CCEE leaders reflect on scaling up State System of Support

19 Dec
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As the state agency charged with building the capacity for continuous improvement at and across local educational agencies, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence board members and staff are reflecting on how to best fulfill that duty with a limited number of resources. At the CCEE’s Dec. 5 board meeting in San Diego (view the archived video), board members received an in-depth look at two multi-year initiatives and their impacts on LEAs, the Pilot Partnership Initiative and the Professional Learning Network...

Districts, county offices make progress on 2019 California School Dashboard

18 Dec
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The release of the 2019 California School Dashboard came with the encouraging news that fewer local educational agencies will require differentiated assistance than in 2018. The number of districts and county offices of education eligible for support dropped from 374 to 333, and the state improved performance on all indicators but one: chronic absenteeism. This is the third year that the state has published the Dashboard, one element of the Local Funding Control Formula’s system of funding, accountability and support....

Federal budget proposal sees modest increases in Title I, IDEA and other key funding areas

17 Dec
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Facing a Friday, Dec. 20 deadline to pass a budget for the 2020 fiscal year, Congress this week is considering a $1.4 trillion spending package that would provide a total of $72.8 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Education — a figure that represents a $1.3 billion bump above 2019 funding levels. Specific appropriations in the bill would include a total of $16.3 billion for Title I (an increase of $450 million) and $12.8 billion in total...

A conversation with CSBA President Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez

16 Dec
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Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez is a trustee of the Azusa Unified School District in east Los Angeles County. Now in her 18th year as a school board member, Cruz-Gonzalez has been an active member of CSBA, and has served as President-elect, Vice President and on the CSBA Board of Directors representing the greater San Gabriel Valley. As an advocate for the state’s public education system and a committed lifelong learner, Cruz-Gonzalez has also served on CSBA’s Legislative Committee and the Council of...

CSBA school facilities forum highlights key issues, board member roles

11 Dec
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From master plans to bond financing to community campaigns, CSBA’s forum on school facilities on Dec. 4 in San Diego dove into the complex picture of school board members’ roles in facilities. A trio of panels included experts from bond campaign, finance and legal firms; construction management and architecture companies; and district officials who shared success stories. The importance of getting a facilities program rolling While largely exploring the technical aspects of facilities, panelists told the audience of more than...

Deadline fast approaches for mandated policy on bullying prevention

10 Dec
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Recognizing that bullying and fear disrupt student learning, California state law requires districts, county offices of education and charter schools to adopt procedures for preventing acts of bullying, including cyberbullying, by Dec. 31, 2019. Additionally, state law mandates that boards adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, immigration status, religion and sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual...

CEO’s note: The brain and implicit bias

9 Dec
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Recognition is the first step in helping students By CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy Our brains are fascinatingly powerful tools that have the capacity to go beyond our own imagination. The brain has an unsurpassed ability to create, interpret, suppress and disassociate ideas and feelings. Recently, as I was sifting through my seemingly endless pile of paperwork, I came across several old articles I had flagged about the power and mysteries of the human brain. One article...

Ransomware Is crippling schools. What can they do about it?

3 Dec
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By Sam Bocetta A few decades ago, when computers were still novelty gadgets and the internet was not available to everyone, schools and other educational institutions had a minimal reliance on technology. Fast forward to today and the situation has dramatically changed. When before a teacher might only have a single workstation in their classroom, now the entire education process is running on networks and online systems. This has made many processes more efficient, but at the same time, every...

From the field: Helping make sure Paradise wasn’t lost

2 Dec
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Amid all the chaos, loss and grief impacting their family, friends and community during and after the Camp Fire, a top priority has persisted for Paradise Unified School District board members — providing students with a place to attend school in the town they call home. “We did not want to shut down,” board member Rich Gingery Jr. recalled. “That was the talk in the beginning. And we as a board said, ‘no, we’re not going anywhere.’” One year after...

President’s Message: The push for Full and Fair Funding continues

27 Nov
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By CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner As I reflect on my year as CSBA President, I want to express what an honor it has been to represent California’s largest body of democratically elected public officials and the more than 6.2 million children that we fight for every day. This has been an eventful year in our state and our association’s history. The year began with a new governor who incorporated the voices of district and county board members into some...