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District Spending of One-Time Funds for Educational Recovery

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

To address COVID-19 disruptions to education, federal and state programs directed billions in stimulus aid to K–12 schools. These programs allocated greater funding to lower-income and high-need districts—and California districts applied their early funds to health, safety, and technology. More recently, spending has prioritized learning recovery.

Fact Sheet

Student Achievement on California’s K–12 Assessments

By Iwunze Ugo, Emmanuel Prunty

The results from California’s 2022 Smarter Balanced Assessments suggest that pandemic disruptions to K–12 education reversed nearly six years of academic progress. Declines in proficiency were widespread, but there was substantial variation across grade levels and demographic groups.

blog post

College Enrollment Is Holding Steady among First-time Students at UC and CSU

By Hans Johnson, Jacob Jackson

Many public universities across the US have experienced declining enrollment in recent years. The University of California and California State University systems have largely bucked this trend, though pandemic disruptions and other factors raise questions about the future.

blog post

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.

Statewide Survey

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

By Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Deja Thomas

Californians name economic conditions, homelessness, and housing as the most important issues facing the state today. A majority of Californians favor changing state environmental regulations as a way to increase housing affordability.

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Kindergarten Enrollment Declines Mask Differences by Age

By Julien Lafortune, Emmanuel Prunty

Kindergarten enrollment at California’s public schools fell dramatically in 2020–21. Examining the trends for specific kindergarten ages—as well as the impact of transitional kindergarten (TK)—is key to understanding the broader decline in public school enrollment.

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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.


Achieving Universal Broadband in California

By Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao, Darriya Starr, Amy Gong Liu

In 2021, California invested over $6 billion to expand broadband infrastructure, address affordability, and promote digital literacy. This report examines barriers to installing broadband in underserved communities and offers recommendations as the state aims to close the digital divide.

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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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