An online newsletter produced by EdSource
with support from The California Endowment 


Dec. 19, 2014, Issue 25
School Climate
State finance officials last week granted the California Department of Education $3.4 million to fight a lawsuit that demands the state fix disruptive conditions in some high-poverty schools where students allegedly are being denied the fundamental right to an education.

The lawsuit claims that some students are enrolled in multiple classes during which they receive no instruction, that some spend hours in security lockdowns, and that teachers and students are reeling from the trauma of violent shootings around campuses.

The suit, Cruz v. California, pits the state constitutional guarantee of equal educational opportunity against local school district control over how to spend state funds, which is the foundation of the new school finance reform known as the Local Control Funding Formula.

Read more at EdSource Today.

California's enthusiasm for healthy school lunches appears unlikely to change, even though the Congressional budget bill allows states to weaken new federal school nutrition requirements. One of the most contentious provisions allows schools to seek exemptions from serving only breads and pastas that are "whole grain rich."

Read more at EdSource Today.
Student Health
Funds for school-based health centers to fight asthma

School-based health centers in California will take the lead in educating school staff and families nationwide about asthma attacks triggered by dust, mold, smoke and chemical cleaning products, according to a new federal grant.

The grant will give school-based health center nurses, doctors and aides new expertise in monitoring indoor air quality, in addition to the role they already play in helping students and parents manage asthma treatments at school.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $600,000 grant to the Oakland-based Public Health Institute to help school health centers fight environmental asthma triggers. In a partnership, the Public Health Institute's Regional Asthma Management and Prevention program will bring its expertise about the impact on asthma of dust, mold and other environmental detritus, while the California School-Based Health Alliance will work with school health centers, in the state and across the country, on how best to convey the information to students, parents and school staff.

"We're bringing the network of school-based health centers," said Kristin Andersen, associate director of the California School-Based Health Alliance, an Oakland-based association of school health centers. The state has 230 school-based health centers that operate on or near campuses and provide a range of services, from counseling to physicals to birth control, in partnership with community health clinics.
Native American youth face health problems, poverty and educational risk
From kindergarten retention to high school graduation rates, education data show that American Indian and Alaskan Native students are faring the worst of all U.S. ethnic groups, according to a new White House report on Native youth.

"Native children are far more likely than their non-Native peers to grow up in poverty, to suffer from severe health problems and to face obstacles to educational opportunity," according to the 2014 Native Youth Report released this month.
Read more at EdSource Today.
The California State Auditor reported that more than half of the 5.1 million children enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state's health care program for low-income residents, did not receive dental care last year. Most counties provide Medi-Cal dental care to children, but five counties may lack providers. The report blamed poor reimbursement rates and insufficient monitoring by the state.
New federal guidance may allow California school-based health centers to bill Medi-Cal for more services, but its impact is unclear, said John Schlitt, president of the School-Based Health Alliance, a national group in Washington, D.C. regulations are complex, he said. The change will likely affect "a minority of school-based health centers," Schlitt said.

Alleging that their special needs son was bullied, harassed and sexually assaulted, the family of a former San Juan Unified student has filed suit against the district. The suit claims the boy endured years of bullying. According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, district officials declined to comment because of ongoing litigation.
The superintendent of Folsom Cordova Unified said better systems are needed to track and support students who are bullied. Superintendent Deborah Bettencourt's remarks came after the suicide of a 12-year-old Folsom High School boy. The boy's family had filed bullying complaints at Folsom Middle School and at an elementary school, the district said.
Preventing problem behavior in toddlers and preschoolers is one of the ways parents can decrease chances that their child will be involved in violence and bullying in elementary school, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. posted a link to the CDC's Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers.


Sponsored by the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, this event in the Supportive School Discipline Webinar Series will explore how schools and police agencies can work collaboratively to improve school safety, while minimizing the use of arrest and ensuring that law enforcement officials are not responsible for enforcing minor school discipline offenses.

Recommendations will focus on the roles and responsibilities of police on campus, training and supervision for law enforcement, and developing agreements to formalize school-police partnerships.

  • "School-Police Partnerships"
  • Wednesday, Jan. 14 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. PT.
  • Register here.
Other Student Health and Wellness News
Recent Editions of the EdHealth Newsletter

EdHealth Newsletter Issue 24: From eye screening to eye glasses: bridging the gap
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 23: Effective school discipline network launches
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 22: Districts ordered to use millions in unspent school lunch funds
Edhealth Newsletter Issue 21: National school boards group ends tobacco partnership
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 20: Mixed results for student health-related legislation

Want to receive a free online subscription to EdHealth? Click on the button below.   
to EdHealth
Stay Connected