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Bills On the Move

By Cathy Bui - July 10, 2009

 

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

Accountability & Assessment

AB 476 (Torlakson)  The Standardized Testing and Reporting Program.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009   Last Amend: 6/30/2009 
Status: 7/8/2009 – From committee: Do pass, and re-refer to Com. on APPR. Re-referred. (Ayes 7. Noes 1.) (July 8).

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 in grades 2 to 11, inclusive.  This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction, on or before April 1, 2010, to contract with an independent evaluator for evaluation of the STAR Program, as specified.  The bill would require the independent evaluator to complete a report containing the findings of his or her evaluation.  The Superintendent would be required to provide this evaluation to the Legislature, the Governor, and the State Board of Education on or before November 1, 2010.  The bill would require an existing advisory committee to advise the Superintendent on the independent evaluation of the STAR Program, including making recommendations regarding the selection of the independent evaluator and the evaluation parameters.  The bill would require the Superintendent to appoint four additional members to the advisory committee for these purposes.  The bill would require the State Department of Education to use specified federal funds, not exceeding the amount of $150,000, for the purpose of contracting for this evaluation.

 

AB 1281 (Portantino)  Pupil data: California School Racial Equality Designation Act.  

Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend: 5/18/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Appropriations.

Summary: Existing law establishes the public elementary and secondary school system in this state.  Under this system, school districts throughout the state provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, at the public elementary and secondary schools.  This bill would enact the California School Racial Equality Designation Act.  The bill would express findings and declarations of the Legislature relating to the collection of data on the race or ethnicity of persons who identify themselves as members of more than one race.

 

AB 1435 (V. Manuel Perez)  Public school accountability.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend: 4/29/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – In committee: Hearing postponed by committee. (Refers to 7/8/2009 hearing)  

Summary:  Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish an advisory committee to advise on all appropriate matters relative to the creation of the Academic Performance Index and the implementation of the Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program and the High Achieving/Improving Schools Program.  Existing law requires the committee to make recommendations to the Superintendent, by July 1, 2005, on the appropriateness and feasibility of a methodology for generating a measurement of academic performance by using unique pupil identifiers and annual academic achievement growth to provide a more accurate measure of a school's growth over time.  This bill would require the advisory committee, by July 1, 2010, to make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the inclusion of the results of the English language development test or series of tests developed or acquired pursuant to a specified provision and the feasibility of including English Learner proficiency as part of the Academic Performance Index (API).  The bill would require the Superintendent, with the approval of the state board, to include the results of the English Language Development test or series of tests developed or acquired pursuant to a specified provision and English language proficiency levels and growth of those levels in the API.

 

SB 742 (Romero)  School accountability: low-performing public schools.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend:   6/1/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass.  To APPR.

Summary:  The Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999 requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with approval of the State Board of Education, to develop the Academic Performance Index (API), consisting of a variety of indicators, to be used to measure the performance of schools.  Existing law requires the Superintendent to develop, and the state board to adopt, expected annual percentage growth targets for all schools based on their API baseline score and prescribes a minimum percentage growth target of 5% annually.  This bill would establish an advisory committee to the Superintendent for the purpose of making recommendations to the state board on how to identify ten historically low-performing public schools in the state, subject to the requirements of federal law, as specified.  The bill would require the advisory committee to make these recommendations to the Superintendent by July 1, 2010.  The Superintendent would be required to make recommendations to the State Board of Education by August 15, 2010, and the Superintendent and the State Board would be required to jointly approve the criteria to be used in identifying ten historically low-performing public schools in the state, as specified.

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 314 (Brownley)  Instructional materials.  
Introduced: 2/17/2009   Last Amend: 6/24/2009   
Status: 7/8/2009 – Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Appropriations.  

Summary:  (1) Existing law requires the publisher or manufacturer of instructional materials to furnish those materials at a price that does not exceed the lowest price the publisher offers those materials, to automatically reduce the price of materials to the extent that reductions in price are made elsewhere, and to provide any materials free of charge to the same extent as they are provided elsewhere.  This bill would require publishers or manufacturers of instructional materials to provide any equipment or technology associated with the use of instructional materials under consideration for purchase free of charge to the same extent as they are provided elsewhere.  The bill would also require publishers or manufacturers to furnish instructional materials offered by the publisher in an electronic format at a price that is less than the price charged for the printed version and would require the electronic version of any textbook to contain at least the same content as the printed version.

 

AB 1398 (Blumenfield)  Technology-based materials.  
Introduced: 2/27/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – Do pass as amended.  

Summary:  Existing law defines specified terms used in provisions of law related to instructional materials, including technology-based materials.  Existing law defines technology-based materials as basic or supplemental instructional materials that are designed as learning resources and that require the availability of electronic equipment in order to be used.  However, the technology-based materials do not include the electronic equipment required to make use of those materials.  This bill would change the definition of technology-based materials to specify that they may include the electronic equipment required in order to use them if that equipment is to be used by pupils and teachers as a learning resource.

 

SB 223 (Wyland)  Education: history-social science curriculum framework: financial literacy.  
Introduced:  2/23/2009  Last Amend: 5/6/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass as amended.  To APPR.. 

Summary:  Existing law provides that there is in the state government the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission to study problems of courses of study in the schools of the state and, upon request of the State Board of Education, to recommend the adoption of minimum standards for courses of study in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools.  Existing law also requires the commission to recommend curriculum frameworks to the state board.  This bill would require the commission to consider and vote on whether to include a unit on financial literacy in the proposed changes to the 2014 history-social science curriculum framework as part of its regular process of developing and revising curriculum frameworks as requested by the state board.

 

SB 234 (Wyland)  Curriculum: history-social science curriculum framework: oral histories: genocide.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009   Last Amend: 5/18/2009  
Status:  7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass as amended.  To APPR..  

Summary:  Existing law provides that there is in the state government the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission to study problems of courses of study in the schools of the state and, upon request of the State Board of Education, recommend the adoption of minimum standards for courses of study in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools.  Existing law also requires the commission to recommend curriculum frameworks to the State Board of Education.  This bill would require the commission to consider and vote on whether to include an oral history component specifically related to genocides in the proposed changes to the 2014 history-social science curriculum framework as part of its regular process of developing and revising curriculum frameworks as requested by the state board.  The bill would specify that the oral history component, if included by the commission, would not require the inclusion of oral history materials in the frameworks, but instead require the inclusion of a listing of where those materials can be found and how to use them in a history course.

 

SB 247 (Alquist)  Electronic instructional materials.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009  Last Amend: 6/16/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass as amended.  

Summary:  Existing law, the Instructional Materials Funding Realignment Program, provides for funds to be apportioned to school districts based upon enrollment to ensure that each pupil is provided with a standards-aligned textbook or basic instructional materials, as adopted by the State Board of Education subsequent to the adoption of content standards, or as adopted by the local governing board, for grades 9 to 12, inclusive.  This bill would provide that a local governing board may use funding received pursuant to these provisions to purchase state-adopted instructional materials for kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, and state standards-aligned materials for grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in an electronic or hardbound format.

 

SB 381 (Wright)  High school instruction: course of study.  
Introduced: 2/26/2009   Last Amend: 5/4/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass.  

Summary:  Existing law prescribes the course of study a pupil is required to complete while in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in order to receive a diploma of graduation.  Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to adopt rules specifying additional coursework requirements.  This bill would prohibit a school district from adopting a graduation requirement that requires the completion of additional coursework to meet or exceed the requirements and prerequisites for admission to a 4- year California public university unless the district also adopts a prescribed optional graduation requirement that requires the completion of an equal amount of coursework to attain entry-level employment skills in business or industry upon graduation from high school.

Education Finance

AB 267 (Torlakson)  Education finance districts: taxes. 
Introduced: 2/11/2009   Last Amend: 5/20/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – From committee: Do pass, and re-refer to Com. on REV. & TAX. Re-referred.  (Ayes 6. Noes 3.) (July 8).  

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 school districts, under certain conditions, to create an education finance district that may impose, within the education finance district, a qualified special tax pursuant to specified procedures.

 

AB 851 (Brownley)  Education finance.  
Introduced:  2/26/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Appropriations.  

Summary:  Existing law requires the county superintendent of schools to determine a revenue limit for each school district in the county pursuant to a specified formula based on the base revenue limit of the school district for the prior year, adjusted for inflation, and the average daily attendance for the entire school district.  This bill would require the base revenue limit for each school district for the 2010-11 fiscal year to include an adjustment, computed, as specified.

 

ACR 54 (Brownley)  Education finance.   
Introduced: 3/23/2009  Last Amend: 5/11/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – Be adopted as amended.

Summary:  This measure would state the intent of the Legislature that the State of California generate sufficient funds for, and allocate sufficient funds to, education, so as to bring per pupil spending up to or beyond the national average, and to a level that accounts for the actual cost of educating California's diverse pupil population.

 

SB 191 (Wright)  Charter schools: funding.   
Introduced: 2/18/2009   Last Amend: 6/17/2009   
Status: 7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass as amended.  To APPR..  

Summary: Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction annually to compute a general-purpose entitlement for each charter school, as specified.  Existing law prescribes calculations to modify that general-purpose entitlement with regard to specified pupils who attend a charter school that is established through the conversion of an existing public school within a unified school district on or after July 1, 2005.  This bill would provide that those modified calculations do not apply to charter schools that convert to charter schools on or after January 1, 2010, or to charter schools that are independently governed and operated by a nonprofit public benefit corporation.   The bill instead would provide for such charter schools to receive general-purpose funding, as specified.  The bill would declare that these provisions do not preclude a charter school or unified school district from agreeing to an alternative funding formula.

School Facilities

AB 1080 (Skinner)  School facilities: rent or lease: vacant classrooms.   
Introduced: 2/27/2009   Last Amend: 5/14/2009   
Status: 7/8/2009 – In committee: Testimony taken. Hearing postponed by committee. (Refers to 7/8/2009 hearing)  

Summary:  Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to enter into agreements to make vacant classrooms or other space in operating school buildings available for rent or lease to other school districts, educational agencies, except private educational institutions that maintain kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, inclusive, governmental units, nonprofit organizations, community agencies, professional agencies, commercial and noncommercial firms, corporations, partnerships, businesses, and individuals, including during normal school hours if the school is in session.  This bill, notwithstanding the provision above, would authorize the governing board of the Emery Unified School District, upon a 2/3 vote, to enter into a joint-use, joint-ownership agreement with a governmental agency whereby a new school and community services facility would be constructed on land owned by the school district.

 

SB 334 (Ducheny)  School facilities: new construction grant eligibility: special education pupils.  
Introduced: 2/25/2009   Last Amend: 6/30/2009   
Status:  7/8/2009 – From ED.: Do pass.  To APPR..  

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.  The bill would require any adjustment made to per-unhoused-pupil grants for pupils who are qualifying individuals with exceptional needs pursuant to that methodology to be made on or after January 1, 2010.

Student Services

AB 434 (Block)  After school programs.  
Introduced: 2/24/2009   Last Amend: 6/1/2009  
Status: 7/8/2009 – Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Appropriations.

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.  The bill would also provide that facilities or space usage may fulfill not more than 15% of the required local contribution.

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.