The San Diego County Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday in recognition of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ support of families, students, and school employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution reads:
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools and child care providers to rapidly adapt under constantly changing and challenging circumstances to continue to deliver high-quality education to all students while safeguarding public health; and
WHEREAS, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has expanded significant funding and advocacy efforts to help schools and child care providers meet those needs through bridging the digital divide, keeping child care services available, and now testing school employees; and WHEREAS, the challenges caused by an abrupt shift to distance learning revealed that up to 100,000 students in San Diego County lack access to the internet at home or are under-connected; and
WHEREAS, this problem is exacerbated among our county's most vulnerable student populations, including those who are in foster care, experiencing homelessness, and in need of special education services; and
WHEREAS, more than 500 Native American students from our most rural and remote districts need devices to participate in digital distance learning; and WHEREAS, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors allocated $2 million to address the digital divide, making sure students from low-income families have access to the internet for distancing learning during the school year; and
WHEREAS, this investment will pay dividends now and, in the future, as research shows that students without home internet access have lower reading, math, and science scores; and
WHEREAS, essential workers are providing vital services every day as we confront COVID-19, but not every family has the means to afford child care; and
WHEREAS, to meet this need, the County Board of Supervisors allocated $25 million in Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to support child care providers in San Diego County as well as $5 million for Frontline Worker Childcare Vouchers; and
WHEREAS, ever since schools made the decision in March to close campuses to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been focused on creating plans to reopen safely, and testing is a key component of those plans; and
WHEREAS, the San Diego County Office of Education is proud to partner with the County of San Diego to develop an approach to test school employees;
WHEREAS, with more than 80,000 school employees in the region, regularly testing school employees for COVID-19 is a huge undertaking; and
WHEREAS, developing and implementing a strategy to support testing, tracing, and treatment is made easier with the support of the County Board of Supervisors, which has allocated $5 million in CARES Act funding to make this effort a reality;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the San Diego County Board of Education thanks and recognizes the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for its devotion to and support of our region's families, students, and school employees.
The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has been supporting districts, charter schools, and private schools in following state and local guidelines to safely address the needs of students and school employees. SDCOE does not order closures or reopening of schools, and does not dictate or mandate any kind of safety measures or educational programming.
In consultation with school district, charter school, and private school leaders; bargaining association and parent representatives; and experts in topics such as food service and special education, SDCOE has created materials to support districts and schools in reopening. The planning materials, which align with guidance from the state and federal governments, were also vetted by local public health officials.
Learn more about San Diego County schools' COVID-19 response by visiting SDCOE's COVID-19 webpage.