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SBE Student Member Application

Who should apply to serve as the 2025-26 Student Member of the
State Board of Education?

High school seniors in good standing in any California public high school during the 2025-26 school year.

Description of the Position


Students enrolled in a California public high school who will be a senior in good standing in the 2025-26 school year, and who are available to participate in a statewide student leader conference on November 10 – November 13, 2024, in Sacramento.

Term of Office

The Student Board Member will serve a one-year term from August 1, 2025, through July 31, 2026.

Time Requirements

The estimated time required for the Student Board Member will be at least two successive school days every other month to attend regular SBE meetings, in Sacramento; sufficient time to review 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/or conferences.

Expenses Paid

The student who is selected by the Governor’s office to serve as the 2025-2026 SBE Student Board Member will receive a $100 stipend for each day’s service on approved, official business. The SBE will also cover expenses for lodging and meals in the amount allowed by state regulations.

The twelve students selected by the SBE screening committee for consideration for the SBE Student Board Member position will have their registration fee for the Student Advisory Board on Education (SABE) conference paid by the SBE.

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 Board Member position and wish to apply, here is what you need to do to complete your application package:

  • Complete the application form.
  • Include 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 sent on or before the application deadline.)
  • Include a copy of your school transcript.
  • Include supplemental items, such as news articles, 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 Friday, September 20, 2024. Please submit your application via email at:, or online at 2025-26 SBE Student Applications [].

A single PDF of the application, three letters of recommendation, transcript, and supplemental items are preferred.

SBE staff will confirm the receipt of all applications within 24 hours. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address specified in the application. (Applicant should assume the application was not received by the SBE unless a confirmation email was received. Please contact the SBE Office at 916-319-0827 or for questions.).

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. The decision of the Ad-Hoc Screening Committee is final.

Presentation and Selection of Candidates

California law requires that student members of a school district governing board 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 participate at the Student Advisory Board on Education (SABE) Conference, to be held in Sacramento, November 10 – November 13, 2024. 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 Board 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 10-13, 2024, meeting.


Representatives of the Governor will interview the three finalists, probably in the late spring or summer of 2025. Following that, one of the finalists will be appointed by the Governor to be the 2025-2026 Student Board Member.

To High School Students (who will be Seniors in 2025-2026 School Year)
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 2025-2026 Student Board Member. If you are interested in the future of public education in California, are qualified for the Student Board 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 2025-2026 Student Board Member. Perhaps you will be that person!


Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President
California State Board of Education
March 2024

Questions: State Board of Education | | 916-319-0827 
Last Reviewed: Friday, March 29, 2024
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