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August 2023 Vol. 29, 8

Enrollment-based funding legislation delayed to 2024
CSBA has an Oppose unless Amended position
A bill to move California schools toward enrollment-based funding — one of this legislative session’s most significant education measures — has been shelved for 2023. Coined as a bill to transition the state’s Local Control Funding Formula methodology from an attendance-based formula to an enrollment-based one, Senate Bill 98 (Portantino, D-Burbank) would create an add-on to the LCFF formula to provide supplemental attendance-based funding and impose a number of new requirements on districts. The proposal became a two-year bill on July 11 and will remain on hold in the Assembly Education Committee until next year. The pause offers a chance to look more deeply at the proposal and for CSBA to explain what it looks for in a funding proposal.
hands lifted together in a group huddle as the sun shines brightly in the background
In a resounding victory for local control and the integrity of the Assembly Bill 1505 charter reform law, a California Superior Court found on June 29 that the State Board of Education abused its authority in overturning charter denials.
CSBA and partners launch Golden State Technology Solutions
The new one-stop shop for all public school tech needs
Golden State Technology Solutions graphic banner

CSBA and the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) have joined forces with Carahsoft Technology Corp., the Trusted Education IT Solutions Provider™, to reduce costs, streamline compliance and simplify technology procurement for California public schools. The partnership, known as Golden State Technology Solutions, allows local educational agencies to economically purchase hardware, software, training, consulting and cybersecurity services, saving time and money and freeing resources for student support.

California School News logo
Chief Information Officer:
Troy Flint |

Editorial Director:
Kimberly Sellery |

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Alisha Kirby |
Heather Kemp |
Teresa Machado |
Kristin Lindgren |
Dana Scott |
Dustin Bindreiff |

Director of Graphic Design & Branding:
Kerry Macklin |

Senior Graphic Designer:
Amanda Moen |

Susan Markarian | Pacific Union ESD

Albert Gonzalez | Santa Clara USD

Vice President:
Bettye Lusk | Monterey Peninsula USD

Immediate Past President:
Dr. Susan Heredia | Natomas USD

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.

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President’s Message: Susan Markarian
Ensuring students make it back to school this season
A focus on attendance monitoring and messaging early on helps students succeed
As summer break draws to a close while temperatures still soar around the state, a hot topic on the minds of trustees, administrators and teachers alike is how to create a supportive and engaging school environment that makes students feel welcome and eager to attend school every day.

Student attendance, much like student learning, has not recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While California Department of Education data is not yet available for the 2022–23 school year, the 2022 California School Dashboard Chronic Absenteeism Indicator was “very high,” recording a statewide chronic absence rate of a 30 percent — more than double the rate of 14.3 percent in the 2020–21 school year.

The highest levels of chronic absenteeism — defined as missing 10 percent of the school year for any reason — occurred among students experiencing homelessness, Pacific Islander, African American and American Indian students. But 11 of 13 student groups were labeled as having very high rates of chronic absenteeism, with only Asian and Filipino students designated as “high.”

CSBA press conference calls for more support for TK-12 cybersecurity
AB 1023 will require more consideration of schools’ cybersecurity needs
CSBA President Susan Markarian wearing glasses and a teal balzer and blouse, speaks into the podium microphone during a June 26 press conference
“Schools have access to more sensitive information and fulfill a more essential purpose than virtually any other local government agency and deserve robust, focused support to prepare for ransomware attacks,” said CSBA President Susan Markarian during a June 26 press conference held in support of Assembly Bill 1023, which aims to improve cybersecurity and preserve data privacy in California TK-12 schools.

The CSBA-sponsored legislation, authored by Assemblymember Diane Papan (D-San Mateo), would allow schools the same access to the information, guidance and coordination needed to effectively implement cybersecurity as other government agencies receive through the California Cybersecurity Integration Center (Cal-CSIC). It would also require Cal-CSIC to gather input from local educational agencies.

“I’m so honored to be able to do this bill … to make sure that all of our elementary schools, all the way through high school, are protected from cyberattacks,” Papan said during the event, which took place at Elk Grove Unified School District’s Florence Markofer Elementary. “As technology begins to play a bigger role in schools, we’ve got to make sure that they’re protected.”


School Boards in Action:
5 Questions with Dieema A. Wheaton, El Segundo USD
Dieema A. Wheaton, board president, El Segundo Unified School District in Los Angeles County
Dieema A. Wheaton with other board members
What are some promising practices taking place in your district?
El Segundo USD is committed to the overall well-being and mental health of our students. We offer a variety of programs and services to support students, including:

  • Trained mental health professionals at each school.
  • Partnerships with the South Bay Children’s Health Center and other non-public and nonprofit agencies.
  • A focus on social-emotional learning through the RULER program.

RULER is an evidence-based approach to integrating social and emotional learning in schools. It teaches students the skills of emotional intelligence, which includes recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating emotions. These skills are essential for teaching and learning, sound decision-making, physical and mental health, and success in school and beyond.

Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Representing the governance team at community events
Navigating the nuances of public and private life can often be a catwalk as a public official. For newly elected school district or county office of education trustees, understanding the complexities of public speaking and learning when and how to represent at public and community events should come early. This is one of the primary school board governance functions.

Board of education members — while elected by the public — are neighbors, friends, business partners and acquaintances to many in the communities they serve. Engaging with the public in their capacity as elected public officials requires mindfulness of their role with attention and understanding that their “board hat” is always on.


SBE closes the book on revised math framework adoption saga
Adjustments to Chronic Absenteeism Indicator were also discussed

After nearly four years of rewrites, debates and thousands of public comments, the State Board of Education adopted a revised K-12 Mathematics Framework during its July 12–13 meeting.

The framework is meant to support implementation of the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics by offering guidance for enacting the standards through curriculum and instructional approaches grounded in research and reflecting best practices in learning and equity.

“The document we have is guidance, and every local school district has and should take that opportunity to design the coursework and instructional pathways that are most relevant to the students they serve in their community,” said Board Vice President Cynthia Glover Woods.

While district use of the framework is voluntary, it is likely to heavily influence local educational agencies’ decisions and serve as guidelines for textbook publishers.

legal Explainer
Selection of instructional materials in California schools
Examining the court cases and case law behind school board authority in selecting curriculum
A gavel set

In recent months, there has been an increase in the removal and public disapproval of educational materials used in schools, including both school library books and instructional materials/curriculum. On May 30, the California Department of Education (CDE) released “Guidance on Removal of Instruction or Instructional Materials,” outlining rights held by students and the responsibilities of board members when considering and selecting educational materials for schools. Following CDE’s guidance, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Bonta and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond issued a joint letter on June 1, describing the importance of protecting students’ access to representative and unbiased educational materials and giving a brief overview of Supreme Court precedent on the topic of removal of educational materials from schools. While these resources are a helpful starting point, both documents are silent about the important role that school boards play in both protecting the rights of students and meeting the needs of their communities through the approval of educational materials for schools.

Is your LEA prepared for a cyberattack?
Key questions and guidance to enhance school cybersecurity
Cybercrime is on the rise across the country and, increasingly, public schools are the target of sophisticated attacks that capture sensitive data, violate privacy, dismantle operations and extort funds from school districts and county offices of education.

Ransomware attacks have grown in recent years and schools have increasingly been identified as soft targets lacking the capacity to ward off hackers. In addition, greater reliance on technology to deliver instruction and services since the COVID-19 pandemic has left schools increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

In 2022, cyberattacks grew by 150 percent, with the average attack lasting 66 hours. Cyberattacks against the education sector increased by 36 percent. For local educational agencies, it is not a matter of if — but when — school information systems will be subject to a cyberattack, which can render the entire school district or county office of education unable to conduct the day-to-day business of educating students.


CSBA Fast Facts and Figures

2022–23 CSBA Membership



blue minimalist school graphic
blue minimalist school graphic

Local educational agencies (school districts, county offices of education and regional occupational centers/programs) are members of CSBA


Membership Rate

block graphic representing 97%


yellow pictogram graphic of two children, one in a dress shape with pigtails
blue minimalist school graphic

PreK-12 public school students represented by CSBA member LEAs

Local educational agencies (school districts, county offices of education and regional occupational centers/programs) are members of CSBA

PreK-12 public school students represented by CSBA member LEAs

Superior Court rules State Board of Education abused its authority in overturning local charter denials
A victory for CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance and Napa Valley USD
Group of people putting their hands together
In a resounding victory for local control and the integrity of the Assembly Bill 1505 charter reform law, a California Superior Court found on June 29 that the State Board of Education (SBE) abused its authority in overturning charter denials issued by the Napa Valley Unified School District and the Napa County Office of Education. In her ruling, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang issued a judgment granting the writs of mandate requested by Napa Valley USD and CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance against the SBE.

“It is reassuring to see the court validate the agreements contained in the Charter Schools Act and repudiate the abuse of discretion by the State Board of Education that threatened to shatter the consensus obtained through AB 1505,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “The judgment makes clear that both the local school district and the county office of education exercised due diligence and complied with all protocols before denying the Mayacamas Charter petition and that SBE overreached in reversing those decisions.”

Instruction collaboration agreements
SB 941 allows boards to enter into agreements with other districts to address teacher shortages
The well-publicized teacher shortages in recent years have impacted local educational agencies across the country. Shortfalls of qualified credentialed teachers are particularly pronounced in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes and dual-language immersion programs. As a result, some districts and county offices of education (COEs) have had to cancel these types of classes or seek emergency credentials for teachers to teach in these areas, with the problem disproportionately impacting rural areas, communities of color and low socioeconomic areas.

Senate Bill 941, which became effective Jan. 1, 2023, is intended to address the issue of teacher shortages in STEM and dual-language immersion programs. SB 941 allows boards to enter into agreements with other districts, COEs or charter schools to offer the same or similar corresponding individual classes and coursework to students from another LEA that has been impacted by disruptions, cancellations or teacher shortages in STEM classes and dual-language immersion programs. These agreements — called instruction collaboration agreements — enable districts to broaden their reach, allowing more students to access quality education options.

Schools play an important role in immunization awareness
National Immunization Awareness Month provides the opportunity to review student vaccination records at “checkpoint” grades
young child flexing arm with bandaid to the camera
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), reported kindergarten and first grade immunization rates in 2021–22 decreased slightly from before the pandemic. The proportion of kindergarten students reported to have received all required immunizations was 94.3 percent in 2019–20 and 94 percent in 2021–22. An interim rate for kindergarten students in 2020–21, when immunization or reporting might have been affected by delayed immunization and widespread school closures, was 92.8 percent. However, the rate for this cohort during first grade in 2021–22 was 96 percent. The rate of kindergarteners reported as having received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in 2021–22 was 96.3 percent, with 16 (28 percent) of California counties reporting MMR rates below 95 percent. The rate of kindergarteners reported with permanent medical exemptions decreased from 1 percent in 2019–20 to 0.3 percent in 2021–22, the lowest level since 2015–16.

California law requires all children enrolled in schools, both public and private, to have certain doctor-recommended immunizations, or receive them when they enroll.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Attention: For more information about events, visit
Virtual Events

Aug. 25
The Brown Act

Sept. 27
The Brown Act

Sept. 16–Jan. 13, 2024 (4 sessions)
Equity Network Training

Oct. 2–30 (4 sessions)
MIG Course 1: Foundations of Effective Governance/Setting Direction

In-person events
CSBA Roadshow
Aug. 30 | San Luis Obispo County
Sept. 27 | North Bay
Oct. 2 | East Bay
Oct. 4 | Calaveras County
Oct. 4 | Lake County
Oct. 11 | Santa Cruz County
Oct. 17 | Fresno County
Oct. 23 | Kern County/Bakersfield
Oct. 23 | San Mateo County
Oct. 25 | Shasta/Siskiyou counties
Sept. 8–10
CCBE Annual Conference | Monterey

Sept. 9
MIG Course 2: Student Learning & Achievement/Policy & Judicial Review | San Marcos

Sept. 23
MIG Course 3: School Finance Parts 1 & 2 | San Marcos
Sept. 23
MIG Course 2: Student Learning & Achievement/Policy & Judicial Review | Sunnyvale
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Thanks for reading our August 2023 newsletter!