Today, July 29, 2021, WestEd released the second report of a two-part study of the state’s special education funding system, which reviews student and financial data from the 2016-17 through 2018-19 school years and presents several policy considerations to support greater equity and inclusivity for students with special needs and their families.

The report’s findings are organized in three categories:

  • Allocation of state funding for special education,
  • Distribution of funds to entities, and
  • Expected expenditures on use of funds.

California serves over 725,000 students with disabilities, about 12% of the overall K-12 population, with an annual spending of $12 billion in state, federal and local funds. The first study, published last fall, focused on the historical review of the current funding system. This report provides an analysis on potential opportunities to refine the funding system to match resources to direct services that meet students’ needs.

As policymakers and education stakeholders review the details of these reports, CASBO is interested in ensuring that your voice as educational leaders is represented in engagement sessions on the topic, which we will announce in future communications.

WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that works with education and policy stakeholders throughout the nation to promote equity and improve systems of learning for students, youth and adults.


Latest Changes on Masking

On July 27, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its masking guidance to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings of substantial or high transmission, given the latest evidence of the Delta variant.

The guidance also includes information that fully vaccinated people may choose to wear a mask, regardless of level of transmission, if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19. CDC also recommends that if they are exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, they should seek testing within three to five days after exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days, or until they receive a negative test result.

CDC further recommends that universal indoor masking take place for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

In response to the latest federal changes, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its masking guidance on July 28, 2021, as follows:

  • Recommends universal masking indoors statewide, regardless of vaccine status;
  • Requires all individuals at adult and senior care facilities to wear masks indoors in addition to public transit, K-12 schools and child care settings, emergency shelters, healthcare settings, and correctional facilities, regardless of vaccine status; and
  • Includes references of new requirements for unvaccinated workers in the State Health Officer Order of July 26, 2021.

As the COVID-19 case rates increase statewide, local public health officials have begun to implement their own health orders, with Los Angeles County, Sacramento County and Yolo County mandating indoor masks regardless of vaccine status, and various other counties recommending masking indoors regardless of vaccine status. However, the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, has not made any revisions to their latest emergency temporary standards, which state that vaccinated employees do not need to wear a mask in permissible indoor settings.