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California Department of Education News Release (with no CDE logo)
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #17-90
December 6, 2017
Contact: Robert Oakes
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Help is Available for Schools as Southern California Wildfires Spread

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said on Wednesday that assistance for schools is ready as wind-driven wildfires continue to spread destruction, damage, and school closures in Southern California.

Nearly 135,000 total students were displaced as schools shut down and evacuations spread. The Thomas Fire in Ventura County burned more than 65,000 acres and closed schools in 19 individual school districts, while three separate fires in Los Angeles County shut down schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified and Los Angeles Unified School districts.

Roaring flames closed major freeways, destroyed at least 150 buildings, and caused major power outages.

“I want to commend schools for their rapid actions to protect students and school staff and for alerting parents of closures,” Torlakson said.

Assistance details are available on the CDE Wildfires web page (NOTE: This web page is no longer available). School fire recovery resources are listed on this Web page. External link opens in new window or tab.

State law allows local education agencies to apply for a waiver to hold them harmless from the loss of attendance based Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding and instructional time penalties if they have to close schools because of a natural disaster such as floods, fires, or earthquakes. Approval of waivers for school closures and material decreases in attendance may be requested two copies of Form J-13A (DOC). For more guidance on ADA relief, see the CDE’s Management Advisory 90-01 on ADA Credit During Periods of Emergency.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 14, 2019
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