Updates on the County Board Member Services Transitional Working Group

As CSBA President Albert Gonzalez noted in his recent letter to county trustees on behalf of the Board of Directors, CSBA is fully committed to county boards and to navigating the transition from California County Boards of Education (CCBE) to CSBA County Board Member Services so that county trustees feel valued and engaged. In that same letter, President Gonzalez identified “significant opportunity for further collaboration, advocacy, and training under one unified trustee association.” A survey was sent to all county board members on April 10 so they could share their perspective on how CSBA can best:

  • reflect the unique duties of county trustees
  • advocate effectively for county boards
  • help you thrive in your governance role
  • work collaboratively to build CSBA County Board Member Services

The quantitative and qualitative data from this survey will be used to supplement the ongoing efforts of the Transitional Working Group (TWG), a demographically and ideologically diverse collection of county board trustees with decades of experience and involvement in CSBA and CCBE. Specifically, input from the survey will help shape discussion in the TWG and its recommendations for county board member products, supports and services, as well as the processes and operations related to CSBA County Board Member Services. The TWG will receive and evaluate the data obtained from this survey and use that information to inform its deliberations and eventual recommendations to the CSBA Board of Directors in November 2024.

Transitional Working Group objectives

The 15-member TWG, the majority of which was identified by then-CCBE President John McPherson in consultation with CSBA, is tasked with:

  • providing CSBA’s Board of Directors with recommendations about the supports county board members need
  • helping to guide the transformation from CCBE to CSBA County Board Member Services that offers:
      • greater alignment across CSBA
      • more cohesive representation for county trustees in the Delegate Assembly and on the CSBA Board of Directors
      • the opportunity to supplement and expand existing CCBE products and services with new opportunities
County Board Transitional Working Group roster

The 15-member TWG membership includes former CCBE presidents and represents the diversity of county boards from a demographic, regional and ideological perspective.

View the members of the Transitional Working Group »

The TWG also encompasses several subcommittees devoted to subjects including the September CSBA County Board Member Conference, County Trustees Handbook, the County Masters in Governance (COE MIG) program and the Jack Bedell Award for county board excellence. The TWG established these four subcommittees to allow for additional investigation into priority topics that will form part of the recommendations it provides to the CSBA Board of Directors in November 2024.

County Board Services September Conference Subcommittee

The County Board Services Conference is scheduled for Sept. 13-15 in Monterey. The subcommittee will help plan the event, report back to the larger working group and solicit their feedback as needed. After the event, the subcommittee will evaluate the conference and develop a recommendation with input from the larger working group about the form such a conference should take in future years.

Subcommittee members:

  • Shelton Yip
  • John McPherson
  • Juliana Feriani
  • Yvonne Chan
  • Aisha Knowles
  • Bryan Burton

County Trustees Handbook Subcommittee

This subcommittee will review the Handbook content and make recommendations on the future of the publication.

Subcommittee members:

  • Bina Lefkovitz
  • Mike Walsh
  • Robert Brown
  • Beverly Gerard
  • Michael Teasdale

County MIG Program Subcommittee 

This subcommittee will review the COE MIG program and determine next steps for content and delivery.

Subcommittee members:

  • Bina Lefkovitz
  • Aisha Knowles

Jack Bedell Award Subcommittee 

Prior to the transition to County Board Member Services, CCBE made a recommendation for a new award to the CSBA Golden Bell Awards Program Committee. The Golden Awards Committee can consider the recommendation in the future once criteria is established that details eligibility, the submission process, scoring, etc. This subcommittee will advise the TWG on a recommendation to the CSBA Board of Directors in November 2024 and then, if approved, to the Golden Awards Committee for consideration in the 2026 awards cycle.

Subcommittee members:

  • John McPherson
  • Ramon Flores
  • Juliana Feriani
Transitional Working Group timeline

Because of the priority CSBA places on County Board Member Services and the Transitional Working Group, the TWG held its first meeting at the start of the new year, Jan. 12, 2024. The group then met twice a month from January through March and will continue meeting monthly from April through October. The decisions that set the stage for the TWG date back to winter 2023, as indicated in the timeline below.

December 2023

CSBA Board of Directors votes to create the CSBA County Board Transitional Working Group

January 2024

CSBA identifies CSBA County Board TWG members, with then-CCBE President selecting the majority of the 15 members

January 2024

CSBA County Board Transitional Working Group holds its first meeting

January 2024-October 2024

The CSBA County Board Transitional Working Group meets from January 2024 through October 2024

November 2024

CSBA Board of Directors to receive a written report of recommendations from the County Board Transitional Working Group.

CSBA County Board Governance Workshop

A recent highlight for the Transitional Working Group Members took place on March 8-9 at the CSBA County Board Governance Workshop in Sacramento. TWG members identified timely, high-priority topics for Workshop sessions that were well-received by attendees. TWG members also played a crucial role in selecting high-quality content area experts and practitioners to host the sessions as lead presenters or panelists. The workshop was attended by 38 individuals representing 30 county offices of education. Be sure to read the recap in the April issue of California School News.

View the County Board Governance Workshop agenda » 

Participant evaluations were typically positive and praised the topic selection, “informative and engaging” presentations, networking opportunities, insights from fellow trustees and knowledgeable presenters.

September conference planning updates

Registration opens May 1 for the September Conference, which will be held from Sept. 13 through Sept. 15 in Monterey. The program will feature a host of county-specific breakout sessions, skills classes, keynote speakers, a Transitional Working Group session, and for the first time, preconference events beginning on Sept. 12, including a CSBA Ethics training option and a Brown Act training open to both county and district trustees. Assembly Bill 2158 amended the Government Code, requiring local agency officials to complete ethics training every two years during their term, and this preconference option fulfills this requirement.

The call for conference proposals opens from April 29 to May 29. As agenda details are finalized, they will be posted along with additional details on the County Board Members Services webpage.