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COVID-19 School Closures in California: How Philanthropy Can Help Now

Thursday, April 9, 2020 -
11:00am to 12:00pm PDT
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Schools closed a few weeks back, forcing teachers, districts, caregivers, and the department of education to scramble to find immediate solutions. There are immediate needs no longer being met because of school closures, like nutrition, physical safety, and psychological safety, as well as needs around distance learning. All of this has huge potential impact on the achievement gap.  

Recent data came back last week from a series of surveys with families and California school districts that highlights the needs of districts, caregivers, and students. In this funder call, we will hear from Linda Darling Hammond, State Board President with the California Department of Education, and Elisha Smith Arrillaga of Education Trust West, who will share trends that they are seeing regarding current needs, how those trends relate to different geographies in the state, and how the California philanthropic community can help.  

Join us to hear from those working on the frontlines to get students, teachers, and caregivers what they need during these precarious times. The achievement gap is staring us in the face and threatening to widen. 

Join us to learn about: 

  • The current needs districts are facing throughout the state with a specific focus on equity concerns and distance learning 
  • Where the opportunities lie for funders to support immediate needs 


Linda Darling Hammond, President, California State Board of Education

Linda Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and founding president of the Learning Policy Institute, created to provide high-quality research for policies that enable equitable and empowering education for each and every child.  At Stanford she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign.

Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director, The Education Trust-West

Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga serves as the Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a research and advocacy organization focused on educational justice and supporting the high achievement of all California students, with a particular focus on underserved students of color, low-income students, and English learners. Dr. Smith Arrillaga leads the organization’s work centering education as a key racial and economic justice issue and has extensive expertise in leading initiatives using multiple strategies for impacting state policy – leveraging direct action, research, media, and policymaker engagement. She has more than twenty years’ experience working in and partnering with education and workforce policy, research, and advocacy organizations, including the Career Ladders Project, First 5 LA, College Bound, the Hewlett Foundation, Mathematica Policy Research, and high schools and community colleges across the state of California.

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