Category Archives: Effective Governance

Effective Governance

‘Silent Recession’: Rising costs and rising challenges confront California school districts

15 Jan
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pencils and coins
California’s public schools are still struggling to meet basic needs even as the state’s economy has rebounded from the Great Recession, analysis finds. Against the backdrop of a strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District and a looming financial crisis in districts statewide, the WestEd report authors say, “The multiyear budget forecasts for California school districts are increasingly grim, and many school districts are being forced to make difficult decisions about how to maximize limited dollars to best meet...

Statement on the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Budget Proposal

11 Jan
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“We are encouraged by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s first budget, particularly his commitment to the Local Control Funding Formula, school construction, services for young children and families, and recognition of the challenges facing school districts in the form of rising costs for pensions and special education. The Governor has demonstrated an appreciation of the critical issues facing public schools as we work to provide the next generation of Californians with the tools needed to expand our prosperity and ensure that every...

AG advisory creates new considerations for charter school governance and operations

9 Jan
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By Kathryn Meola, CSBA General Counsel  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has issued an advisory opinion (No. 11-201, dated December 26, 2018) concluding that charter schools and their governing bodies are subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. The Attorney General also concluded that the governing bodies of charter schools are subject to both Government Code section 1090, which prohibits conflicts of interest in public contracts, and the Political Reform Act of 1974. Finally,...

A conversation with … CSBA President Emma Turner

8 Jan
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Emma Turner is a trustee of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District in east San Diego, a TK-8 district with about 12,300 students. Turner is particularly proud of the work the district does in its Literacy Academy, Arts Academy and STEAM Academy. She has been involved in CSBA since her second year as a board member in 2007. Tell us a little about your background including your own K-12 education and professional experience. I’m a lifelong learner, and that is...

January honors important work of school board members

2 Jan
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public school building
“A free public education is the foundation of our great democracy,” CSBA President Emma Turner said at the 2018 Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in San Francisco in November. And crucial to the success of that public education are school board trustees who provide a critical link between the school system and local constituents, ensure accountability and are on the front lines of education advocacy. With this invaluable contribution in mind, CSBA salutes school board members across the state...

Federal commission releases school safety report; sparks debate about student discipline

19 Dec
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Recommendation to roll back Obama-era guidance largely moot in light of California state law A wide-ranging report has intensified the debate over appropriate methods of discipline in a time of increasing concern about student safety. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Federal Commission on School Safety released what the U.S. Department of Education called “best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country.” The Commission was established in response to the February 2018 mass shooting at Florida’s...

Protecting existing school funding while fighting for Full and Fair Funding

19 Dec
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By Mike Ambrose Full and Fair Funding is crucial for student success, and research continues to demonstrate that increasing funding to education makes an important and lasting impact on students, particularly for students in high-need and low-income schools. Nonetheless, despite boasting the fifth-largest economy in the world and the highest gross domestic product of any state, California sits near the bottom nationally in nearly every significant measure of school funding and school staffing. Even with improvements to funding levels in...

Commentary: Education, protests & freedom of speech are the ties that bind our republic

17 Dec
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By Vernon Billy Students are the future torchbearers of liberty I hope I got your attention… By the time you read this, the November 2018 election will be history and the outcomes of Election Day will have been debated and analyzed by every political pundit and pollster. This analysis, such as it were, is welcomed by political junkies and policy wonks across the political spectrum. But underneath all this analysis (or noise) is the fact that Election Day reflects several...

Bolstering your district’s LCAP stakeholder engagement might not involve the term ‘LCAP’

14 Dec
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When it comes to promoting meaningful community and student engagement and input, schools and districts might want to consider a jolting principle: Why even use the acronym “LCAP” when initially communicating with the audience? Do they know what it is and will using the term result in a quality two-way education tool representing a diverse stakeholder group? A recent California Collaborative for Educational Excellence-hosted webinar posed such questions and offered tips on communicating to engage rather than to simply inform...

Commentary: A commitment to equitable outcomes for all students

12 Dec
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students taking test
By Dr. Shawnterra Moore As a young African-American girl being raised by a single parent, I had no true understanding of the statistics that forecasted my future. My mother was single, not by choice; my father was gunned down a few months before I was born, but she was an educated woman who emphasized the importance of education. I was very successful academically; however, the harsh realities of the world in which we lived hit me upon entrance to college....