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Bills On the Move

By Cathy Bui - May 15, 2009

 

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This week, hearings in the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees dominated the activity in the Capitol.  Below is a list of key bills that went to the Committees' Suspense File due to cost or was passed out of the Committee. Bills referred to the Suspense File will be considered for passage out of the committees in a few weeks.

Career Technical Education

SB 675 (Steinberg)  Energy job training: Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Act of 2010.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009,  Last Amended: 4/2/2009  
Status: 5/11/2009-Placed on APPR suspense file.

Summary: Existing law provides various funding sources for energy efficiency projects and related purposes.  This bill would enact the Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Act of 2010 and would create the Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Fund (fund) in the State Treasury.  The bill would provide that the moneys in the fund would be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, in the form of competitive grants that would be administered by the State Allocation Board and awarded to qualifying entities for the purposes of the construction of new facilities or the reconfiguration of existing facilities to enhance the educational opportunities for program participants, as defined, to provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary for careers directly related to clean technology, renewable energy, or energy efficiency that may also contribute to California's goal in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

The bill would create the Clean Technology and Renewable Energy Job Training, Career Technical Education, and Dropout Prevention Council comprised of nine members.  The council would be required to issue guidelines to implement the purposes of this act.  The bill would authorize the council to issue and renew negotiable bonds, notes, debentures, or other sources of security of up to an unspecified amount that would be secured by moneys appropriated by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act from the Public Interest Research, Development, and Demonstration Fund.  Proceeds from the sale of the bonds, notes, debentures, or other sources of security would be deposited into the fund.

School Facilities

AB 1127 (Solorio)  School facilities: automatic fire sprinkler system.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009,  Last Amended: 4/29/2009
Status: 5/13/2009-From APPR.: To APPR. SUSPENSE FILE.  

Summary: Existing law, the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998, requires the State Allocation Board to allocate to applicant school districts prescribed per-unhoused-pupil state funding for construction and modernization of school facilities, including hardship funding and supplemental funding for site development and acquisition.  Existing law requires all modernization projects that have an estimated total cost in excess of $200,000 submitted to the Division of the State Architect (including hardship applications) that require the approval of the Department of General Services to include an automatic fire detection and alarm system approved by the State Fire Marshal.  The automatic fire detection and alarm system is required to consist of smoke or heat detectors, or a combination of smoke and heat detectors, installed in the school building.  

This bill would require, on and after July 1, 2010, that certain modernization projects have an automatic fire sprinkler system installed throughout the school building in accordance with building standards adopted by the State Fire Marshal.  The bill would require the board to adopt regulations to implement this requirement and would authorize the board to waive the requirement if the cost of the automatic sprinkler system is greater than 20% of the replacement cost of the building.  The bill would require the board also to adjust the per-pupil grant amount as necessary to accommodate 80% of the increased costs due to the automatic fire sprinkler system.

School Finance

AB 267 (Torlakson)  Education finance districts: taxes.  
Introduced: 2/11/2009  
Status: 5/11/2009-Do pass as amended.  

Summary: Existing law allows any school district to impose qualified special taxes, as defined, within the district pursuant to specified procedures.  This bill would authorize an education finance district, as defined, to impose within the district any tax that may be imposed by any charter city pursuant to specified procedures.

 

AB 451 (De Leon) Education finance: The Opportunity to Learn Block Grant.
Introduced: 2/24/2009,  Last Amended: 4/13/2009  
Status: 5/13/2009-From APPR.: To APPR. SUSPENSE FILE.  

Summary:  The Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999 requires the State Department of Education to identify local educational agencies that are in danger of being identified within two years as program improvement local educational agencies under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and to notify those local educational agencies, in writing, of this status and provide those local educational agencies with research-based criteria to conduct a voluntary self-assessment.  The Public Schools Accountability Act requires a local educational agency identified as a program improvement local educational agency under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to perform specified tasks, including conducting a self-assessment and implementing a local educational agency plan.

The Public Schools Accountability Act authorizes a local educational agency identified for corrective action and subject to a sanction to apply for a one-year, nonrenewable grant of federal improvement funding to assist in its improvement process.  The Public Schools Accountability Act specifies the grant amount for each eligible local educational agency based on the severity of the agency’s performance problems.  This bill would delete those requirements and increase the specified amounts for the one-year, nonrenewable grant.  The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education to consider whether the local educational agency received funding pursuant to (2) below when determining whether the local educational agency shall contract with a district assistance and intervention team or other technical assistance provider.  For the 2009-10 fiscal year only, the bill would require that a local educational agency that received a sanction prior to January 1, 2009, and received a one-year, nonrenewable grant be provided with an additional one-time, nonrenewable grant of federal improvement funding, as specified.

 

ACA 10 (Torlakson) Taxation: Education Finance District: special tax.  
Introduced: 2/11/2009  Status: 5/12/2009-From committee: Be adopted, and re-refer to Com. On APPR. Re-referred. (Ayes 5. Noes 3.) (May 11).  

Summary: The California Constitution conditions the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by a city, county, or special district upon the approval of 2/3 of the voters of the city, county, or special district voting on that tax, and prohibits these entities from imposing an ad valorem tax on real property or a transactions or sales tax on the sale of real property.  This measure would instead condition the imposition, extension, or increase of a special tax by an education finance district established pursuant to statute upon the approval of a majority of the voters of the district voting on that tax, and would also make conforming changes to related provisions.

 

SB 698 (Negrete McLeod) Juvenile court schools: funding. 
Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend: 4/2/2009  
Status: 5/11/2009-Placed on APPR suspense file.  

Summary: Existing law provides for the administration and operation of public schools in juvenile halls, juvenile homes, day centers, juvenile ranches, juvenile camps, regional youth educational facilities, and Orange County youth correctional centers, as specified.  Existing law requires the county board of education to provide for the administration and operation of juvenile court schools either by the county superintendent of schools, as specified, or by contract with the respective governing boards of the elementary, high school, or unified school district in which the juvenile court school is located.  This bill would require for each reporting period the use of average daily enrollment instead of average daily attendance in computing the revenue limit for each such school.  The bill would define average daily enrollment.

 

SCA 6 (Simitian)  Taxation: educational entities: parcel tax.  
Introduced: 12/9/2008  Last Amend: 5/6/2009  
Status: 5/13/2009-Be adopted. 

Summary: The California Constitution conditions the imposition of a special tax by a city, county, or special district upon the approval of 2/3 of the voters of the city, county, or special district voting on that tax, and prohibits these entities from imposing an ad valorem tax on real property or a transactions or sales tax on the sale of real property.  This measure would alternatively condition the imposition, extension, or increase of a parcel tax, as defined, by a school district, community college district, or county office of education upon the approval of 55% of its voters voting on that proposition, and would also make conforming changes to related provisions.

Special Education

AB 1124 (Yamada) Special education: due process hearings.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend: 4/22/2009  
Status: 5/13/2009-From APPR.: To APPR. SUSPENSE FILE.  

Summary: Existing law establishes the right of individuals with exceptional needs to a free appropriate public education and ensures the right to special education and related services, including, for individuals under 3 years of age, specified services under the California Early Intervention Services Act.  Existing state and federal law prescribe specified rights and procedural requirements relating to administrative hearings involving an application for initial services from an individual with exceptional needs who is no longer eligible for early intervention services under the California Early Intervention Services Act because he or she has reached 3 years of age.  

This bill, subject to receipt of federal funding, would require local educational agencies, during the pendency of a hearing involving an application of a pupil for initial services under a preschool program serving individuals with exceptional needs between 3 to 5 years of age, inclusive, who is no longer eligible for early intervention services under the California Early Intervention Services Act because he or she has reached 3 years of age, to continue to provide the same services that were provided under the California Early Intervention Services Act.

 

AB 1517 (Berryhill, Bill)  Special education: alternative dispute resolution programs.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend: 4/29/2009  
Status: 5/13/2009-From APPR.: To APPR. SUSPENSE FILE.  

Summary: Existing law prescribes the procedure for filing a complaint with the State Department of Education to allege a violation of state or federal law regarding the provision of special education instruction and services, for conducting a voluntary pre-hearing mediation conference, and for conducting a due process hearing to resolve the dispute. Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature that parties to special education disputes be encouraged to seek resolution through mediation prior to filing a request for a due process hearing.  

This bill, subject to an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or other statute, would require the department to establish and administer a statewide program of grant funding to establish alternative dispute resolution programs for special education that include specified components.  The bill would require that these funds first be apportioned to special education local plan areas (SELPAs) that received grant funds during the 2009-10 fiscal year for purposes of implementing alternative dispute resolution programs before they are apportioned to SELPAs that did not receive that grant funds during the 2009-10 fiscal year.  The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction, by July 1, 2010, to submit to the Legislature a summary report that includes, but is not limited to, specified information and data from SELPAs that received grant funds for purposes of implementing alternative dispute resolution programs.

Editor's Note: Cathy Bui  is the Legislative Assistant for Governmental Solutions Group, LLC.  Pror to joining GSG, Ms. Bui worked in the office of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.