CSBA honors outstanding legislators
For the past 30 years, CSBA has honored current members of the California Senate and Assembly, as well as members of Congress, who actively work to improve our public schools, support local school board governance and exercise leadership in the legislative arena. The 2017 Outstanding Legislator Awards honored three fierce advocates for public education: Assemblymember Catharine Baker (R-Dublin), Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside). Senator Steve Glazer was given a Special Recognition award.

All four awardees supported CSBA’s 2017 sponsored legislation, voting in favor of Senate Bill 751, which amends the school district reserve cap; SB 527 (Galgiani, D-Stockton), which sought to strengthen state funding for home-to-school transportation; and Assembly Bill 1354 (Kiley, R-Roseville), which amends the California Education Code to eliminate obsolete and unnecessary programs.

“We are extremely thrilled to present our 2017 Legislative Awards to Assemblymember Catharine Baker and to Senators Richard Roth, Jerry Hill and Steve Glazer,” said Dennis Meyers, CSBA assistant executive director of Governmental Relations. “All four are veteran leaders in the Legislature and have shown tremendous commitment to public education by working closely with local governance teams in their districts on tough issues — including the three-year issue of the school district reserve cap.”

Baker represents California’s 16th Assembly District, which stretches from Walnut Creek south to Dublin in the Bay Area, and joined the Assembly in 2014. Since that time, education has been a key legislative focus for her, as evidenced by the passage of her legislation, Assembly Bill 1058, which helps train school personnel on recognizing and preventing child abuse. Baker also emerged as a leading advocate in the effort to address the school district reserve cap by authoring AB 1048 in 2015, a bill which would have repealed the reserve cap outright.

Senator Hill represents Senate District 13, which encompasses the San Francisco Peninsula and portions of Silicon Valley. Along with Senator Glazer, Hill authored SB 751, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in October. Throughout his tenure in the Legislature, Senator Hill has consistently cast votes in favor of bills which strengthen public school budgets and allow school districts and county offices of education to update and expand their curriculum to best fit the evolving needs of California’s students.

Senator Roth’s wide-ranging education advocacy efforts in Riverside County also earned him an Outstanding Legislator Award. Among his achievements, Roth secured funding to address teacher recruitment, provided access to full-time preschool for 3,000 low-income children and authored a bill to align workforce needs with community college training. Senator Roth consistently engaged with local school boards and administrators regarding the local impact of pending legislation.

Senator Glazer, who represents most of Contra Costa County, received a Special Recognition Award for his efforts, along with Senator Hill, to pass SB 751 and amend the reserve cap law. Prior to the passage of SB 751, the reserve cap posed significant financial challenges for California’s schools and threatened the fiscal solvency of every single school district in the state.