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Policy Brief

Policy Brief: District Spending of One-Time Funds for Educational Recovery

By Julien Lafortune, Laura Hill, Niu Gao, Joseph Herrera ...

States received billions in one-time stimulus funds to help recover from pandemic disruptions to education. California allocated much of its money to districts based on their shares of low-income students, which largely targeted schools with lower achievement levels rather than greater learning loss.

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Keeping Students Fed When School Is Out

By Caroline Danielson

The end of the academic year can increase food insecurity for California families that rely on free meals provided at school. Plans to permanently add a second mode of assistance—debit cards that can be used for groceries—aim to help families feed their children when school is out.

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Public School Enrollment Declines Vary across Grade Levels

By Julien Lafortune, Emmanuel Prunty

California’s public school enrollment decreased slightly in 2022–23 and has now fallen for six years in a row. While the latest enrollment levels in grades 2 through 12 were close to projections, enrollment in earlier grades fell short.

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Video: Achieving Universal Broadband in California

By Vicki Hsieh

PPIC researchers Amy Gong Liu and Darriya Starr discuss a new report on efforts to install broadband in underserved communities, including the role of recent federal and state investments.

Policy Brief

Policy Brief: Pandemic Policymaking and Changed Outcomes in Criminal Courts

By Heather Harris, Stephanie Barton

Remote hearings are the major policy to endure from pandemic interventions introduced by California criminal courts. When remote hearings were in place, misdemeanor convictions fell—and courts tended to hand out probation or fines for these crimes, especially among white, Latino, and Black defendants.

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Implications of Chronic Absenteeism for Student Learning

By Laura Hill, Emmanuel Prunty

Chronic absenteeism among California’s K–12 students increased dramatically during the pandemic. Schools with larger increases in absenteeism saw steeper declines in student performance on state tests, especially in math.

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Exploring the Spike in Chronic Absenteeism among K–12 Students

By Laura Hill, Emmanuel Prunty

Nearly one in three California public school students were chronically absent in 2021–22, a share that is almost triple that in 2018–19. Rates of chronic absenteeism were highest among Black, Native American, and Pacific Islander students.

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