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New state law allows student board members to be compensated, SDUSD moves forward

New state law allows student board members to be compensated, SDUSD moves forward
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 15:19:17-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new state law went into effect that will allow student board members to be paid for their work. San Diego Unified School District is one of the first districts in the state to put the plans in motion.

“For student board members, as a whole, there is just so much to it than just going to board meetings,” says student trustee Blessyn Williams.

Williams is a student at Lincoln High School. For the past six months, she served as a student board member with the San Diego Unified School District.

“You kind of take on this responsibility and don’t even realize the power that you have, and the voice you have is speaking for everyone," she says.

Photos shared with ABC 10News shows Williams sitting next to local State Assembly Member Chris Ward in Sacramento, where she advocated for AB 275 before it passed.

“In the moment it didn’t necessarily feel like I was nervous because I knew it was something that they needed to hear,” says Williams.

AB 275 gives school districts and county boards of education the option to compensate student board members for their work. Students will also be able to receive elective course credit per semester.

“It’s mostly about the low income students who need that,” says Williams. “Being a board member means you have to afford your own transportation, your own dress code. With this they can officially afford and be a part of it."

The new law went into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

On Friday, San Diego Unified School Board members gathered at Lincoln High School to talk about how they plan to implement AB 275.

"I truly believe you have to find your voice and help others find theirs. I think this is just another step to show what San Diego Unified has been about, is currently about and continue to be about,” says Superintendent Dr. Lamont Jackson.

SDUSD plans to pay student board members a monthly stipend of $1,736. This is the same amount as adult board members.