July 2019 Vol. 25, 7
Capitol Hill
Legislative Update: Gov. Newsom signs his first state budget
Pension relief and investments in special education grabbed headlines throughout the K-12 education world as the 2019–20 state budget took shape, leading up to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of his first budget on June 27.
“This is a strong budget for public schools and an important step on the road toward providing California’s 6.2 million students with the resources needed for a high-quality education,” said CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner, after the Legislative Budget Conference Committee completed its recommendations on June 9 — a budget approved by both the Senate and Assembly on June 14.

“We are pleased that Gov. Newsom’s first budget invests in public education above the minimum Proposition 98 guarantee,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “We also appreciate his attention to providing a much-needed cost-of-living adjustment for the Local Control Funding Formula and increasing special education funding.”

  • Visit www.csba.org/Newsroom for links to digital versions of current and past issues of California School News.
CSBA’s Education Legal Alliance restores California public school funds to state budget
Litigation leads to settlements addressing the state’s failure to allocate legally required funds for public education.
Court gavel and book
California’s public schools will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding and avoid billions in potential losses thanks to a settlement agreement between the State of California and CSBA. The agreement ensures public schools will receive repayment of $686 million (approximately $110 per student) due to prior year underpayments. It also contains provisions that could protect up to 1 percent of the Proposition 98 guarantee ($756 million in 2017–18 and potentially more in subsequent years) as part of the annual certification process.

“We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with the state that upholds both the law and the will of the voters when they passed the Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee for public schools,” said CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner. “At a time when public education is dramatically underfunded, it’s critical that schools — and the students they serve — receive the funding to which they are legally entitled.”

Senior Director of Communications:
Troy Flint | tflint@csba.org

Managing Editor:
Kimberly Sellery | ksellery@csba.org

Marketing Director:

Serina Pruitt | spruitt@csba.org

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Andrew Cummins | acummins@csba.org
Aaron Davis | adavis@csba.org
Bode Owoyele | bowoyele@csba.org
Diane Greene | dgreene@csba.org

Graphic Design Manager:
Kerry Macklin | kmacklin@csba.org

Senior Graphic Designer:
Mauricio Miranda | mmiranda@csba.org

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
As California’s graduation rate rises, we need to heighten focus on creating equitable paths
The end of the school year is a special time for educators. Yes, for many, it means a well-earned summer break is underway. Yet, the true cause for celebration is found in the promotion and graduation ceremonies that affirm the work we do and recognize student success. Too often, the accomplishments of students and staff are lost amid the debates and controversy that surround public schools. Graduations and promotions allow us to take a deep breath, appreciate the grand project that is K-12 public education and look toward the future with a degree of optimism.

Graduation also offers a time for reflection as we look back on the just-completed school year and evaluate our work. Along with the pomp and circumstance — which we all need to inspire and recharge — it’s important to keep a close eye on academic achievement and whether our schools are making progress toward equitable outcomes for all students. I am reminded of this every year during the graduation ceremonies in my own district, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District, where individual targeted education for students, regardless of additional cost, is valued. And then again, when Johns Hopkins University and partner organization Civic released a highly anticipated report on national graduation rates in mid-June.

CSBA plays key role in development of air quality guidance tool for school districts
Last year, one of California’s most destructive wildfire seasons on record resulted in school officials hundreds of miles from the disasters making difficult decisions amid toxic smoke and unhealthy air, oftentimes without formal guidance or existing policies. Concerned parents and community members questioned whether schools were taking the proper steps to determine whether they should limit or cancel outdoor activities or close campuses altogether.
As the state’s schools are in summer break and Californians face a new wildfire season, a coalition has released first-of-its-kind guidance on school air quality recommendations for districts to review prior to the 2019–20 school year. Officials from several agencies and organizations, including CSBA Immediate Past President Mike Walsh, discussed the new tool at a June 4 press conference at the State Capitol hosted by state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg).
GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Communicating LCAP decisions and strategies

Now that your governing board has approved the Local Control and Accountability Plan, the next step is to revisit the board’s role as key communicators on LCAP decisions and strategies. This is a step that county offices of education can also take once they have adopted their LCAP, which addresses the needs of students who are enrolled in COE alternative schools.

The new CSBA governance brief “Six Essential School Board roles in LCAP Implementation and Development” (see more about the resource on page 8), identifies components to the board’s role as key communicators. Asking and discussing the following questions can help your board develop cohesive communication strategies that align with the role of key communicators.

Develop common messages
  • How do strategies in our LCAP support improved student outcomes?
  • What are the LCAP strategies that support the needs of our historically underserved student populations?
  • What are our LCAP successes? What are the lessons learned from past LCAPs that are incorporated into the new plan?
  • Will the board make a commitment to stay on point with the agreed-upon messages?
Masters in Governance graduates
May 4, 2019: Rancho Cucamonga, 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.
May 4,2019, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Front Row: Left to Right
Patricia Singer, Board Member, Ocean View SD; Mark Dundon, Board Member, Hesperia USD; Rachael Robles, Superintendent, Covina-Valley USD; Steve DeMarzio, Delegate, Region 22, Westside Union ESD; Suzanne Seymour, Board Member, Palos Verdes Peninsula USD; David Haglund, Superintendent, Pleasanton USD; Cindy Wu, Board Member, Mountain View ESD; Barbara Schulman, Board Member, Saddleback Valley USD

CSBA’s comprehensive special education report is a powerful resource for board members
Special education plays a critical role as schools strive to increase equity and improve outcomes for California’s 6.2 million public school students. To help guide this work, CSBA recently released The Landscape of Special Education in California: A Primer for Board Members, available at www.csba.org/specialeducation. The report provides an extensive look at the state’s special education system, including its laws, structures and best practices.
California School News sat down with Mary Briggs, report co-author and CSBA education policy analyst, to highlight current special education trends and key aspects of the new resource.

Q: California continues to struggle to meet the needs of many of its students with disabilities, as evidenced by 2018 California School Dashboard results. How can CSBA’s new report assist local educational agencies in making sure the issue is front and center?
A: Our new report was designed to provide an overview of the key facets of special education that board members should understand so that they can make informed decisions and better serve students with disabilities.

California School News sat down with Mary Briggs
CSBA governance brief guides board members through key roles in LCAP process

A new CSBA resource developed by board members and superintendents delivers a clear understanding of six key roles for governance teams in Local Control and Accountability Plan development and implementation, an annual document not only required by law but also foundational to improving student outcomes.

CSBA governance brief guides board members through key roles in LCAP process

The May 2019 governance brief “Six Essential School Board Roles in LCAP Implementation and Development” is the result of CSBA’s two-year professional learning network with more than 30 school board member and superintendent participants from small, medium and large districts spanning California (the full list of participants is included on page 8 of the brief). The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence provided support for the network.

California Attorney General’s Dear Colleague letter on school discipline and discrimination
In February, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a “Dear Colleague” letter to clarify schools’ obligations under state and federal law to administer student discipline in a manner that is not discriminatory.
In February, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released a “Dear Colleague” letter

The letter was prompted by and in reaction to the withdrawal, last December, of the Rethink School Discipline Guidance, which was jointly issued in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice. These two federal agencies are responsible for the legal enforcement of federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on certain personal characteristics, including race, color and national origin, in public elementary and secondary schools and by recipients of federal financial assistance.

The importance of setting expectations for appropriate staff–student interactions
The relationship between school staff and students is critically important to student learning. Research shows that students’ attitudes toward learning are likely influenced, either positively or negatively, by their teacher. An analysis of 46 studies found an association between strong teacher–student relationships and higher student achievement, better school attendance, fewer disruptive behaviors and suspensions, and lower dropout rates.1
However, when school staff abuse their authority and undermine student safety and trust, the results can be devastating. Accusations of unlawful sexual relationships or sexual assaults continue to make headlines, eroding confidence in public schools and subjecting districts to costly liability for damages. Understanding the boundaries of appropriate staff–student interactions is a challenge, and an area in which the governance team and district administration can provide assistance to school staff.
county boards
Aguiar-Curry and Gallagher honored as CCBE Legislators of the Year

CCBE Executive Board and Board of Directors representatives presented Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) and James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) with the 2018 Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award for the work they have done on behalf of the children of California. The presentations took place on the morning of Sunday, May 19, on the steps of the State Capitol.

Aguiar-Curry has represented California’s 4th Assembly District since 2016, an area that includes all or parts of Napa, Lake, Yolo, Sonoma, Colusa and Solano counties. Before joining the Assembly, she served as planning commissioner for the city of Winters and then was elected to the city council, eventually serving as the first female mayor of Winters. As mayor, Aguiar-Curry oversaw improvements in the downtown area and worked to improve local schools, including securing computers for every sixth-grader in the city. She also brought broadband internet to rural communities, built senior housing and helped the area become an agricultural and food innovation hub for the region. She currently resides in Winters, just a block from her childhood home.

CCBE present the Legislator of the Year Award to Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
CCBE representatives present the Legislator of the Year Award to Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
county boards
L.A. County Office of Education’s 2019 Homeless and Foster Education Symposium – Piecing it Together
The Los Angeles County Office of Education doesn’t just provide needed fiscal oversight to school districts across the county — its responsibilities and mission are much broader and encompass all the students in need across the county. Vulnerable students need results, and the education policy experts at LACOE help them achieve and succeed by providing comprehensive technical assistance and support strategies for 80 school districts and over 300 charter schools.

For instance, LACOE has been working very hard to meet the needs of its foster and homeless youth. Fully 38 percent of all children in foster care in California reside in Los Angeles County. The statistics on these vulnerable populations are disheartening: only 58 percent of young people in foster care graduate from high school; and 10 percent of the homeless populations in Los Angeles County is under 18.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Register for any of these events at www.csba.org/TrainingAndEvents.
July 12–13 | Santa Barbara
Masters in Governance Course 4 & 5
July 15 | Sacramento
PIVOT Smarter School Spending Master Class for CSBA Members
July 22 | San Diego
PIVOT Smarter School Spending Master Class for CSBA Members
Sept. 6–7 | San Diego
Masters in Governance Courses 1 & 2
Sept. 13–15 | Monterey
CCBE Annual Conference
Sept. 20–21 | Santa Rosa
Masters in Governance Courses 1 & 2
Thanks for reading our July 2019 newsletter!