Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

Legislators call out resources, liability and lack of direction as concerns in reopening schools

18 Jun
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With local educational agencies equipped with federal, state and county guidance on reopening campuses for the 2020–21 academic year, a June 16 joint Assembly Education Committee hearing cast concerns about the practicality and affordability of welcoming students back to the classroom. A yet-to-be finalized state budget and ongoing education funding concerns served as an ominous backdrop for the proceedings. CSBA, both independently and through its membership in the Education Coalition, comprised of the state’s nine largest statewide education associations, continues...

New CSBA guidance for reopening schools addresses challenges faced by governance teams

10 Jun
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As new information about COVID-19 and guidance for the reopening of schools in the 2020–21 academic year is released at a breakneck pace, CSBA has released a document that speaks directly to the needs of its members during this time. The Uncertain Road Ahead: Reopening Schools in the Time of COVID-19 presents a robust examination of what it will take to reopen schools safely and effectively. While the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education have...

A Conversation With: Debbie Raucher

26 May
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John Burton Advocates for Youth, named for the former member of the California State Assembly and President Pro Tem of the State Senate, works to improve the quality of life for California’s foster, former foster and homeless youth through three areas: housing, health and education. As the organization’s education director, Debbie Raucher oversees all of the nonprofit’s programs related to education — the majority of which focus on supporting transition-age foster youth and those who have experienced homelessness to ensure...

State guidance on reopening schools nearing; funding remains key issue

22 May
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The California Department of Education offered several insights into the development of its guidance for safely reopening schools during a May 21 webinar, with the department planning to release the document in the “days to weeks to come.” At the meeting’s outset, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said the webinar offered a chance for local educational agencies to compare notes on their reopening plans with the CDE’s guidance “to ensure we’re synchronized.” However, little detail was provided, with...

COVID-19 webinar explores legal, policy and instructional aspects of special education

18 May
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Of all the challenges faced by local educational agencies during the COVID-19 crisis, questions around providing services and learning opportunities to students with disabilities have been at the top of the list. Absent waivers to requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, schools have undertaken extraordinary efforts to continue these services, all while searching out further guidance and clarity — both legal and instructional. The latest webinar in CSBA’s COVID-19 governance series, “Special Education in Extraordinary Times,” on May...

Board policies, without delay

8 May
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governance meeting
School closures due to the spread of COVID-19 have affected nearly every aspect of school, district and county office of education operations. Under these unique circumstances, governing board members and staff may find that they are consulting their board policies and administrative regulations more often, and may also be discovering their policies are not up to date or require changes and revisions that must be approved quickly. Local educational agencies often ask, “What is the minimum timeline for posting, reviewing...

CSBA webinar provides guidance on board meetings and Brown Act waivers during stay-at-home order

5 May
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The second in a series of CSBA webinars to help governance teams best navigate the uncertainty of school closures caused by the novel coronavirus focused on how board meetings can best be conducted while adhering to still-active Brown Act requirements. “Open Board Meetings in a World of School Closures” featured experts from CSBA and its partner law firms reviewing Brown Act requirements, noting which requirements have been waived during the state’s stay-at-home order and offering practical advice on conducting public...

CEO’s note: A message of hope in the time of coronavirus

4 May
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In January 2020, CSBA’s Board of Directors was participating in a retreat when one of the directors asked me, “What keeps you up at night?” I chuckled, and then went on to say, “the list is long, but here are a few things…” I then toiled through a laundry list of operational, policy and organizational challenges and opportunities I felt were important for CSBA’s success. Little did I know that, two short months later, I (along with the rest of...

Conducting remote school board meetings: What board members should know

29 Apr
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governance meeting
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed daily life in California, including how the public’s business is conducted at school district and county office of education board meetings. For some board members, the idea of discussing agenda items in person, with members of the public sitting together in a packed room and lines of community members addressing the board from the same microphone may already seem like the distant past. Like so many in K-12 education, board members are making significant...

Board member electronic communications in the virtual world of COVID-19

27 Apr
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California’s stay-at-home order and social distancing requirements imposed to maintain the health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic have created a virtual world for most, including governing board members. Given that board members are increasingly, and perhaps solely, using electronic means during this time to communicate with their superintendents, each other and the public, it is important to be aware of the proper use of electronic resources, especially in regard to the Brown Act. Although Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order...