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February 26, 2020
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In this Issue

The final push to support the $15 billion school facilities bond measure

In less than a week, California voters will have the opportunity to vote “yes” on the much-needed $15 billion school facilities bond measure 13. While school bonds have historically received strong, generous support from California voters, confusion over the proposition’s numbering and a vocal opposition signal the need for supporters and education leaders to mobilize and spread the word about several of the bond’s key attributes:

  • Rooted in safety and equity, $9 billion would go directly to K-12 schools, with priority awarded to addressing health and safety concerns such as seismic upgrades, removing toxic mold from classrooms and lead from drinking water.
  • Smaller school districts and those with low property values would also be awarded priority under the new bond process, thereby leveling the playing field.
  • Bond funds would help schools prepare students for the demands of a modern society and the 21st-century workplace.

Find more facts and resources on the official bond campaign website »

Conference call on coronavirus set for elected leaders; CDE offers guidance

Amid a new warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that schools should prepare for some degree of a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., the California Department of Public Health will share important updates on the coronavirus and answer questions during a Friday, Feb. 28 conference call for local elected officials. The call begins at 11 a.m. and is co-hosted by the League of California Cities Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus, the Asian Pacific Islander School Board Members Association and State Sen. Richard Pan, chair of the Senate Committee on Health.

In a Wednesday statement, the California Department of Education said it is monitoring the virus, working with agency partners and determining steps to be prepared. It directed local educational agencies to guidance from the Department of Public Health on the matter. The CDE also encourages LEAs to identify plans and protocols for communicating with families and to identify learning supports that could be provided during school closures. School board members may also reach out to their local public health departments and find more information on the CDC website.

State settles literacy lawsuit for $53 million; 75 elementary schools to receive money

A settlement approved last week in Ella T. v. California ends a lawsuit brought on behalf of 10 elementary school students arguing a literacy crisis in their schools was caused by the state. Under the terms of the settlement, subject to approval by the Legislature, the state will provide a block grant of $50 million over three years to support literacy in the 75 California elementary schools with the lowest average reading scores, $3 million to hire a state literacy expert to help schools improve literacy outcomes and other discipline-based reforms. The settlement may provide important additional opportunities for literacy intervention and improvements in reading outcomes in some of California’s highest-need schools. Read more on the CSBA blog »

Legislative Update: CSBA supports bills on special education funding, LCFF transparency, mental health

Following the first 2020 meeting of its Legislative Committee, CSBA now has official legislative positions on 17 measures introduced this year. CSBA has signed on as a co-sponsor of Assembly Bill 2291 (Medina, D-Riverside), a reintroduction of a similar CSBA co-sponsored bill from 2019, that seeks to remedy several long-standing deficiencies in California’s special education finance system. Namely, it would level-up base special education funding rates to the 95th percentile.

CSBA is supporting a pair of measures by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) related to LCFF spending: AB 1834 would require the California Department of Education to develop a tracking mechanism for local educational agencies to report how supplemental and concentration grant funds are spent; AB 1835 would require unspent LCFF funds from the prior year to be devoted directly to serving unduplicated pupil counts, rather than roll back into an LEA’s general fund.

A trio of bills, all similar in their current language and all supported by CSBA, would allow students to take an excused absence for behavioral health reasons in the same way they would for a physical illness: AB 1838 (Chu, D-San Jose), AB 1849 (Low, D-Campbell/Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton) and Senate Bill 849 (Portantino, D- La Cañada Flintridge). CSBA also supports SB 793 (Hill, D-San Mateo), which would enact a statewide prohibition on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes and similar vaping devices.

Friday, Feb. 21 marked the legislative deadline for introduction of new bills for 2020, with meetings of education committees and other policy committees set to ramp up in March. In total, the Senate and Assembly have introduced 2,201 new bills in 2020, with more than 300 of those being monitored by CSBA for potential impact on K-12 education. Visit CSBA’s Legislative News page for updates on new 2020 legislation | View newly adopted CSBA positions on 2020 legislation »

Improve your governing skills with CSBA's new Online Learning Center

From facilities and finance to curriculum, assessment and student achievement, the K-12 landscape continues to morph and evolve. CSBA’s new expanded Online Learning Center provides a platform for board members to stay current on these issues by offering access to learning anytime, anywhere. Members will see quarterly content updates to modules, the eventual inclusion of online book clubs and the ability to engage with other learners around content and the implementation of that content. Learn more and subscribe to the Online Learning Center »

New report illustrates gap in access to quality teachers for students of color

A new report from the Learning Policy Institute finds that, both across the nation and in California, teachers in schools with high proportions of students of color are much more likely to be uncertified or inexperienced than teachers in schools with a low number of students of color. Inequitable Opportunity to Learn: Student Access to Certified and Experienced Teachers finds that while faring better than several states, California’s students face these same types of inequities in educator quality, which researchers conclude must be addressed if the state is to make serious gains in closing persistent achievement gaps. Read more on the CSBA blog »

Expert MAA and LEA billing assistance

CSBA’s Practi-Cal offers the most comprehensive Medi-Cal and Medicaid Administrative billing services available to local educational agencies. Their broad range of expertise allows them to identify areas of reimbursement often overlooked by others and simplifies the complicated billing process, while minimizing your efforts. There are no up-front costs to the district. Learn more »

Events

Masters in Governance Course 3: School Finance
Feb. 28 — Santa Rosa
(registration closed)

Masters in Governance Course 4: Collective Bargaining/Human Resources
Feb. 29 — Santa Rosa (registration closed)

Masters in Governance Course 1: Foundations of Effective Governance/Setting Direction
March 13 — Cerritos

Masters in Governance Course 2: Student Learning & Achievement/Policy & Judicial Review
March 14 — Cerritos

2020 CCBE County Board Governance Workshop
March 15-16 — Sacramento

CSBA Legislative Action Day
March 17 — Sacramento

View complete calendar
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