Lea Darrah Testifies at CA State Assembly Hearing on School Closures

Yesterday, Lea Darrah, California State PTA VP for Education, testified at a hearing of Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Education Finance. The topic of the hearing was how to mitigate learning loss during the COVID-19 school closures.

Darrah was part of a panel that also included representatives from the California State Board of Education, Policy Analysis for California Education, the California Department of Finance, San Lorenzo Unified School District, the Association of California School Administrators, the California Teachers Association, Elk Grove School District, and EdTrust West.

“While districts are doing their best to provide distance learning, we know there are gaps in the system in which students may not have access to adequate technology devices, internet access or a quiet place to learn,” Darrah said during the hearing. “We support educators and believe they need and deserve professional development for distance learning. I think more than ever we realize the value of our teachers in California.”

“Furthermore, students with additional needs such as English learners, students with IEPs, 504s or special education students need additional support and services to succeed in this new learning environment,” she continued. “We have heard from parents who are concerned about ensuring their students stay at grade level and do not experience learning losses.”

“Most of all, our students and families need to feel safe and secure to face the challenges that this current pandemic requires of us. And it is my sincere hope that the legislature makes the decisions to invest in safety, mental health, educational services and social services to protect our most valued assets in the state, our children.”

Lea and other members of California State PTA leadership team will continue to advocate to get teachers, parents and families the resources and support they need to make it through this uncertain and challenging period of distance learning and school closures.

To see video footage of the hearing, click here. Darrah’s testimony starts at 2:36.

To read a text version of Darrah’s testimony, click here.