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January 2021 Vol. 27, 1
state budget
Governor’s budget proposal addresses deferrals and COLA
Reports of a “record-breaking” Prop 98 guarantee hide concerns over billions proposed in categorical grant proposals.

Officially opening the budget season, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Jan. 8 released the 2021–22 budget proposal, which includes significant investments in school reopening and learning loss mitigation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the ongoing crisis, higher-than-expected revenues will allow for the paying down of most school funding deferrals, and a Local Control Funding Formula cost-of-living adjustment, as well as additional investments in teacher preparation, pension relief and special education.

In good news for schools, Proposition 98 funding has not declined as once feared and instead is up $14.9 billion over the previous budget’s projections. California schools would receive a proposed all-time high of $85.8 billion Proposition 98 guarantee for K-14 education and $3.8 billion in general funds above the guarantee. Included in this is a 3.84 percent LCFF cost-of-living adjustment, a significant win that reflects CSBA’s work to push the state to make up the 2.31 percent adjustment that was not provided in 2020–21 as well as provide a 1.5 percent adjustment for 2021–22.

Covid-19: Safe Schools for All plan won’t work for most
The plan focuses on a $2 billion grant program that aims to ensure careful implementation and build confidence by supporting schools to bring back students.
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CSBA honors Milpitas USD trustee Chris Norwood as 2020 Board Member of the Year
Board Vice President Norwood exemplifies best practices in effective governance and boardsmanship.
CSBA is honored to announce Milpitas Unified School District Board Vice President Chris Norwood as the 2020 CSBA Board Member of the Year. Since 2014, Norwood has demonstrated what it means to lead for students, their schools and the community.
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Chief Information Officer:
Troy Flint |

Managing Editor:
Kimberly Sellery |

Marketing Director:

Serina Pruitt |

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Alisha Kirby |
Mike Ambrose |

Graphic Design Manager:
Kerry Macklin |

Senior Graphic Designer:
Mauricio Miranda |

Suzanne Kitchens | Pleasant Valley SD

Susan Heredia | Natomas USD

Vice President:
Susan Markarian | Pacific Union ESD

Immediate Past President:
Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez | Azusa 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: Suzanne Kitchens
No dreams deferred

I’d like to begin my first column by thanking my fellow school board members for the opportunity I’ve been given. I am grateful for this platform and honored to serve as CSBA President during this pivotal moment for our country and its public schools. I am deeply aware of the way in which major events can change lives, often in a manner that is only revealed with the passage of time. As an American of Japanese descent, I understand that nothing is to be taken for granted and anything can be taken away. My mother was born in Long Beach and by her senior year of high school was living in an internment camp. When she was finally released it was too late to pursue her dream of fashion school.

I often wonder how many student dreams are in the process of being lost as we cope with the pandemic and struggle with the challenges of distance learning and reopening schools. It’s a frightening thought. Too often a dream deferred is a dream denied. Almost 80 years ago, my mother’s plans to attend fashion school were thwarted by a decision that left a stain on the American legacy. We must do everything in our power to ensure that our response to today’s crisis is one we can look back on with pride decades from now.

Safe Schools for All plan won’t work for most
The plan aims to aid and incentivize the reopening of California public schools through grants.
close up of school door handles

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Dec. 30 unveiled the Safe Schools for All plan (, which contains a variety of funding and technical support measures to encourage local educational agencies to resume on-campus instruction. “Learning is non-negotiable,” Gov. Newsom said during the presentation of the plan. “Neither is safety.”

Developed in partnership with the Legislature, the plan focuses on a $2 billion grant program that aims to ensure careful implementation and build confidence by supporting schools to bring back the youngest children (TK-2) and those who are most disproportionately impacted first, then phasing in other grade levels through the spring as conditions allow. This phased-in approach recognizes that younger children are at a lower risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 with core safety measures in place.

New Cal/OSHA emergency COVID-19 regulations create additional requirements
The regulations apply to nearly all employers in the state, including school districts and county offices of education.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) on Nov. 30 released emergency regulations requiring employers to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19. The regulations went into effect immediately and will remain in effect until Oct. 2, 2021.
Woman getting her temperature checked
School districts and county offices of education are subject to the emergency temporary regulations, as the regulations apply to nearly all employers in the state. The regulations do not apply to employees when they are working from home.

Local educational agencies should review the temporary regulations and ensure their protocols conform to the updated requirements, which supplement guidance that Cal/OSHA provided earlier this year. Many of the provisions of these regulations have already been required under employers’ Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, including the requirement to identify and address hazards, use of face coverings and physical distancing. CSBA is working with other associations to clarify the interaction between the Cal/OSHA regulations and California Department of Public Health guidelines aimed at schools.

New trustees
New to school governance?
Tips and resources for new board members
Established trustees and superintendents should help onboard new members to form a successful governance team.
CSBA is excited to welcome new trustees to the association and to board governance! These candidates were elected as individuals but will serve as part of a governance team — and, as with building a solid foundation for any team, a key first step is to get to know one another and make new board members feel welcome, according to CSBA Governance Consultants Luan Rivera and Daryl Camp. “Intentionality is the key,” said Camp. “What will the board do to make sure the new member is respected, accepted and included? And to make sure they feel secure in their new role?”
AEC 2020
AEC’s dynamic speakers intrigue and inspire virtual audience
CSBA’s first virtual Annual Education Conference, held Dec. 3–4, 2020, attracted more than 2,000 attendees and generated about 29,000 session views.
CSBA’s first virtual Annual Education conference offered a total of 45 sessions that covered advocacy and community engagement; equity, opportunity and accountability; funding, finance and facilities; innovation and student achievement; leadership through governance; and wellness, school climate and safety.

Add in three inspiring and informative General Session Speakers over two days, and it made for one incredible experience.

The power of generational context
The Center for Generational Kinetics conducts studies around the world to separate generational myth from truth, bridge generational divides and drive growth, employment, trust and innovation. “Generations are not a box, but they are powerful, predictive clues to help us better connect with different age groups, understand where people are coming from, and find that common ground that we can build on,” said Jason Dorsey, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics.
Butte County Office of Education makes inroads on diverse teacher pipelines
Partnering with higher education institutions both near and far, Butte COE is cultivating its own teacher pipeline.
The Butte County Office of Education has a long history of managing and implementing teacher pipeline programs that support rural and underserved populations, particularly migrant students. Since 1967, Butte COE has managed the statewide Mini Corps program, which brings together college students with rural migrant backgrounds who are interested in teaching to work as teaching assistants in schools with significant migrant populations. Participants serve as bilingual role models to migrant students, provide tutoring and encourage them to continue in school. The program also aims to help classroom teachers better understand migrant children and their culture, and teaching assistants can help provide a communication link between migrant students, their parents, their teachers and the school.

The program operates at 20 California colleges and universities with the goal of developing a group of diverse, bilingual teachers. Funded through the California Department of Education’s Migrant Education Program, participants are paid an hourly wage for their work in the program and receive in-service training through educational workshops. The program currently has 648 participants, including 310 classified employees. Butte COE assists with advising, exam support and pedagogy support.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Attention: All in-person CSBA events are cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information about events, visit
Virtual Events
Feb. 2-3
Institute for New & First Term Board Members
Feb. 5-6, 11-12, 19-20, & 26-27
Institute for New and First Term Board Members
Feb 5-6
MIG Course 4: Human Resources/ Collective Bargaining
March 20 & 27
2021 Board Presidents Workshop
Feb. 2-3
Institute for New & First Term Board Members
Feb 5-6
MIG Course 4: Human Resources/ Collective Bargaining
Feb. 5-6, 11-12, 19-20, & 26-27
Institute for New and First Term Board Members
March 20 & 27
2021 Board Presidents Workshop
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Thanks for reading our January 2021 newsletter!