setting
up child care centers for kids of essential workers. Districts
are organizing where they can to partner with other community
organizations to provide this care.
April 1 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly summary
Summary of Chancellor’s Wednesday, April
Chancellor Oakley covered a range of topics. First, he asked all
colleges to apply flexibility and equity when it comes to the new
grading policy, and said the new Pass/No Pass grading policy is
intended to allow students to continue their education. The
chancellor is urging everyone to spread the word about on
completing the U.S. Census. Participating in the census is
one of the ways we can ensure that the community colleges get
their fair share. The College Futures Foundation has established
a $5 million fund to provide $500 in direct assistance to
community college, CSU, and UC students (some terms apply). The
Academic Senate is organizing professional development and
training webinars for faculty, including a segment on how to run
an effective “Academic Senate Meetings on your Campus.”
The Chancellor’s Office continues to work on
the issues below:
- Temporary distance education blanket addendum
- Impact of FON penalties on districts
- 67 percent rule for part-time faculty
- Implementing flexibility with the Board of Registered
- Reporting deadlines and extensions on grants and programs
- Dual enrollment/middle college
- Work Study for credit students
- Grades relevant to financial aid and attendance accounting
The weekly Zoom webinar on Wednesdays at 9 am is open to
everyone Join the webinar here: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/299858221
March 31 | CDE expects schools to close for year
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond sent a
letter to superintendents throughout the state and the media
stating that it “appears that our students will not be able to
return to school campuses before the end of the school
year.” This is not a state Executive Order, but it is
an expectation that all the schools will shut down.
April 30 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly summary
This new guidance memo provides information for colleges to
understand the technology resources and applications available
through the Chancellor’s Office partnership with the Foundation
for California Community Colleges and California Virtual
Campus-Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI)
March 30 | CFT Newsroom – Challenges and rewards
Mark James Miller, a part-time English instructor at Allan
Hancock College, talks about the challenges and rewards of
the immediate switch to online teaching required because of the
coronavirus pandemic. Miller has a regular column in the Santa
Maria Times, where this article first appeared.
March 30 | AFT Tele-Townhall – New toll-free number
In the Tele-Townhall, AFT President Randi Weingarten announced a
toll-free phone number for coronavirus questions from AFT
members – 800-900-2343. It also announced
an email address for questions – email@example.com —
and the roll-out of its new Trauma Relief program.
March 29 | White House extends stay-at-home order
The White House Task Force on the Coronavirus and President Trump
extend the national stay-at-home order until April 30.
March 27 | Congress passes federal CARES Act
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security
Act (CARES Act) provides workers direct checks, additional
unemployment insurance benefits, retirement plan rules changes,
loans to small businesses, loans to particular industries,
student loan suspension, rent relief, veterans benefits, and much
more. California will be receiving $15.3 billion, but it’s still
unknown how this will impact school and college districts. Read
AFT’s initial analysis below.
March 27 | CFT President on Facebook Live
Watch the video on Facebook with President Freitas as he
answered some of the most frequent and pressing questions
from members during our first Facebook Live broadcast from the CFT Facebook
page. The questions were submitted to our website and last
week’s CFT Tele-Townhall, which more than 12,000 CFT
members took part in, many asking important questions
about their jobs and the health and well-being of their families
and their students. If you have a critical question or comment
for CFT, please take a moment to share
your concerns and your inspirational stories.
March 27 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly summary
The chancellor has issued a new Executive Order (2020-02)
and guidance memo about course grading. It suspends title 5,
section 55022, requirement that students select the “pass or no
pass” grading option prior to the 30 percent mark of the term.
March 27 | Governor orders moratorium on evictions
Governor Newsom issued an executive order banning the
enforcement of eviction orders for renters affected by Covid-19
through May 31, 2020. The order prohibits landlords from evicting
tenants for nonpayment of rent and prohibits enforcement of
evictions by law enforcement or courts. It also requires tenants
to declare in writing, no more than seven days after the rent
comes due, that the tenant cannot pay all or part of their rent
due to Covid-19.
March 26 | NPR analyzes CARES Act for education
The U.S. Senate’s $2
trillion coronavirus relief package includes more than
$30 billion for education, with more than $14 billion for
colleges and universities and at least $13.5 billion for the
nation’s K-12 schools.
March 25 | #ThankATeacher movement grows
Last week, as schools began to close due to the spread of the
coronavirus, social media sites were flooded with messages from
parents and students getting used to homeschooling, sharing their
appreciation for the teachers and support staff who keep our kids
learning, fed and on a schedule. We are asking our communities to
join us in thanking our teachers and school support staff as they
share their distance learning stories
March 25 | Governor orders 90-day grace for mortgages
Financial institutions will provide relief to Californians
economically impacted by COVID-19 by offering a 90-day grace
period to make mortgage payments. Governor Newsom secured
support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, and Wells
Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and
servicers to protect homeowners and consumers. Also (under the
applicable guidelines), financial institutions agreed to:
- accept that payment relief will not negatively impact
individual credit reports;
- not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions for at least
- waive some fees such as late mortgage payments or early CD
March 25 | Chancellor’s Office – Weekly summary
Summary of Chancellor’s Wednesday webinar
Chancellor Oakley opened by reassuring colleges that student fee
refunds will be available. For example, students who drop
courses can seek a full refund and colleges can also request full
refunds for dropped students. As of March 25, the Chancellor’s
- looking into asking Congress to consider temporary relief due
to the emergency;
- reviewing Title 4 statutory and regulatory
provisions, and working on CalWORKS issues;
- working with the Board of Registered Nursing to address
the graduation requirements for “Clinical Hours in Direct
For faculty, the Chancellor’s Office is addressing issues
regarding “hard-to-convert” courses, and reviewing courses that
are difficult to transition into an online
format. It is also reviewing the overall viability of course
completion, and its decision to cancel or keep those courses will
be based on Vision for Success and the immediate impact on local
March 25 | WaPo reports coming vote on stimulus
Here’s the basics: The legislation would send $1,200 checks to
many Americans, create a $367 billion loan program for small
businesses, and establish a $500 billion lending fund for
industries, cities and states.
March 24 | San Diego Unified makes solid learning plan
One of the first large districts announces a plan to return to
grading and formal instruction, even as physical school
facilities will remain closed. Among other solutions, during the
soft launch, district officials plan to distribute about 40,000
district-owned laptops and corresponding WiFi hotspots to
students who need them.
March 24 | Capital & Main analyzes stimulus package
Few economists have stared into the abyss of a catastrophic
recession from a closer vantage point than Jared Bernstein. The
chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden during the darkest
days of early 2009, Bernstein was one of the key Obama
administration officials who shaped the nation’s response to the
worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
March 23 | Chancellor’s Office issues executive orders
State Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley announced a series of actions
to help ensure that teaching and learning continues at all 115
community colleges and that students are not penalized
academically or financially due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In specific, the chancellor has provided the ability for all
colleges to convert in-person classes to online. Recognizing
that some students may be forced to withdraw due to the
signed an executive order that suspends state and
local regulations to ensure students are not penalized
academically and will more easily be able to receive refunds for
enrollment fees. There’s also a
new online Q&A for students.
- Find the chancellor’s five guidance memos in our Union Toolkit (under Community
Colleges) — covering hard-to-convert courses, nursing clinicals,
student attendance, and more.
March 23 | Pelosi unveils counterproposal to GOP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a sweeping counterproposal to
Senate Republicans’ $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus
package. House Democrats’ legislation — which comes with a $2.5
trillion price tag — comes after negotiations between Capitol
Hill leaders and the White House broke down over the weekend,
culminating in two failed procedural votes that have
left the Senate Republicans’ bill in limbo.
March 20 | UC Berkeley moves to pass/fail grading
The default grading basis for all undergraduate courses for the
spring 2020 semester will be changed to Passed/Not Passed (P/NP).
Instructors must continue to maintain and submit records of
letter grades earned. Students will be permitted to change their
grading option to letter grade until at least May 6.
March 20 | Covered California extends enrollment
The extension is effective immediately and will allow anyone who
is eligible for health care coverage through Covered
California — which offers subsidized Obamacare care plans to
individuals without employer-sponsored health insurance — to sign
up until the end of June. Eligibility is
based on federal poverty levels. Individuals making up to $17,237
qualify for MediCal, while those making over $17,327 and up to
$49,960 are eligible for a subsidy on a Covered California plan.
This article published by CalMatters.
March 20 | CDE updates app – CA Meals for Kids
The CDE has updated its app to help students and their families
find meals during school closures related to COVID-1. The
app is available for free download
through Apple, Google, and Microsoft
those links on this CDE app support page. As
of March 19, the CDE processed requests for more than 3,100
emergency feeding sites throughout the state. As districts
continue to update the Child Nutrition Information and Payment
System, these sites will be populated into the app.
March 20 | Chancellor’s Office – First webinar summary
The Chancellor’s Office today hosted a webinar focused on recent
updates, guidance and supports for dealing with the COVID-19
outbreak. He assured stakeholders that FTES funding will
continue to be protected under Title 5, section 58146, and that
colleges will not lose funding this year due to the COVID-19
emergency. The Chancellor’s Office will issue a memo soon
clarifying the Title 5 regulations regarding the funding
guarantee. The chancellor also discussed student financial
aid issues, access, and support on the call.
Zoom calls every Wednesday: Moving forward, the
Chancellor’s Office will host weekly webinars every Wednesday
from 9-10 a.m. Capacity has been expanded and you are
encouraged to join the webinars. The webinars will be
recorded and available following the event.
March 20 | EdSource report on special education
As California K-12 schools closed this week to help prevent the
spread of the coronavirus, one group of students is particularly
impacted by the loss of routine and specialized instruction: the
nearly 800,000 public school students in special education
March 20 | Feds grant testing waiver for K-12 schools
President Trump and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy
DeVos announce they will grant a waiver for the federal
requirement to test students to any state that wants one. Trump
also announced a freeze on student loan payments
for 60 days.
March 19 | Governor announces stay-at-home order
Gov. Newsom asks all Californians to shelter in place, except to
go shopping, go the essential medical appointments and walk
outside to exercise.
March 18 | EdSource reports on CDE webinar
A 75-minute webinar led by the California Department of
Education, viewed by about 7,000 people, provided info about
distance learning, meals for students and limited child care
while schools are shut down because of the coronavirus.
Watch for the recording to be posted on the CDE
March 18 | Governor orders student testing suspended
In response to COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. Newsom issued an
executive order today to waive, pending federal approval, this
year’s statewide testing for California’s more than 6 million
students in K-12 schools.
March 18 | Governor launches new COVID-19 website
Gov. Newsom announced the launch of a new coronavirus
(COVID-19) public awareness campaign anchored by a new,
consumer-friendly website that highlights critical steps people
can take to stay healthy and links to resources such as paid sick
leave and unemployment assistance.
March 18 | CFT President – The Corona, the CFT and You
Over the past few days, our lives have changed significantly.
There have been many fast moving coronavirus-related
developments. Read about our work with decision-makers to
protect you, your students, and your communities.
March 17 | Governor releases guidance for K-12 schools
Gov. Newsom announces that 98.8 percent of the state’s preK-12
schools are closed and he expects they will not reopen
before summer. Newsom is seeking a waiver from the federal
government to for student testing. See a brief summary of guidance
on top issues in our union toolkit — distance
learning, student disabilities, school meals and childcare.
March 17 | CFT Legislative Update – Emergency
Gov. Newsom signed three emergency bills passed by the
California Legislature on March 16 to address the coronavirus and
school funding. SB 117 addresses K-12 schools, ADA, safety gear,
instructional time, ELLs and much more. It is a budget bill that
took effect immediately upon the governor’s
our Legislative Update for full information; and in our
Union Toolkit under preK-12 schools, find a
a brief summary.
In addition, Senate Bill 89 provides
$500 million immediately and up to $1 billion to assist
individuals, non-profits and small businesses that experience
economic hardships due to the Coronavirus. And Assembly
Concurrent Resolution 189 enacts a joint
recess of the Legislature from March 20 until April
13. he State Capitol closes to the public.
March 16 | Seven Bay Area counties
Residents of seven Bay Area counties are told to shelter in place
for at least three weeks, until April 7. Residents can leave home
for groceries, medical appointments, and essential errands, and
take outside walks with the stipulation that residents stay six
feet away from others not in their household. The counties are
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa
Clara, and Santa Cruz. (On March 17, four more counties issued
similar directives — Monterey, Sacramento, San Benito and
March 16 | U.S. Taskforce expands social
Taskforce advises against gatherings of more than 10
President Trump and the taskforce expanded social distancing
recommendations to slow the spread of coronavirus —
advising against gatherings of more than 10 people, going to
bars, and eating at restaurants or food courts.
March 15 | Governor asks people over 65 to
The governor advises Californians over 65 years of age, as well
as individuals with chronic disease, to self-isolate to
prevent them from coming into contact with someone who might be
infected with the coronavirus. Newsom also asked hospitals
and nursing homes to severely restrict visitors, for bars to
close and restaurants to reduce capacity.
March 14 | U.S. Taskforce announces free testing
Free coronavirus testing, gatherings limited to no more
than 50 people, more schools close across nation
The weekend saw many announcements from the federal
government, including free coronavirus testing for the insured
(with no deductible), as well as for uninsured people. The
CDC recommended gatherings not to exceed 50 people, and Gov.
Newsom adopted those guidelines for California. Most of the
nation’s largest school districts announced closures.
March 13 | Governor orders school
funding to continue
Ensures California public school districts retain state
funding even in the event of physical closure. Directs school
districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning
and high-quality educational opportunities, provide school meals
and, as practicable, arrange for the supervision for students
during school hours.
March 13 | Education Coalitions puts forward
The CFT, along with other state education organizations, is
asking state leaders to hold districts harmless from any
financial penalties for loss of instructional days, provide
support to allow meal service to continue to students during the
closures, suspend all state testing this year, provide
support for custodial services and staff, and provide
additional support for school nurses and counselors.
March 13 | White House declares state of
The president’s action releases billions of dollars in
March 12 | Governor waives unemployment waiting
Governor issues an executive order withprotections and resources
for workers affected by COVID-19 and the general public. The
Newsom administration and state Labor Secretary Julie Su are
providing resources to workers, including information about
paid sick leave and paid family leave.
March 12 | Governor bans events with 250+ people
Following the advice of public health agencies, the governor bans
events in California with more than 250 people.
March 10 | CDE gets approval to continue student
Under the federal waiver, meals can be served at school and
non-school sites. Students will not be required to remain onsite
to consume the meal and can take the meal and go, which is not
the usual federal guideline.
March 4 | Governor declares state of emergency
Governor declared a state of emergency after news of the first
death due to COVID-19 in Placer County.