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Student Member Application Brochure

Who should apply for the 2019-2020 Student Member of the
State Board of Education?

Interested students who will be high school seniors in good standing in any California public high school during the 2019-20 school year and who will be available to attend a statewide conference in the fall (November 5 – November 8, 2018) are invited to apply for the position of Student Member on the California State Board of Education. The student who is appointed to the position by the Governor will:

  • Serve a one-year term from August 1, 2019 through July 31, 2020.
  • Attend all State Board of Education meetings held during that time, which includes a minimum of two days every other month for approximately six meetings per year.
  • Vote on educational policies vital to California’s students and schools.

Attention: High School Juniors (2019-2020 Seniors)

For a limited time, the California State Board of Education (SBE) is accepting applications for the Student Member Position for 2019-2020.

One of three finalists selected through the process described in this brochure will be appointed by the Governor to serve on the SBE during his or her senior year and will have full participation and voting rights.

Description of the Position


Any student enrolled in a California public high school who will be a senior in good standing in the 2019-20 school year, and who is available to attend a statewide student leader conference on November 5-8, 2018, in Sacramento. Term of Office. The Student Member will serve a one-year term from August 2019 through July 2020.

Time Requirements

The estimated time required for the Student Member will be at least two successive school days every other month to attend regular SBE meetings, usually in Sacramento; sufficient time to study the agenda materials in advance of the meeting; additional time for handling other Board-related business; and time to attend selected student meetings, workshops, and conferences.

Expenses Paid

All travel, conference, and hotel costs directly associated with the Student Member selection process will be paid. Lodging and meal costs will be paid in the amount allowed by state regulations. Additionally, the SBE’s Student Member receives a $100 stipend for each day’s service on official business.

Application Procedures

Before completing the application, please read the description of the position carefully. Each prospective applicant should (1) fully understand the time requirement that serving on the SBE would add to his or her workload and schedule and (2) give serious consideration to the frequent travel requirements of the position. If you qualify for the Student Member position and wish to apply, here's what you need to do to complete your application package:

  • Complete the application form.
  • Include no more than three letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a current or former teacher and one letter from an administrator or counselor at your high school. All the letters should be from individuals who know you personally and include comments on your academic and leadership abilities, as well as their perspectives regarding you as a potential member of the SBE. (If they wish to send a letter directly to the Board Office, please be sure that their letter is mailed in order to be received on or before the application deadline.)
  • Include a copy of your school transcript.
  • Include supplemental items, such as news clippings, if you wish.
  • Submit all materials at one time, except for letters of recommendation that may be submitted separately.
  • No late applications will be accepted.

Complete Application packages must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, 2018. Please submit your application via email at: A single PDF of the application, letters of recommendation, transcript, and supplemental items is preferred.

For questions, contact the California State Board of Education at 916-319-0393 or at

Summary of the Selection and Appointment Process

Initial Screening

The SBE’s Ad-Hoc Screening Committee will review all applications and select twelve semifinalists from among the applicants. (Typically more than 150 applications are received.) The decision of the Ad-Hoc Screening Committee is final.

Presentation and Selection of Candidates

California law requires that school district governing board student members select six of the 12 semifinalists for further consideration by the SBE. The SBE uses the annual Student Advisory Board on Education (SABE) conference to perform this function. The twelve semifinalists must attend the Student Advisory Board on Education (SABE) Conference, to be held in Sacramento in the fall of 2018. The semifinalists will participate in all SABE activities. In addition, the semifinalists will make individual presentations to all other SABE participants about their interest in, and qualifications for, the student member position. Following a secret ballot by the SABE participants, the names of six candidates will be submitted for further consideration by the SBE’s Screening Committee. The decision of the SABE participants is final.


Each of the final six candidates will be interviewed by the SBE’s Screening Committee. The Screening Committee will recommend three finalists to the SBE. Following the Board’s action to select the three finalists, the names of the three finalists will be sent to the Governor. The SBE’s recommendations to the Governor are final. Interviews and the selection of three finalists will occur before and at the SBE’s November 8-9, 2018, meeting.


Representatives of the Governor will interview the three finalists, probably in the late spring or summer of 2019. Following that, one of the finalists will be appointed by the Governor to be the 2019-2020 Student Member.

To Current High School Juniors (2019-2020 Seniors)
From the State Board of Education President

Each year since 1969, a California public high school student has been selected to serve a one-year term on the State Board of Education. This direct student involvement has become an increasingly important factor in developing policies that guide the administration of the state's 1,100 school districts.

The value of student participation on the State Board was recognized by the Legislature and the Governor in 1983, when the Student Member was granted full participation and voting rights, including participation in closed sessions.

This announcement begins the process of selecting the 2019-2020 Student Member. If you are concerned about the future of public education in California, are qualified for the Student Member position, and are prepared to devote the time required to this challenging and rewarding endeavor, I strongly urge you to apply. The position provides a wonderful opportunity to influence educational policy in areas such as standards, curriculum, assessments, accountability, and the Local Control Funding Formula.

Someone who reads this announcement will become the State Board’s 2019-2020 Student Member. Perhaps you will be that person!


Michael W. Kirst, President
California State Board of Education
September 2018

To Current High School Juniors (2019-2020 Seniors)
From the 2018-19 Student Board Member

With nearly seven million children in over 10,000 schools, California’s students are incredibly diverse. In such a dynamic educational system, it is vital that students — the future of California — are well represented and have a voice regarding their education. The Student Member on the State Board of Education is responsible for providing that student voice to the Board, by conveying student concerns and informing students of Board activities. The Student Member is a full voting member, thus, directly contributing to decisions affecting all K-12 students in the state of California.

While the position offers much to the student selected, the student likewise serves to connect the Board with the classroom and enables the Board to better understand the implications of its policy decisions.

The responsibilities of being Student Member coupled with the overall learning experience make for a genuinely outstanding experience. If you value student voice, are willing and able to make a substantial time commitment to the Board, and are committed to making a difference in California’s education system, you are a potential candidate. Current issues like Common Core, the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula, and the achievement gap need the voice of an individual who is willing to serve as an advocate for the students of California. I join Board President Kirst in urging you to apply for this important position.


Gema Q. Cardenas
2018-2019 State Board Student Member
Senior, Life Academy of Health and Bioscience


Questions: State Board of Education | | 916-319-0827 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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