County level school superintendents throughout California are absolutely giggity over the new budget (Gav’s Budget) approved by Gavin “Gav the Man” Newsom. Specifically, superintendents are excited about SB114-Education Finance, which is the education omnibus budget trailer bill chaptered (signed) by the California Secretary of State on July 10, 2023. We know this from a statement released by California County Superintendents President Dr. Debra Duardo released on June 28, 2023 “[on] behalf of the county offices of education across the state.”
According to “Dr.” Duardo, the county superintendents are most giggity over the $80 million going to county level juvenile court and community schools. But, the superintendents are equally excited over the “transformational initiatives that nurture the whole child.“ The investment Gav’s budget made into “our diverse school leader pipeline” got some love as well.
More from Duardo:
“County offices of education are poised to use this historical financial commitment to create supports that pave the way to graduation, college and careers. The victories for TK-12 education in this budget underscore the Governor and the Legislature’s commitment to support a holistic system that benefits all students by recognizing their individual needs.“
According to the legislative update provided to the Riverside County Board of Education, an “Equity Multiplier” and “Equity Leads” are also “major provisions.”
There are some items of interest that the county superintendents did not mention. Namely, exempting some teachers from performance assessments, teacher residency grants, bolstering the disastrous MTSS policy, restorative justice cash, and revisions to identifying schools in need of intervention.
So what does it all mean? Well, once again we have to dig into educational jargon to determine the real meanings and why the purveyors of indoctrination are so giggity. Giggity, by the way, is the catchphrase of the perverted character Quagmire in the show Family Guy when he gets “excited.”
Let’s start with the $80 million for Community Schools. And, what the heck are community schools anyway? There you go again, asking those good questions! Grab your shovel!
First things first, the budget item #1 revises the alternative education grant in several ways. The phrase “among other things” indicates that some revisions are not even mentioned. But, the revisions mentioned include: how average daily attendance is calculated and new grants of up to $400,000 to counties. Half of the new grant would be for counties that operate schools in juvenile court, and the other half for community schools. It is common for community schools to enroll students on probation from juvenile court.
But, that still doesn’t inform us what community schools actually are. To determine that, we need to dig for other sources.
According to the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) website, the county operates nine community schools. Six of those schools also maintain a “CAREspace.” CAREspaces are described as being “designed to serve as a dedicated location for students to re-charge, re-focus, and get into the right head space for learning while providing access to mental health and related services to students, families, schools, and the community of Riverside County. The “CARE” in CAREspace refers to Community, Access, Relationships, and Emotional Wellness.”
Community School Frameworks
In a nutshell, community schools seem to be an avenue to bring Critical Race Theory and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion concepts right into the home. Sounds crazy huh? Tell that to Greenwich Connecticut, which is going through something very similar. For more clarity, let’s visit the California Department of Education (CDE) which will provide us with a California Community Schools Framework. First, the CDE’s description of Community Schools and the four features.
Now, to the framework! Oh boy. The framework describes a Community School thusly:
“A community school is any school serving pre-Kindergarten through high school students using a “whole-child” approach, with “an integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development, and community engagement.”
And yes, they are coming into the home; not just the teachers, but the community partners as well. Observe the details the framework gives on two of the aforementioned features:
Furthermore, the framework describes “key conditions to learning,” wherein yet another framework (SoLD) is thrown into the mix. The SoLD framework also centers on SEL and MTSS.
“To strengthen their core instructional programs and achieve school transformation, today’s community schools are guided by the emerging consensus on the ‘science of learning and development’ (SoLD) which synthesizes a wide range of educational research findings regarding well-vetted strategies that support the kinds of relationships and learning opportunities needed to promote children’s well-being, healthy development, and transferable learning into a developmental systems framework.“
The SoLD framework itself can be described with this graphic.
California Community Schools must also commit to four cornerstones to get that sweet, sweet State (taxpayer) money.
First schools must commit to viewing “... students, their families, and their community through the lens of their assets….” Secondly, schools must commit to “Racially Just and Restorative School Climates,” and no punitive discipline. Thirdly, schools must “commit to be driven by teaching and learning that are relevant to, inclusive of, and centered in the wisdom, history, culture, and experience of students, families, and communities.” Lastly, “[all] school interest holders including students, families, staff, and community members must have genuine engagement in decision making about school climate, curriculum, and services.“
Don F. Kenny Community School
Had about enough? Yeah, me too, but one more thing, who are the community partners that the framework and RCOE keep mentioning? I looked into the Community School in Indio, the Don F. Kenny Regional Learning Center, to determine community partners. It appears the only community partners are the Riverside Probation Department and The Latino Commission (based in the Coachella Valley) to provide “provide mental health services for Riverside County students, families, schools, and the community.” Interestingly, the Latino Commission focuses on recovery from addiction. The logical question to ask here is does the RCOE view every Latino student and their families as drug addicts? How exactly does helping drug addicts recover qualify the Latino Commission as general therapy practitioners?
Back To Gav’s Budget
I am quickly running out of space, thanks to the insidious nature of Community Schools, so let’s quickly (if we can) touch on some of the other budget items. The rest do not have the giggity factor that access to kids and families in their homes have. Still, the County Education Supes get pretty excited when Gav and friends throw money at them.
Diverse Education Leaders Pipeline
The Diverse Education Leaders Pipeline is item #60 and will give up to $30,000 to current teachers who want to become administrators, providing they commit to staying with a district for two years. Oh, and if you happen to be a straight, white, christian male, forget about, this program is not for you. Although, if you start dressing up as a woman and change your “nickname” to Trixie, you may have a shot!
Restorative Justice comes in at number 64 of the bill, but gives a whopping seven million dollars for schools to implement not punishing kids based on their skin color and gender ideology.
Item number 40 deals with Equity Leads, which takes the most woke school districts and grants them with overseeing the not so woke school districts, in order to assist the non-woke into becoming woke.
Item number 14 frees up $300 million for an Equity Multiplier when allocating funds to school districts. According to the RCOE legislative update, the monies are for “evidence-based services and supports for pupils,” and would go to districts with specified “nonstability rates…and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.”
If you’re still with me, you’re a trooper, but I’m going to cry Uncle! I can’t take anymore of Gav’s Budget, it is enough crazy for one day. If you haven’t had quite enough, you can read through the rest of the Education omnibus or read through the sources from the CDE provided framework on Community Schools. Just be sure to take mental breaks, because exposure to that much lunacy can be dangerous to ones mental health, and the last thing you want is a visit from drug addiction counselors courtesy of the State of California.
. Linda Darling-Hammond, Lisa Flook, Channa Cook-Harvey, Brigid Barron & David Osher (2020) Implications for educational practice of the science of learning and development, Applied Developmental Science, 24:2, 97-140. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2018.1537791.
. Coalition for Community Schools: Community Schools Fact Sheet. https://www.communityschools.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/05/CS_fact_sheet_final.pdf.