Policy Recommendations

COVID-19 & Reopening Schools

Recent analysis of statewide achievement data for English Language Arts and Mathematics across 18 districts serving 50,000 students for grades 4-12 shows COVID learning loss has been significant, especially for low-income students (Pier et al., 2021).

One could assume that some of these same patterns will apply to districts that serve large portions of Black students, requiring resources from lawmakers, collaborations and unique expertise to counter the negative academic impact of the virus for low-income Black students. Concrete policy steps can be taken as an immediate response to the current crisis.

Cities
Ensure connectivity across cities so students and families have access to virtual support, resources and instruction.
School Districts
Assess student well-being using universal screening strategies to support the use of targeted resources for students who are showing the most significant need for remediation including tiered support models during the school day, expanded learning time, tutoring, and year-round academic support.
Los Angeles County
Encourage sharing of resources and instructional models across all 80 districts to focus on universal, targeted, and supplemental support strategies.
State of California
Dedicate more funds to districts to supplement Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) resources, requiring clear articulation of evidence-based practices to support student learning and growth for Black students and families.
Federal Government
Require counties and districts to use funds to focus on addressing existing gaps, including the digital divide and student achievement disparities.