August 2019 Vol. 25, 8
The Legislature will reconvene from its month-long summer recess on Aug. 12.
Charter authorization, start time bills highlight final month of 2019 legislative year
The Legislature will reconvene from its month-long summer recess on Aug. 12.

Senate Bill 328, which would prohibit all non-rural middle and high schools in the state from starting the regular school day before 8 a.m. (middle schools) or 8:30 a.m. (high schools), passed the Assembly Education Committee on July 10 with a 4-1 vote (two members declined to vote) and was sent to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it awaits a hearing. If approved by that committee, the bill would be sent to the Assembly Floor.

CSBA remains opposed to SB 328, as the decision regarding school start times should be made locally, based on the needs of students and families in their own communities.

Assembly Bill 1505, which remains a work in progress leading into the final weeks of the legislative year, would make substantial changes to processes governing charter school petitions and renewals. Amendments made on July 5 reflect several recommendations made by CSBA’s Charter Schools Task Force in its 2018 Uncharted Waters report, as well as priorities of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.

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Board members, social media and the First Amendment
School district and county office of education board members are elected to govern their local public schools and strive to be responsive to the values, beliefs and priorities of their communities.
As part of the process of setting direction, establishing an effective structure and ensuring accountability for student success, board members communicate often with their constituents on how to provide the best education possible for all children.

For many board members in 2019, this includes communicating with constituents through social media, including Facebook, Twitter and other online spaces. Social media can be a useful way to communicate with constituents, but board members should be aware that operating a social media account as an elected official can create limitations on their ability to regulate comments on their accounts. Board members who wish to discuss district business on their social media accounts and allow comments from the public should take care to allow all comments, even critical ones, and avoid blocking users or regulating comments based on the viewpoint expressed.

For school districts that have district-sponsored social media accounts, CSBA’s sample Board Policy 1114 contains guidance on content and privacy issues for districts. When the district allows the public to post comments on district-sponsored social media accounts, they may create a “limited public forum,” which grants individuals certain freedom of speech rights and limits the district’s ability to remove comments or posts from members of the public. Districts must therefore ensure that any removal of content is done in a “viewpoint-neutral” manner — in other words, the district cannot remove comments from the community that they disagree with, while leaving more positive comments up on the site.

Senior Director of Communications:
Troy Flint |

Managing Editor:
Kimberly Sellery |

Marketing Director:

Serina Pruitt |

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Andrew Cummins |
Aaron Davis |
Mike Ambrose |
Barbara Laifman |

Graphic Design Manager:
Kerry Macklin |

Senior Graphic Designer:
Mauricio Miranda |

Emma Turner | La Mesa-Spring Valley SD

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez | Azusa USD

Vice President:
Tamara Otero | Cajon Valley Union USD

Immediate Past President:
Mike Walsh | Butte COE

CEO & Executive Director:
Vernon M. Billy

The California School Boards Association is the essential voice for public education. We inspire our members to be knowledgeable leaders, extraordinary governance practitioners and ardent advocates for all students.
California School News (ISSN 1091-1715) is published 11 times per year by the California School Boards Association, Inc., 3251 Beacon Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691. 916-371-4691. $4 of CSBA annual membership dues is for the subscription to California School News. The subscription rate for each CSBA nonmember is $35. Periodicals postage paid at West Sacramento, CA and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to California School News, 3251 Beacon Blvd., West Sacramento, CA 95691.

News and feature items submitted for publication are edited for style and space as necessary.

President’s Message: Emma Turner
Emma Turner
Welcome all students back to school — and plan to keep them there
We cling to the last days of summer, but the passage of time is relentless and unsentimental. Vacation has already ended for some school districts and county offices of education; others will open their doors in the coming weeks. This is a critical time as children transition back to the schedules and rigors of school life. Educators have to be ready to welcome students from day one, and we must also keep that same energy and engage all students — especially those in need of the most help — throughout the year.

The subject of supporting hard-to-reach students has weighed on my mind since I read The Effect of School Discipline on Offending across Time, a study led by Bowling Green University sociology professor Thomas Mowen. Mowen and his co-authors found that out-of-school suspensions increase the likelihood that the suspended students would commit another infraction or crime and that the subsequent offense would be more severe. In effect, rather than serving as a deterrent, suspensions were increasing the prospect of bad behavior and propelling students toward more serious transgressions. The study concluded that, “Despite some limitations, findings from this study demonstrate that school discipline can serve as an important turning point during adolescence … and can present a cumulative effect that substantially amplifies deviance as youth move through adolescence and into emerging adulthood.”

Masters in Governance graduates
June 14, 2019: San Jose, California
CSBA is proud to recognize our Masters in Governance graduates and salute their exceptional commitment to professional development in the service of students. MIG completion signifies mastery of the roles and responsibilities of school boards and a strong understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to build and support an effective governance structure that helps produce better outcomes for students. MIG is just one part of CSBA’s commitment to our strategic initiative to support professional development by providing accessible, high-quality training.
June 14, 2019: San Jose, California
Front Row: Left to Right
Adrian Perez, Board President, Mendota USD; Quiauna Scott, Superintendent, Emery USD; Liz Monti-Hall, Board Member, Sunol Glen USD; Stephanie Fitch, Board Member, Ravenswood City ESD; Katherine Tseng, Board President, Los Gatos-Saratoga Jt. Un. HSD; Tamara Sobomehin, Board President, Ravenswood City ESD; Michael Tsai, Board Member, Milpitas USD

Second Row: Left to Right
Shane Reinhart, Board Member, John Swett USD; Joetta Fleak, Board Member, Madera USD; Angelann Flores, Board Member, Stockton USD; Candelaria Vargas, Board Member, Stockton USD; Mina Richardson, Board Member, South San Francisco USD; Kelly Chuan, Board Member, Milpitas USD; Lucy Salazar, Board Member, Madera USD; Mary Ann Dewan, Superintendent Santa Clara COE (not a MIG graduate)

GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Board Candidate Orientation
The start of the school year can be an appropriate time for districts and county offices of education to host candidate orientations for individuals who hope to fill open board seats. Candidate orientations can be a useful tool to prepare these individuals for the transition from candidate to governing board member.

When an orientation is set up with intention, it can serve as the first step to the onboarding process for incoming board members. Boards may consider discussing the following guiding questions when preparing to host a candidate orientation:

  • What will candidates learn as a result of participating in the orientation?
  • How will the information shared at the orientation better prepare candidates for a governance role within our district or COE?
  • What is the essential information about our district or COE that is critical for a candidate to know before taking office? What is the most effective way to present this information?
  • What is the essential information about governance and governance roles and responsibilities that is critical for candidates to know? What is the most effective way to present this information?
  • What are the resources from our local COE and partners, such as CSBA, that can be included?
  • What will candidates learn as a result of participating in the orientation?
  • How will the information shared at the orientation better prepare candidates for a governance role within our district or COE?
  • What is the essential information about our district or COE that is critical for a candidate to know before taking office? What is the most effective way to present this information?
  • What is the essential information about governance and governance roles and responsibilities that is critical for candidates to know? What is the most effective way to present this information?
  • What are the resources from our local COE and partners, such as CSBA, that can be included?
Call for Nominations open Aug. 1 for CSBA Directors-at-Large

Nominations for CSBA Directors-at-Large African American, American Indian and County are being accepted through Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Directors-at-Large play an important role at CSBA, helping shape policy and set organizational direction. Nominations must be made by a CSBA-member board of education. Nominees must submit a candidate statement and two letters of recommendation by Friday, Oct. 11.

CSBA’s Board of Directors consists of four officers, 21 regional directors from across the state, four ethnic directors-at-large, one county director-at-large, the California County Boards of Education president and any California board member serving on the National School Boards Association Board of Directors. The Delegate Assembly elects directors to serve a two-year term beginning immediately upon the close of the Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in December.

More information on the nomination process and election process is available on the CSBA website.


Guidance and support needed for charter school authorizers, panel says

Representatives from school districts, county offices of education and education organizations gathered in Sacramento on June 26 for a California Department of Education panel discussion, Best Practices for Charter School Authorization and Renewal.

The panel, which included CSBA Legislative Advocate Carlos Machado, convened at a key moment for California’s charter schools amid the recent release of reform recommendations from a state-appointed task force and as several bills regarding enrollment policies, petition appeals and charter locations make their way through the Legislature.

Just one in three of California’s 1,000 districts has a charter school within its boundaries, and of those, 90 percent have fewer than five. Only the largest authorizers have staff dedicated to the oversight of charter schools. The panelists agreed that with so much variation in district size and capacity, the most important needs for authorizers are guidance, training and support.

With the current lack of standards available at a statewide level, several panelists recommended focusing on developing internal processes for reviewing charter school petitions and for future oversight. “Be prepared,” said Machado. “It’s best to have policies and practices in place before you get your first petition.” He emphasized the importance of setting expectations early — both so the petitioner knows what to expect and the governing board and staff are clear on the process and the timelines. CSBA’s own Charter School Taskforce issued a report last fall, Uncharted Waters, with both practice and legislative recommendations that can be a valuable resource for charter school authorizers.

Leaders dive deep into equitably expanding computer science offerings

Faced with stark data showing 61 percent of California’s high schools don’t offer any computer science courses, district and county office administrators attended a summer workshop aimed at helping them equitably implement the classes.

Ensuring access and inclusion for all students and teachers was key to the 2019 Summer of CS program hosted at the Sacramento County Office of Education on June 18, which also included a policy luncheon featuring an array of speakers representing industry, the Legislature and students. This annual multiday event was presented by the Sacramento COE, the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS) and CSforCA.

In addition to the dearth of California high schools offering computer science courses, a new report by the Kapor Center calls out severe equity shortcomings in instances when classes are offered. Computer Science in California’s Schools: An Analysis of Access, Enrollment, and Equity finds that:

  • Low-income and rural schools are significantly less likely to offer computer science courses.
  • Black, Latino and Native American/Native Alaskan students comprise 60 percent of California’s high school enrollment but just 16 percent of Advanced Placement computer science test-takers.
  • Seven in 10 students who take AP computer science exams pass, but there are significant racial gaps: Only four in 10 black and Latino students receive passing scores.
  • Only 29 percent of students taking introductory computer science courses are female.
  • The full Kapor Center report can be found at

California school facilities needs make case for proposed bond measure

Does California need another school bond measure? Will voters support it? Can improvements be made to help lower-income districts access bond funds?

California school facilities needs make case for proposed bond measure

These were some of the questions tackled in a June 17 EdSource webinar, Building for the future: Funding school renovation & construction, in which a panel of school facilities experts discussed a proposed school bond measure making its way through the Legislature.

Assembly Bill 48 (O’Donnell-D, Long Beach), the Kindergarten-Community Colleges Public Education Facilities Bond Acts of 2020 and 2022, would place a $13 billion school facilities bond on the March 2020 ballot and an additional bond of as-yet-undefined value on the November 2022 ballot. Panelists included CSBA Legislative Advocate Eric Bakke; Murdoch, Walrath & Holmes Legislative Advocate and Elk Grove Unified School District board member Nancy Chaires Espinoza; researcher and co-author of a Getting Down to Facts II study on financing school facilities Jeff Vincent; and San Bernardino Unified board member Barbara Flores.

State Board of Education adopts new five-year graduation rate for Dashboard

Future versions of the California School Dashboard will include a combined four- and five-year graduation rate, which officials say provides schools with an opportunity to demonstrate their success with students who may need additional time to earn a high school diploma.

The State Board of Education unanimously approved the new measure at its July 10 meeting, although with some concerns about certain schools potentially no longer being eligible for comprehensive support.

The combined four- and five-year rate — which will not replace the traditional four-year rate for federal reporting — would have increased the state’s 2018 total graduation rate by 0.2 percentage points, said Cindy Kazanis, director of the California Department of Education’s Analysis, Measurement and Accountability Reporting Division. Nearly 6,000 students from the previous school year finished courses and earned a diploma in 2018.

While only impacting a small percentage of the student population, CDE staff said the new measure will place a greater focus on supporting and tracking student groups that traditionally need more services. The CDE’s recommendation reads, the rate “offers schools and districts additional time and incentive to work with and provide support to those students who did not graduate within four years.”

Watching out for the health and safety of student athletes
Whether it’s hitting a home run, crossing the finish line or simply being part of a team, extracurricular athletics are influential to the educational experience of many students. Students in these programs experience enhanced school engagement by being part of an athletic program.1
Research shows that higher grades, graduation rates and scores on state assessments, as well as lower dropout rates, are seen among student athletes in comparison to non-athletes. To actualize these positive attributes, and, most importantly, to properly care for participants, governance teams should review district policies and protocols related to the health and safety of student athletes.2

Stories of student athletes who suffer major injuries and even death caused by avoidable circumstances are heartbreaking, and districts should strive to prevent such occurrences. Coaches must meet minimum qualifications to ensure they possess an appropriate level of competence, knowledge and skill. They must be trained to recognize, prevent and appropriately respond to symptoms related to concussions, head injuries and sudden cardiac arrest syndrome; to remove the student from play if injury and/or symptoms occur; and to not allow the student to return to play until the student is evaluated and given written clearance by a health care provider. Additionally, coaches must be trained in the signs, symptoms and appropriate response to heat illness, such as dehydration and heat exhaustion, and to follow practices that assist in the prevention of heat illness. Preventative measures include gradually increasing the intensity and duration of exercise to acclimate student athletes to heat, providing adequate rest breaks, making water available during all athletic activities and altering practice plans in extreme environmental conditions.

county boards
San Diego County’s Monarch School combats homelessness through education
Monarch School has served San Diego for over three decades, beginning as a one-room education center and expanding into a K-12 comprehensive school designed to educate homeless youth.
With more than 22,000 students in San Diego County identified as homeless, it’s clear there’s a great need for intervention. Monarch School — a K-12 public school operating through a partnership between the nonprofit Monarch School Project and the San Diego County Office of Education — is a unique campus serving the needs of some of those children. It’s the only school in the country dedicated exclusively to educating homeless students.

Monarch’s mission is to help the county’s most vulnerable children break the cycle of homelessness through education. The San Diego COE provides teachers and an accredited education, and the project supplements the school through academic and enrichment programs, including an after-school program, expressive arts therapy and counseling. The project also provides health care, clothes, food and family assistance.

“Education is the best chance children have to avoid poverty and homelessness,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Paul Gothold. He cited figures from the National Center on Family Homelessness that children experiencing homelessness are eight times more likely to be asked to repeat a grade, three times more likely to be placed in special education classes and twice as likely to score poorly on standardized tests.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Register for any of these events at
Sept. 6 | San Diego
Masters in Governance Courses 1
Sept. 13 | Burbank
CCSA Fall Workshop
Sept. 13–15 | Monterey
CCBE Annual Conference
Oct. 11–12 | Santa Rosa
Masters in Governance Courses 3 & 4
Oct. 18–19 | San Diego
Masters in Governance Courses 3 & 4
Oct. 25 | San Diego
2019 The Brown Act
Oct. 25 | San Diego
Masters in Governance Course 5
Nov. 1 | Santa Rosa
2019 The Brown Act
Thanks for reading our August 2019 newsletter!