PYLUSD Board Votes to Leave the California School Board Association

PlacentiaYorba Linda Unified will leave the California School Boards Association, a statewide coalition that provides school districts with training, advocacy and policy analysis assistance, a school board majority decided Tuesday, Aug. 8.

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PYLUSD will be the only district in Orange County that is not a member of the CSBA. According to the CSBA’s website, more than 96% of California school districts are members.

Superintendent Alex Cherniss, who joined the district in May, said the decision to break from the state association has been in the works for a while, adding he is positive its a good move for the district.

“Unfortunately, 99.9% of districts do not question the cost and value of CSBA, and simply rubber stamp this membership. That is just wrong,” Cherniss said. “As superintendent, I have already asked staff to evaluate the cost, purpose and effectiveness of all organizational memberships, professional development opportunities, conferences, etc.”

PYLUSD was paying $30,000 per year to be in the association, and that is just “too much for a district,” he said.

Membership in the CSBA offers school districts and their boards a “voice in public education throughout California,” the association says on its website. The CSBA will often advocate for funding for schools and provides various trainings and conferences for teachers, administrators and board members.

“The board must determine what level of ‘voice’ represents their views and again, is it worth the cost,” said Cherniss. “Is their voice heard? Does the organization respond to their inquiries? Is the annual conference, which is paid on top of membership fees for another $15,000 to 25,000, worth their time?”

Board members Leandra Blades, Todd Frazier and Shawn Youngblood supported leaving the CSBA, with Blades calling it a “lobbyist” organization.

“CSBA has lobbied against what parents want,” she said. “From what I have read, our membership fees will go against a certain political party and disparage a political party. We should be making sure everything is for the kids and keeping politics out of it.”

Additionally, the CSBA has various education policies – such as regarding social justice, funding and discipline – it develops for member districts to use.

Blades said she feels the various policies the CSBA writes for the districts are “unnecessary” because administrators within the PYLUSD are “smart people and fully capable of writing our own policy.”

But Trustee Marilyn Anderson argued, though staff could spend time on developing the variety of policies the district gets from the CSBA, they should be “focusing their time on other more important things in the district and not getting distracted by random policy making.”

CSBA’s chief communications officer, Troy Flint, declined Wednesday to comment on the school board’s decision.

In another agenda item Tuesday, the PYLUSD board members denied California Republic Leadership Academy’s request to start a charter school in the district.

“There were just too many financial red flags, as well as the curriculum had many concerns,” Anderson said.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Comments

  1. Hopeful that other districts will follow….

  2. A decision made in the best interest of the students as well as their parents. Congratulations!

  3. What a great move.

    No more Socialist claptrap.

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