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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - April 29, 2010

 

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Over 50 bills passed across the desks of members of the Senate and Assembly Education Committees on Wednesday, April 21st.  Several of these pieces of legislation seek substantial changes to K-12 and higher education policy.  Here is a breakdown of the more ambitious measures that passed the first test of the Legislature.

Finance

AB 2252 (Torrico D) California state preschool programs: funding.  
Introduced: 2/18/2010  Last Amended: 4/5/2010
Status: 4/22/2010-From committee: Do pass, and re-refer to Com. on APPR. Re-referred. (Ayes 6. Noes 3.) (April 21).

Summary: Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer all California state preschool programs, including, but not limited to, part-day and full-day age and developmentally appropriate programs for three- and four-year-old children who meet certain eligibility requirements.  This bill, commencing with the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012, would continuously appropriate to the Superintendent from the General Fund an amount sufficient to enroll all three- and four-year-old children of families who meet eligibility requirements and who request enrollment.  The bill would also specify the intent of the Legislature to impose a tax for purposes of fully funding California state preschool programs.

 

SB 1143 (Liu D) Community college funding.  
Introduced: 2/18/2010  Last Amended: 4/5/2010
Status: 4/22/2010-From committee: Do pass, but first be re-referred to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 7. Noes 0. Page 3295.) Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

Summary: Existing law establishes the California Community Colleges, under the administration of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, as one of the three segments of public postsecondary education in this state.  Existing law establishes a system of funding community colleges pursuant to which calculations based on the number of full-time equivalent students (FTES) enrolled in classes at the colleges are a major factor.  This bill would require the board of governors to calculate FTES using the average active enrollment in a course as of a specified census date and at course completion.  The bill would authorize the board of governors to adopt an alternative and equivalent calculation method for designated types of courses.  The bill would require that a decrease in FTES in a district that is due solely to a change in calculation required by this bill shall not result in a reduction in the general apportionment made to that district prior to the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 1967 (Mendoza D) Pupil admission: kindergarten and first grade.  
Introduced: 2/17/2010  Last Amended: 4/12/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-Do pass as amended and be re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

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 6th birthday on or before December 2 of that school year.  This bill would change the required birthday for admission to kindergarten to September 1 commencing with the 2012-13 school year, and for admission to first grade to September 1 commencing with the 2013-14 school year.  The bill, commencing with the 2012-13 school year, would authorize a child who will have his or her fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2 to be admitted to a prekindergarten maintained by the school district and would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to allocate to a school district that maintains a prekindergarten program an amount equal to the revenue limit amount that the district would have received for the attendance of these pupils if they would have been eligible to attend kindergarten that year pursuant to the law governing admission to kindergarten as it read on January 1, 2012.  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 provisions.

 

AB 2272 (Block D) Education: class size.  
Introduced: 2/18/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-Do pass as amended and be re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Summary: Existing law provides that school districts that implement a class size reduction program are subject to specified requirements relating to grade levels to receive funding to implement the program.  The governing board of a school district is required to certify to the Superintendent of Public Instruction that it has met the requirements.  If a school district receives class reduction funding but does not implement its class size reduction program for all grades and classes for which it received funding, the Superintendent is required to notify the Controller and the school district in writing and the Controller is required to deduct an amount equal to the amount received by the school district that the school district failed to reduce, as specified, subject to Constitutional limitation.  This bill would make various specified changes in the formulas for determining the amount of funding deducted by the school district for failure to comply with the class reduction program.

 

AB 2446 (Furutani D) Graduation requirements.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 4/13/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law prohibits a pupil from receiving a diploma of graduation from high school unless he or she completes specified requirements, including, but not limited to, completing one course in visual or performing arts or foreign language.  This bill, commencing with the 2011-12 school year and until July 1, 2016, would add completion of a course in career technical education, as defined, as an alternative to the requirement that a pupil complete a course in visual or performing arts or foreign language.

 

SB 1440 (Padilla D) California Community Colleges: student transfer.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 4/15/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Appropriations.

Summary: Existing law establishes the three segments of public postsecondary education in this state.  These segments include the California State University, the campuses of which are administered by the Trustees of the California State University, the University of California, which is administered by the Regents of the University of California, and the California Community Colleges, which are administered by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.  This bill would enact the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act, which would require a community college district to grant an associate degree to a student in his or her field of study that would deem the student eligible for transfer into a California State University baccalaureate program when the student meets prescribed requirements.  This bill would prohibit a community college district from imposing any requirements, in addition to these requirements, for a student to be eligible for the associate degree.  This bill would prohibit remedial noncollegiate level coursework from being counted towards the units required for the associate degree.  This bill would require the California State University to guarantee admission with junior status to any community college student who meets the requirements for the associate degree.  This bill would not guarantee a student admission for specified majors or campuses, but would require the California State University to grant a student priority admission to a program or major that is similar to his or her community college major or area of emphasis.  This bill would authorize the California State University to require a transferring student to take additional coursework in specified circumstances.  This bill would prohibit the California State University from requiring a transferring student to repeat courses that are similar to those taken at the community college that counted towards the units required for the associate degree.  This bill contains other provisions.

Human Resources

AB 2219 (Fuentes D) School employees.  
Introduced: 2/18/2010  Last Amended: 4/19/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing.

Summary: Existing law provides a certificated employee of a school district who is subject to a dismissal or suspension proceeding with the right to demand a hearing conducted by a Commission on Professional Competence and specifies the procedural requirements for conducting the hearing.  This bill requires the costs of the hearing to be shared between the employee and the district, rather than one or the other, and in the event of the employee’s exoneration requires the district to reimburse the employee for expenses related to the hearing. (Editor’s note: Watch this bill in the coming weeks for possible major changes.)

 

SB 955 (Huff R) School districts.  
Introduced: 2/4/2010  Last Amended: 4/13/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-Do pass as amended.

Summary: Existing law provides that, after a certificated employee of a school district with an average daily attendance of 250 or more completes two consecutive years and is reelected for the next succeeding school year to a position requiring certification, the employee becomes and is classified as a permanent employee of the school district.  Existing law additionally requires the governing board of a school district to notify the employee on or before March 15 of the employee's second year of probation of the governing board's decision whether to reelect or not reelect the employee for the next succeeding school year to the position.  This bill would change the notification deadline from March 15 to June 15 of the employee's second year of probation.  This bill contains other provisions.

Miscellaneous

AB 2320 (Swanson D) Charter schools: accountability.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 4/8/2010
Status: 4/23/2010-Failed Deadline pursuant to Rule 61(b)(5). (Last location was L. GOV. on 4/22/2010)

Summary: The Charter Schools Act of 1992 (Charter Schools Act) 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 goals.  The act prohibits the governing board of a school district from denying a charter petition unless it makes one of several specified written factual findings, including, among others, that the petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive descriptions of several specified items.  This bill would add various items to that list requiring reasonably comprehensive descriptions, as specified.  This bill contains other provisions.

 

AB 2454 (Torlakson D) Pupil health.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 4/13/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-Do pass as amended and be re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations.

Summary: Existing law requires the governing board of any school district to give diligent care to the health of pupils, and authorizes school boards to employ properly certified persons for the work.  This bill , on and after July 1, 2020, would require the governing board of a school district to employ at least one school nurse, registered nurse , or licensed vocational nurse for every 750 pupils.  The bill would require registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses to provide health care services to pupils under the supervision of a school nurse. This bill contains other provisions.

 

SB 1300 (Correa D) Pupils: teen dating violence prevention.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010
Status: 4/22/2010-From committee: Do pass, but first be re-referred to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 6. Noes 1. Page 3295.) Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

Summary: Existing law requires a school district that provides instruction to pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to provide an adopted course of study to those pupils, as specified.  Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt content standards in certain curriculum areas.  This bill would authorize a school district to provide teen dating violence prevention education consisting of age-appropriate instruction, as developed by the state board pursuant to the bill, as part of the sexual health and health education program it provides to pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive.  The bill would authorize a school district to use school district personnel or outside consultants who are trained in the appropriate courses to provide this additional instruction.  The bill would specify the required content and criteria for this additional instruction and any associated materials if a school district elects to provide it.  The bill would provide that a parent or guardian of a pupil has the right to excuse his or her child from all or part of the teen dating violence prevention education and any assessments related to it, and would prescribe the procedure for a parent or guardian to exercise that right.  This bill contains other provisions.

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