CSBA celebrates California’s district and county board members this January
CSBA salutes the more than 5,000 school district and county office of education trustees that serve California’s 6.2 million students during January’s School Board Recognition Month.
Saluting the more than 5,000 school district and county office of education trustees

Citizen oversight of local government is the cornerstone of democracy in the United States. School board members are the epitome of this tenet in their roles as locally elected public officials entrusted with governing public schools in their communities.

California’s collective student body is larger than the total population of many other states and comprises the largest public school system in the nation with the most diverse student body. As citizen leaders, school board members face complex and demanding challenges and responsibilities to ensure students receive a high-quality education, while also maintaining fiscal solvency for the local educational agency. District and county office trustees provide a critical link of accountability between the school system and local constituents while offering an accessibility to voters that is unrivaled by other public officeholders. Board members contribute countless hours each year leading their districts. Whether crafting policies; gathering input from staff, students and the community; or recognizing outstanding programs, board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement.

Board meetings represent just a small fraction of the many hours school board members spend leading in their districts and county offices. They also continue their lifelong learning journeys through professional development and keeping on top of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities and spend time in their local schools and at extracurricular events.

“School board members represent perhaps the most direct form of democracy in the U.S. today,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “They are citizens elected by their fellow community members and entrusted with their most precious commodity — their children. Board members dedicate countless hours to serving their communities. They lay out a roadmap that aims to ensure every student has access to a high-quality education. In some areas of the state, they oversee the largest employer in their community. They push for a quality education for every child, and they do this all with woefully inadequate funding level that ranks 38th in the nation. For these reasons and more, this month has been set aside to recognize these fearless leaders.”

CSBA was founded to support the important work of board members. As CSBA’s mission statement notes, “Strong local boards of education are essential to ensure a high-quality education for every student in every community.” CSBA recognizes the dedication and hard work each trustee commits toward fulfilling that goal.