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June 2022 Vol. 28, 6

State Budget
CSBA advocacy on COVID attendance relief and LCFF base increase rewarded in May Revise
The Governor’s budget revision ignores the need for pension relief
Spring is in the air and budget season is in full bloom in Sacramento as the Legislature works its way through Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $300.6 billion spending plan, which included notable wins on many of CSBA’s budget priorities. Among other education highlights, the Governor proposed investing in the Local Control Funding Formula base and providing critical support to schools dealing with lower attendance as they recover from the pandemic. These proposals and more are on the table as the Legislature and Newsom Administration hammer out the final budget agreement.
Education funding continues to rise, with an emphasis on flexibility
Alongside soaring revenues, the Proposition 98 guarantee rose $8.3 billion since the January budget proposal to $102 billion, with an estimated $98.2 billion allotted for TK-12 schools. The May Budget Revision also proposed a higher statutorily required cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the LCFF and certain categorical programs, increasing from 5.33 percent in January to 6.56 percent. Gov. Newsom noted that all told, per-pupil funding will rise to a total of $22,850 considering all local, state and federal funds and $16,991 per pupil under Proposition 98 — however, it is important to note these are statewide figures, and do not reflect the varying amounts of funding individual school districts or county offices of education will ultimately receive.
a teenager wearing a face mask speaks at a podium with a crowd of others behind him
Students, educators and legislators urge support for AB 2933. The CSBA-sponsored bill would hit the brakes on decades of underinvestment and fully fund home-to-school transportation.
CSBA supports efforts to give rural and frontier schools a bigger voice
New legislation would recognize the unique circumstances of rural districts
school buses travel on a two way road
Former school board member turned Assemblymember Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) is using her past experience as a trustee of Big Valley Joint Unified School District, a small school district in Lassen County, to author key bills aiming to address the specific needs of rural and frontier schools.

The first, Assembly Bill 2337, will define Frontier School Districts in the California Education Code in alignment with federal grant requirements as school districts that have annual average daily attendance of less than 600 students and are located in a county with a population of less than 10 persons per square mile. This will ensure these small, rural school districts receive recognition for the distinct challenges they face. These include low student enrollment, inadequate financial resources, mixed grade levels in classrooms, difficulty recruiting qualified teachers and unrealistic one-size-fits-all approaches to education policy and funding that often overlook the needs of the state’s rural communities.

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Chief Information Officer:
Troy Flint |

Editorial Director:
Kimberly Sellery |

Marketing Director:

Andy Rolleri |

Staff Writers and Contributors:
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Heather Kemp |
Teresa Machado |
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Barbara Laifman |

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Dr. Susan Heredia | Natomas USD

Susan Markarian | Pacific Union ESD

Vice President:
Albert Gonzalez | Santa Clara USD

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.

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President’s Message: Dr. Susan Heredia

From Sacramento to Washington, D.C., CSBA’s legislative efforts take flight

D.C. trip, budget wins and sponsored legislation highlight spring advocacy efforts
In April, CSBA and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) led the inaugural Coast2Coast Federal Advocacy Trip in Washington, D.C. It was a richly rewarding experience and the first of what we hope will become an annual event in which school board members and administrators make the case for additional resources and new legislation to address the challenges California schools face and to create new opportunities for the state’s nearly 6 million students.
Budgeting for success

CSBA’s bread-and-butter will always be our advocacy here in Sacramento and the May Budget Revision underscores how critical that work is. For the past two years, CSBA has argued that the impact of the pandemic will be generational in scope and that the state must recognize the magnitude of the challenges school face and provide opportunities to transform public education in a way that serves all students. That premise was reflected in our budget advocacy, which prioritized a significant increase to Local Control Funding Formula base funding, COVID attendance relief, pension relief, full funding of home-to-school transportation costs and dedicated funding to pay for the buildout of transitional kindergarten facilities.

Spring Delegate Assembly discusses legislative priorities for 2023–24
New research on COVID relief spending presented
Student doing math on the chalkboard

Local educational agency representatives from around the state gathered in Sacramento May 21–22 for the spring Delegate Assembly meeting. Delegates were updated on various CSBA initiatives including reports from the Board Development, Bylaws and Candidate Review committees. The CSBA legal team updated Delegates on current cases affecting education and the culminating report from CSBA’s Climate Change Task Force was presented.

The centerpiece of the meeting was breakout sessions in which Delegates discussed responses to four questions, each asking what is needed at the local, state and federal level to support the four pillars that form the basis of CSBA’s Policy Platform. CSBA gathered input from Delegates to inform the development of the 2023–24 Governance First Agenda, which is the association’s list of legislative priorities. The current agenda covers the ongoing 2021–22 legislative session, which extends through September of this year.

Don’t miss the bus on providing home-to-school transportation
Students, educators and legislators urge support for AB 2933 at CSBA event
CSBA and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) held a press conference May 18 in support of Assembly Bill 2933 at Westmore Oaks K-8 School in West Sacramento’s Washington Unified School District. The CSBA-sponsored bill would hit the brakes on decades of underinvestment and fully fund home-to-school transportation.
“AB 2933 also provides for future program growth as schools increase their capacity to meet increased demand requiring more buses and routes. These costs will be covered for every school district and every child.”
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach)
State funding is currently locked in for each school district at levels from 1981 with no cost-of-living adjustment to address rising expenses. “California’s home-to-school transportation program has been unbelievably frozen for 40 years. For 40 years there has not been an increase in funding for the transportation system that gets kids to school and gets them educated. It’s time to change that,” said O’Donnell, the bill’s author. With a grin, O’Donnell gestured to the school bus behind him, adding for context, “I rode a school bus like this in the 80s, probably listening to something on my Walkman — some Flock of Seagulls.”
School Boards in Action: 5 Questions with Maimona Afzal Berta, Franklin-McKinley School District
CSBA knows the challenges school communities continue to face and the hard work school boards are putting in to ensure students receive the academic and social-emotional supports they need. CSBA is proud of the work of trustees and is continuing to highlight districts through the School Boards in Action initiative.
Group phone with mascot
What did your district do to foster learning recovery and educational advancements during the 2021–22 school year? What do you have planned for the 2022–23 school year to continue this progress?
Coming back to school in person after more than a year of Zoom school presented many unique challenges. Our district’s work prior to the pandemic developing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and a framework for social-emotional learning helped ease the transition. We invested in staffing to support each school with a social worker on site ready to address the evolving needs of students. For next year, we hope to continue to build upon increased access to personalized learning opportunities by hiring additional teachers to provide specific targeted interventions.
Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
How do the goals of the superintendent align with the goals of the district?
Circular graph
Since its inception, the state’s Local Control and Accountability Plan has been the overarching structure for district goal setting. Boards of elected trustees, along with the administrative leaders in their districts, work within the LCAP to identify not just annual goals but also the specific actions that are to be implemented to meet those goals. And those actions and goals must be shown to specifically address state-identified priorities and serve targeted student populations.

With the guiding structure of LCAP goals in place, districts are well-positioned to identify further goal-setting protocols, empowering boards to perform their key responsibility of setting the direction for the district while at the same time giving superintendents clear direction as to how they articulate and prioritize their own goals.

CSBA Climate Change Task Force releases report on addressing climate change
Report offers recommendations, strategies for LEAs
CSBA Climate Change Task Force Report
Social-emotional trauma and disruptions to their educational experiences due to extreme weather events such as wildfires, floods and drought have hindered the academic achievement of a multitude of K-12 students in California over the last few years.

Beyond that, the physical damages to facilities suffered by school districts and county offices of education have also resulted in economic hardships and social-emotional repercussions in the communities they serve.

These are among the reasons why CSBA’s Climate Change Task Force recommends local educational agencies and K-12 leaders be involved in conversations with policymakers on climate change and adaptation.

Surveys show families largely support school boards and several key priorities
Data presented by Celinda Lake, one of the nation’s lead pollsters, at federal advocacy trip
A portrait photograph of a family smiling and posing for a picture while hugging
Several new and recent polls conducted by Lake Research Partners (LRP), the Public Policy Institute of California and other research groups found that voters nationwide believe that their local school board does the best job addressing issues in public education, and would like to see student access to technology, mental health and social-emotional learning expanded to address the many inequities exasperated by the pandemic.

LRP founder Celinda Lake provided a rundown of findings on the first day of Coast2Coast — the three-day inaugural advocacy trip to Washington, D.C. hosted by CSBA and the Association of California School Administrators from April 25–27. The event enables school and county board members and superintendents to advocate directly with congressional representatives, White House officials, key federal agency leaders and other top policymakers to shine a light on the issues affecting the state’s nearly 6 million students.

Educating students with IEPs during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create challenges
Proposed language changes to independent study legislation attempt to address issues
A teacher helps out a student with their classwork

The COVID-19 pandemic has required local educational agencies to constantly adjust as the course of the pandemic has shifted. The transition LEAs made to distance learning in March 2020 was a difficult endeavor, but one that board members, administration and staff embraced.

However, as soon as K-12 public education hit its stride in distance learning, the Legislature enacted Assembly Bill 130, which asked LEAs to once again adjust by creating only two methods for delivery of public K-12 education: (1) through in-person instruction; or (2) through traditional independent study. This created a number of challenges for LEAs. This article discusses the litigation that arose from this “all or nothing” approach and its impact on students with disabilities as well as the current iteration of proposed trailer bill language, which has not been introduced to the Legislature as of this writing, amending AB 130 and the independent study statutes.

Healthy Kids survey highlights particular struggles of transgender youth
The survey offers valuable data to school leaders about what supports LGBTQ students may need
close up image of a child wearing a backpack and a denim shirt with a rainbow patch on the front pocket
Research shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning or queer (LGBTQ) youth are at high risk for bullying and violence victimization, poor mental health, alcohol and other drug use, and poor academic performance. A 2019 report “Understanding the Experiences of LGBTQ Students in California” (, by education research organization WestEd, found that these students were less likely than their cisgender and straight peers to report feeling safe, supported and engaged at school, more likely to report being the target of physical and verbal victimization at school by their peers, and more likely to report experiencing chronic sadness and contemplating suicide.

Using two years of data from the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), the study for the first time disaggregates data on gender identity and sexual orientation in order to provide a more nuanced picture of LGBTQ students’ experiences in school. Results were presented for three gender identity categories (transgender, cisgender, and not sure) and for five sexual orientation categories (straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual, not sure yet, and something else). The CHKS offers valuable data to school administrators and state officials on how LGBTQ students perceive their school climate and how those perceptions relate to their academic success and emotional well-being.

State Board
State Board Report: Community schools grants approved
Flexibility provided for state physical fitness test; update on state math framework
A physical education teacher helps emphasis fitness techniques to students
The California State Board of Education convened May 18 for its first in-person session in two years to discuss items on community schools grant allocations, physical education flexibilities and more.

The board moved ahead with the $3 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) funds, approved last year by the Legislature to establish new and expand existing community schools, by approving $635 million in planning and implementation grants for about 265 school districts, county offices of education and charter schools.

Nearly 200 local educational agencies with no existing community schools will receive $200,000 two-year planning grants in the first round. Priority was given to applicants with schools in which 80 percent or more of the total student population are included in the unduplicated student count and to LEAs serving rural and small schools.

Using electronic signatures in district and county office operations
The difference between digital and electronic signatures and how and when to use them
Districts and county offices of education need signatures on different types of documents, ranging from contractual agreements for business transactions to employee and human resources forms to parent/guardian and student agreements. Electronic signatures can increase efficiency in the management of commercial and administrative transactions, reduce cost and contribute to environmental sustainability. Local educational agencies are permitted by law to use electronic signatures in their communications and operations.

Government Code 16.5 authorizes public entities, including districts and COEs, to use a “digital signature” in any written communication with a public entity in which a signature is required or used. A “digital signature” is an electronic identifier created by computer and intended by the party using it to have the same force and effect as the use of a manual signature. An “electronic signature” consists of an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record.

The growing importance of teacher induction
The six-district Walnut Valley Consortium works to prepare and retain new teachers
Two teachers smile and laugh together while walking next to each other in a school hallway

Teacher burnout, turnover and retention have been at the forefront of the minds of local educational agency leaders for years, but now with increased urgency as the pandemic continues to push many educators to the brink.

The six-district Walnut Valley Consortium — comprising Rowland Unified School District, Hacienda La Puente USD, East Whittier SD, South Whittier SD, Whittier City SD and Walnut Valley USD — has long worked to address these issues at the root: preparation through high-quality induction, free of cost to new teachers.

Through induction programs, new teachers are assigned a mentor for their first two years to offer the support needed to be successful. As soon as someone is hired with a preliminary credential within the six districts, Julie Sheldon, the consortium’s induction coordinator, matches them with a mentor they can go to, ideally on the same campus, in their subject area for materials, guidance, lesson plans, support and who can advocate on their behalf. The districts have long provided this to new teachers free of charge, while providing a stipend for mentor teachers. The program boasts a 98 percent retention rate, Sheldon said. “I would say to school boards, find out as much as you can about induction and look at the cost of not having it. It’s an investment in the future.”

That’s a wrap! Inclusion film camp in Solano County
The partnership helps students with disabilities build confidence and communication, collaboration skills
Guy on tv monitor
The Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) successfully partnered with the North Bay Regional Center to bring an Inclusion Films camp to local neuro-diverse students at no cost to participants. For two weeks during the summer, SCOE’s Golden Hills Education Center in Fairfield became the set for a short horror movie, which premiered at a red-carpet event in October 2021. At the camp, the actors and crew were able to build valuable skills under the guidance of veteran filmmaker and producer Joey Travolta through his Inclusion Films production company.

Travolta comes from a show business family and has worked as an actor, director, producer and singer; however, more importantly, he got his start as a special education teacher. He is a strong advocate for people with different abilities and founded Inclusion Films in 2007 to create movies that include individuals with disabilities as part of the creative process.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Attention: For more information about events, visit
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June 9–10
MIG Course 4: Human Resources/Collective Bargaining
June 10–11
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June 14
The Brown Act
June 23–24
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Aug. 27, Sept. 10, Oct. 8 & 22
Governance with an Equity Lens
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July 22–23
2022 Leadership Institute | Los Angeles
Sept. 9–11
2022 CCBE Annual Conference | Monterey
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