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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - July 1, 2010

 

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With the July 2nd deadline for bills to pass out of policy committees fast approaching, legislators pushed over 50 bills through the education committees on Wednesday. Some major bills made it through, including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s controversial SB 1285 dealing with teacher layoffs. Here are summaries of a few of the bills moving forward.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 2027 (Blumenfield D) Online education: school attendance.  
Introduced: 2/17/2010  Last Amended: 5/28/2010
Status: 6/30/2010-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, 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 2012-13 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.

 

AB 2446 (Furutani D) Graduation requirements.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 5/28/2010
Status: 6/30/2010-Do pass as amended, and re-refer to the Committee on Appropriations.

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.  The bill would require the California Department of Education to report to the Legislature, on or before January 1, 2015, the number of pupils who took a career technical education course in order to fulfill this graduation requirement.

 

Human Resources

SB 1285 (Steinberg D) Education employment.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 6/22/2010
Status: 6/30/2010-Senate Education: Passed (Ayes 6. Noes 2.)

Summary:  Existing law requires the county superintendent of schools to visit and examine each school in his or her county at reasonable intervals to observe its operation and learn of its problems.  Existing law requires that these visits be conducted for specified purposes relating to school safety, pupil instruction, and the accuracy of specified data.  This bill would additionally require that these visits determine the extent to which the percentage of teachers in each school who are in their first or second year of teaching exceeds or falls below the percentage of teachers in the district who are in their first or second year of teaching, as specified.

 

SB 1422 (Romero D) Teachers: pupil survey.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 4/19/2010
Status: 6/30/2010-Senate Education: Passed (Ayes 8. Noes 0.)

Summary:  Existing law requires the governing board of each school district to evaluate and assess certificated employee performance as it reasonably relates to the progress of pupils toward the standards of expected pupil achievement and the state adopted academic content standards, the instructional techniques and strategies used by the employee, the employee's adherence to curricular objectives, and the establishment and maintenance of a suitable learning environment.  This bill would authorize the student government of a school maintaining any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, to establish a committee of pupils and teachers to develop a survey by which pupils may provide feedback to teachers.  The survey would be required to solicit pupil opinion on different aspects of a class and the effectiveness of the teacher of the class.  The survey would be provided annually to teachers who would survey the pupils in the classes they teach.  Survey responses would be confidential and made known only to the teacher whose class is surveyed.  Administrators and school or district officials would be prohibited from viewing or having access to any completed pupil survey without the express written consent of the teacher to whom the survey relates.  The surveys would be prohibited from becoming part of a teacher's personnel record, from being included in or used to influence the existing teacher evaluation process, and from being used for collective bargaining purposes.

 

Facilities

AB 220 (Brownley D) Public education facilities: Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act.  
Introduced: 2/4/2009  Last Amended: 6/23/2010
Status: 6/30/2010-From committee: Do pass, and re-refer to Com. on APPR. Re-referred. (Ayes 6. Noes 1.) (June 30).

Summary: Existing law, the California Constitution, prohibits the Legislature from creating a debt or liability that singly or in the aggregate with any previous debts or liabilities exceeds the sum of $300,000, except by an act that (A) authorizes the debt for a single object or work specified in the act, (B) has been passed by a 2/3rds vote of all the members elected to each house of the Legislature, (C) has been submitted to the people at a statewide general or primary election, and (D) has received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at that election.  This bill would enact the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2010, to become operative only if approved by the voters at the November 2, 2010, statewide general election, and would provide for the submission of that act to the voters at that election.  The bond act, if approved by the voters, would provide for the issuance of $6,100,000,000 of the general obligation bonds to provide aid to school districts, county superintendents of schools, and county boards of education, the California Community Colleges, the University of California, the Hastings College of the Law, and the California State University to construct and modernize education facilities.

 

SB 1381 (Simitian D) Kindergarten: age of admission. 
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 6/1/2010
Status: 6/30/2010-Senate Education: Passed (Ayes 6. Noes 2.)

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 admission to kindergarten and first grade to November 1 for the 2012-13 school year, October 1 for the 2013-14 school year, and September 1 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.

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