California Department of Education

Wikimedia Commons

In late June, a mountaintop cross in Riverside that bears the name of Franciscan friar Junipero Serra became the most recent target of those who call for removal of all Serra statues and namesakes, part of a renewed focus across the country to remove monuments associated with racism, colonialism or slavery.

A statue of Serra at Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa is now in storage, after being removed by church administrators around June 23.

Greta Mart/KCBX

This week, the California Department of Education released truancy rates for the state’s public schools, organized by county. Truancy is defined as three or more days out of school without a valid excuse. The numbers show Santa Barbara County’s rate was nearly 10 percent lower than the state average, for the fourth year in a row.