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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - December 9, 2010

 

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The 2011-12 legislative session is underway as of December 6th.  Legislators are already wading into dangerous waters with two bills aimed at reforming teacher evaluations.  Other bills introduced serve as placeholders for future legislation to come, including new measures around transitional kindergarten, cyberbullying, and open enrollment. Here are the first summaries of these bills.

 

Finance

AB 1    (John A. Pérez D)   Education finance: CalWORKs Stage 3.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law requires that child care be provided in three stages to recipients of benefits under the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. The first stage of child care begins upon the entry of a person into the CalWORKs program.  The second stage of child care begins when a county determines that the work or approved work activity of the recipient is stable or when a recipient is making the transition off of aid and child care is available through a local Stage Two program.  The third stage of child care, which is administered by programs contracting with the State Department of Education, begins when a funded child care space becomes available for the child or children of the eligible CalWORKs recipient.  This bill would reappropriate $118,000,000 in unobligated balances appropriated in the Budget Act of 2009, and from the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant, and would also appropriate $115,534,000 from the General Fund, to the State Department of Education for CalWORKs Stage Three child care services.  The bill would also require the State Department of Education to use those funds for families that were receiving, or would have been eligible to receive, CalWORKs Stage Three child care development services, on or after October 31, 2010.

 

AB 39  (Beall D)   Special education: funding.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law, the Mental Health Services Act, an initiative measure enacted by the voters as Proposition 63, establishes the Mental Health Services Fund to fund specified county mental health programs.  The act provides that all moneys in the Mental Health Services Fund are continuously appropriated to the State Department of Mental Health.  The act may be amended only by a 2/3 vote of both houses of the Legislature and only so long as the amendment is consistent with and furthers the intent of the act.  This bill would require the department to allocate $57,000,000 of those moneys to county mental health departments for purposes of providing special education services, thereby making an appropriation.  The bill also would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction and county mental health directors to jointly convene a technical working group to develop a transitional program to transfer the responsibilities associated with providing special education services from county mental health departments to the State Department of Education.

 

SB 12  (Corbett D)  Education finance: CalWORKs Stage Three child care.  
Introduced:12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be acted upon on or after January 6.

Summary: Existing law requires that child care be provided in three stages to recipients of benefits under the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program.  The first stage of child care begins upon the entry of a person into the CalWORKs program.  Stage Two of child care begins when a county determines that the work or approved work activity of the recipient is stable or when a recipient is making the transition off of aid and child care is available through a local Stage Two program.  The Third Stage of child care, which is administered by programs contracting with the State Department of Education, begins when a funded child care space becomes available for the child or children of the eligible CalWORKs recipient. This bill would appropriate $250,000,000 from the General Fund, for transfer by the Controller to Section A of the State School Fund, for restoration of funding for CalWORKs Stage Three child care.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

SB 13  (Correa D)  Pupils: teen dating violence prevention.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be acted upon on or after January 6.

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.

 

SB 30  (Simitian D)  Kindergarten: age of admission.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be acted upon on or after January 6.

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 as specified.  This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to that provision.

 

Human Resources

AB 5  (Fuentes D)   Certificated school employees: performance evaluation.
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law requires the governing board of each school district to develop and adopt objective evaluation and assessment guidelines to evaluate the performance of its certificated employees and encourages each district to establish an evaluation and assessment system that is uniform throughout the district.  Existing law requires each school district to establish standards of expected pupil achievement at each grade level in each area of study and to evaluate and assess certificated employee performance as it reasonably relates to specified factors.  This bill would make those provisions inoperative on June 30, 2012, and would repeal them on January 1, 2013. T he bill, commencing with the 2012-13 school year, instead would require the governing board of a school district to adopt and implement a fair, transparent, and rigorous evaluation system based on a uniform standard for certificated employees, as specified.  The bill would require the governing board of a school district, in developing the evaluation system, to consult with the exclusive bargaining representative of the certificated employees in the school district, in accordance with specified statutes regarding collective bargaining, on all procedures and components of the evaluation.  The bill would require a permanent certificated employee who is deemed to be performing in an unsatisfactory manner at the end of his or her evaluation process to participate in an instructional support program for certificated employees, as adopted by the governing board of the school district, for one year for the purpose of improving the performance of the employee.

 

AB 13  (Knight R)  Public school volunteers.
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law authorizes any person, except a person required to register as a sex offender pursuant to a designated provision, to be permitted by the governing board of a school district to serve as a nonteaching volunteer aide under the immediate supervision and direction of certificated personnel of the district to perform non-instructional work that serves to assist the certificated personnel of the district in their teaching and administrative responsibilities.  Existing law authorizes a school district or county office of education to request that a local law enforcement agency conduct an automated records check of a prospective nonteaching volunteer aide in order to ascertain whether the prospective nonteaching volunteer aide has been convicted of a designated sex offense.  This bill would specify that each of these provisions applies to charter schools.  The bill would also prohibit persons who have been convicted of specified sex, controlled substance, or violent offenses from serving as nonteaching volunteer aides.

 

AB 48  (John A. Pérez D)  School personnel: evaluation and assessment.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law states the intent of the Legislature that school governing boards establish a uniform system of evaluation and assessment of the performance of all certificated personnel within each district.  Existing law provides that in the development and adoption of guidelines and procedures for evaluation and assessment, that the governing board shall avail itself of the advice of the certificated instructional personnel in the district's organization of certificated personnel, as specified.  This bill would instead specify that the procedures to be used for evaluation of certificated employees shall be subject to specified provisions of law regarding the scope of representation by the exclusive representative of certificated employees and that the school governing board shall consult with the exclusive representative of certificated employees with respect to all other matters related to the evaluation of certificated employees.

 

SB 27  (Simitian D)   Public retirement: final compensation: computation: retirees.   
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010 - From printer. May be acted upon on or after January 6.

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. T he 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 provide that a person who retires on or after January 1, 2013, 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.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 9  (Ammiano D)   Education: bullying.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law requires specified school personnel to report known or suspected instances of child abuse, as defined, to designated law enforcement entities.  This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to protect pupils from acts of bullying by requiring school personnel to report known or suspected instances of bullying to law enforcement entities.

 

AB 47  (Huffman D)   Schools: open enrollment.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 12/7/2010-From printer. May be heard in committee January 6.

Summary: Existing law, the Open Enrollment Act, allows the parent of a pupil enrolled in a low-achieving school to submit an application for the pupil to attend school in a school district other than the school district in which the parent of the pupil resides, but in which the parent nevertheless intends to enroll the pupil.  Existing law defines a low-achieving school, for purposes of these provisions, as a school identified by the Superintendent by inclusion on a list of 1,000 schools ranked by increasing Academic Performance Index (API) score; however no local agency may have more than 10% of its schools on the list and specified types of schools may not be included.  This bill would instead provide that the list created by the Superintendent to define low-achieving schools may include up to 1,000 schools, that schools on the list be ranked in Decile 1 on the most current API, and that county offices of education operating a special education program, and state special schools not be included on the list.

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