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July 2021 Vol. 27, 7
Masks still required in schools after June 15
State will amend guidance as needed by evolving public health conditions
young male student give young female student hand-sanitizer in class
A new public health order, released June 11 by the California Department of Public Health, will keep certain COVID-19 restrictions in place at K-12 schools. While, as of June 15, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer need to wear a mask in most settings, everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, will be required to wear a mask while indoors at a school campus, child care facility or other youth-centered settings. Those who are not vaccinated are still required to wear a face covering in indoor public settings and businesses.

The health order says that individuals should continue to adhere to requirements laid out in the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California as well as the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Programs and Providers and guidance on day camps and other youth activities. An update to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s K-12 operations guidance is expected in the near future. “I will continue to monitor the scientific evidence and epidemiological data and will amend this guidance as needed by the evolving public health conditions and recommendations issued by the CDC and other public health authorities,” said Tomás J. Aragón, director and state public health officer.

miniature wooden easel with a small sign reading "Budget 2021"
Legislative Update
The state budget addresses areas of great need for LEAs, though concerns remain about sustainability due to one-time funds and the future of virtual learning.
CA Surgeon General leads national campaign for ACEs awareness
Adverse childhood experiences can have effects into adulthood if not addressed
child sits with his face in his hands as a couple has a discussion in the background
California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is leading a six-month national public information campaign about the negative physical and mental health impacts that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can have. The campaign includes public service announcements, social media partnerships and a website offering information and resources.
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Chief Information Officer:
Troy Flint |

Managing Editor:
Kimberly Sellery |

Marketing Director:


Staff Writers and Contributors:
Alisha Kirby |
Heather Kemp |
Mike Ambrose |

Graphic Design Manager:
Kerry Macklin |

Senior Graphic Designer:
Mauricio Miranda |

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: Susan Heredia
A unique opportunity to support English learner students
As education leaders, we’ve all witnessed the toll the pandemic has taken on students, staff and families. Many of us have experienced loss and pain in our homes. Some of the trauma has been captured by the media but much of the impact flies underneath the radar. That is particularly true where English learners are concerned.

I’ve read countless articles about students with no internet or poor connections, about struggles with mental health and social isolation, about disengagement from school and declining academic performance. Our English learner students are coping with all these challenges — often at a greatly disproportionate level — while simultaneously trying to learn in a school system that is not designed to serve their needs. As a result, the pandemic has compounded the ongoing disparities between English learners and their peers.

COVID-19 federal relief updates
U.S. Department of Education focuses on equity for all students
New guidance released by the Biden administration on June 9 addresses the maintenance of equity provisions in the American Rescue Plan that must be met for state agencies and LEAs to receive their share of the funding. View the document:

Maintenance of equity provisions are meant to help ensure that schools and LEAs serving large proportions of historically underserved groups of students — including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, students with disabilities and students experiencing homelessness — receive an equitable share of state and local funds allocated for pandemic recovery.

These schools and LEAs historically have been under-funded and are more reliant on state funding than are schools and LEAs with lower concentrations of underserved students. Accordingly, if state or local funds are cut, the maintenance of equity provisions ensure that LEAs and schools serving a large share of students from low-income backgrounds do not experience a disproportionate share of such cuts in fiscal years 2022 and 2023, and that the highest poverty LEAs do not receive a decrease in state funding below their FY 2019 level.

State budget agreement pays down all deferrals in a win for education advocates
Budget ushers in universal transitional kindergarten and a universal school meals program
Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a state budget agreement on June 30, finalizing the big picture for the Budget Act of 2021. The final agreement, Senate Bill 129, includes the full elimination of all funding deferrals — a major win for schools — and addresses areas of great need for California’s students, though concerns remain about funding for program expansions and the future of virtual learning.

Referred to as “Budget Bill Junior,” the bill outlines many of the agreements reached between the Governor and the Legislature but leaves several items outstanding. It remains to be seen which of these outstanding issues will be resolved in budget trailer bills, which may be released in the coming days.

New CSBA reports available to support planning for the 2021–22 year
A pair of new documents synthesizes challenges identified by Delegates and provides guidance to help address them
CSBA’s Delegate Assembly met on May 16 to discuss one of the most significant and scrutinized issues in the history of California public schools: the return of full-time, in-person instruction statewide. Nearly 250 Delegates were organized into 14 breakout rooms to ask questions, share information, discuss challenges and voice their concerns.

From these conversations emerged seven common topics that local educational agencies are grappling with as they prepare for the 2021–22 academic year, including the mental and social-emotional health of students and staff, professional development and new hire training, use of one-time funds, and other challenges related to fall planning and implementation.

CSBA charter school guidebook update available in Amazon Kindle Store
CSBA Charter Schools Guide Cover
Charter schools are an important and significant part of today’s education landscape. More than 1,300 charter schools (including seven all-charter districts) serve nearly 630,000 students statewide — approximately 11 percent of all K-12 students in California. Governance teams have certain legal rights, responsibilities and obligations to consider when evaluating a charter petition.

That’s why CSBA is providing an update to Charter Schools: A Guide for Governance Teams, a guidebook made specifically for board members and superintendents serving as charter school authorizers in California. This update is available in a convenient e-book format on Amazon’s Kindle Store (

Since this guidebook was last published in 2016, significant changes to California’s school funding, accountability and assessment systems have impacted all public schools, including charter schools. Charter schools are adapting to a host of new academic content standards and accountability requirements, and charters, districts and county offices of education are all being affected by the implementation of Assembly Bill 1505, signed into law in 2019 and effective as of July 1, 2020. These, and many other updates, are changing the way in which charter schools operate and how governance teams fulfill their responsibilities as they relate to educating all students.

Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
The board role in the Local Control and Accountability Plan
The Local Control Funding Formula enacted in July 2013 is based on three fundamental principles: local control, continuous improvement and equity. LCFF directs resources to the state’s most vulnerable student populations while giving school districts and county offices of education, or local educational agencies, greater flexibility in how they allocate these funds to serve the students in their communities. LCFF also changed how LEAs are held accountable for improvement.

All LEAs are required, in consultation with their communities and specified stakeholder groups, to create a Local Control and Accountability Plan, which details how funds will be used to improve outcomes for students. Boards should consider a discussion on their roles in developing LCAPs and monitoring their implementation, which include:

  1. Developing a deep understanding of the LCAP’s purpose and process.
  2. Developing goals and the supports necessary to achieve effective implementation of the strategies in the LCAP.
  3. Encouraging and participating in the ongoing engagement of a diverse range of stakeholders.
CSBA briefs explore AAPI student demographics and experiences during the pandemic
Briefs emphasize the importance of disaggregating data to provide targeted supports
CSBA has published a pair of research and policy briefs focused on supporting California’s Asian American and Pacific Islander students and understanding their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2019–20 academic year, the most recent data available, AAPI students made up roughly 12 percent of the state’s 6.2 million K-12 students. During that period, nearly 88 percent of local educational agencies had Asian American, Filipino and Pacific Islander students enrolled.

“Asian American and Pacific Islander Students in Focus: Demographics and Enrollment Data” ( and “Asian American and Pacific Islander Students in Focus: Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic” ( dive deep into the urgent need to support students in the AAPI community without treating them as a monolith.

CSBA files objection to Proposition 98 certification
Miscalculation of excess Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund cited
CSBA has long been at the forefront of protecting the Proposition 98 funding guarantee for public schools. To that end, CSBA has taken another step to ensure that school districts receive the full funding to which they are entitled by filing a letter with the Department of Finance and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on May 27, 2021, formally objecting to DOF’s certification of Proposition 98 for the 2019–20 budget year. CSBA’s objection is based on the ground that the certification incorporates undercalculated property tax revenues owed to school districts in the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF). As a result of the miscalculation, the Proposition 98 minimum guarantee has been undercalculated by approximately $283 million in 2019–20, $298 million in 2020–21 and $315.9 million in 2021–22. CSBA’s objection addresses the miscalculation for the 2019–20 budget year.

ERAF was implemented by statute in 1992 to shift some of the obligation to meet the constitutional minimum funding guarantee in Proposition 98 for K-14 education from the state’s General Fund to local property taxpayers. By creating ERAF, the Legislature redirected approximately one-fifth of property taxes statewide from cities, counties and special districts to school districts and community college districts. By capturing additional local property taxes, the state has been able to offset state General Fund savings.

Encouraging civil behavior through board policy
Board members should model civil behavior at meetings and any LEA-related activity
A student in a navy sweater talks with a smiling school counselor in a brightly-lit office
Setting positive behavioral expectations has become second nature at many schools. Both students and adults benefit from established constructs of behavior, taking cues from the culture of a community. With the stress of the past year and the toll it has taken on civil discourse in many communities, now is a good time for boards to consider how civil behavior can be promoted.
Revised Mathematics Framework moves forward
Controversy surrounds parts of the plan that involve detracking math instruction
A person with red nails writes algebra equations on a chalkboard with a white piece of chalk
Revising California’s Mathematics Framework is proving to be a controversial process.

The framework is meant to set guidance for local districts to make the best possible choices for their students based on research and best practices in mathematics education, Brian Lindaman, one of its writers, said during a May 19 Instructional Quality Commission meeting. The notion that standards for all students would be lowered by new methods that could potentially be used, as many public commenters alluded to, is misguided, he explained.

Supporting LGBTQ youth as schools reopen
School counselors and strong social-emotional learning can be key
A group of five students holding up a colorful pride flag above a concrete floor
In a classroom combining first- and second-graders in San Diego, a child began the pre-pandemic school year with short hair, sporting jeans and T-shirts similar to all the boys in class. Over the course of the year, the child grew their hair long and began to wear more flowery, colorful clothing. One day, the student’s mother approached the school counselor, David Valencia, to report her child was being teased and feeling insecure in class.
Nation’s Report Card shows decline in fourth grade science scores
Students learn circuitry with interactive modules as a teacher talks in front of the class
Science scores among American fourth-graders declined slightly between 2015 and 2019 — a dip largely driven by declines for lower- and middle-performing students, while the scores for higher-performing students held steady, according to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as The Nation’s Report Card, released May 25 by the National Center for Education Statistics.
CCBE launches project to increase access to computer science education
California employs the largest computing workforce in the United States, with over 640,210 employees earning an average salary of $116,820. Arkansas, on the other hand, has just 23,120 people employed in computing jobs, and in Little Rock they earn an average of $73,390.

Which state would you predict would be the leader in computer science education?

It turns out California is not even a close second to Arkansas. For example, in terms of the percent of schools that offer computer science (CS), California ranks 29th in the nation, and Arkansas ranks first. In terms of advancing computer science education policies, again Arkansas ranks as number one, while California is 25th in the nation.

Register now for CCBE’s Annual Conference: Attend in person or virtually
The CCBE 2021 Annual Conference provides both in-person and virtual options. Whether you’re ready to head to Monterey, or prefer the comfort of your own home, the conference organizing committee is planning an event that will inspire you and help you become a more knowledgeable and effective county board member. Held from Sept. 10–12 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel, this professional development opportunity is specifically designed to address the issues unique to county offices of education and the students they serve.

“While all attendees will have access to all the keynote addresses and workshops, in-person attendees will have the added benefit of the Friday evening president’s reception and the networking opportunities that an in-person event provides,” said Gina Cuclis, conference committee vice chair, CCBE Vice President and Sonoma County Board of Education trustee. “We are also working closely with Hyatt Regency Monterey staff on protocols to ensure a safe conference.”

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Attention: All listed events will take place virtually. For more information about events, visit
Virtual Events
August 19 & 21
MIG COE Course 1: Foundations of Effective Governance/Setting Direction
August 20-21
MIG Course 4: Human Resources/Collective Bargaining
August 23 & 25
MIG Course 2: Student Learning & Achievement/Policy & Judicial Review
August 27–28
MIG Course 1: Foundations of Effective Governance/Setting Direction
August 27
The Brown Act
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Thanks for reading our July 2021 newsletter!