Project Description

Advocacy and


From important budgetary wins to a legislative package in which five sponsored bills were signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the CSBA Governmental Relations (GR) staff was omnipresent in the Legislature, Governor’s office and Department of Education advocating for the association’s policy and budget priorities. 2023 was a challenging year given the growing “culture wars” in the state and nationally, and the GR team worked to help achieve concessions in critical pieces of legislation born out of concerns from the actions of only a few districts.

In addition to working with GR to keep membership informed and active in advocating for CSBA’s policy and budget priorities, the Communications Department shared the latest education-related news and important issues at the local, state and federal levels. The work of trustees continued to be recognized through the School Boards in Action campaign and the Communications team spearheaded the effort to meet members throughout the state via the CSBA Roadshow.

Year in Review

Governmental Relations

  • Secured significant wins in a challenging state budget year, including critical funding for county office-run juvenile court and community schools; minimized cuts to vital block grants such as Arts, Music & Instructional Materials (AMIM); helped secure an 8.22 percent statutory cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for the Local Control Funding Formula and specified categorical programs; and continued investments in major programs like home-to-school transportation, universal transitional kindergarten implementation, universal school meals and more.
  • Reviewed more than 3,000 bills introduced in the Legislature, analyzed hundreds of proposals and took positions on nearly 100 critical pieces of legislation impacting public education.
  • Secured the Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature on five CSBA-sponsored bills. Portions of an additional sponsored bill, Senate Bill 551 (Portantino, D-Glendale), were incorporated into SB 326 (Eggman, D-Stockton), the vehicle for the Governor’s proposed mental and behavioral health system overhaul. The CSBA-sponsored bills signed into law are:
    • SB 765 (Portantino): Provides immediate relief to schools during the teacher shortage by reducing barriers to hiring a recently retired teacher.
    • Assembly Bill 417 (Bennett, D-Ventura): Expands opportunities for county boards of education to appoint a student member.
    • AB 483 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance): Expands access to and funding for school-based health and mental health services by improving the Local Education Agency Medi-Cal Billing Option Program (LEA BOP).
    • AB 557 (Hart, D-Santa Barbara): Extends the opportunity for school boards to offer virtual meeting options during states of emergency.
    • AB 1023 (Papan, D-San Mateo): Increases cybersecurity support for school districts.
  • Served as the lone voice for preserving local control while opposing AB 1078 (Jackson, D-Riverside) on the selection of instructional and library materials, SB 494 (Newman, D-Fullerton) on superintendent dismissal processes and AB 1352 (Bonta, D-Oakland) on the censure and removal of school board members.
  • Oversaw the reintroduction of federal legislation to ensure increased funding for infants, toddlers and preschool students under Part B and Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, HR 5141 (DeSaulnier, D-CA). CSBA also supported legislation to increase total funding for IDEA, HR 4519 (Huffman, D-CA).
  • Participated with the Forest Schools and Counties Coalition in urging Congressional support to extend the sunset date for the Secure Rural Schools program, HR 5030 (Neguse, D-CO), and to include the sunset extension in the FY 2024 appropriations package.
  • Organized and coordinated a successful Legislative Action Week in March 2023, drawing nearly 400 district and county board members from across California to lobby the state Legislature on CSBA budget and legislative priorities.
  • Organized and co-sponsored the second annual Coast2Coast Federal Advocacy Trip with the Association of California School Administrators in April 2023, where nearly 300 school board members, superintendents and staff traveled to Washington, D.C. for meetings with members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill, as well as informational briefings and opportunities to connect with prominent pollsters, journalists, researchers, members of Congress and representatives from the executive branch.
  • Participated in regional and local trainings and presentations across the state, including co-sponsoring twice-yearly Budget Perspectives workshops, and presentations at various conferences, CSBA regions and PACER divisions.


  • Developed and implemented CSBA’s inaugural Gold Star Bills marketing campaign for some of the most outstanding education bills from this year’s legislative session — four of which were signed into law — supporting LEAs in teacher retention, cybersecurity, board meeting governance and closing the digital divide.
  • Extended the School Boards in Action digital marketing campaign to humanize school trustees and share how they are transforming schools for the benefit of students, staff and families. The campaign generated 4.4 million impressions, 9,000 visits to the landing page, 1 million radio spot listens and 2,000 video views.
  • Coordinated the CSBA Roadshow, producing town hall-style meetings in 15 counties across California.
  • Expanded video offerings by debuting the “What’s Your Why?” “Inside Scoop” and “LegislatED” video series focused on what called school trustees to service, breaking news from the Capitol and details of key education bills, respectively.
  • Produced 13 webinars on topics of special interest including state budget updates, school safety and mental health, services to support county board members, and the signing of Assembly Bill 1078.
  • Quoted or cited in media outlets including the Associated Press, Politico, CalMatters, EdSource, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, The Mercury News (San Jose), The Fresno Bee, KQED, CapRadio (NPR), dozens of smaller papers throughout California and the local affiliates of the four major broadcast networks in every major California city.
  • Informed membership of major developments affecting public schools through four issues of California Schools magazine, 11 newsletters, 50 weekly update eblasts, 245 Daily News Roundup eblasts and nearly 300 blog posts.
  • Increased engagement across all social media platforms, including increasing Facebook profile visits and reach by 240 percent and 33 percent, respectively, and increasing Instagram profile visits and reach by 148 percent and 799 percent, respectively.