SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond hosted a virtual Back-to-School Parent Town Hall on September 28 to address concerns and listen to questions directly from parents and caregivers as a new academic school year begins.
“California schools and our communities will come out stronger with help and ideas from our parents. We wanted to listen to their voices, and this virtual Town Hall provided a way to do that,” said Thurmond. “We know California schools, students, and families have been through many challenges recently, and the parent’s perspective can help us find ways to help schools improve and better serve their children.”
The California Department of Education (CDE) connected with over half a million Californians through a tele-town hall call, and more than 30,000 parents and parent groups from across the state joined Superintendent Thurmond for the virtual Parent Town Hall. The event allowed questions and surveyed participants to elicit their ideas about ways to improve the public school experience, close the opportunity gap, and improve academic success for all students.
Participants in the event learned what the CDE is doing to support schools with health and safety, literacy, enrollment, and more. The event was available in six languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and Tagalog, as well as American Sign Language interpretation.
As schools across the state struggle with challenges such as accelerating learning recovery, declining enrollment, teacher shortages, and safety in our schools, the CDE remains committed to addressing the issues that are affecting so many.
The CDE is always interested in hearing from families about their school experiences and helping to create the best environment for California’s nearly six million students. Superintendent Thurmond’s Transforming Schools Initiative is a multi-faceted approach integrating new programs and strategies to improve the lives of our students in K–12 public schools. CDE is doing this through Community Schools partnerships to serve the whole child, prioritizing professional learning to provide proactive teacher support and development, funding Expanded Learning opportunities to increase instructional time after school and over the summer, expanding mental health support in our schools, ensuring all students receive free school meals through our Universal Meals Program, and providing Universal Transitional Kindergarten.
The 2022–23 California budget will almost triple the amount of per-pupil investment compared to a decade ago, providing resources and the opportunity to address the inequities, learning recovery, and the social-emotional needs of our students while supporting families, educators, and local educational agencies.
You can watch a full recording of the town hall on the CDE Facebook page.
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