why is ssda important to you?

The mission of the Small School Districts' Association is to provide relevant information and proactive assistance to small school district governing boards and superintendents through legislative advocacy, collaboration, professional development, and support services.



Established in January 1983, the Small School Districts’ Association (SSDA) advocates for California's smaller districts with ADA’s under 5,000 students. Starting with four districts, it now holds over 350 members, representing over two-thirds of the small school districts in the state. With 80 Associate Members in various fields, to back small school districts, these associates collaborate to provide essential services, facilities, and educational programs.

SSDA provides legislative advocacy and practical programs to help small school districts save time, money, and achieve impactful results for students. The SSDA's success stems from the dedication of small school district administrators, emphasizing that small schools achieve significant outcomes.



With the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, the determination of school district revenues shifted from local jurisdictions to the State. From 1979 to 1982, school districts became more involved in the state legislative process. During those years, the larger school districts fared better in areas of both personnel and processes to influence legislative decisions, budget and finance than smaller districts. This clearly established a need for small districts to find a voice in California legislative and regulatory actions that affected their operations. 

In January 1983, four district superintendents, meeting with Jim Murdoch of Murdoch, Mockler and Associates in Monterey, held the organizational meeting that led to the formation of the SSDA. The four attending superintendents were Don Brann, Ray Edman, Dave Evans and Emerson Hall. These four worked together to build the SSDA membership, programs and services.