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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - March 10, 2011


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The first major hearings in both Senate and Assembly Education Committees will take place next week on Wednesday, March 16th. First on the agenda for the year will be measures on teacher evaluations, substitute pay, Common Core Standards adoption, and Diastat (Read Sean Farrell’s February article for more on Diastat), to name a few. The summaries of these bills are below.



AB 169 (Torres D) Education finance.  
Introduced: 1/20/2011
Status: 2/3/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires the State Board of Education to direct the allocation and apportionment of federal funds to local school districts and other agencies entitled to receive those funds. This bill would define school districts for purposes of these provisions to include school districts, county offices of education, and other agencies deemed eligible pursuant to state and federal law.


SB 140 (Lowenthal D) Instructional materials: common core academic content standards.
Introduced: 1/31/2011
Status: 3/8/2011-Set for hearing March 16.

Summary: Existing law establishes the Academic Content Standards Commission, consisting of 12 appointed members, as specified. The commission is required to develop academic content standards in language arts and mathematics and to present its recommended academic content standards to the State Board of Education. Existing law requires at least 85% of these standards to be the Common Core Academic Standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative consortium or any associated or related interstate collaboration. Existing law requires the state board to adopt or reject the academic content standards. Existing law exempts instructional materials adopted pursuant to these provisions from specified requirements relating to the approval and adoption of basic instructional materials by the state board. This bill would require the California Department of Education to develop a list, on or before July 1, 2012, of supplemental instructional materials that are aligned with the Common Core Academic Content standards in language arts and mathematics adopted pursuant to the process described above. The bill would require the state board to either adopt or reject the instructional materials as proposed by the department. The bill would also permit the governing boards of school districts to adopt instructional materials other than those adopted by the state board if the governing board determines that other instructional materials are aligned with the common core academic content standards and meet the needs of the pupils of the district. The bill would require the department to maintain on its Internet Web site a portal for local educational agencies to share information about instructional materials that are aligned with the common core academic content standards.


Curriculum & Instruction

AB 124 (Fuentes D) Academic content standards: English Language Development Standards Advisory Committee.
Introduced: 1/10/2011
Status: 1/27/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires each school district that has one or more pupils who are English learners to assess the English language development of each of those pupils upon initial enrollment in order to determine the level of proficiency of those pupils, and thereafter to assess each of those pupils annually until the pupil is redesignated as English proficient. This bill would establish a 13-member English Language Development Standards Advisory Committee for the purpose of ensuring high-quality instruction for English language learners as the state implements the academic content standards in English language arts. The bill would specify the appointing authorities and qualifications of the members of the advisory committee.



SB 128 (Lowenthal D) School facilities funding: high-performance schools.
Introduced: 1/27/2011
Status: 3/8/2011-Set for hearing March 16.

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: 3/8/2011-Set for hearing March 16.

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.


Human Resources

AB 5 (Fuentes D) Certificated school employees: performance evaluation.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 3/8/2011
Status: 3/9/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

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 July 1, 2012 , and would repeal them on January 1, 2013. The 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.

In developing the evaluation system, the bill would require the governing board of a school district to include, by mutual agreement with the exclusive bargaining representative of the certificated employees in the school district, in accordance with specified statutes regarding collective bargaining, all procedures and components of the evaluation system established pursuant to these provisions. 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 for one year in an instructional support program for certificated employees, as adopted by the governing board of the school district, for the purpose of improving the performance of the employee.


SB 266 (Dutton R) Education employment: termination, reappointment, and opportunity for substitute service.
Introduced: 2/10/2011
Status: 3/8/2011-Set for hearing March 16.

Summary: Existing law provides that, when employees are terminated pursuant to a reduction in workforce, a school district is required to terminate the employees in order of seniority. Existing law further provides those employees with preferred right to reappointment and opportunity for substitute service in order of seniority. This bill would delete the above-referenced requirement relating to compensation.


AB 25 (Hayashi D) Athletics: concussions and head injuries.  
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 1/31/2011
Status: 2/1/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: (1) Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to grant the use of school facilities or grounds as a civic center for specified purposes, including sports league activities. Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to authorize the use of any school facilities or grounds under its control, when an alternative location is not available, to nonprofit organizations, and clubs or associations organized to promote youth and school activities. This bill would require any organization that uses school facilities or grounds for youth athletic activities pursuant to these provisions to provide a statement of compliance with the policies for the management of concussion and head injury, as specified.


AB 47 (Huffman D) Schools: open enrollment.
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 1/24/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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.


AB 143 (Fuentes D) Pupil records: privacy rights.
Introduced: 1/13/2011
Status: 2/3/2011-Referred to Coms. on ED. and JUD.

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: 2/3/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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.


AB 207 (Ammiano D) School attendance: residency requirements.
Introduced: 1/31/2011
Status: 2/10/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires each person between six- and eighteen-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 legal guardian is employed. This bill would require a school district to accept a wide range of documents and representations from the parent or legal 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, statement, or payment receipts, pay stubs, voter registration, correspondence from a government agency, or a declaration of residency executed by the parent or legal guardian of a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, as defined. The bill would, if an employee of a school district reasonably believes that the parent or legal guardian of a pupil has provided false or unreliable evidence of residency, authorize the school district to make reasonable efforts to determine that the pupil actually meets the residency requirements.


SB 161 (Huff R) Schools: emergency medical assistance: administration of epilepsy medication.
Introduced: 2/2/2011  Last Amended: 3/9/2011
Status: 3/9/2011-From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law provides that in the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school, a school district is authorized to provide school personnel with voluntary medical training to provide emergency medical assistance to pupils with diabetes suffering from severe hypoglycemia. This bill would authorize a school district to provide school employees with voluntary emergency medical training to provide, in the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse onsite at the school, emergency medical assistance to pupils with epilepsy suffering from seizures, in accordance with guidelines developed by specified entities. The bill would allow a parent or guardian of a pupil with epilepsy who has been prescribed Diastat by the pupil's health care provider to request the pupil's school to have one or more of its employees receive voluntary training, as specified, in order to administer Diastat, as defined, in the event that the pupil suffers a seizure when a nurse is not available. The bill would require a school that decides to train school employees to distribute an electronic notice, as specified, to all staff regarding the request. The bill would make various legislative findings and declarations and state the intent of the Legislature in enacting this measure. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2017.

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