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Bills On the Move

By Andrew Keller - September 18, 2009

 

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With the adjournment of the legislative session last Friday, a number of bills were sent to the Governor for his signature or veto. Below is a list of some of those bills.

Accountability & Assessment

AB 167 (Adams)  High school graduation: local requirements: foster children.
Introduced: 1/28/2009  Last Amend: 6/17/2009
Status: 9/8/2009-Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment. (Ayes 78. Noes 0. Page 3091.)

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 require a school district to exempt a pupil in foster care from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing board of the district that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements if the pupil, while he or she is in grade 11 or 12, transfers to the district from another school district or between high schools within the district, unless the district makes a finding that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the additional requirements in time to graduate from high school while he or she remains eligible for foster care benefits pursuant to state law.  The bill would require a school district to notify a pupil in foster care who is granted an exemption, and, as appropriate, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, if any of the requirements that are waived will affect the pupil's ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution, and to provide information about transfer opportunities available through the California Community Colleges.  This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

Pupil Related

AB 66 (Anderson)  Pupil work permits.
Introduced: 12/10/2008
Status: 9/8/2009-Enrolled and to the Governor at 2:45 p.m.

Summary: Existing law authorizes the superintendent of a school district in which a minor resides, the chief executive officer of a charter school, or specified school employees authorized by the superintendent or chief executive officer in writing, to issue a work permit to a pupil upon receipt of a written request from a parent, guardian, foster parent, or other specified person.  A superintendent of a school district also is authorized to designate the principal or another person having charge of a private school to issue work permits.  Existing law imposes limits on the number of hours per school day and per week that a pupil with a work permit may work.  This bill, in addition, would authorize the principal of a public or private school, subject to specified requirements and conditions, to issue, or designate another administrator in the school to issue, work permits to pupils who attend the school.  The bill would require that the hour limitations that apply to a work permit issued by any of the officials or employees authorized to issue work permits be based on the school calendar of the school the pupil attends.

 

AB 132 (Mendoza)  School safety: immigration investigations.
Introduced: 1/20/2009  Last Amend: 7/14/2009
Status: 9/9/2009-Assembly Rule 77 suspended. Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law recognizes that all pupils enrolled in the state public schools have the inalienable right to attend classes on school campuses that are safe, secure, and peaceful.  Existing law establishes various safety programs and procedures to address issues relating to school safety.  This bill would provide that it is the policy of the state that immigration agents should not interfere with the education of pupils in school.  The bill would specify, however, that this policy not impede or restrict any lawful authority of immigration agents.  The bill would, except as required by federal or state law, prohibit school officials and employees from collecting information or documents and from inquiring about the immigration status of pupils or their family members.  The bill would, if an employee of a school is aware that a pupil's parent or guardian is not available to care for the pupil, encourage the school to comply with certain procedures relating to procuring child care for the pupil.  The bill also would encourage schools to provide counseling services for pupils affected by enforcement activities of immigration agents, as specified.

 

SB 680 (Romero)  School attendance: interdistrict transfers.
Introduced: 2/27/2009  Last Amend: 9/2/2009
Status: 9/8/2009-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 38. Noes 0. Page 2272.) To enrollment.

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, and authorizes the governing board to ensure, by resolution, that pupils accepted for transfer are selected through a random, unbiased process that prohibits an evaluation of whether or not the pupil should be enrolled based upon his or her academic or athletic performance.  This bill would require any communication made by a participating school district to parents or guardians to be factually accurate and not target individual parents or guardians or residential neighborhoods on the basis of specified personal characteristics of pupils.  The bill would require a school district of choice, at its expense, to ensure that the auditor who conducts the annual financial audit of the district, as specified, reviews compliance with the requirements for a random, unbiased selection process and appropriate communications at the same time that he or she is conducting the annual audit, and would require the district to notify the auditor regarding this compliance review prior to the commencement of the annual audit.  This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

School Facilities

AB 146 (Mendoza)  Instructional materials: delivery.
Introduced: 1/22/2009  Last Amend: 9/1/2009
Status: 9/9/2009-Assembly Rule 77 suspended. Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt basic instructional materials for use in kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive. Every publisher or manufacturer of instructional materials offered for adoption or sale in California is required to comply with certain requirements, including guaranteeing delivery of textbooks and instructional materials prior to the opening of school in the year in which the textbooks and instructional materials are to be used if they are ordered by a date or dates specified in the contract with the district.  This bill would require a publisher or manufacturer of instructional materials offered for adoption or sale in California to guarantee delivery, if applicable, by the date specified in the contract with the district and would make a publisher or manufacturer that fails to deliver instructional materials within 60 days of the receipt of a purchase order from a school district liable for damages in the amount of $500 for each working day that the order is delayed beyond 60 calendar days unless there is a natural disaster, terrorist attack, act of war, or worker strike that prevents the normal transit of instructional materials, resulting in their late delivery, or if there is a delay in implementation of governing board requirements, as specified.  This requirement would apply only to contracts with districts enrolling 25,000 or fewer pupils.

School Finance

AB 8 (Brownley)  Education finance: working group.
Introduced: 12/1/2008 Last Amend: 9/3/2009
Status: 9/10/2009-In Assembly.  Concurrence in Senate amendments pending.  Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment.

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.  The 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.  This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

 

SB 84 (Steinberg)  Education finance.
Introduced: 1/20/2009  Last Amend: 9/10/2009
Status: 9/11/2009-In Senate.  Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 25. Noes 11.)  To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law appropriates the sum of $402,000,000 from the General Fund to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the 2009-10 fiscal year to be allocated to school sites selected to participate in the Quality Education Investment Act program, as specified.  Existing law requires the Superintendent, for each school district and chartering authority receiving an allocation pursuant to these provisions, to reduce its revenue limit or its general purpose entitlement, as specified, for the 2009-10 school year by the amount of the allocation received pursuant to these provisions.  This bill would condition this reduction upon certification by the Superintendent that an equivalent amount of additional federal or state funds that may be used by a school district or chartering authority for revenue limit or general purpose uses have been made available to the school district or chartering authority.  The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Director of Finance to report to the Legislature by March 1, 2010, the amount of the reductions specified in the bill that will not be eligible for restoration with available federal funding.  This bill contains other related provisions.

Teacher Related

AB 1 (Monning)  Teachers: program of professional growth: conflict resolution.
Introduced: 12/1/2008
Status: 8/31/2009-Enrolled and to the Governor at 5:15 p.m.

Summary: Existing law requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to establish standards and procedures for the issuance and renewal of teaching credentials.  Existing law expresses the Legislature's intent to encourage teachers to engage in an individual program of professional growth that extends a teacher's content knowledge and teaching skills.  Existing law provides that an individualized program of professional growth may consist of specified activities and courses.  This bill would specify that an individualized program of professional growth may include a course in negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution, including peer mediation training and the theory and practice of nonviolence. The bill would specify that the course may include basic negotiation skills, communication skills, basic mediation and peer mediation, and theory and practice of nonviolence and peace building.

Editor's Note: Andrew Keller is the Legislative Assistant for Governmental Solutions Group, LLC.