CDE Issues Financial Support for Districts in Wake of Wildfires

As wildfires continue to ravage several areas across the state, schools closures and evacuation orders remain in place.

In response, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has issued a statement for districts in these areas allowing them to receive relief from the loss of state Average Daily Attendance student funding.

Almost immediately, Superintendent Torlakson issued a statement for Sonoma and Napa counties.

“My staff will help affected school administrators through the process of applying for waivers due to school closures,” said Torlakson. “Schools should not suffer financially or in any other way for putting safety first in any kind of emergency.”

As news about the Canyon Fire 2 in Orange County hit the waves the following day, the Superintendent issued another letter announcing funding for those schools as well.

“These fires create devastating damage, but I want to remind school districts all over our state that they can recoup ADA funds if they must close school sites,” Torlakson said.

About 600 schools or 260,000 students in total have been affected by the fires. School closures have been declared in Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Orange, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, and Yuba counties.

Additionally, The CDE Nutrition Services Division on Tuesday sent two truckloads of frozen food and dry goods to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa to assist fire victims and has offered to send more food.

"I want to thank these school districts for taking swift and decisive action to protect educators and students, and to let them know that the California Department of Education will assist them in any way that we can,” said Torlakson. “Safety must come first for students, teachers, and staff.”

Torlakson also said that students who are homeless because of fire damage can be immediately enrolled in schools even if they do not have the necessary paperwork to enroll, such as proof of residency. Information is available from the National Center for Homeless Education.