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The Impact of COVID-19 on Science Education

By Niu Gao, Kathy DiRanna, Maria T. Chang Fay

COVID-19 school shutdowns were especially disruptive for science education, which has long been a lower priority than math and English language arts. But as California schools recover from the pandemic, state policymakers can take steps to promote equitable investments in science literacy.

Report

Understanding the Effects of School Funding

By Julien Lafortune

Funding for California’s K–12 public schools has reached record highs, but gaps in student outcomes remain. Understanding the benefits of additional funds, and how to distribute those funds, are key concerns for policymakers. This report offers insights from a robust body of research on the extent to which higher spending improves outcomes.

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How Has California Narrowed Its K–12 Digital Divide?

By Niu Gao, Joseph Hayes, Darriya Starr

Since the onset of the pandemic, educators and policymakers have made substantial strides in addressing two key barriers to universal digital access—affordability and infrastructure.

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COVID in California: What Have We Learned about the Economy?

This March marks the two-year anniversary of the first pandemic-related lockdowns in California. We have now endured several waves of the virus and faced numerous, shifting challenges. What lessons have emerged about our state’s economy? How can we move forward and address major concerns still facing California? Join PPIC vice president and senior fellow Lande Ajose in a wide-ranging discussion with Betty T. Yee, California State Controller.

Report

Equitable State Funding for School Facilities

By Julien Lafortune, Niu Gao

Most funding for California’s K–12 facilities comes from local tax revenues, which depend on property wealth. State funding could potentially address wealth disparities, but it has disproportionately benefited more-affluent districts. Policymakers should prioritize equity in facility funding so that all students have access to safe and effective learning environments.

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Reforming Water Rights in California

By Sarah Bardeen

Water rights reform has long been the third rail in California politics—but that might be changing, thanks to an intriguing new report. We speak with two of the report’s authors about why they undertook this effort now.

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Dangers Lurk in the San Joaquin Valley’s Dust

By Sarah Bardeen

In the San Joaquin Valley, concerns about airborne dust—and its health impacts—are growing. We speak with two experts who say people are right to be concerned.

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