State Superintendent Thurmond holds hearing on special education funding

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 20:40:35-04

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond held a special education funding hearing Friday. The hearing included legislators, state agencies, and foundations discussing public and private partnerships to fund student support services programs on school campuses, including improving safety.

"Real school safety comes from building strong relationships, strengthening social-emotional and physical and emotional health wellness, and addressing and preventing instructional trauma," said Manuel Criollo of Forward Change and Dignity in Schools. "We have rigorous evidence that programs that build these crucial elements create safe and supportive schools."

Officials said the funding will go toward restorative justice, de-escalation, social-emotional learning, mental health counseling programs, and more.

The state superintendent also called for better training on implicit bias and improved data collection on expulsions and disciplinarian actions.

During the hearing, Thurmond said the department of education is working to re-imagine student support and discipline. Some options include reducing or eliminating police presence on campus and adding more mental health counseling services.