Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

Boards may meet without a physical meeting space for the public, and may receive updates on COVID-19 from officials

1 Apr
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On March 17, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a second executive order impacting meetings held by school district and county office of education boards. Executive Order N-29-20 superseded paragraph 11 of the March 12, 2020, Executive Order N-25-20, which required local educational agencies to provide a physical location from where members of the public could participate in a board meeting. This overriding Executive Order N-29-20 provides that boards no longer need to make space available for the public to appear...

President’s Message: Help make sure that every student is counted

27 Mar
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By CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez As school board members and education leaders, we all agree that every student counts. That mantra will be put to the test this month as invitations to complete the 2020 U.S. Census begin arriving in mailboxes. While U.S. Census Bureau and California officials will ramp up their outreach efforts in the coming weeks, we also play a key role in making sure school-aged children are not forgotten. Traditionally, some of our youngest citizens have not...

Coronavirus update: Passage of Senate Bill 117 offers relief to school districts, COEs

17 Mar
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On Monday, March 16, the Legislature and the Governor took special action to support agencies grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, including passage of SB 117, a bill providing relief to school districts, county offices of education, and childcare centers. CSBA appreciates the swift work to pass legislation that will provide relief to public schools coping with the impact of COVID-19. SB 117, which directly reflects the advocacy of CSBA and other members of the Education Coalition, provides $100 million to...

Governor issues executive order ensuring state funding for coronavirus-related school closures

16 Mar
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Early on the evening on March 13, 2020, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order addressing some of the unresolved questions prompted by coronavirus-related school closures. The order ensures that districts will receive state funding as normal and will not lose Average Daily Attendance (ADA) revenue when closing schools to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The order requires that school districts and county offices of education use this funding to support distance learning and high-quality educational opportunities, offer school meals...

New law and changes to updating student records

6 Mar
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As the keeper of student records, districts often receive requests from former students and parents/guardians for transcripts, diplomas and other past student records. A new law, Assembly Bill 711 (Chiu, D-San Francisco), aims to help former students and parents request changes to these records, including changes to the student’s name and/or gender. Districts are required to update the records of a former student who submits a written request or government-issued documentation of a name and/or gender change. Although students have...

African American History Month: An interview with Bettye Lusk, CSBA Director-at-Large, African American

28 Feb
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Each February, African American History Month marks a time for celebrating the achievements of African Americans and recognizing their central role in U.S. history. To help mark the month, California School News interviewed Bettye Lusk, CSBA’s Director-at-Large, African American and longtime trustee for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, for her perspectives on her childhood, the importance of educational equity and the path toward greater outcomes for all students. Question: Tell us a little about your background and upbringing. Answer:...

Training at CSBA on new LCAP template outlines key changes

27 Feb
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As part of the rollout of the new Local Control and Accountability Plan template, CSBA hosted a free training for school board members and other education leaders at its offices in West Sacramento on Monday, Feb. 25. More than 80 people turned out to learn about the latest iteration of the three-year planning document that is at the heart of improving student outcomes at the local educational agency level. Adopted by the State Board of Education in January, the template...

What the California Science Test Scores say about access and opportunity

19 Feb
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The first statewide results of the California Science Test (CAST) were released by the California Department of Education in early February. The new assessment is tied to the California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which districts have been in the process of implementing since their adoption in spring 2013. Students in grades 5, 7,10, 11 and 12 take the CAST. While NGSS implementation is a work in progress and will take time, what is clear from the scores is that...

President’s message: Promoting student success through teacher recruitment, training and retention

18 Feb
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By Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, CSBA President Providing all students with a high-quality education is our greatest responsibility as school board members. In order to succeed in this work, we must prioritize teacher quality and invest both intellectually and finan­cially in the recruitment, retention and development of an effective and diverse educator workforce for California’s preK-12 schools. This is not just a moral ambition, it’s a practical measure to improve overall student outcomes and help close opportunity and achievement gaps that shortchange...

March 15 layoff notices: What boards should know

10 Feb
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public school building
As a member of a school board governance team, few situations are more sensitive than a district delivering March 15 layoff notices. It is essential for governing board members to be familiar with information about the March 15 notice, its implementation process and the strict legal requirements attached to the process. The March 15 notice is a formal, written announcement from a school district to certificated employees — required by Education Code section 44949 — informing them that they may...