CSBA adopts equity statement
CSBA Equity Statement
CSBA recognizes that educational excellence requires a commitment to equity. California students bring a wide range of assets, abilities, backgrounds, and needs to their educational experience. Schools have an obligation to provide all students with the access and opportunities necessary for college, career, and life success. This requires school leaders to address practices, policies, and barriers that perpetuate inequities which lead to opportunity and achievement gaps. Effective school boards are equity-driven, making intentional governance decisions that combat institutional discrimination and bias (both explicit and implicit) and eliminate disparities in educational outcomes based on socioeconomic status, gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or family background.
Students showing the importance of equity
CSBA’s vision calls on the organization to inspire its members “to be knowledgeable leaders, extraordinary governance practitioners and ardent advocates for all students.”CSBA’s mission holds that “strong local boards of education are essential to ensure a high-quality education for every student in every community. The only way to realize these goals is to place equity at the heart of board members’ governance and advocacy work.To better define for members and the public where the association stands on the issue of equity, the Board of Directors approved the CSBA Equity Statement at its September meeting.

CSBA is committed to encouraging an equity-mindset that drives its work and informs the governance practice of its members. School boards cannot be “ardent advocates for all students” or “ensure a high-quality education for every student in every community” unless they are committed to equity. As such, the new equity statement is a natural extension of CSBA’s ongoing work and principles. It also provides a common foundation for CSBA’s numerous equity-centered sample policies, and guidance for future policy development and legislative advocacy efforts.

The value of the Equity Statement is seen clearly in its relationship to one of CSBA’s most significant initiatives: the pursuit of Full and Fair FundingSM. Full and Fair Funding is hollow without an equity focus. The goal is not simply to increase funding, but to use those funds in an equitable manner to strengthen schools and improve outcomes for every student in every school statewide. To that end, the statement provides an important reference for CSBA’s training initiatives as it helps members develop the capacity for equity work in their school districts and county offices of education.

As the statement notes, educational excellence requires a commitment to equity. CSBA has now made that commitment explicit in a way that supports its mission and brings its vision into clearer focus.