Fight for Full and Fair Funding takes center stage at Delegate Assembly
On Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20, the biannual Delegate Assembly meeting took place in Sacramento.
The weekend event involved updates regarding legislative, legal and policy changes; breakout sessions about school safety and the impact of marijuana legalization on school districts; and updates about CSBA’s strategic initiatives, including the fight for full and fair funding.
“We have to change the narrative that California is 45th in percentage of taxable income spent on education, but fifth in the nation for GDP,” said CSBA President Mike Walsh in his opening remarks. “We have to challenge the notion that it’s OK to lag behind the nation by $2,000 in per-pupil funding. Minimum funding will not generate maximum results.”
  • CSBA’s legislative agenda supports CTE and mental health funding
  • Delegates discuss marijuana legislation and school safety
Governance First Agenda
CSBA’s Governmental Relations staff provided an outline of the recent May Revision of the state budget, and presented Delegates an updated draft of the 2019–20 Governance First Agenda, a document which declares CSBA’s legislative priority issues at the state and federal levels. The agenda furthers the work CSBA is already doing around full and fair funding, employer pension costs, school facilities, charter school over- sight and accountability, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The agenda also outlines CSBA’s projected work to support the expansion of mental health services in public schools, e-rate funding, methods for reducing school districts’ and county offices of education’s attorney fees, Every Student Succeeds Act implementation, career and technical education funding.
Delegate breakout sessions
On Saturday and Sunday, Delegates participated in breakout sessions regarding the impact of marijuana legalization and school safety. While some Delegates reported no new changes to their schools after the passage of Proposition 64 — the 2016 ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults aged 21 years or older — others reported an increase in incidences of student use. Delegates discussed the need for teacher and staff professional development and educational resources for students and parents about detection of use and the risks of marijuana, particularly in relation to vaping and edible use. They also brought up a need for clarification on laws around employee use, the importance of securing mental health funding, and the working being done with other public officials to ensure dispensaries or other related facilities are not placed near schools or school bus stops.

The school safety breakout session focused on school safety plans, community partnerships, school climate, student reporting, social media monitoring and the funding needed for mental health resources, facilities upgrades and staff professional development. The input and recommendations received during these breakout sessions will inform CSBA’s training, policy development and legislative work on these issues in the coming months.

Policy and legal updates

The impact of Assembly Bill 699, a law requiring school districts and county offices of education to adopt policies responding to immigration enforcement by July 1, 2018, was also discussed. CSBA policy staff recently worked directly with the California Attorney General’s office to help create updated immigration policy resources, and CSBA’s new sample policy AR 5145.13 – Response to Immigration Enforcement is consistent with the Attorney General’s guides. An estimated 250,000 undocumented children between the ages of 3 and 17 years are enrolled in California public schools, and 750,000 K-12 students in California have an undocumented parent.

Delegates received important updates on legal cases in which CSBA and the Education Legal Alliance are participating, as well as updates on other significant cases affecting public education. One such important case is Janus v. AFSCME, which will determine whether public employees will continue to be required to pay their “fair share” or “agency” fees of union dues — used for collective bargaining and contract administration — regardless of whether they choose to join the union.

CSBA’s members elect representatives from 21 geographic regions to the Delegate Assembly, which is made up of approximately 280 delegates and the Board of Directors. The Delegate Assembly is a vital link in the association’s governance structure and sets the general policy direction for the association. Working with local districts, county offices, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Delegates help to ensure that the association promotes the interests of school districts and county offices of education throughout the state.