Gov. Newsom Dedicates $4.6B for Summer School


Rachel Park, Opinions Editor

Recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom presented an $89.2 billion bill for K-12 schools and community colleges. The governor dedicated $4.6 billion for summer school, confronting academic setbacks students have faced with online learning. 


Said Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, “Distance learning has been ineffective for students. These funds will help prevent further widening of the academic achievement gap and support our students in credit and grade recovery. Reopening schools safely, which must include adequate testing and vaccination of teachers and other school staff, must also be a priority.”


The expanded summer school is predicted to help the varying levels of learning loss among students across the state. Especially those in areas with low-income students and with limited internet access faced larger academic setbacks.


On the other hand, superintendents have been skeptical of this proposal. They stated that Newsom’s plan leaves too much discretion to individual districts to determine what constitutes a safe school environment and what standards must be met for classrooms to reopen. Since November, the group of educational leaders has asked state officials to adopt a statewide set of reopening standards.


Summer school at Cupertino High School has historically run from June to July, helping English learners or students who need to recover credit. However, this year, the prospect of summer school is unclear. 


Said Jackie Corso, assistant principal at Cupertino High School, “[summer school] is a district program so it’d be done at the district level. I’m not sure I have heard specifically what the plans are for this summer. It is a question on everyone’s minds about what Summer Academy would look like this summer: if it would be a continuation of remote learning, which has been a struggle for a lot of students and what it might look like.”


Andrew Goldenkranz, a teacher at Cupertino High School, stated that summer school “really encourages teachers to try different techniques than you did during the school year. There’s much more of a sense of project-based learning, and much more of a sense of going deep into subjects as opposed to trying to cover too many things. We always prioritize depth over breadth.”


He predicts that summer school this year will also primarily serve to help students catch up. Said Goldenkranz, “It may grow a little bit demographically to include other kids who’ve had some kind of struggles. There’s nothing that I’ve heard from the state or district that says it’s going to be required for everybody. So it’s still going to be an optional thing. And in general, all of those opportunities are helpful.”


Because the Fremont Union High School District, which Cupertino High School is a part of, is a basic aid district, it receives less state aid. Both Goldenkranz and Corso stated that they are unsure how much funds the school would be receiving. Nevertheless, summer school would help students catch up with material and provide resources for learning.