Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

Survival Of The Fittest: Adapting To Drive The Public Education Agenda

27 Apr
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by Susan Henry In biological terms, fitness is defined by the ability to survive and reproduce — a condition dependent on how well an organism has adapted to its environment. As leaders in public education, we are operating in an extremely difficult environment. The political climate is changing rapidly, the landscape is constantly shifting, and we are surrounded on all sides by special interests with competing agendas. The old ways are no longer sufficient. We must adapt to our new...

CSBA President Susan Henry Issues Statement Regarding Cuts to Federal Education Budget that Threaten Teacher Training and Class-Size Reduction Programs

31 Mar
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Educators apprehensive about budget which piles new mid-year cuts on top of reductions already proposed for fiscal 2018 “The California School Boards Association is deeply concerned about the Trump Administration’s plan to slash federal education spending. The $9.2 billion in cuts for the upcoming fiscal year was bad enough, but proposing an additional $3 billion in surprise mid-year cuts is particularly worrisome,” said CSBA President Susan Henry. “These reductions target funds marked for important teacher training and class-size reduction programs that improve...

Storm Relief Needed For Pension Increase Crisis

27 Mar
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by Susan Henry After you’ve survived a few financial storms, you begin to recognize clouds forming on the horizon. So, experienced weather watchers know a menacing front is headed for California schools in the form of major pension increases. Rising pension costs exceed new revenues in many districts and threaten to roll back the gains school districts have made under the Local Control Funding Formula. Even the thriftiest districts, ones that battened down the financial hatches under LCFF, aren’t equipped...

DeVos Confirmed as Ed Secretary, but Questions Remain

14 Feb
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by CSBA On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Vice President Mike Pence cast the decisive vote in favor of Betsy DeVos as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education. While Pence broke a 50-50 tie and put an end to the confirmation process, the debate over DeVos’ fitness for the position and her potential impact on public schools continues unabated. Every Senate Democrat, along with a pair of Republican Senators — Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski — voted against DeVos and...

A Conversation With CSBA President Susan Henry on education leadership & challenges in 2017

13 Jan
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California Schools magazine talks with CSBA President Susan Henry about her background and what led her to become engaged with public education. A registered nurse and an artist that went back to college at age 50, her life has centered on education, her family and community. The commitment and leadership she has shown for all of her endeavors is apparent in highlights from her interview. California Schools is excited for the upcoming year ahead with Henry at the helm, meeting...

Californians believe schools need more funding — will they vote that way?

4 Nov
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by Vernon M. Billy This November’s election will be unlike any we’ve seen in recent memory. Our Presidential election cycle has been, shall we say, “unique.” While California’s upcoming election isn’t nearly as interesting, we do have a whopping 17 statewide ballot measures that voters must sift through on election day. This election has huge implications for our state’s schools, but the sheer size of the ballot presents an obstacle for California voters — so much so, that existing voter support for...

A Conversation with CSBA President Chris Ungar on the Charter School Task Force

27 Sep
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By Gayle Romasanta Staff writer for CSBA Why did you think it was important to create the Charter Schools Task Force? Chris Ungar: Several years ago the CSBA Delegate Assembly Region 1 Director Bob Berkowitz and had a conversation about charter schools. He owned radio stations in Humboldt and Del Norte counties. He related his experience during the rise of FM radio, which was dismissed by many in the 1960s as a passing fad … radio folks never believed that...

Changing the Story of Summer

16 Sep
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by Michael Funk Which sounds more appealing to you for a summer activity: sitting in a stuffy school classroom doing remedial work, or hopping on a bus with your friends to go chase minnows in a nearby river? The traditional paradigm for summer learning has been the former, and it’s felt like a punishment. At the California Department of Education, we’re working to change that paradigm and write a new narrative about a summer that is as engaging as it...

Charter School Law Can Lead To Lack Of Oversight

9 Sep
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by Chris Ungar In early August, I had the opportunity to testify before the State Senate Education Committee on an issue of grave importance to CSBA and to the future of public education in California — the oversight of charter schools. Many of you know that this topic has been a point of emphasis during my presidency. I joined with other officials from schools districts and county offices of education, as well as charter school leaders, in addressing the lack...

Finding meaning in California’s constitutional guarantee of education

5 Aug
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by Keith Bray All children can succeed, but not all children have equal opportunity to do so. A child’s background and social station continue to play an inordinate role in his or her scholastic outcomes, both in California and across the nation. Schools, given the right circumstances, have the ability to disrupt this pattern of inequality, but may only do so if they are adequately and equitably resourced. In Robles-Wong v. California,(2016) 246 Cal. App. 4th 896, the California School...