October 2019 Vol. 25, 10
School start time bill passes Legislature, heads to Governor’s desk
School start time bill passes Legislature, heads to Governor’s desk
On the final day of the 2019 legislative year, the Assembly heard and passed Senate Bill 328 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge), which would require all non-rural middle and high schools to begin the regular school day no earlier than 8 a.m. (middle schools) or 8:30 a.m. (high schools). The bill is on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk awaiting his action, as of this writing.

Forty-four members of the Assembly voted “aye” on the bill, with 20 members voting no and 15 declining to vote. In 2018, a prior version of SB 328 squeaked through the Assembly and was ultimately vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. CSBA continues to oppose the statewide mandate contained in SB 328, as decisions related to school start times should be made by locally elected boards with input from local communities.

Both the Senate and Assembly adjourned at approximately 3 a.m. on Sept. 14, having concluded their 2019 business, moving a number of bills between the houses to be heard in the final hours. All told, nearly 70 bills on which CSBA had adopted a formal legislative position have been sent to Gov. Newsom, 16 of which have already been signed into law as of this writing.

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Focusing on educational equity requires continuous learning
As CSBA continues to advocate for Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools, it recognizes that in order to close opportunity gaps, the necessary funding must be coupled with a continued focus on equity. Governance teams play an important role in leading for educational equity. Opportunity gaps persist around the state and nation, as evident in quantitative and qualitative data. Governance teams should act with a sense of urgency — the longer the wait, the more students will be deprived of the opportunity to meet their potential. It is for this reason that CSBA has expanded its trainings and resources to focus on how board members can lead with educational equity in mind.

As part of this work, CSBA established an Equity Network in 2018 for school board members, funded through a grant from the Stuart Foundation. This network is a platform for participants to collaborate, build capacity and inform decisions that lead to improved opportunities and outcomes for underserved students. In April 2019, the first cohort of 20 board members, representing 10 districts, concluded its year-long series of in-person and virtual meetings — read more about the work of this group in the fall issue of California Schools magazine. This August, a new cohort of participants convened to continue these important conversations. Meanwhile, participants from the first year continue with support activities to implement their equity action plans.


Senior Director of Communications:
Troy Flint | tflint@csba.org

Managing Editor:
Kimberly Sellery | ksellery@csba.org

Marketing Director:

Serina Pruitt | spruitt@csba.org

Staff Writers and Contributors:
Andrew Cummins | acummins@csba.org
Aaron Davis | adavis@csba.org
Alisha Kirby | akirby@csba.org
Briana Mullen | bmullen@csba.org
Bode Owoyele | bowoyele@csba.org

Graphic Design Manager:
Kerry Macklin | kmacklin@csba.org

Senior Graphic Designer:
Mauricio Miranda | mmiranda@csba.org

Emma Turner | La Mesa-Spring Valley SD

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez | Azusa USD

Vice President:
Tamara Otero | Cajon Valley Union USD

Immediate Past President:
Mike Walsh | Butte COE

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.

President’s Message: Emma Turner
Emma Turner
The importance of equity-driven leadership
One of the greatest responsibilities of school district and county office of education board members is to support the achievement of all students by providing them with the educational opportunities that will promote student success. This work begins by developing a vision and goals that support the particular needs of your district. Aligning resources to those goals is the next step, and one that should be informed by examining data in your district — from test scores to wellness surveys, there is a wealth of data available to boards today. Top of mind for every board should be making equity-driven decisions that take into account opportunity gaps that often begin before students even enter the public school system. Often, students of color and low-income students have more limited access to opportunities that can ensure they graduate from high school ready for college, career and life success.
Call for nominations for 2020 Delegate Assembly elections open Nov. 1
Delegate Assembly nominations and biographical sketches due Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020

Call for nominations for CSBA’s Delegate Assembly will open Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. CSBA member boards may nominate board members to run for election until Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. Nominees are required to submit a completed, signed and dated biographical sketch form by Jan. 7; an optional one-page, one-sided resume may be submitted as well. The election period for boards to vote runs from Saturday, Feb. 1 to Monday, March 16, 2020. Elected Delegates serve two-year terms beginning April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022.

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 Bylaws, serve on committees and provide advocacy on behalf of public education and boards of education.

Visit www.csba.org/ElectiontoDA for more information about CSBA’s Delegate Assembly, including the nomination and election process, and to obtain relevant documents.

GovernanceCorner Practical tips from our MIG faculty
Setting direction and goals for the year
Setting direction and goals for the year

Setting goals is a key function of a successful governing board. The start of the school year is the ideal time for boards to develop goals that will set the board’s direction for the year and reflect a focus on student learning and achievement.

To help guide the discussion, boards can consider the following questions when setting school district or county office of education board goals:

  • How do our goals directly support student achievement?
  • How are resources allocated to support these goals?
  • How will we communicate our agreed-upon goals to staff and stakeholders?
  • Are our goals meant to help every student in the district succeed? Are the goals equity-based?
  • Have we built goal-setting meetings into our governance calendar?
  • What are the success indicators for the goals set and are they quantifiable?
  • Did every board member have an equal voice in setting the goals? What does our goal-setting meeting look like?
  • Once the district/COE goals are set, are they strategically reviewed, and success indicators examined?

Equally important, boards should set agenda time at the end of the year to review the goals and discuss their progress. The true measurement of goals is reflected in increased student achievement and value-added programs. Goals are a top priority that need consistent attention and committed resources to be reached.

CSBA’s Masters in Governance courses can help board members to understand the importance of setting goals for their district or county office. Course 1 focuses on Effective Governance and Setting Direction; more information on MIG is available at www.csba.org under the Trainings and Events tab.

2020 CSBA officer candidates

CSBA’s Nominating Committee met on Sept. 14, 2019, to interview the following candidates for President-elect and Vice President of CSBA. For President-elect: Tamara Otero, Cajon Valley Union SD, and Suzanne Kitchens, Pleasant Valley SD. For Vice President: Susan Heredia, Natomas USD.

Following the interviews and the committee’s deliberations, the committee nominated Tamara Otero, and Suzanne Kitchens as candidates for President-elect. As candidate for Vice President, the committee nominated Susan Heredia.

As provided in CSBA’s Standing Rules, qualified individuals interested in being nominated from the floor of the Delegate Assembly must submit a complete Declaration of Candidacy packet, along with their written intention to run, on or before Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Intentions to run from the floor for President-elect and Vice President must be submitted to CSBA President Emma Turner at eturner@csba.org and the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Susan Scott at sue.scott@leusd.k12.ca.us.

Proposed LCAP revision, Dashboard changes highlight State Board meeting
With the new school year well underway, the State Board of Education turned its attention to proposed Local Control and Accountability Plan and California School Dashboard revisions at its Sept. 11 meeting in Sacramento.

Statutory changes largely call for several user- and parent-friendly changes to be incorporated into the revised LCAP template that was presented at the meeting. To better track spending, the law now requires that the template consolidate expenditures in summary tables to make it easier for stakeholders to see the full picture. According to the California Department of Education staff analysis, implementing this change could substantially reduce the length of most LCAPs, a transparency issued raised by many organizations and individuals in recent years.

Further, a summary table will clearly specify whether actions to increase or improve educational services are being provided throughout the entire local educational agency, targeted to specific high-need student groups or provided at individual school sites. The change is meant to “allow LEAs and stakeholders to quickly understand how increased or improved services are being provided and have the necessary conversations about whether the proposed approach is aligned with local priorities.”

Changes to board member terms of office and/or organizational meeting per AB 2449
Effective on Jan. 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 2449 (Ch. 146, Statutes of 2018) (Arambula, D-Fresno), Education Code Sections 1007 and 5017 were changed to ensure that their provisions are consistent with Elections Code Section 15372 with regards to when, after an election, governing and county board of education members are to assume office.
AB 2449 also amended Education Code Section 1009 to align the timing of the annual organizational meeting of a county board, when its elections are conducted as part of a general election.
Why AB 2449 was necessary

When the most recent amendment to Elections Code Section 15372 took effect on Jan. 1, 2015, the deadline for elections officials to certify election results was moved from 28 days after the election to 30 days after the election. This was to allow elections officials more time to canvass votes cast in an election. In a development steeped in irony, that extension of time itself created an anomalous situation with respect to some governing and county board elections that needed to be resolved.

hispanic heritage
An interview with Joaquin Rivera, CSBA Director-at-Large, Hispanic
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico,
the Caribbean and Central and South America.

More than half of California’s students are Hispanic and/or Latino and schools play a critical role in preparing these students for success in college, career and civic life. California School News interviewed Joaquin Rivera, CSBA’s Director-at-Large, Hispanic and trustee on the Alameda County Board of Education, for his perspectives on this growing student population.

Tell us a little about your background — what made you want to be a school board member? What motivated you to become involved with CSBA?

Growing up in Puerto Rico, my parents were public school administrators and they instilled in me the importance of education. In addition, I had many good and inspiring teachers along the way who served as role models. I have a bachelor’s of science in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez and a master’s of science in chemistry from UC Berkeley. I’m a community college chemistry professor. I served on the Berkeley School Board for 12 years and have been a member of the Alameda County Board of Education for the last nine. Education has always been very important in my life and I wanted to make a difference in the lives of the students in my community and the state of California. Serving my community has always been a life goal. That’s why I ran for school board and became involved with CSBA.

Report highlights districts closing opportunity gaps and their strategies
Many districts in California have struggled to adequately support underserved student groups through changes in curriculum, school funding and student assessments in the last five years, but a recent report from the Learning Policy Institute found more than 100 districts bucking that trend.
Report highlights districts
They identified these districts as “positive outliers” in which children across different racial and ethnic groups were outperforming similar students in other districts on the state’s new math and reading tests. Many of these districts are also closing gaps on other outcomes, including graduation rates.
A commitment to equity
The LPI report release event featured two panels that addressed equity issues from the need for more funding to address opportunity gaps to the importance of support from district administrators.

California School Boards Association CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy moderated a panel that examined how collaboration across local and state policy and advocacy groups would be necessary to ensure children throughout California are supported and given all opportunities to succeed.

To provide such resources, however, panelists agreed that districts need more money than has been provided in the last decade, even with the increases in state funding in the last couple of years.

“Money may not be everything,” Billy said, “but it is necessary if you want to provide the best for our students and teachers. Districts throughout the state are struggling to do what these outlier districts are doing.”

California currently ranks 38th in per-pupil funding and 45th in student–teacher ratios, despite being the fifth-largest economy in the world.

Wes Smith, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators, called on event attendees to tell their lawmakers to invest in Full and Fair Funding. Systems of support for students and teachers break down as early as pre-K, he said, and school districts need the funding to implement programs and provide resources to ensure all children are able to thrive in California’s public schools.

Sofia Friere, chief of leadership and learning at San Diego USD, said that much of her district’s success was attributable to spending and policy decisions guided by the superintendent and school board’s commitment to equity. The district, Friere said, aims to achieve equity in all its schools by “giving every student what they need, how they need it and when they need it.”

county boards
Charter school legislation, funding lead important topics at annual CCBE conference
California County Boards of Education continued to support its members with timely information and trainings in the past year, while also enhancing the voices of county offices in Sacramento and strengthening relationships with CSBA. CCBE President Dana Dean, a trustee for the Solano County Office of Education, lifted up these accomplishments during her report to the membership at the CCBE’s 2019 Annual Conference from Sept. 13–15 in Monterey.

The increased advocacy efforts were on full display with this session’s charter school legislation, a topic addressed throughout the gathering, particularly with the compromise on Assembly Bill 1505 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach). Earlier versions of AB 1505 would have significantly limited the authority of county boards over charter schools, Dean said.

county boards
Santa Cruz Career Advancement Charter School offers youth a second chance at education
In 2017, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education established the Career Advancement Charter, a countywide dependent charter, to serve young adults ages 18 to 24 who had not graduated from high school. Now beginning its third year, the charter school dedicates itself to helping students earn high school diplomas, industry certifications and make successful transitions to community college and family-sustaining employment.

One guiding principle of the Santa Cruz County Career Advancement Charter School is to help remove individual and systemic barriers that have historically prevented students from succeeding in our educational system. The CAC has multiple locations across Santa Cruz County that offer a range of services including independent study, in-class instruction for high school completion, Career and Technical Education classes, English as a second language, therapeutic support and academic guidance. Services are offered throughout the day to accommodate student schedules, which often revolve around each student’s professional and family responsibilities.

A global perspective: Implementing international exchange programs
International student exchange programs have long been recognized for their benefits to both the visiting students and their hosts. The value of promoting global awareness and cultural and linguistic exchange is increasingly important in an interconnected world. International students offer new perspectives in and outside of the classroom and give resident students a glimpse of other parts of the world.

Districts that would like to set up international exchange programs should become knowledgeable of the requirements and develop policy and procedures to ensure the eligibility, safety and well-being of visiting students.

UpcomingEvents info: 800-266-3382
Register for any of these events at www.csba.org/TrainingAndEvents.
Oct. 11–12 | Santa Rosa
Masters in Governance Courses 3 & 4
Oct. 18–19 | San Diego
Masters in Governance Courses 3 & 4
Oct. 25 | San Diego
2019 The Brown Act
Oct. 26 | San Diego
Masters in Governance Course 5
Nov. 1 | Santa Rosa
2019 The Brown Act
Nov. 2 | Santa Rosa
Masters in Governance Course 5
Dec. 5–7 | San Diego
CSBA Annual Education Conference and Trade Show
Thanks for reading our October 2019 newsletter!