Skip to main content

Independent Voice

Sen. Dodd's Bill to Protect School Funding Clears Assembly Committee

Aug 07, 2020 12:00AM ● By By Paul Payne, Office of Senator Bill Dodd

SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced that his legislation to prevent schools struggling with the coronavirus pandemic from incurring additional financial setbacks caused by wildfire-related power shutoffs has cleared a key committee.

“Considering the financial challenges posed by Covid-19, it is especially important that we protect critical funding sources for our public schools,” Sen. Dodd said. “They should not lose money because PG&E or another utility has responded to the threat of wildfire by shutting off their power lines. This bill would make schools whole if they are forced to endure another outage.”

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, explicitly authorizing the state to backfill average daily attendance money.

SB 884 is sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education and coauthored by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg. It passed the Assembly education committee Monday with unanimous support and was previously approved by the full Senate.

“The Sonoma County Office of Education is proud to sponsor SB 884 in response to the alarming number of school days our students missed due to natural disasters and the related power shutoffs,” said Steve Herrington, superintendent of Sonoma County schools. “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing chaos in our schools and requires our immediate attention. However, we know that natural disasters will not abate because of the virus. We need to be prepared for when these disasters again to lead to public safety power shutoffs. We are proud to work with Sen. Dodd, who has been a champion for our local schools during these difficult times.”

Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at