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The State Board of Education (SBE) is the K-12 policy-determining body for California. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who heads the CDE, also serves as SBE’s executive officer and secretary. The SBE has 11 members, all of whom are appointed by the Governor and serve four-year, staggered terms, with the exception of the student member, who serves a one-year term.

The SBE sets K-12 education policy in the areas of standards, curriculum, instructional materials, assessment, and accountability. The SBE adopts instructional materials for use in grades kindergarten through eight. The SBE also adopts regulations (Title 5) to implement a wide variety of programs created by the Legislature, such as charter schools, and special education. In addition, the SBE has the authority to grant local education agency requests for waivers of certain provisions of the state Education Code.