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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - February 3, 2011

 

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New bills introduced in the past two weeks address pupil fees, state mandates, pupil record privacy, and the use of helmets in snow sports.  Here are the summaries of these bills and several others likely to stir up conversation around the Capitol this legislative session.

 

Finance

AB 165 (Lara D) Pupil fees.  
Introduced: 1/20/2011
Status: 1/21/2011-From printer. May be heard in committee February 20.

Summary: Existing law requires the Legislature to provide for a system of common schools by which a free school shall be kept up and supported in each district.  Existing law prohibits a pupil enrolled in school from being required to pay a fee, deposit, or other charge not specifically authorized by law.  This bill would prohibit a school district, school, or other entity working under the supervision of, or in coordination with, a district or school from imposing a pupil fee, as defined, for participation in educational activities, as defined, as specified.  The bill would provide that this prohibition is not to be interpreted to prohibit an entire school, class, sports team, or club from voluntarily participating in fundraising or to prohibit school districts and schools from providing pupils prizes or other recognition for voluntarily participating in fundraising activities.  The bill would specify that these provisions are declarative of existing law and should not be interpreted to prohibit a school district or school from imposing a fee, deposit, or other charge otherwise allowed by law.

 

AB 202 (Brownley D) Local educational agencies: reimbursable state mandates.   
Introduced: 1/27/2011
Status: 1/28/2011-From printer. May be heard in committee February 27.

Summary: Existing law establishes a procedure for local governmental agencies to file, with the Commission on State Mandates, claims for reimbursement of specified costs associated with state-mandated local programs, and sets forth the procedure for a determination by the commission for eligibility for reimbursement, appropriation, and payment of claims, including payment pursuant to the enactment of a local government claims bill, the establishment of interest accrued on claims, and the review of state mandates by the Legislative Analyst generally.  This bill would express the intent of the Legislature that statutes creating a reimbursable state mandate on school districts be periodically reviewed, and that the Legislature consider recommendations on whether those statutes should be amended, repealed, or remain unchanged.  The bill would require that, in addition to a report submitted pursuant to existing law, the Legislative Analyst review and report on each reimbursable state mandate relating to local educational agencies that meets prescribed criteria.  The bill would specify the information to be provided in the review and report, and would require that the review and report be provided to the chairpersons of the Assembly Committee on Education, the Senate Committee on Education, and the fiscal committees of the Assembly and the Senate, on or before the January 1 following the adjournment of the regular session of the Legislature for which the review was made.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 160 (Portantino D) Concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college.  
Introduced: 1/19/2011
Status: 1/20/2011-From printer. May be heard in committee February 19.

Summary: Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to allow pupils whom the district has determined would benefit from advanced scholastic or vocational work to attend community college as special part-time students, subject to parental permission.  Existing law makes the authority of a school principal to recommend a pupil for community college summer session contingent upon a determination that the pupil meets various criteria and prohibits the principal from recommending more than five percent of the total number of pupils from any particular grade level who completed that grade immediately prior to the time of recommendation for summer session attendance, except as specified.  This bill instead would authorize the governing board of a school district to enter into a partnership with a community college district to allow secondary school pupils to attend a community college during any session or term as a special part-time or full-time student and undertake one or more courses of instruction offered at the community college, subject to specified conditions.  The bill would delete the existing law provisions regarding summer session.  The bill would require the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, on or before January 1, 2012, and each year thereafter, to report to the Department of Finance and the Legislature the number of pupils who enroll in community college pursuant to these provisions, the courses these pupils enroll in, and the number of these pupils who receive a passing grade.  The bill would prohibit a community college district from receiving an allowance or apportionment for an instructional activity for which a school district has been, or will be, paid.

 

AB 199 (Cook R) Pupil instruction: social sciences: Filipinos in World War II.
Introduced: 1/27/2011
Status: 1/28/2011-From printer. May be heard in committee February 27.

Summary: Existing law requires the adopted course of study for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to include instruction in social sciences, which is permitted to include instruction on World War II and the American role in that war.  This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would include instruction on the role of Filipinos in World War II in the instruction of pupils in social sciences.

 

Facilities

SB 128 (Lowenthal D) School facilities funding: high-performance schools.
Introduced: 1/27/2011
Status: 1/28/2011-From printer. May be acted upon on or after February 27.

Summary: Existing law, the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 (the Greene Act), requires the State Allocation Board to allocate to applicant school districts prescribed per-unhoused-pupil state funding for construction and modernization of school facilities, including hardship funding and supplemental funding for site development and acquisition and requires the board to adopt rules and regulations for the administration of the Greene Act.  The Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006 (the 2006 Bond Act) sets aside $100,000,000 of the proceeds of the bonds sold under that act for incentive grants under the Greene Act to promote the use of design and materials in new construction and modernization projects that include the attributes of high-performance schools.  This bill would add the cost of designs and materials that support the characteristics of high-performance schools to the types of costs that may be included in the improvement.

 

SB 132 (Lowenthal D) School facilities: state planning priorities.
Introduced: 1/27/2011
Status: 1/28/2011-From printer. May be acted upon on or after February 27.

Summary: Existing law sets forth state planning priorities that are intended to promote equity, strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and promote public health and safety in the state.  Those priorities are as follows: (a) to promote infill development and equity by rehabilitating, maintaining, and improving existing infrastructure that supports infill development and appropriate reuse and redevelopment of previously developed, underutilized land, (b) to protect environmental and agricultural resources by protecting, preserving, and enhancing the state's most valuable natural resources, and (c) to encourage efficient development patterns by ensuring that any infrastructure associated with development, other than infill development, supports new development that meets prescribed criteria.  This bill would require the State Allocation Board, on or before July 1, 2012, to revise guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policies for the acquisition of school sites and the construction of school facilities pursuant to the Greene Act to reflect the state planning priorities referenced above.  The bill also would require, on or after July 1, 2012, a school district, as part of an application for funding under the Greene Act, to certify that a school site or school facility included in that application promote those state planning priorities.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 143 (Fuentes D) Pupil records: privacy rights.
Introduced: 1/13/2011
Status: 1/14/2011-From printer. May be heard in committee February 13.

Summary: Existing law prohibits a school district from permitting access to pupil records to a person without written parental consent or under judicial order, except to specified persons under certain circumstances, including to a probation officer or district attorney for the purposes of conducting a criminal investigation, or an investigation in regards to declaring a person a ward of the court or involving a violation of a condition of probation.  This bill would additionally allow school districts to permit a minor's counsel to access pupil records for the same purposes stated above.

 

AB 180 (Carter D) Education: academic performance.
Introduced: 1/24/2011
Status: 1/25/2011-From printer. May be heard in committee February 24.

Summary: Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with approval of the State Board of Education, to develop an Academic Performance Index (API) and as part of the Public School Performance Accountability Program, to measure the performance of schools, especially the academic performance of pupils.  The API consists of a variety of indicators including specified achievement test schools, attendance rates, and graduation rates.  Existing law requires the Superintendent, with approval of the state board, to develop an alternative accountability system for specified types of schools, including, among others, community day schools and continuation schools.  Existing law allows these schools to receive an API score, but prohibits them from being included in the API rankings of schools.  This bill would require the Superintendent and the state board, as part of the Public School Performance Accountability Program, to allow a dropout recovery high school, as defined, to report the results of an individual pupil growth model that is proposed by the school and certified by the Superintendent pursuant to specified criteria instead of reporting other indicators.

 

SB 105 (Yee D) Public safety: snow sport helmets.
Introduced: 1/13/2011
Status: 1/14/2011-From printer. May be acted upon on or after February 13.

Summary: Existing law requires a person under 18 years of age to wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet while operating a bicycle or riding upon a bicycle as a passenger upon the streets or any other public bicycle path.  This bill would require a person under 18 years of age to wear a properly fitted and fastened snow sport helmet while operating snow skis or a snowboard while participating in the sport of downhill skiing or snowboarding, or while riding upon a seat or other device that is attached to the snow skis or a snowboard while participating in the sport of downhill skiing or snowboarding.  The bill would impose a $25 fine for a violation of this requirement.  The bill would, however, provide that the charge against a person be dismissed if it is the first charge against that person for a violation of this requirement, as specified.  Because this bill would create a new crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

Editor's Note:  Andrew Keller is a Policy Consultant for K Street Consulting, LLC, a policy consulting and legislative advocacy firm.