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County Superintendent
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Executive Assistant to
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County Superintendent Dr. Joseph A Ovick speaking at a Special Olympics event


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County Superintendent of Schools, Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.

The following are the 2014 Federal Priorities that were discussed at the recent CCSESA Federal Advocacy Trip to Washington DC that Dr. Ovick attended from 3/31- 4/3/14.


ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) and
IDEA Funding (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

Congress should make protecting basic grant programs such as ESEA Title I and IDEA funding a priority.

  • Maintain or increase funding for the ESEA Title I and IDEA basic grants.
  • The fiscal Year 2013 and IDEA Budget Control Act sequestration cuts should not be repeated.


CCSESA supports H.R. 4136 to fully fund IDEA, and urges Congress and the Administration to protect federal funding for special education. In California, special education costs are a major issue for every school district and county office of education. Federal IDEA funding to meet the needs of students with disabilities must be increased to match the commitment made in IDEA.


CCSESA supports the continuation of the ESEA waiver granted to eight California Office for Reforming Education (CORE) districts in California. CCSESA also supports allowing other districts and county offices in California to operate under the waiver, potentially as collaboratives of school districts within a county.


CCSESA urges the California Congressional delegation, the House Education and the Workforce and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees and the Administration to continue efforts for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

CCSESA's ESEA priorities include:

  • Adoption of accountability models based on growth in student performance.
  • State flexibility to adopt accountability systems that reflect the non-traditional conditions of schools established to address special needs populations, such as severely disabled students, students who are incarcerated and homeless students.
  • State flexibility in calculating the graduation and/or drop-out rates to reflect non-traditional schools that address special needs populations, including those focused on drop-out recovery or prevention.


CCSESA supports efforts to expand and improve high quality preschool and early education opportunities.

County superintendents and county offices of education administer preschool, Head Start and subsidized childcare programs throughout California. County superintendents are very interested in the new Early Learning Preschool program at the Department of Education and the Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services.


CCSESA supports the Administration's leadership on the effective use of technology to improve student learning.


  • Supports the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) E-Rate 2.0 efforts towards a National Broadband Plan ensuring access and affordability and maximizing the use of broadband.
  • Supports Congressman Miller's Transforming Education Through Technology Act, H.R. 521
  • Supports Congress's exemption of the Universal Service Fund from the Anti-Deficiency Act.
  • Supports efforts to fund universal access for schools and students.
  • Supports Senator Rockefeller's effort to strengthen E-Rate 2.0 and education technology.


CCSESA supports the Administration's proposed initiative to invest $235 million in mental health services. Measures to increase adult training for recognizing early signs of mental illness and to train new school psychologists, nurses, and counselors should be integral components of school safety.

CCSESA applauds the Senate HELP Committee approval of the bipartisan Harkin-Alexander Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013, S 689.


CCSESA supports funding for the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Act (SRS) as Congress continues to work for a long term SRS reauthorization and funding.

CCSESA will continue to communicate with members of Congress as issues change and evolve.

The California Delegation of County Superintendents of Schools met collectively with the following legislators on Capitol Hill regarding educational issues in California:

  • Adele Robinson, Deputy Executive Director National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • Noelle Ellerson, Associate Executive Director Policy and Advocacy, American Association of School Administrators
  • Jeremy Ayers, Education Policy Advisor, House Education and the Workforce Committee – Minority
  • Mario Cardona – Majority Staff, Senate HELP Committee
  • Deb Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, US Department of Education
  • Linda Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development, US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families
  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • Representative Mark Takano (Riverside)
  • Representative Julia Brownley (Ventura)
  • Representative Loretta Sanchez (Orange)
  • Melissa Medina, Legislative Assistant, Office of Representative Ed Royce (Orange)
  • Representative Jared Huffman (Mendocino, Sonoma)
  • Representative Doug LaMalfa (Modoc)
  • Representative Mike Thompson (Napa, Sonoma, Contra Costa)
  • Deena Wagner, Legislative Assistant, Office of Representative Ken Calvert (Riverside)
  • Brad Thomas, Senior Education Policy Advisor, House Education and the Workforce Committee – Majority
  • Steve Koncar, Legislative Assistant, Office of Representative Tom McClintock (Modoc, Placer)
  • Patrick Scandling, Legislative Assistant, Office of Senator Barbara Boxer
  • Crystal Martinez, Legislative Assistant, Office of Dianne Feinstein
  • Representative George Miller (Contra Costa)
  • Dr. Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant, Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, US Department of Education
  • Representative Jerry McNerney (San Joaquin)
  • Representative Dana Rohrabacher (Orange) Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, US Department of Education
  • Representative Lois Capps (Ventura)
  • Representative Jeff Denham (San Joaquin)
  • Porter Jones, Defense Fellow, Office of Representative Darrell Issa (Orange)

The California Delegation of County Superintendents of Schools:

  • Mr. Stanley Mantooth, Ventura County
  • Mr. Gary Jones, Modoc County
  • Mr. David Gordon, Sacramento County
  • Mr. Paul Tichinin, Mendocino County
  • Dr. Barbara Nemko, Napa County
  • Dr. Mick Founts, San Joaquin County
  • Dr. Joseph Ovick, Contra Costa County
  • Dr. Steven Herrington, Sonoma County
  • Ms. Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, Placer County
  • Dr. Al Mijares, Orange County
  • Mr. Kenn Young, Riverside County

PTA Article

Message From the County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph A. Ovick

Exciting change is coming to public education in California that will impact all the public schools in our state and prepare our children for college and/or careers of the 21st century. With the passage of Proposition 30 and the State Legislature and Governor approving the budget and accompanying legislation, California has a new funding formula for schools, new state standards, new testing and new accountability!!!

Common Core State Standards have been approved in 45 states. The standards were
introduced by the state governors. In California the standards were approved by the State
Board of Education with the approval of Governor Brown. The standards identify what students need to know in math and English language arts including literacy in history/social science, science and technical subjects in all grade levels.

Smarter Balanced Assessment is aligned with the Common Core State Standards for math and English arts/literacy to measure student progress. Schools will have to be technology ready to administer the tests and students will also have to be tech ready, comfortable and confident to take the tests!

Authored by Susan Bonilla and signed into law by Governor Brown on October 2, 2013. This piece of legislation established the new student assessment for California. Assessment will be field tested in the Spring of 2014. Currently there is disagreement between Governor Brown and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan regarding testing for this current school year for students in California. AB 484 terminates the current state testing and introduces as a field test Smarter Balanced Assessment for the Spring of 2014. Secretary Duncan is not pleased with this situation and has threatened to withhold federal funds. Hopefully a solution can be found so our children will not be denied the federal funding so desperately needed.

The LCFF is the new funding formula for public education K-12 in California. It truly is a major change in how funding is provided to our local school districts and county offices of education. The formula has done away with many categorical funded programs and combined funding into base grant funding for students with supplemental grants for English learners, low income students, and foster youth and concentration grants for school districts where more than 55% of students fall into these categories. LCFF also has Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), requirements for every school district and county offices of education.

So, as you can see much is happening that is new and exciting in our schools throughout Contra Costa and the state. Stay involved through PTA and your children's schools.

The County Office of Education is an essential part of Contra Costa's outstanding public school system. Overall, our county's students rank high on virtually every measure of achievement - from test scores to college entrance

Our job in the County Office is to support the success of Contra Costa's 18 school districts, their schools, and their 168,000+ students.

We provide exactly the support that's needed by operating like a business. Our customers in school districts can choose whether to use – or not use – most County Office services. Superintendents and other district staff tell us they do choose our services and are highly satisfied with them because we:

  • Provide quality countywide programs for children with special needs
  • Save school districts money
  • Help districts do a better job
  • Support districts in meeting state and federal mandates

By working effectively and efficiently with Contra Costa's school districts, the County Office of Education strengthens our entire education system while saving dollars – dollars that can then be used in local classrooms.

County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph A. Ovick administers all County Office of Education programs and facilitates cooperation among schools, colleges, universities, government and community organizations. He is responsible for monitoring and approving all school district budgets. In addition, he serves as an advocate for education with the legislature and the public.


Dr. Joseph Ovick


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An Initiative Championed by the Contra Costa
County Office of Education

Civility is a core value of a well functioning community and one of its defining components. Quality of life depends in great part on how community members treat each other. This initiative will promote the importance of civility in a world becoming less civil, and encourage community members to choose positive and respectful behaviors in their personal and work lives.

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County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ovick
discusses educational issues
on Comcast Newsmakers


Superintendent's Office Contacts:
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent Kerry Kilmer 925.942.3432
Executive Assistant to the Board and Superintendent Loreen Joseph 925.942.3380
FAX, Superintendent   925.472.0875
Deputy Superintendent, Human Resources Karen Sakata 925.942.3407
Chief Communications Officer Peggy Marshburn 925.942.3420


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