California educators, school leaders and communities have never faced a moment with so many intersecting crises: pandemic, economic, educational, civic. While schools just wrapped up the 2019-20 year, the push is on to determine how to ready schools for the coming year. It's no easy task.
Guest Daryl Camp, Superintendent of San Lorenzo USD in Alameda County and President of the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA), helps us continue to explore the complex decisions and challenges facing California's school communities: How can districts provide quality educational experiences for students within the parameters of COVID-19 health and safety precautions? And how to pay for it when state policymakers are contemplating severe budget cuts to a school system that is already chronically underfunded?
Dr. Camp describes how planning conversations in best district have centered on three principles: Student and staff safety; student learning; and equity. He further discusses difficult trade-offs with different approaches to restarting schools.
To support school districts, Dr. Camp advocates for greater flexibility, changes to certain ways that schools are funded (such as shifting away from funding based on attendance to funding based on enrollment); more clear guidelines from the state and public health officials about safety; and more guidance regarding learning expectations in the context of the extra safety precautions.
We also discuss Dr. Camp’s recent testimony to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance and why the connection between legislators and educators needs to be strengthened.
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Dr. Daryl F. Camp began serving as the superintendent of the San Lorenzo USD in 2019. Previously, he served for seven years as the superintendent of the Riverbank USD. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College, his master’s degree at CSU Hayward, and his doctorate degree in educational leadership at CSU Sacramento.
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Paul Richman is a public education advocate and consultant. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We value your feedback and ideas!