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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - September 2, 2010

 

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Tuesday night, August 31st, was the deadline for any bill to be passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor.  In traditional last-minute fashion, legislators debated bills on both the Assembly and Senate floors right up until the clock struck midnight.  New bills came up, old bills died, and some bills even found themselves rewritten into other bills.  Below are the summaries of the major bills that survived the deadline, and now sit before the Governor.

 

Finance

SB 1425 (Simitian D) Public retirement: final compensation: computation: retirees.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/19/2010
Status: 8/31/2010-In Senate. Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 36. Noes 0.) To enrollment.

Summary: The Public Employees' Retirement Law (PERL) creates the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), which provides a defined benefit to its members based on age at retirement, service credit, and final compensation.  PERL defines “final compensation” for purposes of calculating a member's retirement allowance.  The State Teachers' Retirement Law (STRL) and the retirement laws for county employees and city employees also provide for a defined benefit based on age at retirement, service credit, and final compensation.  This bill would provide that any change in salary, compensation, or remuneration principally for the purpose of enhancing a member's benefits would not be included in the calculation of a member's final compensation for purposes of determining that member's defined benefit.  The bill would generally require the board of each state and local public retirement system to establish, by regulation, accountability provisions that would include an ongoing audit process to ensure that a change in a member's salary, compensation, or remuneration is not made principally for the purpose of enhancing a member's retirement benefits.  This bill would revise the definition of “creditable compensation” and would limit the calculation of a member's final compensation to an amount not to exceed the average increase in compensation received within the final compensation period and the two preceding years by employees in the same or a related group as that member.  This bill would also require a board of each state and local public retirement system to establish, by regulation, a requirement that a person who retires on or after January 1, 2012, may not perform services for any employer covered by a state or local retirement system until that person has been separated from service for a period of at least 180 days.  This bill would provide for the implementation of these required changes under the laws that govern PERS and STRL.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 2446 (Furutani D) Graduation requirements.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/31/2010
Status: 8/31/2010-In Assembly.  Concurrence in Senate amendments pending. Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment.

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.  This bill would provide that if the governing board of a school district or county office of education elects to offer career technical education courses pursuant to these provisions, that prior to offering these career technical education courses, the governing board of the school district or county office of education would be required, at a regularly scheduled board meeting, to provide parents, teachers, pupils, and the public with specified information relating to the impact that offering these courses would have on graduation requirements and admission requirements to the California State University and the University of California.  The bill would require the California Department of Education to report to the Legislature, on or before January 1, 2015, specified information relating to this alternative means of satisfying the requirement.  The bill would authorize the Superintendent of Public Instruction to use existing state resources and federal funds for purposes of completing the report, and to apply for and receive grants and donations if existing resources are not available or sufficient.

 

AB 2694 (Blumenfield D) Instructional materials.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 6/30/2010
Status: 8/25/2010-Assembly Rule 77 suspended. Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment.

Summary:  Existing law provides for the adoption and selection of instructional materials for use in the elementary and secondary schools and defines “supplementary instructional materials” as instructional materials that, for a given subject and at a given grade level, provide for meeting the various learning ability levels of pupils, or meeting the diverse educational needs of pupils with a language disability or of pupils reflective of a condition of cultural pluralism, or that provide more complete coverage of a subject or subjects included in a given course.  This bill would include in the definition of “supplementary instructional materials” instructional materials that use current relevant technology that further engages interactive learning in the classroom and beyond and would require the governing board of a school district, when adopting instructional materials for use in schools, to include relevant technology-based materials, as defined, if the materials are both available and comparable to other, equivalent instructional materials, as defined.

 

SB 1444 (Hancock D) Pupil instruction: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 6/22/2010
Status: 8/25/2010-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 35. Noes 0.) To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 1 to 6, inclusive, and for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to offer courses in specified areas of study, including mathematics and science.  This bill would set forth various findings and declarations of the Legislature relating to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.  The bill would define STEM education as courses or a sequence of courses that prepare pupils for occupations and careers that require technically sophisticated skills, including the application of mathematical and scientific skills and concepts, as specified, and would express the Legislature's intent that the Superintendent of Public Instruction allocate funds designated for STEM education consistent with the definitions set forth in the bill.

 

SB 1451 (Yee D) Education: instructional materials.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/19/2010
Status: 8/31/2010-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 21. Noes 13.) To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law provides that the California Board of Education must adopt regulations to govern the social content reviews, as specified, conducted at the request of a publisher or manufacturer of instructional materials outside the primary and follow-up instructional material adoption processes.  This bill would require the state board to inform the Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Education, the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Education, and the Secretary for Education of content that it interprets to be the result of certain changes made to the Texas Administrative Code.  The bill would repeal this provision on January 1, 2016.  The bill would also require the state board, upon the next adoption of the history-social science curriculum framework, to ensure that the framework is consistent with specified standards governing instructional materials.

 

Human Resources

AB 827 (De La Torre D) Local public employees.  
Introduced: 2/26/2009  Last Amended: 8/27/2010
Status: 8/31/2010-From committee: With recommendation: That Senate amendments be concurred in. (Ayes 6. Noes 1.) (August 31). Urgency clause adopted. Senate amendments concurred in. To enrollment.

Summary: The Meyers-Milias-Brown Act contains various provisions that govern collective bargaining of local represented employees.  The Ralph M. Brown Act requires that all meetings of a legislative body of a local agency be open and public and all persons be permitted to attend unless a closed session is authorized.  Existing law requires all contracts of employment between an employee and a local agency employer to include a provision which provides that regardless of the term of the contract, if the contract is terminated, the maximum cash settlement that an employee may receive shall be an amount equal to the monthly salary of the employee multiplied by the number of months left on the unexpired term of the contract, with a maximum of 18 months.  This bill would, on and after January 1, 2011, additionally prohibit an employment contract for a local excluded employee, as defined, from including any clause that provides for an automatic renewal, an automatic compensation increase, as specified, or an automatic compensation increase in excess of a cost-of-living adjustment.  The bill would also require the local agency, as defined, to complete a performance review of any excluded employee, as defined, before an increase in compensation in excess of a cost-of-living adjustment may be implemented for that individual.  The bill would also specify that those records, procedures, and actions shall conform to the requirements of law, including, but not limited to, the Public Records Act and the Ralph M. Brown Act.  By expanding the duties of local officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

 

AB 1651 (De La Torre D) Public Employees' Retirement Law: furloughs: retirement credit.  
Introduced: 1/13/2010  Last Amended: 5/28/2010
Status: 8/23/2010-In Assembly. To enrollment.

Summary: The Public Employees' Retirement Law provides retirement benefits based upon a member's final compensation and years of credited service.  That law provides that members in the personal leave program shall receive credit for service that would have been credited had the employee not been in the personal leave program.  This bill would provide that the calculations for retirement allowances, under the Public Employees' Retirement Law, for specified local safety members and persons who are employees of specified educational entities and who are subject to mandatory furloughs shall include, as credit for service and compensation, the amount of service and compensation that would have been credited and paid had the employee not been subject to mandatory furloughs on or after July 1, 2008, as specified.

 

Facilities

SB 1157 (DeSaulnier D) Education: Healthy Schools Act of 2010.  
Introduced:2/18/2010  Last Amended: 8/20/2010
Status: 8/26/2010-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 22. Noes 13.) To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law generally regulates pesticide use and requires the Department of Pesticide Regulation to promote and facilitate the voluntary adoption of integrated pest management by school districts.  Existing law requires every person who sells a pesticide product for use in this state that has been registered by the Director of Pesticide Regulation to pay an assessment at a specified rate.  This bill, commencing January 1, 2014, would require all school sites, as defined, to adopt an integrated pest management program as established, administered, and enforced by the department.  This bill would also require, beginning January 1, 2012, that the rate of the assessment on registered pesticide products be augmented to reimburse the department, local agencies, and school districts for the cost of adopting integrated pest management programs at school sites.

 

SB 1473 (Wyland R) School facilities bond proceeds: performance audits. 
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/9/2010
Status: 8/26/2010-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 32. Noes 0.) To enrollment.

Summary: The California Constitution limits the maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property to 1% of the full cash value of the property. The California Constitution states that the 1% limitation for ad valorem taxes does not apply to ad valorem taxes or assessments to pay the interest and redemption charges on bonded indebtedness incurred by a school district, community college district, or county office of education for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities approved by 55% of the voters if the proposition includes specified accountability requirements.  The accountability requirements include a requirement that the governing board of either the school district or community college district or the county office of education conduct an annual, independent performance audit to ensure that the funds are expended only on the specific projects listed in the proposition authorizing the sale of the bonds.  This bill would require a financial and performance audit to be conducted in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 1841 (Buchanan D) Special education: parental consent. 
Introduced: 2/12/2010  Last Amended: 6/3/2010
Status: 8/26/2010-Enrolled and to the Governor at 3 p.m.

Summary: Existing law, in defining the term “consent” for purposes of the provision of special education and related services to individuals with exceptional needs, includes in that definition a statement that a parent or guardian understands that granting consent is voluntary and he or she may revoke that consent at any time.  Existing law provides that revocation of consent is not retroactive to negate an action that occurred after consent was given and prior to the revocation.  This bill, in addition, would provide that a public agency is not required to amend the education records of a child to remove any reference to the child's receipt of special education and services if the child's parent or guardian submits a written revocation of consent after the initial provision of special education and related services to the child.

 

AB 1854 (Ammiano D) School attendance: residency requirements.  
Introduced: 2/12/2010  Last Amended: 6/30/2010
Status: 8/20/2010-Senate amendments concurred in.  To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law requires a person between 6 and 18 years of age not otherwise exempted to attend the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes in the school district where the person's parent or legal guardian is located.  Existing law provides various exceptions to this residency requirement, including, but not limited to, authorizing a pupil to attend school in a school district in which his or her parent or guardian is employed.  This bill would require a school district to accept a wide range of documents and representations from the parent or guardian of a pupil as reasonable evidence that the pupil meets those residency requirements, including, but not limited to, property tax payment receipts, rental property contract, lease, or payment receipts, utility service contract, lease, or payment receipts, pay stubs, voter registration, correspondence from a government agency, and a declaration of residency executed by the parent or guardian of a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, as defined.  The bill, if an employee of a school district reasonably believes that the parent or guardian of a pupil has provided false or unreliable evidence of residency, would authorize a school district to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the pupil actually meets the residency requirements.

 

SB 1317 (Leno D) Truancy.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/9/2010
Status: 8/31/2010-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 22. Noes 12.) To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law defines a truant as any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse three full days in one school year, or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof.  This bill would define a chronic truant as any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuing education who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 10% or more of the schooldays in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, provided that the appropriate school district officer or employee has complied with specified provisions of law.

 

SB 1357 (Steinberg D) California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/20/2010
Status: 8/26/2010-Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 36. Noes 0.)  To enrollment.

Summary: Existing law establishes the California Education Information System, which consists of the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) and the California Longitudinal Teacher Integrated Data Education System.  Existing law requires the California Department of Education under CALPADS to contract for the development of proposals that will provide for the retention and analysis of longitudinal pupil achievement data.  Existing law requires local educational agencies to retain individual pupil records for each test taker, including other data elements deemed necessary by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with approval of the State Board of Education, to comply with federal reporting requirements delineated in the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. T his bill would require the department, contingent on federal funding for this purpose and in consultation with the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst's Office, to prepare CALPADS to include data on a quarterly rate of pupil attendance.  The bill would require that CALPADS be capable of issuing to local educational agencies periodic reports on district, school, class, and individual pupil rates of absence and chronic absentees, as defined.  The bill would state the intent of the Legislature to support the development of early warning systems to identify and support individual pupils who are at risk of academic failure or of dropping out of school.

 

SB 1381 (Simitian D) Kindergarten: age of admission.  
Introduced: 2/19/2010  Last Amended: 8/30/2010
Status: 8/31/2010-In Senate. Re-referred to Com. on APPR pursuant to Senate Rule 29.10. From committee: That the Assembly amendments be concurred in. Senate concurs in Assembly amendments. (Ayes 21. Noes 15.) To enrollment.

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, and would require a child whose admission to a traditional kindergarten is delayed to be admitted to a transitional kindergarten program, as defined.  The bill would require pupils who are participating in transitional kindergarten to be included in computing the average daily attendance of a school district in accordance with specified requirements.  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.