At first glance, California’s latest education funding bill is fair and equitable. The requirement for school districts to provide independent study programs that parents want for their children is a good one. But unsurprisingly, the legislature’s proposed implementation is clumsy at best.
The trailer bill increases the minimum in-person instruction time that many students and families in independent study programs will find difficult to follow. If a student needs to work to support their family or raise their own child, taking away the flexibility of their education will make it harder to succeed. School should be structured to be convenient for students, not the schools, admin or staff.
The added layers of requirements and red tape on independent study programs include a mandate to have all enrolled students sign new master agreements (after having just signed agreements for the new school year this past April). This means teachers, administrators and support staff must meet a clerical deadline of July 31 so their students can continue learning.
At a time when a school’s sole focus should be on recovering learning losses and treating student trauma, the last thing students and families need is bureaucracy interrupting their educational progress.