School attendance may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the impact of the drought on California. But it is affected. Less water means fewer crops, which means fewer farm jobs. And when the jobs disappear, families of migrant workers move on, taking their school age children with them.
Nathan Quevedo is with the Merced County Office of Education. He says falling attendance is a concern, especially for smaller districts in the Central Valley.
“For every state that goes to school, the school, in a sense, makes money off those students," he says. "So, if there’s less students at the school, the school and the school district ultimately are going to lose money.”
Superintendent Tom Torlakson will visit schools and take part in drought-related discussions in several Central Valley cities, including Bakersfield and Fresno.
Quevedo says he’s expecting a big crowd to turn out for the Superintendent’s visit.
Number Of 'Significantly Disengaged' Kids At Sacramento Public Schools Has Skyrocketed During The PandemicFebruary 15, 2021
Before the pandemic closed schools, only a few dozen kids at Sacramento City Unified schools missed three days a week of school or more. Now, that number is almost a thousand.
Schools would only qualify in counties with lower infection rates. Kindergarten through sixth grade is prioritized in the governor’s $2-billion plan, which would need the Legislature’s approval.
The Folsom Cordova Unified School Board voted for its students to return to classrooms part time. It comes in anticipation of schools in the county getting the greenlight to reopen after moving into the red tier of California’s reopening guidelines.
Without clear guidance from the state, coronavirus testing remains a contentious and costly issue as more school districts inch toward reopening.
A closely watched report commissioned by Gov. Gavin Newsom calls for more local discretion and tighter regulation of charter schools.
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