Veteran local school board member Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez helps us explore the education landscape during and after COVID-19 from a local governance perspective. What has worked well? What big challenges remain? How are local school boards navigating safety and instructional guidelines and finding new ways to engage their communities in a physical-distance environment? Plus, given the natural push and pull that exists between local and state decision-making authority, we pose the question: Has California been striking the right balance during this crisis to best meet the needs of our students and communities?
Recently on the podcast we’ve highlighted important lessons learned by students, teachers, superintendents, chief business officials, state leaders and more. Xilonin, who also serves as President of the California School Boards Association, adds her insight from the local governing board perspective. She offers cautious optimism that, despite the current moment, California can ultimately achieve full and fair school funding for students. Xilonin also emphasizes the importance for boards of transparency, constant and clear communication and involving all stakeholders – plus, making decisions using an equity frame.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez has served as a school board member since 2001 in Azusa USD in Los Angeles County. She currently serves as CSBA President and has served as past president of the California Latino School Boards Association. In addition, she is the Deputy Director for Californians Together, a statewide coalition focused on the goal of better educating California’s 1.1 million English Learners by improving schools and promoting equitable educational policy. Xilonin is proud to be both a fifth-generation Azusa resident and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant. Read more about Xilonin in this interview.
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Paul Richman is a public education advocate and consultant. Share your feedback at email@example.com. Follow at @pj