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CCSESA NewsletterApril 2019

Leadership LinkVolume 17 / Issue 4

Ms. Gayle Garbolino-Mojica Placer County Superintendent of Schools

  • What led you to become County Superintendent?

    I had been an educator, principal and administrator for more than a decade and had a passion for education and students. At the time the then county superintendent announced his retirement, I was serving as a small district superintendent in Placer County where I relied a lot upon the county office of education for support and services. I strongly believed the county superintendent should have district superintendent experience and I knew the political infrastructure having grown up in a political family. I wasn’t afraid to raise the money or campaign, and with encouragement from my colleagues, I threw my hat in the ring. I was 35 years old when I announced my candidacy, and 36 years old when elected, making me the youngest county superintendent in the state and one of only 16 female county superintendents at the time.

    What inspired you to enter the field of education?

    I knew I wanted a career working with children. In college, I was first thinking about entering the child clinical psychology field, but when I took an educational psychology course, everything started to make sense. I was preparing to become a school psychologist, but life led me to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo after college graduation. Cal Poly didn’t offer a school psychologist program, and I literally thought to myself, “It can’t hurt to get a teaching credential.” As it turned out, my coursework in educational psychology prepared me well for the classroom and soon I continued my professional growth towards being a school administrator.

    Do you have a particular goal that drives you?

    I am competitive by nature – always have been. Once I achieve a goal, I set a mark on the next one and go out to achieve it. Each year, I make goals in various aspects of my life whether it’s professional, health or family and then monitor them throughout the year. Every December, I review my progress and set or adjust new goals for the upcoming year. Last year’s professional goal was to get re-elected to my 4th term as the Placer County Superintendent of Schools – check!

  • What objectives do you hope to achieve?

    My focus is, and always has been, to improve the quality of public education in my county and to provide useful and beneficial educational opportunities for all students and families. I am proud of the work we have done at the Placer County Office of Education to support students with special needs and to support social emotional learning. I have been fortunate to hire amazing individuals who care passionately about kids, and I see my role to provide the necessary resources so they can do their job, and then I get out of their way.

    What are your interests?

    Travel. One of my personal goals has been focused on travel, and this will be a big year for that. My eldest son is on a post-baccalaureate trip to Australia and South East Asia, and just a couple of months ago, my youngest son and I flew to Australia to meet him. We absolutely loved it! I’m heading to Hawaii in October, and then I am taking my sons to Rome and Florence to celebrate my 50th Birthday on New Year’s Eve. I also just started exploring options for Dubai or Greece in the summer or fall of 2020 – anyone want to come along?

    Who are the special people in your life?

    Easy answer – my family and friends. My two boys are now 23 and 18 years old, and I still take out my phone and show pictures of them to my friends, colleagues, or even strangers I just met. I am also very close with my parents and had the chance to live with them under one roof again for nearly nine months while my house was being built. We share season tickets the Best of Broadway in San Francisco and the 49ers at Levi Stadium. I have a circle of close friends that are a valued part of my life as well.

From The Desk Of

Peter Birdsall Executive Director

When the May Revision is released next month, the Governor has an opportunity to change not only the specifics of his budget proposals, but the policy initiatives included in the Budget Trailer Bill. Of great importance to county offices is the language concerning teacher assignment monitoring. To fulfill its obligations under ESSA, the CDE and the Commission on Teaching Credentialing (CTC) have entered into a data sharing agreement and will be automating the assignment monitoring system and requiring an annual audit of all certificated employees for all public schools, including charters.

In the draft Budget Trailer Bill released in February, the Governor’s Administration proposed to repeal the language requiring county superintendents to monitor and review district certificated employee assignment practices. Under the Trailer Bill, this responsibility would fall under the CTC’s purview and require districts to clear potential misassignments with the CTC directly.

Moving through the legislative process is AB 1219, which is sponsored by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In contrast to the Budget Trailer Bill, AB 1219 would not repeal the county office role. In fact, recent amendments have put county offices of education in charge of monitoring all schools in their respective counties – including district-authorized charter schools. (Schools under single district counties and charters authorized by the SBE would be monitored by the CTC.) Since the bill would require the annual monitoring of all schools, the bill would also repeal the provisions in law that call for the annual teacher misassignment review of schools ranked in deciles 1-3, per the Williams settlement.

CCSESA staff is actively engaged in discussions with state agencies and legislative staff about the proposed new teacher assignment monitoring system. PASSCo and its Credentials Networking Subcommittee members have been an integral part of the process, both in providing background data to understand the implications of monitoring all schools annually, and in providing technical language that improves both TBL and AB 1219 language for COEs. Following release of the May Revision, this topic will be on the agenda of both the CCSESA Board of Directors on May 20 and the CCSESA Legislative Committee on May 21.

California County Superintendents Release Recommendations for Improving Charter School Outcomes and Accountability

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) today released a 14-page report compiled by the CCSESA Charter Authorizers Task Force called “Charting a Way Forward:  Recommendations for Improving Charter School Outcomes and Accountability by Supporting Charter Authorizers.”

(View full report here)


Alameda County Educators Rally at State Capitol for School Funding

The purpose of the rally was to let the incoming governor and state legislature know that communities are demanding a new day for California students and educators. Specific initiatives include pressuring the state to assume a greater share of funding for mandated services for special education students, and promoting policies that provide educators with the salaries and conditions needed to provide students with the best possible education.

Click here to visit the website.



Sacramento COE Kicks Off Summer of CS 2019

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), along with the #CSforCA consortium, is building the k-12 pathway for computer science with their Summer of CS 2019 program. This week-long event features intensive, in-person Computer Science professional learning experiences for K-12 teachers, counselors and administrators. The professional learning experiences are offered at no cost to teachers, counselors, and administrators.

Apply here. Space is limited and applications are due by Friday, April 26, 2019 at 5 PM PDT.


Update on State-Funded Grant Programs

Out of the 41 LEAs funded for local solutions grant funding, 15 county offices received over 59% of year one funding to support the recruitment, preparation and support of new special education teachers. For a list of the funding amounts, please click here.