Sen. Dodd Legislation Helps Schools in Emergency Power Shutoffs
SACRAMENTO –Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today that would help schools recover funding and instructional time lost by wildfire-related power shutoffs from Pacific Gas & Electric Co and other utilities.
“Educating our children is priority one, so communities stricken by PG&E’s poorly executed power outages shouldn’t be forced to endure losses to their school budgets,” Sen. Dodd said. “My bill will ensure school districts are made financially whole while providing a mechanism to offer makeup days for students who have missed value classroom time.”
California public school funding is based on average daily attendance, reported three times a year by school districts. Under current law, if schools are forced to close because of a public safety power shutoff, such as those across the North Bay last year, they could lose part of their expected allocation. Senate Bill 884 changes that, authorizing the state to backfill ADA money. In addition, it authorizes districts to receive funding for makeup days offered at the end of the regular school year if power shutoffs or other disasters force significant closures during the year.
SB 884 is sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education and coauthored by Senator Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg.
“Over the past three years, the 40 school districts in Sonoma County have collectively lost over 300 days of student instruction due to two catastrophic fires, a flood, and multiple PG&E power shutoffs,” said Steve Herrington, superintendent of Sonoma County schools. “This proposed legislation provides school districts the option of recapturing some of this lost instruction.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.