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Bills On the Move

By Cathy Bui - June 19, 2009

 

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This week, the Senate and Assembly Education Committee met to consider a number of bills.  Below is a list of bills that were heard, as well as their current status.

Attendance

AB 796 (Carter) Pupil Attendance: Civic Engagement Activities.  
Introduced: 2/26/2009  
Status: 6/17/2009-From committee: Do pass. (Ayes 6. Noes 1.) (June 17).  

Summary:  Existing law authorizes a pupil to be excused from school for specified reasons, including for the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election.  A pupil who is absent from school for these reasons is required to be permitted to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided.  This bill would include civic engagement activities offered by a nonprofit organization or a governmental entity among the types of absences that are excused.

 

SB 680 (Romero) School Attendance: Interdistrict Transfers.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009,  Last Amended: 5/28/2009  
Status: 6/17/2009-From ED.: Do pass as amended.

Summary:  Existing law requires each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years, who is not otherwise exempt, to attend the public full-time day school in the school district in which his or her parent or guardian is a resident.  Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to accept interdistrict transfers by adopting a resolution to become a school district of choice, as defined.  Existing law requires each school district that elects to become a school district of choice to keep an accounting of all requests made for alternative attendance, as specified, and to report this information to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Existing law requires the Superintendent to annually make this information available to the Governor, the Legislature, and the public on or before April 1.  Existing law prohibits a school district that has not elected to become a school district of choice prior to August 24, 2007, from becoming a school district of choice.  Existing law makes the provisions governing interdistrict transfers inoperative on July 1, 2009, and repeals these provisions on January 1, 2010.  

This bill would delete the prohibition on becoming a school district of choice.  The bill also would delete the inoperative and repeal dates of these provisions, thereby extending their operation indefinitely.  This bill would also delete the requirement that the Superintendent annually make the information provided by school districts available to the Governor, the Legislature, and the public on or before April 1. This bill would require local school districts that have adopted a resolution, or elect to become a school district of choice, to publicly report information regarding requests made for interdistrict transfers to adjacent school districts and the county office of education in which the district is located.  The bill would also require any communication made by a participating school district to parents or guardians to be factually accurate and not target individual pupils as specified.

Miscellaneous

SB 572 (Leno)  Harvey Milk Day: Official Designation.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009,  Last Amended: 4/20/2009  
Status: 6/17/2009-From ED.: Do pass as amended.  

Summary:  Existing law requires the Governor to proclaim certain days each year for specified reasons.  Existing law also designates particular days each year as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and encourages those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on those dates.  This bill would provide that the Governor proclaim May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day, and would designate that date as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and would encourage those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.

Personnel

AB 1293 (Hall)  Public School Employees: Merit System.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009  
Status: 6/17/2009-From committee: Do pass. To Consent Calendar. (June 17).

Summary:  Existing law requires all vacancies in the classified service of a school district that has adopted the merit system to be filled from applicants on eligibility lists that are made up from promotional examinations or other specified methods.  Existing law requires that if a vacancy is filled from applicants on an eligibility list, the appointment is to be made from the eligible candidates having the first 3 ranks on the list.  This bill would make these provisions applicable to the classifications of accountant, contract assistant, coordinating contract assistant, assistant contracts supervisor, senior administrative analyst, senior financial analyst, senior administrative assistant, principal financial analyst, and principal administrative analyst.

Student Services

SB 272 (Wiggins)  Educational Counseling.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009,  Last Amended: 6/1/2009  
Status: 6/17/2009-From ED.: Do pass as amended.

Summary:  Existing law authorizes the governing board of any school district to provide a comprehensive educational counseling program for all pupils enrolled in the district.  Existing law requires that educational counseling include academic counseling, in which pupils receive counseling regarding establishment and implementation of educational plans, achievement of proficiency standards, completion of required curriculum, and access to, and success in, higher education, and career and vocational counseling, in which pupils are assisted in planning for the future, becoming aware of their career potential, developing realistic perceptions of work, and relating to the work world.  This bill would state legislative intent relating to the role of school counselors.  The bill would require the academic counseling component of educational counseling to also include an individualized review of pupil's academic and deportment records and of his or her career goals, and the opportunity for a counselor to meet with each pupil and his or her parents or legal guardian to explain the academic progress needed to complete middle or high school, pass the high school exit examination, and be eligible for admission to a 4-year institution of postsecondary education and the availability of career technical education, among other things.

Teacher Credentialing

SB 751 (Romero) Teacher credentials.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009,  Last Amended: 5/5/2009  
Status: 6/17/2009-From ED.: Do pass as amended. To APPR..

Summary:  Existing law requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue a California teaching credential, including a 5-year preliminary multiple subject teaching credential, a 5-year preliminary single subject credential, or a 5-year preliminary education specialist credential, to a teacher prepared in a country other than the United States who meets specified requirements.  This bill would authorize the commission to issue a multiple subject, single subject, or education specialist teaching credential to a teacher prepared in a country other than the United States who has earned a valid corresponding elementary, secondary, or special education teaching credential in another state and who meets specified requirements.  The bill would also make various non-substantive conforming changes.

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.