Mendez v. Westminster: 72 Years Later

15 Mar
Sylvia Mendez
In the 1940s, more than 70 percent of all Mexican-American students in California attended “separate but equal” schools. And one court case changed that: Mendez v. Westminster (1946). Appalled that their three children—who were all fluent in English—were not permitted to attend a neighborhood school because it was for English-speaking students only, Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez sued their local school district, setting into motion a series of changes to school segregation law. “Segregation… fosters antagonisms in the children and suggest...

School board members flock to Sacramento for Legislative Action Day

14 Mar
Sen. Steve Glazer with Region 7 members
On March 13, 2018, CSBA members from across the state attended CSBA’s annual Legislative Action Day to meet with lawmakers and advocate for public schools. More than 200 school board members held 103 meetings with Senators and Assemblymembers in the Capitol to push for the Full and Fair Funding of California’s public schools, discuss the pension crisis, talk about school facilities funding and inform their legislators about CSBA’s sponsored bills. The day also included legislative briefings from CSBA’s governmental relations...

The California Earned Income Tax Credit can help families in your district

13 Mar
By Joe Sanberg and Laura Capps As school board members, you help thousands of families every day in your community by working to ensure their children receive the best education possible. You also help kids grow up healthy and make sure they thrive by helping schools support their emotional, nutritional and social needs. Did you know that you can also help many low-income families meet their basic needs, such as transportation and housing, by helping them boost their income by...

Funding gaps persist in California school districts

7 Mar
pencils and coins
High-poverty school districts in California receive 2 percent less funding per student than more affluent districts when adjusted for student needs, a new report from The Education Trust determined. The discrepancy is part of a national trend of underfunding in large school districts serving large numbers of students of color and students from low-income families. “Across the country, we spend approximately 7 percent — or $1,000 — less per pupil on students educated in our nation’s highest-poverty districts than those...

Recruiting, Supporting, Retaining: African-American Teachers and the Teacher Shortage

28 Feb
African-American teacher
California faces an acute shortage of teachers statewide. The demand for teachers is even greater in school districts with a large number of low-income students and diverse populations. As part of CSBA’s blog series exploring African-American student achievement in honor of African-American History Month, this post looks at the hiring and retaining of African-American teachers. While public schools are projected to be majority nonwhite by 2020, teachers of color are underrepresented. In California, approximately 68 percent of teachers in the...

More than $300,000 in Scholar Dollars grants available to California K-8 schools

26 Feb
Scholar Dollars
ScholarShare 529, California’s official 529 college savings plan, is now accepting entries for its Scholar Dollars grant program. All of California’s public and charter schools serving grades K-8 are eligible for the program, but they must register online by the March 7 deadline. The grants are intended to help schools pay for critical and underfunded class materials, extracurricular activities and after-school programs. Last year, 20 schools were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for a wide range of school needs...

State auditor stresses importance of school safety plans

21 Feb
school safety
On Nov. 14, 2017, a school secretary heard gunshots from her office and quickly ordered a school lockdown. School staff at Rancho Tehama Elementary School collected students from the playground, barricaded the school and sheltered in place as a gunman rammed through the front gates of the school. He exited his pickup truck armed with a semi-automatic rifle and, finding himself locked out of the school, fired instead at the walls and windows before he reportedly became frustrated and left....

Recent studies show U.S. public schools facing resegregation

14 Feb
Girl Writing in Notebook
Today’s student population is becoming increasingly diverse, yet American public schools are not reflecting that. Almost 65 years after Brown v. Board of Education (1954) deemed school segregation unconstitutional in the United States, recent studies are showing that the vision of a desegregated school system has yet to be fully implemented. Even worse, a reality where segregation is a word for the history books is slipping further and further away. According to the Civil Rights Project at the University of California,...

Celebrating African-American History Month: A Snapshot of African-American Students in California

7 Feb
science students
With almost 400,000 African-American students attending California K-12 public schools, our state is home to the sixth largest population of African-American students in the country — larger than the overall student population of 15 other states. Unfortunately, large opportunity and achievement gaps exist for this group of students. Awareness of the issues leading to these gaps will allow board members and other educational advocates to build effective strategies and target supports where they will be most useful. In honor of...

Sudden cardiac arrest training and awareness now required for schools and coaches

31 Jan
A new California law requires all K-12 schools in the state to educate coaches, parents/guardians and student athletes about sudden cardiac arrest. SCA occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating — typically due to arrhythmia. It is also a leading cause of death for student athletes and often fatal if not treated within minutes. With this risk in mind, Assembly Bill 1639 (Maienschein, R-San Diego) requires coaches of athletic activities to complete the sudden cardiac arrest prevention training course and...