Adventures in Ed Funding

What If We…Don’t Return to Business As Usual In California Schools?

June 18, 2020 California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) Season 1 Episode 22
Adventures in Ed Funding
What If We…Don’t Return to Business As Usual In California Schools?
Show Notes

When schools start up again, we do not have to go back to business as usual in our educational system. Instead, the disruption caused by COVID-19 provides an opportunity for us all to see, engage and act differently to produce success for all students in the system, not just some. That's the call to action brought forward in this episode by our special guest Hugh Vasquez, senior associate with the National Equity Project. He says, "The crucial question confronting us at the moment, is not can we prepare to come back differently, but will we?"

Hugh illuminates key points from his recent article, “What If We…Don’t Return To Business As Usual,” including strategies for encouraging collaborative inquiry across the district, and practical tips for pumping up those strategic equity leadership muscles. 

Who or what exactly is the “system” and how does it perpetuate inequities among students? Can the disturbance caused by COVID-19 actually push us to innovate and make change?  And what are the biggest challenges to bringing about the monumental culture shift to a more equitable system? 

We also explore more deeply what business NOT as usual might look like in a classroom or in a district, including a shift to organizing around how students engage and project based learning.

About Our Guest

Hugh Vasquez joined the National Equity Project as a Senior Associate in 2010 with responsibility for developing and expanding their Leading for Equity projects. He works with a range of school district and nonprofit partners to plan and implement racial equity initiatives. Previously, Hugh served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Education Fund, a non-profit working to bring educational equity to public schools. Hugh is also a partner with the Center for Diversity Leadership and the founder of the Todos Institute in Oakland, whose mission is to help individuals and groups heal from the effects of oppression, build cross-cultural alliances, and create environments where youths and adults from all cultures are honored, valued, and respected. Hugh has worked with hundreds of organizations to establish diversity initiatives and has provided training to thousands of individuals. He is a presenter with Speak Out, a national organization providing top speakers on social justice topics, and a primary cast member in the award-winning film The Color of Fear. He has co-authored the books No Boundaries: Unlearning Oppression and Building Multicultural Alliances and Making Allies Making Friends: A Curriculum For Middle Schools, as well as published various articles on strengthening cultural roots and eliminating privileged systems. Hugh has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.; @hughjvasquez.


The California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) is the premier resource for professional development and business best practices for California's school business leaders. Follow at @CASBO and @CASBOGR

About your series guide
Paul Richman is a public education advocate and consultant. Contact him at We value your feedback! Follow him at @pjr100