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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - May 5, 2011

 

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While the Assembly Education committee takes a break from hearing bills next week, the Senate Education committee will hear several high profile measures on Wednesday. These bills address teacher layoff, substitute pay, transitional kindergarten, and curriculum issues. While only ten bills are on the agenda, the discussion is sure to be lengthy…and lively. Here are the summaries of the high profile bills up for consideration.

 

Finance

SB 871 (Runner R) School district employees: compensation.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/25/2011
Status: 4/27/2011-Set for hearing May 11.

Summary: Existing law establishes various requirements with respect to the employment of school district employees, including requirements relating to compensation. This bill would prohibit salary increases for school district employees in any school year in which a school district reduces its instructional minutes or days to a level below the minutes or days provided in the previous school year. The bill would require that this prohibition only apply for employees within the same job classification. The bill also would require that these provisions not affect any provision in a collective bargaining agreement that was in existence prior to the reduction in instructional minutes or days.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

SB 30 (Simitian D) Kindergarten: age of admission and readiness.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 3/25/2011
Status: 4/27/2011-Set for hearing May 11.

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 5th birthday as specified. Existing law establishes the Kindergarten Readiness Pilot Program, which is administered by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to permit participating school districts to provide opportunities for children to enhance their readiness for kindergarten, as provided. Existing law requires the Superintendent, by June 1, 2007, to contract for an independent longitudinal evaluation regarding the effects of the change in the entry age for kindergarten and first grade pursuant to the kindergarten readiness program. Existing law requires the independent evaluator to file an initial report by June 1, 2009, an interim report by January 1, 2011, and a final report by January 1, 2012. This bill would make technical, non-substantive changes to the kindergarten admission provision. This bill would require the independent evaluator to file the final report by January 1, 2013, instead of January 1, 2012.

 

SB 509 (Price D) Instructional materials.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 5/3/2011
Status: 5/3/2011-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.

 

Human Resources

(Dutton R) Education employment: termination, reappointment, and opportunity for substitute service.
Introduced: 2/10/2011  Last Amended: 3/24/2011
Status: 4/27/2011-Set for hearing May 11.

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 temporarily delete the above-referenced requirement relating to compensation for the period of January 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015, inclusive.

 

SB 355 (Huff R) Education employment: certificated employees.
Introduced: 2/15/2011
Status: 4/27/2011-Set for hearing May 11.

Summary: Existing law requires each school district to evaluate and assess certificated employee performance as it reasonably relates to pupil academic progress, the instructional techniques and strategies used by the employee, the employee's adherence to curricular objectives, and the establishment and maintenance of a suitable learning environment, within the scope of the employee's responsibilities. Existing law prohibits the evaluation and assessment of certificated employee performance from including the use of publishers' norms established by standardized tests. This bill would delete the prohibition relating to using publishers' norms established by standardized tests in employee evaluations and assessments. The bill would authorize the governing board of a school district to evaluate and assess the performance of certificated employees pursuant to a “multiple-measures evaluation system,” defined in the bill as a teacher and principal evaluation system that uses multiple research-validated approaches to measuring effectiveness, as specified. Any system developed pursuant to these provisions would be required to meet specified criteria, including a quantitative pupil academic achievement growth component that constitutes at least 30% of the overall teacher and principal effectiveness measure.

 

Miscellaneous

SB 745 (Hernandez D) Pupils: school attendance: school districts of choice.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 3/21/2011
Status: 4/27/2011-Set for hearing May 11.

Summary: Existing law defines a school district of choice as one in which the governing board has, by resolution, elected to accept inter-district transfers and has determined the number of transfers it is willing to accept through a random, unbiased process, as specified. Existing law requires a school district of choice to give priority for attendance to siblings of children already in attendance in that district. Existing law provides that a school district of choice may give priority for attendance to children of military personnel. This bill would require a school district of choice to give priority for attendance to English learners, pupils who are individuals with exceptional needs, and pupils who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, as provided.

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