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June 2023 Vol. 29, 6


May Budget Revision proposed less overall funding for K-12
COLA fully funded but large cuts made to block grant programs

Budget season is in full swing in Sacramento as the Legislature works its way through Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised spending plan for the state. The Governor’s May Budget Revision, released on May 12, revealed a shortfall that has grown by $9.5 billion from the proposed January Budget to $31.5 billion, with a corresponding $2 billion drop in the Proposition 98 Guarantee, to $106.8 billion.

The proposal attempts to insulate schools from the fallout by protecting recent investments and providing an 8.22 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). This seemingly good news, however, was dampened by $4.3 billion in cuts to critical one-time grant programs that threaten to overshadow the $3.4 billion COLA increase in the coming 2023–24 school year. These proposals and more are on the table as the Legislature and Newsom Administration hammer out the final budget agreement.

an image of the US Capital building imposed with the words Coast2Coast #federaladvocacy
CSBA and Association of California School Administrators members set out to meet with their federal representatives, review analyses from some of the nation’s top political experts, engage in dialogue with peers and more at the 2023 Coast2Coast Federal Advocacy Trip.
Delegate Assembly advances policy pillars at May meeting
Keynote about mental health supports by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg takes a photo with CSBA President-elect Albert Gonzalez, Vice President Dr. Bettye Lusk, Immediate Past President Dr. Suan Heredia and President Susan Markarian
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg (shown here with CSBA President-elect Albert Gonzalez, Vice President Dr. Bettye Lusk, Immediate Past President Dr. Suan Heredia and President Susan Markarian) reinforced CSBA’s policy and legislative focus on mental health with a lunchtime presentation on his efforts to expand mental health services.
CSBA’s Delegate Assembly is a vital link in the association’s governance structure. Working with local districts, county offices of education, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Delegates ensure that the association reflects the interests of school districts and COEs throughout the state.

Delegates met May 20–21 in Sacramento to provide policy and direction for the association, receive updates on statewide ballot measures, important state and federal budget and policy proposals, and legal challenges that could affect local educational agencies as they work to support students.

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Chief Information Officer:
Troy Flint |

Editorial Director:
Kimberly Sellery |

Marketing Director:

Andy Rolleri |

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Alisha Kirby |
Heather Kemp |
Teresa Machado |
Meghan Russell |
Kristin Lindgren |

Director of Graphic Design & Branding:
Kerry Macklin |

Senior Graphic Designer:
Amanda Moen |

Susan Markarian | Pacific Union ESD

Albert Gonzalez | Santa Clara USD

Vice President:
Bettye Lusk | Monterey Peninsula USD

Immediate Past President:
Dr. Susan Heredia | Natomas 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.

CSBA & NSPRA logos
President’s Message: Susan Markarian
Policy and practice over partisanship
Focusing on students, not politics, is the clear way forward
minimalist illustration of four figure helping each other climb large books to reach the graduation cap at the top of the book stack
This month, newly minted graduates across California donned caps and gowns and walked the stage for commencement. The ceremonies closed the book on one chapter of life and signaled new horizons for thousands of our students. I’m sure we all remember high school, with varying degrees of fondness, as a time when life was in flux and we were forced into close quarters with various kinds of people, with different lifestyles and divergent beliefs. Some of these people we didn’t even like. Yet, for the most part, as we became upperclassmen, we learned to live with each other despite our differences.

It seems that this essential lesson from high school has been lost by many adults in today’s society, even by some district and county office of education board members who are responsible for the governance of TK-12 schools. I am finishing my 38th year as a trustee in the Pacific Union Elementary School District, my 24th year as a director of the Fresno County School Trustees Association, and my 18th year as a CSBA Director. During this period, I have witnessed many changes in the membership, some for the worse, but mostly for the better as trustees become more engaged, more committed and more proficient in performing their responsibilities. There is no question that a higher degree of professionalism exists among school trustees in the modern age.

CSBA raises the bar for federal advocacy with second annual D.C. lobbying trip
Coast2Coast 2023 doubles attendance from inaugural event
Xavier Becerra speaking at the podium at the 2023 Coast2Coast Federal Advocacy Trip
California public school graduate and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra earned a standing ovation at the 2023 Coast2Coast Federal Advocacy Trip.
“Do it with ganas!”

That was the powerful message from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to school board members and superintendents that traveled from his home state to participate in the 2023 CSBA-Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Coast2Coast Federal Advocacy Trip.

Becerra was quick to add that the dictionary definition of ganas as “desire” or “the strongest will” doesn’t quite capture the intensity of the word or the passion that school trustees bring to the job. He urged education leaders to maintain that undefinable spirit and to remain steadfast in their work for public schools.

2020–21 teacher supply report shows decrease in issued credentials
Candidate demographics are beginning to better reflect students
digital graphic of human figures standing in a group with a large decreasing graph in the background

At its April 19–21 meeting, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing approved sending the annual report on the number of teachers who received credentials, certificates, permits and waivers to teach in California public schools to Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature. Teacher Supply in California, 2021–22: A Report to the Legislature showed a decrease in new teaching credentials issued compared to the previous few years, most likely due to the expiration of flexibilities adopted in 2019–20 and 2020–21 to account for difficulties candidates were facing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

California offers a variety of preparation pathways to provide flexibility for teacher candidates. The traditional pathway typically comprises up to two years of post-baccalaureate preparation courses, including field experience and student teaching, or an eight to nine semester integrated undergraduate program, in which candidates earn both a bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential. Alternative pathways such as intern delivery models allow subject matter-competent candidates to complete preservice preparation and begin service as the teacher of record in a paid position while completing the additional preparation coursework and field experience.

Social media and youth mental health
District lawsuits assert social media companies purposefully exploit youth
a color graphic of many word bubbles filled with scribbles, hearts, amd thumbs up, mail doodles, a sad face and other tech icons
Fast becoming a major issue, school districts throughout the country are suing social media companies, alleging that they have knowingly, deliberately and intentionally contributed to a mental health crisis among the nation’s youth. As of April 2023, more than 40 school districts across the United States have filed a lawsuit against social media giants such as Meta (owner of Facebook), Snap, Alphabet (owner of Google) and TikTok, claiming that these companies are purposefully designing, marketing and promoting their social media products and platforms to be addictive and to deliver harmful content to youth. California alone accounts for close to 30 of these school districts, including all 23 school districts in San Mateo County.

These lawsuits are all similar in nature; they involve similar if not identical claims, rely on the same research data and findings, and seek the same remedies. Generally, the complaints are based on theories of public nuisance, negligence, gross negligence, violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) and unfair competition. The remedies sought include abatement (mitigating the effect) of public nuisance, damages and injunctive relief, among others.

Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Supporting district professional development needs
a team of adults sit at a table in discussion
Every governance team worth its salt will strive to provide its teaching staff with crucial learning and development opportunities. Investing resources in this way unquestionably fortifies the school board’s paramount objective of improving student achievement by increasing teacher capacity, while often lessening teacher burnout. Supporting staff’s professional development (PD) goals can have great value, including better conditions for enhanced student learning.

Some questions to ask when collaborating with the administration around professional development plans are:

  • How are we building sufficient time into the planning process for teachers to reflect on their PD needs and assessing successes and challenges as the process moves forward?
  • What avenues are we providing to allow staff to feel a sense of inclusion, genuine ownership and pride in preparing PD plans and initiatives?


School Boards in Action:
5 Questions with Linda Porras, Desert Sands USD
Linda Porras, board president, Desert Sands Unified School District in Riverside County
headshot of Linda Porras
With the school year nearly over, what are some promising practices taking place in your district?
The DSUSD Integrated School-Based Mental Health Wellness model prioritizes student mental health by embedding wellness practices in the school setting to promote success for students in and out of the classroom. Objectives include deliberate action to create a multidisciplinary team at school sites to develop and establish an integrated framework of educational, social-emotional and behavioral health support for every student, enhance mental health literacy, and reduce stigma and other barriers to accessing mental health services. The board continues to support innovative mental health focused initiatives such as expansion of mental health staffing and commit district resources to prioritize mental health as aligned with the district mission, “To inspire and nurture every student … one opportunity at a time.”
What are your district’s plans for learning recovery and academic acceleration this summer?
DSUSD will offer summer programs at each grade level available to specifically identified students. At the elementary level, students are identified through our universal diagnostic tool and are invited into summer programs that will last three weeks and will include curriculum in areas of need including mathematics, English language arts and English language development. The programs offered are customized to meet the learning needs of the identified students at each elementary school site. Middle school programs will focus on supporting math, science and English language arts. With the expansion of expanded learning opportunities, following each elementary and middle school academic program, each school will have the opportunity to extend the day through outside organizations that will provide enrichment.
Schools can be affirming, safe places for LGBTQ youth amid book ban disputes
Pride Month can serve as a reminder to review how policies affect LGBTQ students

Public, sometimes vitriolic, debate surrounding student access to books that positively portray lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning (LGBTQ) characters can have negative impacts on children’s mental health and well-being, even if they don’t attend schools in districts where these conversations are taking place.

“Even before a book is banned or a play is canceled, the fact that there are these very public dialogues about the ‘dangers of youth learning about LGBTQ characters or learning about sexual orientation and gender identity’ can be extraordinarily stigmatizing for LGBTQ youth. It can convey to a child, the adults that are around me, maybe some of my peers, they don’t support me for who I am,” explained Joshua Goodman, an assistant professor of psychology at Southern Oregon University with expertise in parent support for LGBTQ youth, mental health in LGBTQ populations and internalized sexual orientation and gender identity stigma.

A jumpstart to education
Quality pre-K programs set children up for better life outcomes
pre-kindergarteners sit at a table drawing with their teacher
Most people envision public education beginning with kindergarten, or more recently, transitional kindergarten. Indeed, education in the early years, including preschool, is critically important to student success and the benefits from learning in these formative years extend beyond a student’s formal education and continue throughout their life.

The positive effects of high-quality child care and early childhood education programs, as identified by the First Five Years Fund, include increased cognitive and social-emotional brain development, school readiness and increased school achievement, lower probability of special education placements, increased high school and college graduation rates and rates of employment, a more educated workforce, eventual personal and societal economic gain, and reduced health care costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adds that early childhood education can protect against, “the future onset of adult disease and disability,” and since these programs “aim to increase enrollment among children who are educationally underserved and experience health disparities, …[they] may help increase health equity.”

SBE updates assessment criteria for charter school petitions/renewals and more
CTE state plan update focuses on regional implementation
secondary school aged kids pour liquids into scientific flasks in a lab classroom
Charter schools and career technical education were among the most discussed topics during the State Board of Education’s May 18–19 meeting.

Assembly Bill 1505 made substantial changes to processes governing charter school petitions and renewals and modified the level of review for requested renewal petitions based on California School Dashboard data, including a presumption for renewal for high-performing charters, presumption for non-renewal for low-performing charters, and a standard for those charters that fall in between. Specifically, California Education Code Section 47607.2 requires charter school authorizers to consider “verified data” for renewals of charter schools that fall within the low- and middle-performing categories.

School-based health services expanding as need grows
On-campus health centers and the community school model are two examples
Millions of students receive school-based health services, and for many, schools are their first — and sometimes only — option to receive health care. At least 70 percent of students who access mental health services begin doing so in a school-based setting, which makes expanding access that much more critical as demand continues to rise, according to a new brief.

Published in February by the Education Commission of the States, “Addressing Health Disparities Through School-Based Health Services” explores legislative and programmatic examples in 17 states that are focused on improving equitable access to these services.

“Decades of research have highlighted the many ways in which healthier students are better equipped for learning,” researchers wrote. “As a result, many states have focused efforts on strategies that provide school-based health services with greater levels of engagement and outreach to students, families and local communities to increase equitable access to health and wellness.”

CDE partners with Los Angeles COE to support LGBTQ youth
The PRISM project will offer online training for educators throughout the state
In March, the California Department of Education announced a new partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) to provide resources to bolster support for LGBTQ youth in California.

“Many LGBTQ+ students — for too long — have failed to report issues of harassment and violence. This is unacceptable; it is vital we create the same opportunities for a quality public education in an environment that accepts all students for who they are,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “We are proud to partner with the Los Angeles County Office of Education to lead trainings that will provide our teachers with the critical resources they need to help California’s LGBTQ+ students.”

The CDE selected LACOE as the lead contractor to develop online cultural competency training courses for educators across California to help local educational agencies support LGBTQ students.

Outstanding Legislators of the Year Awards
Recipients champion increased funding and resources to support student success
For the past several years, the California County Boards of Education (CCBE) has honored current members of the California Senate and Assembly who actively work to improve our public schools, support local county and school board governance and exercise leadership in the legislative arena.

In 2021, Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) was honored with the award. Laird chairs the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee’s Subcommittee on Education. In that role, he has overseen and pushed for a historic increase in funding for education. Due in large part to Laird’s tireless leadership, education funding is working to expanded child care, provide universal transitional kindergarten for 4-year-olds and create the country’s first universal breakfast and lunch program for all students. He has also prioritized giving school districts the resources and tools they need to successfully return students to campus safely and worked to ensure that funding intended for student instruction reached the classroom as intended.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Attention: For more information about events, visit
Virtual Events
June 28
MIG Course 5: Community Relations & Advocacy/Governance Integration

July 13–Nov. 9
Executive Assistants Certification Program

Aug. 25
The Brown Act

In-person events

June 23
CSBA Roadshow – Humboldt County | Eureka

Aug. 10
CSBA Roadshow – Riverside/San Bernardino | Riverside

Aug. 12
CSBA Roadshow – Los Angeles West | Santa Monica

Aug. 16
CSBA Roadshow – San Diego South | Chula Vista

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Thanks for reading our June 2023 newsletter!