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June 12, 2019
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In this Issue

Legislative Update: Smartphones bill, state budget, education committee hearings

Policy committee hearings are ramping up this month at the Capitol, with the Senate and Assembly Education Committees both weighing bills that have been passed by the other house. Policy committees must hear all legislation by July 12.

Last week, the Senate Education Committee unanimously passed Assembly Bill 272 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance), a much-publicized bill pertaining to student use of smartphones. The original version of this bill would have required local educational agency governing boards to adopt a policy to limit or prohibit the use of smartphones by students while at school — the bill was amended in April to authorize boards to adopt such policies (which many boards have already done), but the bill now does not require them to do so.

The Assembly Education Committee will hold its first hearing of the month next Wednesday, June 19, while the Senate Education Committee today heard and unanimously passed two CSBA co-sponsored Assembly bills: AB 428 (Medina, O’Donnell et al), which, among other things, would equalize base special education funding rates (pursuant to AB 602) to the 95th percentile, and AB 39 (Muratsuchi), which would increase the Local Control Funding Formula base grant targets equivalent to the national average in per-pupil funding.

On Sunday, the Conference Committee agreed upon a recommended 2019–20 state budget that CSBA President Dr. Emma Turner called “a strong budget for public schools and an important step on the road toward providing California’s 6.2 million students with the resources needed for a high-quality education.” The budget bill and various trailer bills will be sent to the Senate and Assembly floors later this week and, on approval, sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who will have until July 1 to act on the legislation.

Read more about 2019–20 Budget Conference Committee recommendation | View all 2019–20 bills with CSBA positions

CSBA plays key role in development of air quality guidance tool for districts

As schools head into summer break and California faces an already active wildfire season, CSBA and other statewide partners unveiled first-of-its-kind guidance on school air quality recommendations for districts to review prior to the 2019–20 school year. CSBA Immediate Past President and Butte County Office of Education trustee Mike Walsh spoke at a June 4 State Capitol event about the great need to provide such a resource for districts and county offices of education as California adapts to longer and more severe wildfire seasons. “One of the things for us that we really appreciate about the guidelines is that it’ll create a conversation for parents that they can have with their districts,” Walsh said. The guidance effort was spearheaded by state Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg). Read more »

June 18 webinar will explore need for greater state facilities funding

Legislative Advocate Eric Bakke will represent CSBA in a June 18 EdSource webinar about the need for greater school facilities funding from the state. With all state money for school facilities already spent or committed, the Legislature is considering placing a $13 billion school construction bond before voters next year to address the growing backlog of projects at districts across the state. Also featured on the panel will be Nancy Chaires Espinoza, member of the Elk Grove Unified School District governing board, and San Bernardino Unified School District trustee Barbara Flores. Register for the webinar »

Charter schools task force releases report, sends recommendations to the Governor

A statewide task force recommends giving school districts more authority when a charter seeks to open within its boundaries, among other findings made available in a new report. The 11-member body sent its recommendations to Gov. Gavin Newsom for consideration amid a host of charter school legislation making its way through the Legiaslature. In November, CSBA published its own task force report, Uncharted Waters, focusing on critical issues that, as primary authorizers, school district boards experience and oversee. Despite the recent interest in legislative happenings, CSBA’s report is a culmination of years-long research, advocacy and discussions on key charter school issues. Read the state task force report »

California headed for middle of the class in annual state report card ranking

Education Week’s yearly “Quality Counts: Grading the states” report cards aim to show which states do the best job in preparing students for successful futures in college and career. The measurements are based on a range of family, school and socioeconomic indicators; financial indicators; and achievement indicators. With the release of two of the three installments, California is headed toward the middle of the pack in its overall ranking. While California breaks into the top 20 for the equitable distribution of funding, the state ranks dismally low for the start it gives its early learners — 49th. The final assessment on K-12 achievement will be released in September, along with averaged state grades. Read more »

CCEE board meeting highlights successful district capacity building

The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence’s board meeting on June 6 continued recent conversations about how the agency can play a key role in the state’s System of Support without the expectation of offering individualized assistance in every local educational agency’s time of need. A presentation from Vallejo City Unified School District — which has faced both financial distress and academic achievement shortfalls — shined a light on what that scenario may look like. CCEE board members cited Vallejo’s process and progress as ones from which best practices and lessons learned can be extrapolated. Read more »

Full-service OPEB liability prefunding solutions available

The OPEB Solutions Program is a full-service GASB-compliant, IRS-approved trust program designed to help your district safely and securely set aside funds to address and lower your Other Post-Employment Benefits liability. Prefunding into a qualified trust such as the OPEB Solutions Program is considered “best practice” by the Government Finance Officers Association and is a powerful way to quickly and easily get a hold of your OPEB obligations, lower risk, increase value and make your district’s money go the distance. Learn more »

Events

MIG Course 3: School Finance
June 21, 2019 — Santa Barbara

MIG Course 4: Collective Bargaining/Human Resources
July 12, 2019 — Santa Barbara

MIG Course 5: Community Relations & Advocacy/Governance Integration
July 13, 2019 — Santa Barbara

MIG Course 1: Foundations of Effective Governance/Setting Direction
Sept. 6, 2019 — San Diego

MIG Course 2: Student Learning & Achievement/Policy & Judicial Review
Sept. 7, 2019 — San Diego

View complete calendar
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