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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - May 20, 2010

 

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With the Governor’s revision to the budget sucking up all the political air in Sacramento, most bills with fiscal implications have been held up in the suspense files of both houses’ appropriations committees. Expect to see some intense lobbying in the coming weeks. Here is a breakdown of the more consequential measures stuck in appropriations committees.

 

Finance

AB 1683 (Torres D) Education: finance.
Introduced: 1/26/2010
Status: 4/21/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law requires applicants or contracting agencies that operate a state preschool program to give first priority for participation to neglected or abused children who are recipients of child protective services, or recipients who are at risk of being neglected or abused, as specified.  This bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature regarding children of youth who are in custody, on probation, or are in the foster care system.  The bill would require priority for participation in state preschool programs also to be given to children who have a biological custodial parent who is, or who has been within the previous 6 months, a dependent or ward of the juvenile court pursuant to specified provisions of law.  The bill would prohibit priority enrollment from being used to displace children who are currently receiving care.

 

AB 2335 (Brownley D) Education finance: school-based financial reporting system.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 4/27/2010
Status: 5/12/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

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.  This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to study prescribed topics relating to the statutory, regulatory, ministerial, and programmatic changes that would be necessary to support the development, implementation, and use of comprehensive school-level financial data and to make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor about these topics on or before December 1, 2011.  These provisions would be repealed on December 1, 2015.

 

SB 1136 (Cox R) Education finance: revenue limit apportionments.   
Introduced: 2/18/2010  Last Amended: 4/19/2010
Status: 5/11/2010-Placed on APPR suspense file.

Summary: Existing law requires the Controller to draw warrants on the State Treasury in favor of the county treasurer of each county in each month of each year in prescribed amounts and in a prescribed manner.  Commencing with the 2008-09 fiscal year, existing law requires the warrants for the principal apportionments for the month of February in the amount of $2,000,000,000 to be drawn in July of the same calendar year, and requires those warrants to be applied toward the minimum funding requirements for school districts and community college districts imposed by Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution for the year in which they are drawn.  This bill, notwithstanding the provisions described above, would prohibit a school district's apportionment deferral from exceeding the school district's required reserve for economic uncertainties if the school district meets specified criteria.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 1922 (Davis D) Civil rights education: California Civil Rights Education Commission.  
Introduced: 2/16/2010  Last Amended: 4/14/2010
Status: 5/5/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law establishes the system of public elementary and secondary schools in this state.  Existing law establishes courses of study to be pursued by elementary and secondary school pupils.  The State Department of Education is required to incorporate, into publications that provide examples of curriculum resources for teacher use, those materials that are age-appropriate and consistent with subject frameworks on history and social science that deal with civil rights, human rights violations, genocide, slavery, and the Holocaust.  This bill would establish the 15-member California Civil Rights Education Commission in state government.  The bill would authorize the commission to study and provide assistance and advice to the State Board of Education with respect to the inclusion of civil rights education in the history-social science framework and criteria for evaluating instructional materials.  The bill would require the commission to study and review the history-social science framework developed by the History-Social Science Curriculum Framework and Criteria Committee of the state board, and advise the state board and the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission on the inclusion of civil rights education in the history-social science framework and criteria for evaluating instructional materials.

 

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.

 

Human Resources

AB 2027 (Blumenfield D) Online education: school attendance.  
Introduced: 2/17/2010  Last Amended: 4/28/2010
Status: 5/19/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

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 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.  This bill, commencing with the 2011-12 fiscal year, would provide that school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools that offer online education courses may claim attendance toward average daily attendance on the basis of a pupil's attendance in an online class or classes that satisfy prescribed criteria.

 

Facilities

AB 1605 (Coto D) School facilities: plan review.  
Introduced: 1/6/2010  Last Amended: 4/27/2010
Status: 5/12/2010-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: The Department of General Services is required to supervise the design and construction of school buildings to ensure that plans and specifications comply with various structural safety standards, and requires the department to pass upon and approve or reject all plans for the construction or modernization of any school building.  A local educational agency that submits a plan is required to pay a filing fee to the department, which is paid into the State Treasury and credited to the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction Review Revolving Fund, a continuously appropriated fund.  This bill would specify that an employee funded by those fees is exempt from any furlough implemented by any state agency, board, or commission.  The bill would require the department to complete and return its initial review of a school construction or modernization plan within a specified number of days, depending on the estimated cost of the project, from the date the local educational agency submitted the plan.

 

SB 1413 (Leno D) Schools: food service areas: water.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010
Status: 5/11/2010-Placed on APPR suspense file.

Summary: Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to establish cafeterias in the schools under its jurisdiction whenever in its judgment it is advisable to do so and to make the cost of water, electricity, gas, coal, wood, fuel oil, and garbage disposal a charge against the funds of the school district.  This bill would require a school district to provide access to free, fresh drinking water in school food service areas by January 1, 2012.

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