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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - February 19, 2010

 

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As the February 19th deadline for introducing bills approached, Legislators crammed hundreds of new bills into the Senate and Assembly. While the focus in the coming months will almost certainly remain fixed on the budget deficit, plenty of education issues are floating around for debate as well. Here are a few of the more interesting bills to keep an eye on this year.

 

Finance

AB 1851 (Norby) Education finance: inflation adjustment to revenue limits.
Introduced: 2/12/2010
Status: 2/16/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee March 18.

Summary: Existing law establishes the public elementary and secondary school system in this state, and further establishes a funding system pursuant to which the state apportions funds to local educational agencies in accordance with district revenue limits, the calculation of which is partly based on the average daily attendance of pupils at the schools operated by those agencies. Numerous statutes and regulations govern the calculation and reporting of average daily attendance. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to calculate an annual inflation adjustment to these district revenue limits, and specifies the computations necessary to make this calculation. This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes in the provision relating to the calculation of the annual inflation adjustment.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 1741 (Coto) High school graduation requirements.  
Introduced: 2/8/2010
Status: 2/9/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee March 11.

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 that includes least two courses in mathematics and two courses in science. This bill, commencing with the 2014-15 school year, would require a pupil to complete three courses in mathematics, at least one of which meets or exceeds the rigor of the content standards for algebra II, trigonometry, precalculus, calculus, or statistics and probability, as adopted by the state board. The bill, commencing with the 2014-15 school year, would also require a pupil to complete three courses in science, at least one of which meets or exceeds the rigor of the content standards for chemistry, engineering, physics, or computer science, as adopted by the state board. The bill would set forth specified findings and declarations of the Legislature. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

 

AB 1895 (Ruskin) Postsecondary education: Donahoe Higher Education Act.  
Introduced: 2/16/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee March 19.

Summary: Existing law, known as the Donahoe Higher Education Act, sets forth, among other things, the missions and functions of California's public and independent segments of higher education, and their respective institutions of higher education, in the context of the goals of the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. Among other things, the act expresses legislative intent to outline in statute the broad policy and programmatic goals of the master plan and to expect the higher education segments to be accountable for attaining those goals. The act also expresses legislative intent that the governing boards of the higher education segments be given ample discretion in implementing policies and programs necessary to attain those goals. This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to those expressions of legislative intent relative to attaining the goals of the Master Plan for Higher Education.

 

AB 1901 (Ruskin) Postsecondary education: Master Plan for Higher Education.  
Introduced: 2/16/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee March 19.

Summary: Existing law, known as the Donahoe Higher Education Act, sets forth, among other things, the missions and functions of California's public and independent segments of higher education, and their respective institutions of higher education, in the context of the goals of the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. Among other things, the act expresses legislative intent to outline in statute the broad policy and programmatic goals of the master plan and to expect the higher education segments to be accountable for attaining those goals. The act also expresses legislative intent that the governing boards of the higher education segments be given ample discretion in implementing policies and programs necessary to attain those goals. This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to address the goals of the Master Plan for Higher Education.

 

AB 1907 (Cook) Charter schools: instruction.  
Introduced: 2/16/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee March 19.

Summary: Existing law defines nonclassroom-based instruction to include, but not to be limited to, independent study, home study, work study, and distance and computer-based education. Existing law requires a charter school that provides independent study to comply with specified provisions relating to independent study. This bill would specify that a charter school offering nonclassroom-based instruction is not required to comply with specified provisions relating to independent study except to the extent that the charter school provides independent study.

 

SB 1045 (Alquist) Donahoe Higher Education Act.  
Introduced: 2/16/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-From print. May be acted upon on or after March 19.

Summary: Existing law, the Donahoe Higher Education Act, sets forth, among other things, the missions and functions of California's public and independent segments of higher education, and their respective institutions of higher education. Among other things, the act identifies common educational missions shared by educational institutions in California, and differentiates more specific missions and functions among the various educational segments. This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 1909 (Nestande) Charter schools: community college governing boards.
Introduced: 2/16/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee March 19.

Summary: The Charter Schools Act of 1992 permits teachers and parents to petition the governing board of a school district to approve a charter school to operate independently from the existing school district structure as a method of accomplishing, among other things, improved pupil learning. A charter petition is required to be signed by a specified number of teachers or parents who are meaningfully interested in either enrolling their children in the school or teaching at the school. This bill would authorize a petition to establish a charter school to be submitted for approval to the governing board of a community college district if the petition proposes the operation of a charter school within the county in which the university or community college maintains a campus. The governing board of a community college district would be authorized to grant a petition submitted to it for approval. The governing board of a community college district that grants a charter petition would be required to assume all of the duties, responsibilities, functions, and obligations that the governing board of a school district assumes when it grants a charter petition. A charter school established as specified in the bill would be required to receive the state aid portion of the charter school's total general-purpose entitlement, categorical block grant, other state and federal categorical aid, and lottery funds directly. This bill contains other existing laws.

 

AB 1967 (Mendoza) Pupil admission: kindergarten and first grade.  
Introduced: 2/17/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-Read first time. To print.

Summary: Existing law requires that a child be admitted to kindergarten at the beginning of a school year, or at any time later in the same year if the child will have his or her fifth birthday on or before December 2 of that school year. An elementary school is required to admit a child to the first grade during the first month of a school year if the child will have his or her sixth birthday on or before December 2 of that school year. This bill would change the required birthday for kindergarten and first grade admission to November 2 for the 2012-13 school year, October 2 for the 2013-14 school year, and September 2 for the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter. To the extent those changes establish new administrative duties on the governing boards of school districts in implementing the changes, they would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

 

AB 1991 (Arambula) Charter schools: accountability standards.  
Introduced: 2/17/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-Read first time. To print.

Summary: The Charter Schools Act of 1992 authorizes any one or more persons to submit a petition to the governing board of a school district to establish a charter school that operates independently from the existing school district structure as a method of accomplishing specified educational goals. This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would specify accountability standards for pupil outcomes in charter schools and require charter schools to meet those standards.

 

AB 2034 (Knight) Public school volunteers: persons convicted of sex or controlled substance offenses.  
Introduced: 2/17/2010
Status: 2/17/2010-Read first time. To print.

Summary: Existing law prohibits school district governing boards from employing or retaining in employment persons in public school service who have been convicted of a designated sex offense or controlled substance offense unless the conviction is reversed and the person is acquitted of the offense in a new trial, or the charges against him or her are dismissed. This bill would also prohibit school district governing boards from allowing persons who have been convicted of these offenses, and who have not been subsequently acquitted or had the charges against them dismissed, from voluntarily participating in school activities. Because this bill would impose new duties on school districts, it would constitute a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

Editor's Note: Andrew Keller is the Legislative Assistant for Governmental Solutions Group, LLC, a policy consulting and legislative advocacy firm.