CSBA's Legislative Action Week showcases the power of collective advocacy for public schools
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 13, 2023) – Trustees across the state are gearing up for the California School Boards Association’s (CSBA) flagship virtual legislative advocacy event March 14-16, connecting local district and county office of education board members with their representatives in the California Legislature.
“Legislative Action Week provides our members with a platform to shine a light on the top issues facing their schools and students — a local perspective that sometimes gets lost in the race to craft statewide legislation aimed at improving student outcomes,” said CSBA President Susan Markarian. “Rising costs, declining revenues, and growing student need pose challenges for schools and make direct advocacy more critical than ever. The Legislature must protect recent investments that are essential to learning recovery and fully fund the Local Control Funding Formula so schools have the flexibility required to invest in programs and services that are tailored to the needs of their communities.”
CSBA members are urging the Legislature to fully fund the LCFF cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the 2023–24 budget without retroactively reducing the Arts, Music & Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant. This grant funding is entirely discretionary and making cuts retroactively creates challenges for districts that already have plans in place for that funding. The association is also advocating for the Legislature to remain focused on ensuring successful implementation of the large programs undertaken in recent years — such as transitional kindergarten, the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program, home-to-school transportation and universal free school meals —rather than creating new categorical programs in this year’s budget.
CSBA member advocacy will focus on three of CSBA’s eight sponsored bills this session including:
- Assembly Bill 1023 (Papan, D-San Mateo): Increased cybersecurity support for districts – Ransomware attacks continue to impact local educational agencies of all sizes. AB 1023 would authorize LEAs to use existing funding for cybersecurity purposes and expand state support for school districts.
- Senate Bill 645 (Ochoa-Bogh, R-Yucaipa): Small school district administrator-to-teacher ratio cap revision – Current law limits the number of administrators a school district may hire, which disproportionately impacts small school districts. SB 645 would allow small school districts to hire the appropriate number of administrators based upon school size, helping small districts better meet the needs of their students, teachers, staff and the greater school community.
- AB 906 (Gipson, D-Carson): Sustainable programs serving at-promise students in county office-run schools – Juvenile court schools and county community schools are operated by county offices of education (COE) and funded based on average daily attendance. Because placements are temporary for these at-promise students with the goal of returning to their schools of origin, the existing funding model is inadequate to properly support these vulnerable students. CSBA is co-sponsoring AB 906 with the California County Superintendents to invest in high-quality programs and the students they serve by providing sufficient and predictable resources by instead including funding for juvenile court and community schools in a COE’s base grant.
CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts
and county offices of education throughout California.