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Bills On the Move

By Cathy Bui - May 29, 2009

 

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On Thursday, hundreds of bills filed under suspense were heard before Assemblyman Kevin De Leon, chairman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and its members.   Below is a list and summary of key bills that passed through the Committees’ Suspense File as well as some key bills that were held in committee and under submission.

Assessment & Accountability

AB 476 (Torlakson)  The Standardized Testing and Reporting Program.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009,   Last Amended: 4/14/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary: Existing law establishes the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (the STAR Program) pursuant to which school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education are required to administer achievement tests to each of their pupils, as specified. The tests are required to be administered to pupils in grades 2 to 11, inclusive, as specified. This bill would eliminate the requirement that the tests be administered to pupils in grade 2.

Career Technical Education

AB 3 (V. Manuel Perez)  Workforce development: Renewable Energy Workforce Readiness Initiative.  
Introduced: 12/1/2008,   Last Amended: 4/13/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary:  Existing law, the California Workforce Investment Act, establishes the California Workforce Investment Board, which is the body responsible for assisting the Governor in the development, oversight, and continuous improvement of California's workforce investment system, and prescribes the functions and duties of the board with regard to the implementation and administration of workforce training and development programs.

This bill would require the board, by January 1, 2011, to establish a Renewable Energy Workforce Readiness Initiative to ensure green collar career placement and advancement opportunities within California's renewable energy manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, and operation sectors that is targeted towards specified populations. The initiative would award training grants, on a competitive basis, to implement and operate renewable energy worker training and education programs in the state. The board would be required to submit to the Legislature, by January 1, 2012, a report on the implementation of the initiative. The bill would require the board to implement the initiative, upon appropriation by the Legislature, using moneys from an unspecified fund.

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 97 (Torlakson)  School curriculum: content standards.  
Introduced: 1/6/2009,   Last Amended: 4/14/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass.  

Summary: Existing law, operative until July 1, 2011, and to be repealed on January 1, 2012, requires the State Board of Education to adopt statewide academic content standards and performance standards, based on the recommendation of the Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, respectively. Existing law authorizes the state board to modify any proposed content standard or performance standard prior to its adoption. This bill would instead repeal these provisions on January 1, 2017, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends that date. This bill would delete the provisions allowing the state board to modify the recommended standards prior to adoption.

 

AB 314 (Brownley)  Instructional materials.  
Introduced: 2/17/2009,   Last Amended: 5/6/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass.  

Summary:  Existing law provides that the policies and procedures of the State Board of Education concerning the adoption of instructional materials shall be adopted pursuant to specified provisions of law and include policies that define statutory terms, policies that prescribed the membership of committees used in the development and adoption process, and procedures that regulate public participation, as specified. This bill would further require procedures to ensure that the state board considers price as one factor in the adoption of instructional materials only after recommendations are submitted to the state board based on content standards alignment, approved evaluation criteria, and quality.

 

AB 482 (Mendoza)  Instructional materials: English learners.  
Introduced: 
2/24/2009,   Last Amended: 4/22/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary: Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt regulations concerning the development of curriculum frameworks and the adoption of instructional materials. This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to provide school districts with quality instructional materials written and taught in the English language to accelerate English language acquisition for English learners while upholding and teaching California's English language arts content standards.

The bill would require the state board by December 31, 2013, to revise the reading/language arts framework to include the English Language Literacy Program for English Learners , a basic comprehensive English language literacy program for English learners, that would meet specified requirements and be aligned to both the English/language arts content standards and the English language development standards adopted by the state board. The bill would require the evaluation criteria and standards maps for the revised framework to be modified, as specified.

 

AB 487 (Brownley)  Instructional materials: sale of surplus or undistributed obsolete instructional materials.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009,   Last Amended: 4/14/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary:  Existing law establishes the State Instructional Materials Fund in the State Treasury as a means of annually funding the acquisition of instructional materials as required by the California Constitution. The State Instructional Materials Fund is continuously appropriated to the State Department of Education.

This bill would establish the Surplus Instructional Materials Fund under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The bill would provide that the moneys in the Surplus Instructional Materials Fund would be available, subject to appropriation, for allocation for the purpose of allowing school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to acquire supplemental instructional materials or technology-based materials. The bill would require that any deposit made into the Surplus Instructional Materials Fund, and the allocation of any moneys from this fund, including the subsequent use of those moneys, be subject to the annual audit of local educational agencies required by existing law.

Education Finance

AB 8 (Brownley)  Education finance: working group.  
Introduced: 12/1/2008,   Last Amended: 3/26/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary: Existing law establishes the public school system in this state, and, among other things, provides for the establishment of school districts throughout the state and for their provision of instruction at the public elementary and secondary schools they operate and maintain. Existing law establishes a public school funding system that includes, among other elements, the provision of funding to local educational agencies through state apportionments, the proceeds of property taxes collected at the local level, and other sources.

This bill would express findings and declarations of the Legislature with respect to the school funding system in the state. This bill would require the Director of Finance and the Legislative Analyst to convene a working group to make findings and recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor on or before December 1, 2010, regarding restructuring California's school finance system. The bill would require those findings and recommendations to include, among other things, alternative structures for funding public schools, the policy and fiscal implications of the alternative funding structure or structures, and an evaluation mechanism to facilitate continuous improvement, maximum transparency, and accountability of the funding structures.

 

AB 451 (De Leon)  Education finance: The Opportunity to Learn Block Grant.
Introduced: 2/24/2009,   Last Amended: 4/13/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

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 2 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.

School Facilities

AB 211 (Mendoza)  School facilities: classroom security locks.  
Introduced: 2/2/2009,   Last Amended: 4/14/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary: Existing law, the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 (the Greene Act), 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. This bill , on and after January 1, 2010, would require specified construction and modernization projects submitted to the Division of the State Architect pursuant to the Greene Act to include locks that allow doors to classrooms and rooms with an occupancy of 5 or more persons to be locked from the inside , except as specified.

 

AB 346 (Torlakson)  Joint-use school facilities.  
Introduced: 2/19/2009,   Last Amended: 4/14/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary:  Existing law authorizes the State Allocation Board to provide a grant to fund joint-use projects to construct facilities on kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, schoolsites if the school district demonstrates that the project meets specified criteria. Eligibility for a joint-use grant is conditioned upon, among other things, demonstration by a school district that (a) it has entered into a joint-use agreement with a specified joint-use partner that specifies the amount of the contribution to be made by the school district and the joint-use partner toward the 50% local share of eligible project costs, and (b) the joint-use partner has agreed to contribute at least 25% of eligible project costs, except as provided.

This bill would authorize the board to provide a grant to fund a joint-use project on property that is adjacent to a school site and owned by a governmental entity, as defined. The joint-use agreement would be required to provide that the land would be leased to the school district for a period that reflects the useful life of the facility to be constructed.

 

SB 334 (Ducheny)  School facilities: new construction grant eligibility: special education pupils.  
Introduced: 2/25/2009,   Last Amended: 5/6/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 7. Noes 5.) Read second time. To third reading.

Summary: 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. This bill would require an increase made to the per-unhoused-pupil grant amounts also to be made to the per-unhoused-pupil who is a qualifying individual with exceptional needs grant amounts and would require the Office of Public School Construction , by April 1, 2010, to recommend to the board a methodology to adjust those amounts so that they reflect increases made pursuant to specified provisions of law.

School Safety

AB 668 (Lieu)  Firearms: gun-free school zones.  
Introduced: 2/25/2009,   Last Amended: 4/13/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary: Existing law, subject to exceptions, provides that it is an offense for any person to possess a firearm in a place that the person knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone, unless it is with the written permission of the school district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school authority. Existing law defines "school zone" for these purposes as an area in, or on the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, or within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of the public or private school. This bill would extend that distance to 1,500 feet from the grounds of the public or private school.

Student Services

AB 434 (Block)  After school programs.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009  
Status: 5/28/2009-From APPR. SUSPENSE FILE: Do pass as amended.

Summary:  The After School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002, enacted by the initiative measure Proposition 49, establishes the After School Education and Safety Program to serve pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 9, inclusive, at participating public elementary, middle, junior high, and charter schools. The act authorizes the administrators of a program established pursuant to the act to operate during any combination of summer, intersession, or vacation periods for a minimum of 3 hours per day for the regular school year. This bill would reduce to 15% the amount of cash or in-kind local funds required to be provided by each program for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years.

 

Here is a list of key bills that were held in Assembly and Senate Appropriations Suspense:

AB 60 (Coto)  Education finance: study relating to weighted pupil funding formulas.

AB 78 (Portantino)  Pupils: concurrent enrollment in community college and secondary or elementary school.

AB 173 (Price)  Low-performing schools.

AB 364 (Torlakson)  California After School Teacher Pipeline Program.

AB 380 (De La Torre)  California Clean Energy Curriculum and Training Initiative of 2009.

AB 406 (Yamada)  School personnel: Classified School Employee Training Program.

AB 495 (Davis)  Preschool: data collection.

AB 518 (Mendoza)  Public School Performance Accountability Program.

AB 661 (Torlakson)  Special education: behavioral intervention plans: mandate claim: funding.

AB 837 (Torlakson)  School attendance: online education.

AB 1124 (Yamada)  Special education: due process hearings.

AB 1127 (Solorio)  School facilities: automatic fire sprinkler system.

AB 1517 (Berryhill, Bill)  Special education: alternative dispute resolution programs.

SB 216 (Liu)  Public postsecondary education: textbooks.

SB 252 (Denham)  School facilities: district deferred maintenance fund.

SB 378 (Romero)  Charter school facilities.

SB 701 (Correa)  Special education: local plans.

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.