News Briefs | FYI
February 5, 2024
PACE: More state guidance needed on declining enrollment
Nearly three-quarters of California school districts have experienced declining enrollment over the past five years, according to a recent policy brief from PACE.
The brief released in December analyzes factors contributing to declining enrollment — declining birth rates and negative net migration to California. It also highlights projections from the California Department of Finance that enrollment will fall to below 5.2 million by 2032, which “would have significant implications on district finances, operations, staffing, and school facilities.”
The authors note that counties serving higher shares of English learner, Asian, Black and Latino students expect larger declines. Although most districts where enrollment falls have not closed schools, data show that those that are closed tend to be schools with lower test scores — that also serve higher shares of low-income and EL students, according to the brief.
While declining enrollment means more money per student in the short term, the authors say the state’s per-pupil funding mechanism will eventually impact schools’ bottom lines.
“Additional guidance from state education officials, specific assistance from county offices, and professional training for school budget officers to understand how to effectively manage declines will be key to ensuring student services and educational opportunities do not diminish,” the authors write. “Such guidance could include when and how to reduce services — such as reducing staffing, consolidating classes, or closing school sites.”
Read the brief at www.ppic.org/publication/policy-brief-factors-and-future-projections-for-k-12-declining-enrollment.

New law requires ethics training for school officials
Starting in 2025, officials in school districts, county offices of education and charter schools must complete ethics training at least once every two years, according to a recent client news brief from law firm Lozano Smith.
Assembly Bill 2158, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2022, amends California’s Government Code to mandate ethics training for relevant educational officials, in alignment with the existing “AB 1234 Training” requirement in place since 2006 for officials in cities, counties and special districts.
The purpose of AB 2158 is to expand the definition of “local agency officials” to expressly include the governing board and members of school districts, county offices of education and charter schools. Since these public officials make a plethora of important decisions that may carry ethical implications, the Legislature has determined that they should receive ethics training to the same extent as other local agency officials.
AB 2158 requires each local agency official who, as of Jan. 1, 2025, is a member of the governing board of a school district, a county board of education, or the governing body of a charter school, except for officials whose term of office ends before Jan. 1, 2026, to receive training in ethics before Jan. 1, 2026.
AB 2158 represents a significant step in promoting ethics and accountability in California’s educational institutions. By bringing school board members into line with the existing “AB 1234 Training” requirement, the law ensures that all local agency officials receive ethics training every two years, regardless of compensation or reimbursement status.
Read more at www.lozanosmith.com/news-clientnewsbriefdetail.php?news_id=3277.
In partnership with local PBS station KVCR and Footsteps2Brilliance, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools has developed a one-of-a-kind transmedia project incorporating an educational children’s television show and digital follow up activities utilizing the Footsteps2Brilliance platform.
Bilingual children’s show debuts in San Bernardino
San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools has partnered with local PBS station KVCR and Footsteps2Brilliance to develop a free bilingual educational children’s show called Learn with Me.
The one-of-a-kind transmedia project merging television and digital media together in both English and Spanish started airing on KVCR-TV and online late last year.
“Learn with Me is an incredible project that engages students across our county in literacy,” said county Superintendent Ted Alejandre, in a news release. “We’re so thankful for the partnerships that have made this project possible.”
Talented teachers and educators from throughout San Bernardino County are the stars of the show, leading viewers on an interactive, fun and scholastic learning experience with help from some cartoon friends. Eddie, Barbara and Barry the Bell take viewers to Noun Town, the Land of 5 Senses and even a flight into outer space.
“The first half of each episode will be in English, the second half in Spanish, providing a resource that resonates with our community and audiences,” said KVCR Executive Director Connie Levya.
Audiences can access previously aired episodes by visiting learnwithmetv.org.
Be a presenter at ACSA Lead With Pride Summit
ACSA is accepting proposals to present at the 2024 Lead With Pride Summit, March 17-19 in Anaheim. This summit aims to empower California school administrators and educators with the tools to create safe and affirming spaces for LGBTQIA+ students and staff. This year’s theme is “Educate, Act, Transform: Uniting for LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity in ALL Schools.” Proposed presentations will be evaluated on how relevant and practical the presentation will be to attendees. In addition, presentations will be evaluated on description of clear, measurable learning outcomes. Proposals are due Friday, Feb. 9, by 12 p.m. Visit bit.ly/leadwithpride2024 and visit “Call For Proposals” for more information and to submit your proposal.
Diverse leaders grant applications due by April 5
The Diverse Education Leaders Pipeline Initiative (DELPI) Grant Program provides a one-time grant award of up to $30,000 per participating administrator candidate to Local Education Agencies to support eligible participants to pursue an administrative services credential. The purpose of the grant program is to train, place and retain diverse and culturally responsive administrators in transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1–12 to improve pupil outcomes and meet the needs of California’s education workforce. This funding shall be available for encumbrance until June 20, 2027. Find the Request for Application: Diverse Education Leaders Pipeline Initiative Grant Program online at www.ctc.ca.gov/educator-prep/grant-funded-programs/diverse-education-leaders-pipeline-initiative. Completed applications are due to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing by April 5, by 5 p.m.