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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - April 21, 2011

 

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Legislators returning from spring break will have their hands full in Education committee hearings next week. The bills on the committees’ agendas are all scheduled for a first-round of vetting before the Legislature; neither the Assembly nor Senate committees are ready to take up bills passed over from the opposite house. Here are the summaries of the bills facing committee members for the first time on Wednesday.

 

Finance

AB 165 (Lara D) Pupil fees.
Introduced: 1/20/2011
Last Amended: 4/13/2011
Status: 4/14/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

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 solicitation of voluntary donations, voluntary participation in fundraising activities, or school districts and schools from providing pupils prizes or other recognition for voluntarily participating in fundraising activities. The bill would specify that these provisions apply to all public schools, including, but not limited to, charter schools and alternative schools, 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 719 (Block D) Special education: funding.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 3/25/2011
Status: 3/29/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law, until July 1, 2011, requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to make prescribed computations each fiscal year to determine an adjusted entitlement to be apportioned to each special education local plan area for each incidence of disability. This bill would instead provide that these provisions would remain in effect indefinitely by deleting the repeal date. The bill would provide that the Superintendent shall perform the prescribed calculations to determine the adjusted entitlement of each special education local plan area for the incidence of disabilities for the 2011-12 to 2014-15 fiscal years, inclusive, as specified. This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would update the severity service multiplier that will be used in the special disabilities adjustment formula and that this change use data collected in, or after, 2008 to identify high-need special education local plan areas eligible to receive an adjusted apportionment. This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to provide that the calculation performed by the Superintendent, to determine an adjusted entitlement for each special education local plan area, increasingly be based upon a severity service concentration factor in the 2011-12 to 2015-16 fiscal years, inclusive, as specified.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 160 (Portantino D) Concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college.
Introduced: 1/19/2011  Last Amended: 2/28/2011
Status: 4/14/2011-In committee: Hearing postponed by committee. (Refers to 4/13/2011 hearing)

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 5% 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 March 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 630 (Hueso D) Pupil safety: bullying.
Introduced: 2/16/2011  Last Amended: 3/31/2011
Status: 4/4/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law establishes the School Safety and Violence Prevention Act, a statewide program administered by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, pursuant to which funds are allocated to school districts serving pupils in any of grades 8 to 12, inclusive, for the purpose of promoting school safety and reducing school site violence, including, but not limited to, providing conflict resolution personnel, providing on-campus communication devices, establishing staff training programs, and establishing cooperative arrangements with law enforcement agencies. This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to encourage school districts to establish programs, to be integrated either into the regular curriculum or through separate instruction during National Bullying Prevention Month, at the discretion of each school district, to reduce bullying through training with appropriate activities and best practice methodologies involving collaboration among pupils, parents, and school staff.

 

AB 790 (Furutani D) Pupil instruction: Multiple Pathway Pilot Program.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 3/31/2011
Status: 4/4/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop, in conjunction with specified persons and entities, a report that explores the feasibility of expanding and establishing career multiple pathway programs, as defined, in California. This bill would establish the Multiple Pathway Pilot Program to be administered by the State Department of Education according to specified requirements for the purpose of implementing district wide multiple pathway learning approaches in all participating school districts. The bill would authorize a school district that maintains grades 9 to 12, inclusive, to apply to the Superintendent to operate a pilot program. The bill would require the department to review these applications and would authorize the Superintendent to initially approve up to 20 applications. The bill would require this application review and approval to be conducted on a competitive basis with consideration given to specified factors. The bill would require the Superintendent to transmit a report to the Legislature and the Governor by January 18, 2018, that makes specified evaluations and recommendations.

 

AB 1033 (Feuer D) Academic content standards.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 3/31/2011
Status: 4/4/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt statewide content and performance standards in the core curriculum areas of reading, writing, mathematics, history/social science, and science, as specified. Existing law authorizes the state board to modify any proposed content standards or performance standards prior to adoption, and to adopt content and performance standards in individual core curriculum areas as those standards are submitted to the state board. This bill would authorize the Superintendent to recommend to the state board a schedule for reviewing and modifying the standards described above and to recommend modifications to those standards. The bill would authorize the state board to approve or modify the schedule recommended by the Superintendent and to modify the standards. If the state board modifies the standards, the bill would require the state board to explain, in writing, to the Governor and the Legislature the reasons for making modifications. The bill would require the state board to ensure that the rigor of the standards is maintained. The bill would make implementation of these provisions contingent on an appropriation of funding for that purpose in the annual Budget Act.

 

AB 1330 (Furutani D) Graduation requirements: career technical education.
Introduced: 2/18/2011
Status: 4/13/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

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 2012-13 school year and until July 1, 2017, 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.

 

SB 13 (Correa D) Pupils: teen dating violence prevention.
Introduced: 12/6/2010
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

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 402 (Correa D) Education: curriculum frameworks.
Introduced: 2/16/2011  Last Amended: 3/31/2011
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

Summary: Existing law sets forth the courses of study for grades 1 to 6, inclusive, and for grades 7 to 12, inclusive. Existing law defines "curriculum framework" as an outline of the components of a given course of study designed to provide state direction to school districts in the provision of instructional programs. Existing law requires the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission to recommend curriculum frameworks for adoption by the State Board of Education in accordance with regulations. This bill would require each curriculum framework to describe how content can be delivered to intentionally build creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and communication into and across each content area, to the extent the description is deemed appropriate by the state board.

 

SB 509 (Price D) Instructional materials.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 4/14/2011
Status: 4/14/2011-From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law states the Legislature's intent that each local educational agency provide each pupil with standards-aligned textbooks or instructional materials from the same adoption, consistent with specified provisions of law. This bill would authorize each school district to purchase the newest adopted instructional materials for the neediest schools in the school district, as defined, prior to purchasing these materials for the remaining schools in the district.

 

SB 634 (Runner R) Kindergarten: transitional kindergarten.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/7/2011
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

Summary: Existing law requires that a child be admitted to kindergarten at the beginning of the school year, or at a later time in the same year if the child has his or her birthday before one of the following dates: (1) December 2 of the 2011-12 school year; (2) November 1 of the 2012-13 school year; (3) October 1 of the 2013-14 school year; or (4) September 1 of the 2014-15 school year and each school year thereafter. Existing law requires, as a condition of receipt of apportionments for these purposes, that a child whose admission to a traditional kindergarten is delayed be admitted to a transitional kindergarten program, as defined. This bill would prohibit a school district from offering a transitional kindergarten program unless the Department of Finance certifies that sufficient funds exist to initiate transitional kindergarten programs for all eligible children, including children of all socioeconomic statuses, English learners, and individuals with exceptional needs, without removing funding from existing state programs or services. The bill would additionally prohibit a school district from initiating a transitional kindergarten program if the district has a qualified or negative interim financial certification, as specified.

 

Facilities

AB 269 (Ma D) Charter schools: pupil health and safety.
Introduced: 2/7/2011  Last Amended: 3/14/2011
Status: 3/15/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: The Charter Schools Act of 1992 permits teachers and parents to petition the governing board of a school district to approve a charter school to operate independently from the existing school district structure as a method of accomplishing, among other things, improved pupil learning. Existing law requires a chartering authority to ensure that each charter school under its authority complies with all reports required of charter schools by law. This bill would require the Legislative Analyst to report by January 1, 2013, to the Legislature on the accuracy of data reported by charter schools with respect to violent incidents on campus.

Human Resources

AB 1156 (Eng D) Pupils: bullying.  
Introduced: 2/18/2011
Status: 3/17/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law establishes the public school system in this state, and, among other things, provides for the establishment of school districts throughout the state and for their provision of instruction at the public elementary and secondary schools they operate and maintain. This bill, as of July 1, 2012, would require the training of school site personnel in the prevention of bullying, as defined in the bill, under this provision to be a component in the development of school safety plans.

 

SB 257 (Liu D) Certificated employees: evaluation and assessment.  
Introduced: 2/10/2011  Last Amended: 3/21/2011
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

Summary: Existing law requires the governing board of a school district to evaluate and assess the performance of certificated employees as it reasonably relates to the progress of pupils towards the standards of expected pupil achievement established by the governing board, the instructional techniques and strategies used by the employee, the employee's adherence to curricular objectives, and the establishment of a suitable learning environment. Existing law requires that an evaluation and assessment made pursuant to these provisions be reduced to writing and a copy be transmitted to the certificated employee not later than 30 days before the last school day scheduled on the school calendar adopted by the governing board for the school year in which the evaluation takes place. This bill would change this date from June 30 to July 1.

Miscellaneous

AB 733 (Ma D) Pupil records: privacy rights.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 3/25/2011
Status: 3/29/2011-Re-referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law prohibits a school district from permitting access to pupil records to any person without written parental consent or judicial order, except as provided. This bill would make various changes to these pupil record provisions to conform them to federal law.

 

AB 1348 (Mansoor R) Pupils: parental consent.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 3/24/2011
Status: 4/13/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

Summary: Existing law requires the governing board of a school district to notify pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, and the parents or guardians of those pupils that school authorities may excuse a pupil from school to obtain confidential medical services without the consent of the pupil’s parent or guardian. Existing law authorizes a school district to include that notice with any other notice made to a parent or guardian of a pupil pursuant to existing law. This bill would delete this provision, and instead prohibit a school official, as defined, from excusing a pupil who is a minor and enrolled in any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, from the school campus before the end of a school day without the written consent of his or her parent or legal guardian.

 

SB 453 (Correa D) Pupil rights: bullying: suspension and expulsion.
Introduced: 2/16/2011  Last Amended: 3/22/2011
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

Summary: Existing law prohibits the suspension of a pupil from school or the recommendation of a pupil for expulsion from school unless a school district superintendent or the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines that the pupil has committed any of several specified acts, among which is having engaged in an act of bullying. For the purposes of this provision, bullying is defined to include an act of sexual harassment or hate violence, or threats or intimidation directed against school pupils or personnel, and to include bullying committed by electronic means, as defined. The bill would also define bullying to include acts motivated by specified actual or perceived characteristics of the victim.

 

SB 547 (Steinberg D) Public school performance accountability: Academic Performance Index.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 3/24/2011
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

Summary: Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the approval of the State Board of Education, to develop an Academic Performance Index (API) to measure the performance of schools and pupils. Existing law requires that the API consist of a variety of indicators, and that the results of specified academic tests comprise at least 60% of the value of the API. This bill would instead require that for schools serving pupils in kindergarten and any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, results of these tests comprise a minimum of 40% of the value of the API, and for schools serving pupils in any of grades 9 to 12, inclusive, the results of the tests comprise a maximum of 40% of the value of the API. The bill would require that in addition to the indicators that are currently included in the API, that college and career preparedness be included as an indicator.

 

SB 740 (Hancock D) Pupil assessment.
Introduced: 2/18/2011
Status: 4/8/2011-Set for hearing April 27.

Summary: Existing law, the Leroy Greene California Assessment of Academic Achievement Act, requires each school district, charter school, and county office of education to administer to each of its pupils in grades 2 to 11, inclusive, certain achievement tests. This bill, commencing July 1, 2012, would exclude pupils in grade 2 from the standards-based achievement test requirement and make conforming changes.

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