SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 24 2017) – School district and county office of education trustees flooded the Capitol on Tuesday, March 21 to meet with legislators and to recognize Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) and Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) for their advocacy on behalf of California’s public schools.
President Susan Henry presented Sen. Hill and Asm. Gray with CSBA’s Special Recognition Award for their sterling legislative contributions to K-12 education. Hill, who holds a teaching credential from San Francisco State University, and Gray, who once served as an assistant lecturer on the state legislature at UC Merced, have a longstanding history of effective advocacy for public education.
Both members have been stalwart supporters of the effort to fix a law known as the reserve cap, which limits the amount of money school districts can save for an economic downturn to help prevent programmatic cuts and layoffs. Hill is the author, and Gray is the principal co-author of Senate Bill 751 (Hill & Glazer), a CSBA-sponsored bill that calls for amendments to the current reserve cap law so that California school districts can make funding decisions according to their local needs and prepare for a rainy day.
Hill and Gray were presented with the Special Recognition Award as part of CSBA’s 2017 Legislative Action Day, an annual event where members advocate for students on critical local education issues with their representatives in Sacramento. This year’s event saw record participation with 200 governing board members and superintendents from more than 150 school districts and county offices of education holding meetings with 110 of California’s 120 senators and Assemblymembers.
While at the Capitol, CSBA members rallied support for CSBA’s 2017 sponsored legislation, a package that includes SB 527 (Galgiani, D-Stockton), which would provide a cost-of-living adjustment for home-to-school transportation, and AB 1354 (Kiley, R-Roseville), which would align sections of the Education Code with the principles of the Local Control Funding Formula. CSBA members also discussed key issues such as the 2017-18 budget proposal that adversely affects Proposition 98 funding, rising pension costs and California’s persistent teacher shortage.
“CSBA appreciates Senator Hill and Assemblymember Gray for leading the charge to relieve school districts of the reserve cap burden,” said CSBA President Henry. “We thank them for working with us on this important issue and for their continued efforts to see it through to its completion and provide needed security for California’s public schools and their 6.2 million students.