Webinar addresses ins and outs of transition to CSBA County Board Member Services

On May 8, CSBA and county board representatives hosted the webinar, “CSBA leadership and Transitional Working Group discuss essential role of county boards,” to provide an overview of the transition from the California County Boards of Education (CCBE) to CSBA County Board Member Services (CBMS), ongoing efforts of the County Board Transitional Working Group (TWG), the status of CCBE reserves, the structure of the new Region 14 developed to serve county trustees and more.

CSBA President Albert Gonzalez opened the meeting with acknowledgement of the discussions and some discontent that has come from the transition from CCBE to CBMS.

“I realize the transition from CCBE to County Board Member Services has been a trying one for some,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t expect that any letter or webinar will magically change that, but I can assure you that the Board of Directors, which included four county trustees at the time of the vote to create CBMS, did not take this step lightly. The decision to launch CBMS was motivated by a vision of enhanced support for county boards as well as an occasionally tumultuous history with CCBE operating as subsection of and within the statutory confines of CSBA.”

Watch the webinar for full comments from the CSBA President »

Throughout the webinar, TWG members emphasized that this period is an opportunity to do something transformative for county board support.

Transitional Working Group update

The TWG is tasked with providing CSBA’s Board of Directors with recommendations about the future services and supports county board members need. The members of the Transitional Working Group are demographically and ideologically diverse and include trustees with decades of experience and involvement in CSBA and CCBE.

The TWG has been meeting regularly since January, and will continue to do so through October, considering issues focusing on county-specific content, alignment across events and the unique role of a county trustee. Several subcommittees have been formed to provide recommendations for the September CSBA County Board Member Services Conference, the County Trustees Handbook, the County Masters in Governance program and the Jack Bedell Award for county board excellence.

While acknowledging that difficult conversations have been engaged in, Mike Walsh, Butte COE trustee and TWG member, said “the group seems to be coalescing around this opportunity to transform the services that CSBA supports on county board members’ behalf, especially with the unique role that we serve.”

County board members were asked for their input County Board Member Services and Support Survey, sent through several emails. The survey closes Friday, May 10.

CCBE reserves

CSBA’s Board of Directors has an established CCBE Designated Reserve that will continue to be committed to supporting county board services. Any excess funds deposited into this reserve for the current fiscal year will be dedicated to county board services in the subsequent fiscal year, as needed.

“CSBA has a designated reserve that, if ever used, would be dedicated to activities that support county board members through CSBA County Board Member Services,” CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy said. “The CCBE reserve fund has not been touched and will likely grow at the end of this fiscal year due to the elimination of previous expenses and as a result of the transition. CCBE dues primarily helped pay for a dedicated staff person as requested by CCBE, and the cost to support the overall administrative activities … for the regular meetings of the CCBE Board and Executive Committee.”

Creating the new Region 14

When the CSBA Board of Directors voted to incorporate CCBE into CSBA, they set in motion the creation of a new statewide region within the current CSBA governance structure for the established County Delegates, and the creation of a Region 14 Director that would take the place of the CCBE President on the CSBA Board of Directors.

“To create Region 14 and the Region 14 Director requires a change in the bylaws, and that is why it is going to be voted on at the Delegate Assembly,” explained John McPherson, Monterey COE trustee and TWG member. “Region 14 and [its] Director replicate the CCBE Board of Directors and the CCBE President in form and function.”

McPherson also outlined the different ways county board members are represented within CSBA, and how representation will be enhanced with the new region:

  • Four county members on the CSBA Legislative Committee
  • Region 14 will be composed of County Delegates elected by all the county boards in their geographical region.
  • Region 14 Director will be elected every two years by the Region 14 Delegates and serves for two years on the CSBA Board of Directors.
  • Programming for county-specific conference and workshop will be developed and executed by CSBA staff and TWG sub-committee county members appointed by CSBA President with input from Region 14 Director.

The next meeting of the Delegate Assembly is May 18-19, 2024. If approved, Region 14 will be immediately effective and there will be a 30-day window for county Delegates to recommend to the CSBA President someone for appointment to the Region 14 Director position for the balance of the year. The appointment will occur in mid-June.

Other topics covered during the webinar were the advocacy work CSBA does on behalf of county board members, with county-specific legislation highlighted. Preliminary results from the county board member survey were also shared. The TWG will follow up with a summary of the survey results after they are evaluated.

Watch the full webinar recording »