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November 2023 Vol. 29, 11

Gov. Newsom signs five CSBA-sponsored bills
CSBA member advocacy plays key role in legislative victories
As the curtain fell on the first year of the 2023–24 legislative session, all eyes turned to Gov. Gavin Newsom to see which of the more than 1,000 bills sent to his desk would be vetoed and which would be signed into law.

CSBA advocacy carried the day, propelling five sponsored bills through the Legislature and securing the Governor’s signature on all five, as well as two hard-fought vetoes on some of the year’s most problematic education proposals.

a woman of Native Amercian descent smile and sits at a table on a computer while a young girl smiles while sitting on her lap and a young boy does work on another end of the table


California Indian Education for All has resources that can benefit local educational agencies during National Native American Heritage Month and year-round.
IQC suggests changes to local instructional materials adoption guidance
A 10-day public comment period will precede the Nov. 15 meeting
stack of books
At the Sept. 20 meeting of the Instructional Quality Commission, members opted to push off a vote on approving proposed revisions to the “Guidance for Local Instructional Materials Adoptions” until November to allow for additional updates and another public comment period.

First drafted in 1989, the document, formerly known as “Guidelines for Piloting Textbooks and Instructional Materials,” includes recommendations for determining what instructional materials to pilot, information on piloting and other considerations. Playing a key role in informing California educators about legislation and regulations concerning instructional materials, it has been periodically updated, with the last revisions taking place in 2015.

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Chief Information Officer:
Troy Flint |

Editorial Director:
Kimberly Sellery |

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Alisha Kirby |
Heather Kemp |
Teresa Machado |
Barbara Laifman |
Bode Owoyele |

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.

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President’s Message: Susan Markarian
It’s all for the children
Board members’ main purpose is to help children succeed

American poet and journalist Carl Sandburg said, “Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.” I relate to this sentiment because the past four decades of my life as a school trustee and as a CSBA member have unfolded in a wonderfully unpredictable manner. I wasn’t even sure I really wanted to win the election when I first ran for school board 38 years ago. Now, here I am, writing the final column of my tenure as CSBA President.

It’s been a tremendous journey so far, and one I plan to continue after I hand the president’s gavel to my successor. I didn’t become a school trustee because I anticipated honor or fame — that’s not a reasonable expectation for a woman of my era who grew up in rural Fresno County. I still reside in that small farming community, about five miles from where I lived as a child, but my experiences as a school board member have taken me to every corner of this great state and formed the basis for lifelong relationships. All of our children should have similar options.

Get to know the 2023 AEC speakers
General Sessions cover the generational divide, creating systemic change and artificial intelligence
CSBA’s 2023 Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in San Francisco, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, will feature passionate and dynamic speakers poised to impart attendees with new knowledge and understanding to take back to their local educational agencies.

This year’s speakers — through keynote addresses and a one-on-one conversation — will cover a breadth of topics crucial to the work of trustees across the state, including how best to work with and relate to one another despite generational divides, working empathetically with struggling youth as they forge a new path forward, the pitfalls and potential for artificial intelligence (AI) in education and more.

For additional information about AEC or the speakers below, visit

2023 CSBA officer candidates
Candidates for President-elect and Vice President

Pursuant to Standing Rule 222, C (11), the Candidate Review Committee interviewed the first-round candidates in person on Aug. 26. Candidates interviewed were Bettye Lusk from Monterey Peninsula Unified School District for the Office of President-elect, and James Aguilar from San Leandro USD, Renee Nash from Eureka Union SD and Debra Schade from Solana Beach SD for the Office of Vice President. The Candidate Review Committee recommends Bettye Lusk for the Office of President-elect, and Renee Nash and Debra Schade for the Office of Vice President.

Second round nominations closed on Oct. 20, and there were no new candidates nominated for either office.

— Darlene Bruno, Chair 2023 Candidate Review Committee, Delegate Region 11, Hueneme SD, on behalf of the Delegates serving on the Candidate Review Committee.
Dr. Bettye Lusk headshot
Dr. Bettye Lusk



“BEFORE YOU ARE A LEADER, SUCCESS IS ALL ABOUT GROWING YOURSELF”! This is who I am and what I’ve done throughout my life and careers – a country girl whose resume shares the years of service rendered thus far. What could be more lasting than focusing our SERVICE on investing in our finest treasures and future – our children? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR OTHERS?” My goal as your President-Elect is to continue to personally and professionally dedicate myself to serving this organization. I believe that through our unified voices and collaborative efforts, CSBA and our partners will make a significant impact on the decisions and legislation that affect the educational outcomes for every student in this state. When elected, I will represent YOU, seeking your viewpoints and listening with respect. I will work to achieve CSBA’ goals and to represent our Vision and Mission. We are strongest when we speak with one voice to our Stakeholders. Our STUDENTS need us to STAND for them, and I am here to do just that. I would be honored to have your vote:

Dr. Bettye Lusk, CSBA PRESIDENT-ELECT 2024

Commission on Teacher Credentialing evaluates its assessments
Present multiple options to improve moving forward

The Oct. 12-13 meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) primarily focused on the state’s teaching performance assessments (TPAs), with commission staff presenting an analysis of TPA passing scores between 2018–23. While just an information item, the robust discussion between commissioners and large volume of written public comments regarding the usefulness of high-stakes assessments brought the assurance of commissioners that the topic would be coming back in future meetings for further discussion and action.

TPAs and results
California has three commission-approved assessments for teacher credentialing: California Teaching Performance Assessment (CalTPA), edTPA and Fresno Assessment for Student Teachers (FAST).
California Indian Education for All aims to provide resources to LEAs
Recognizing and celebrating National Native American Heritage Month
California Indian Education for All ( has resources that can benefit local educational agencies during National Native American Heritage Month in November and year-round.

A product of the San Diego County Office of Education, California Indian Museum & Cultural Center and the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center funded by a federal Office of Indian Education Native Youth Community Projects grant, the nonprofit was developed to infuse resources from tribal communities into curriculum to tell an accurate version of the state’s history.

California Indian Education for All is currently involved in creating the model curriculum for K-12 Native American studies in California.

CSBA webinar addresses AB 1078 and its immediate impacts
GAMUT Policy released a related special update packet in October

CSBA hosted a webinar, “AB 1078 is more than meets the eye: What governing boards need to know,” on Sept. 28, featuring experts from CSBA’s Governmental Relations, Legal, and Policy and Governance Technology Services departments.

Existing law

Current law requires that local educational agencies provide their students with “sufficient textbooks or instructional materials,” meaning that each pupil has a standards-aligned textbook or instructional materials, or both, to use in class and to take home. Existing law also requires that an LEA annually determine via a publicly adopted resolution whether each pupil in each school has sufficient textbooks or instructional materials, or both, by the eighth week of instruction after the school year has started.


Call for nominations for 2024 Delegate Assembly elections
Delegate Assembly nominations and biographical sketches due Jan. 7, 2024
Minimalist vector illustration of a yellow circular shape with an open blue envelope and a white small half paper inside envelope with a yellow star on the paper

Nominations for CSBA’s Delegate Assembly are now being accepted. CSBA member boards may nominate board members to run for election until Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. Nominees are required to submit a completed, signed and dated biographical sketch form; and an optional one-page, one-sided resume may be submitted as well. The election period for boards to vote runs from Feb. 1 to March 15. Elected Delegates serve two-year terms beginning April 1, 2024, through March 31, 2026.

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 officers, Delegates ensure that the association reflects the interests of school districts and county offices of education. In addition, they elect CSBA’s officers and Board of Directors, adopt the Policy Platform and the Bylaws, serve on committees, and provide advocacy on behalf of public education and boards of education.

Visit to learn more about CSBA’s Delegate Assembly and to download relevant documents, including those for the nomination and election process.

Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Reviewing year-over-year data using the California School Dashboard
Magnifying glass laying on data and graph sheet
When the popular song “School Days” emerged in 1907, it resonated with audiences who could relate to the mentions of looking back on one’s childhood days in school. But today’s committed governance team members serving school districts and county offices of education in California learn quickly that being on a board of education is somewhat like going back to school because of the “homework” required to do the job well.

Fortunately, an info-packed tool known as the California School Dashboard ( has been available since 2017, and it helps members of governing boards both absorb and analyze tremendous amounts of pertinent data.

The Dashboard provides information to parents, educators and any other interested parties on school and district progress so that their decision making can positively impact and improve student achievement.

Policy impact of AB 1078
CSBA GAMUT subscribers received a policy update packet in October
Assembly Bill 1078, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2023, clarifies certain requirements and prohibitions related to the use, selection or rejection of textbooks, instructional materials, library books or similar educational resources. AB 1078 also increases district accountability, including new authority for state involvement, should governing boards run afoul of these requirements and prohibitions. The bill was motivated by data that shows an increase in limiting race- or gender-related topics in school classrooms, as well as the scrutiny of books in school libraries. Assemblymember Corey Jackson (D-Riverside), the bill’s author, states, “We must strive to create a more equitable and inclusive education system for all students. This bill will ensure that students in California receive a comprehensive education that celebrates the diversity of our state and promotes a sense of belonging in the classroom.”

More specifically, AB 1078 provides for the following:

California Legislature and Governor file petition to block proposed ballot measure
The measure would change how state and local governments impose taxes
Close-up landscape photograph perspective of a person's right hand using a pen to sign on top of a white paper document
In a rare move, Gov. Gavin Newsom, the state Legislature and former state Sen. John Burton (petitioners) have joined together to file an emergency petition directly with the California Supreme Court, to determine the validity of the proposed Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act (the measure). In Legislature of the State of California et al. v. Weber (Hiltachk), the petitioners have asked that a Writ of Mandate be issued restraining the California Secretary of State from placing the measure on the November 2024 ballot for voters to consider. Petitioners, in invoking the court’s original jurisdiction pursuant to Section 10 of Article VI of the California Constitution, state that the petition presents “an issue of broad public importance that requires the kind of speedy and final resolution that can best be provided in an original proceeding in this court.”

The petition urges the court to rule on the measure before the election because, as petitioners claim, if approved, the measure will imperil the provision of essential government functions before the courts have an opportunity to strike it down if it is eventually found to be invalid. Petitioners also allege that rather than proposing the kind of an amendment that may be made through the state initiative procedure, the measure attempts an impermissible revision of the California Constitution.


County superintendents offers support for pre-K math instruction

Guidance released as California focuses on universal pre-K

With the expansion of universal prekindergarten (UPK) underway in schools and districts across the state, the California County Superintendents have released First Steps to Math Success: Guidance for Teaching Mathematics in Transitional Kindergarten, a resource that describes the conditions necessary to support joyful, robust foundational learning in mathematics for the state’s youngest learners.

“Leaders and partners must be mindful that learning and discovering can change dramatically as children develop from ages 48 to 72 months. Therefore, the prekindergarten math program should reflect and respond to learners’ developmental stages,” the report states. “Throughout a child’s UPK experience, they should continually be provided with opportunities to develop their sense of agency, to productively struggle with math concepts, and to begin to gain a sense that they are capable mathematicians. Helping students develop a positive mathematical disposition is a key focus of early mathematics. To this end, mathematical experiences in UPK must be grounded in play and exploration.”

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Attention: For more information about events, visit
Virtual Events

Jan. 29 & April 15
Student Board Member Trainings

Jan. 11
Board Presidents Workshop

Jan. 12-March 15
Executive Assistants Certification Program

Jan. 18
Orientation for New Trustees

Jan. 22
The Brown Act

Jan. 30-31
Institute for New and First-Term Board Members

Feb. 12 & March 4
Student Board Member Governance Q&A and Networking
In-person events

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 | San Francisco
Annual Education Conference and Trade Show

Jan. 20 | Monterey
MIG Course 1: Foundations of Effective Governance/Setting Direction

Feb. 3 | Sunnyvale
MIG Course 4: Human Resources/Collective Bargaining

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Thanks for reading our November 2023 newsletter!