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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - May 26, 2011

 

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The deadline for bills to be passed by Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees is this Friday, May 27th. Naturally, there are dozens and dozens of bills on both committees’ suspense files that will either die or become “two-year bills” for next year. With the budget eating up much of the Legislature’s intellectual time and firm spending caps in place, very few measures are expected to pass off the suspense file on Friday. Here are the summaries of the bills on the suspense file, whose fate will be revealed on Friday.

 

Finance

AB 131 (Cedillo D) Student financial aid.
Introduced: 1/11/2011  Last Amended: 4/6/2011
Status: 4/13/2011-In committee: Set, second hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: The Donahoe Higher Education Act sets forth, among other things, the missions and functions of California's public and independent segments of higher education, and their respective institutions of higher education. Provisions of the act apply to the University of California only to the extent that the Regents of the University of California, by appropriate resolution, act to make a provision applicable. This bill would exempt a student who has attended, for three or more years, at least one of which shall have been in a high school, and graduated from, secondary school in California from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges and the California State University. The bill would include persons attending and graduating from California technical schools and adult schools, as well as high schools.

 

SB 64 (Liu D) State mandates: school district test claims: procedure.
Introduced: 1/5/2011  Last Amended: 4/26/2011
Status: 5/23/2011-Placed on APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Under the California Constitution, whenever the Legislature or a state agency mandates a new program or higher level of service on any local government, including school districts, the state is required to provide a subvention of funds to reimburse the local government, with specified exceptions. Existing law establishes a test claim procedure for local governmental agencies to file claims for reimbursement of these costs with the Commission on State Mandates. This bill would revise these provisions to require the commission to adopt procedures for receiving test claims from school districts that eliminate specified existing requirements. The bill would require the commission to create a school district test claim advisory committee, with a prescribed membership, for the purpose of consulting with commission staff regarding specified information relating to a school district test claim. The bill would require the commission staff to prepare an analysis of the test claim and a proposed statement of decision for consideration by the commission, as specified. The bill would also require the advisory committee to prepare and submit the parameters and guidelines for an approved test claim to the commission for approval on behalf of a school district claimant, as specified.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

AB 9 (Ammiano D) Pupil rights: bullying.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 4/26/2011
Status: 5/4/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law provides that it is the policy of the state to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state, and that it is the purpose of existing law to prohibit acts that are contrary to that policy and to provide remedies therefore. Existing law requires the California Department of Education to develop a model handout, posted on appropriate department Internet Web sites, describing the rights and obligations set forth in these provisions and the policies addressing bias-related discrimination and harassment in schools. Existing law also requires the department to monitor adherence to these provisions and, as part of its regular monitoring and review of local educational agencies, to assess whether local educational agencies have adopted a policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment and a process for receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, as specified. Because this bill would require local educational agencies to perform additional duties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

 

AB 250 (Brownley D) Instructional materials: pupil assessment.
Introduced: 2/3/2011  Last Amended: 4/27/2011
Status: 5/18/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt basic instructional materials for use in kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, for governing boards and authorizes the state board to establish criteria for that purpose. Existing law sets forth a schedule for the submission of instructional materials to the state board for adoption. Notwithstanding this schedule, existing law prohibits the state board from adopting instructional materials or following the procedures related to that adoption until the 2013-14 school year. This bill would delete the schedule for submission of instructional materials for foreign languages and health and the exception to the requirement that criteria for the evaluation of instruction be approved when curriculum frameworks are approved or at least 30 months before the date that the materials are to be approved for adoption.

 

AB 1304 (Block D) Linked learning.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/25/2011
Status: 5/18/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law authorizes the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue various types of teaching credentials and authorizations. Existing law establishes multiple pathway programs, which are multiyear comprehensive high school programs of integrated academic and technical study that are organized around a broad theme, interest area, or industry sector. Multiple pathway programs are comprised, among other things, of an integrated core curriculum that meets the eligibility requirements for admission to the University of California and the California State University and is delivered through project-based learning and other engaging instructional strategies that intentionally bring real-world context and relevance to the curriculum where broad themes, interest areas, and career technical education are emphasized. This bill would define “linked learning programs,” and would authorize the commission to convene a workgroup consisting of specified members to develop program standards for the issuance of a recognition of study in linked learning, as defined, for linked learning competence for holders of a single subject teaching credential who will be teaching pupils enrolled in linked learning programs, as specified. The bill would authorize the commission to work with the Superintendent of Public Instruction to gather and post, on an appropriate Internet Web site, best practices from school districts and schools on curriculum development and professional development relating to implementing and sustaining multiple pathway programs. The bill would also provide that a recognition in linked learning is not considered a type of authorization, cannot be used as a condition of employment, does not replace subject matter competence requirements, and cannot be used in making certain employment decisions relating to reductions in employee positions.

 

AB 1330 (Furutani D) Graduation requirements: career technical education.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 5/4/2011
Status: 5/11/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

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.

 

AB 1373 (Fong D) Pupils: healthy relationships promotion and teen dating violence prevention.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/26/2011
Status: 5/4/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: This bill would authorize school districts to provide education programs that promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence to pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, through curricular, extracurricular, and school climate improvement activities. The bill would authorize school districts to work in partnership with parents, caregivers, and youth, domestic violence, sexual assault, and other appropriate community-based organizations to provide these education programs. The bill would require school districts that choose to provide education programs that promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence to use research-based materials that are appropriate for pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, gender identities, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and for pupils with disabilities. The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide information about model education programs that are designed to promote healthy relationships and prevent teen dating violence on the department's Internet Web site, as specified.

 

SB 140 (Lowenthal D) Instructional materials: common core academic content standards.
Introduced: 1/31/2011  Last Amended: 5/24/2011
Status: 5/24/2011-From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on APPR.

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 that are aligned to these standards from the requirement that the state board adopt any additional criteria that instructional materials will be required to meet at least 30 months before the materials are to be approved for adoption. This bill would require the California Department of Education to develop a list, on or before July 1, 2012, of supplemental instructional materials for use in kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, that are aligned with California's common core academic content standards in language arts and mathematics. The bill would require the state board to either approve or reject the supplemental instructional materials as proposed by the department. The bill also would permit the governing boards of school districts to approve supplemental instructional materials other than those approved by the state board if the governing board determines that other supplemental 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 list of supplemental instructional materials approved by the state board.

 

SB 653 (Steinberg D) Local taxation: counties: school districts: general authorization.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/27/2011
Status: 5/20/2011-Set for hearing May 26.

Summary: The California Constitution prohibits the Legislature from imposing taxes for local purposes, but allows the Legislature to authorize local governments to impose them. This bill would authorize the governing board of any county or city and county and any school district, subject to specified constitutional and voter approval requirements, to levy, increase, or extend a local personal income tax, transactions and use tax, vehicle license fee, and excise tax, including, but not limited to, an alcoholic beverages tax, a cigarette and tobacco products tax, a sweetened beverage tax, and an oil severance tax, as provided.

 

SB 753 (Padilla D) Pupils: English learners: assessment.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/26/2011
Status: 5/23/2011-Placed on APPR. suspense file.

Summary: This bill would require the annual assessment to be conducted during a three-month test period commencing with the day upon which 65% of the instructional year is completed, and would provide that these provisions, as well as the provisions requiring an initial and annual assessment, would not be implemented until the current test publisher's contract expires.

 

Human Resources

AB 5 (Fuentes D) Certificated school employees: performance evaluation.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 4/4/2011
Status: 5/4/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

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 school 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.

 

AB 48 (John A. Pérez D) Teachers: best practices teacher evaluation.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 5/11/2011
Status: 5/18/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: Existing law states the intent of the Legislature that school district governing boards establish a uniform system of evaluation and assessment of the performance of all certificated personnel within each school district of the state. Existing law requires the governing board of 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 on a continuing basis as it reasonably relates to the progress of pupils toward the established standards and, if applicable, the state adopted academic content standards as measured by state adopted criterion referenced assessments, 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. This bill would state findings and declarations of the Legislature regarding the nature of effective teachers and of the teaching profession. This bill would describe a best practices teacher evaluation system as one in which each teacher is evaluated on a continuing basis on the degree to which he or she accomplishes specific objectives and multiple observations of instructional and other professional practices are conducted by trained evaluators. The bill would provide that a school district that implements a best practices teacher evaluation program is not subject to the evaluation and assessment provisions described above, and would authorize the school district to use specified funds for any educational purpose during the fiscal year in which a best practices teacher evaluation program is operative in that school district. The bill would also prohibit a school district that implements a best practices teacher evaluation program from initiating charges against an employee for unsatisfactory performance unless he or she is given the opportunity to participate in a peer assistance and review process, as specified.

 

Facilities

AB 269 (Ma D) Charter schools: pupil health and safety.
Introduced: 2/7/2011  Last Amended: 5/4/2011
Status: 5/11/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

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. This bill would require a charter school to comply with all laws governing the health and safety of pupils and school employees. To the extent this bill would impose additional duties on charter schools, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

 

SB 128 (Lowenthal D) School facilities funding: high-performance schools.
Introduced: 1/27/2011  Last Amended: 3/22/2011
Status: 5/20/2011-Set for hearing May 26.

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.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 224 (Bonilla D) School accountability: Academic Performance Index.
Introduced: 2/2/2011  Last Amended: 4/7/2011
Status: 5/4/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Referred to APPR. suspense file.

Summary: The Public Schools Accountability Act of 1999 requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop an Academic Performance Index (API), which measures the performance of schools and the academic performance of pupils and consists of a variety of indicators, including pupil scores from a list of specified tests. The results of those specified tests constitute 60% of the value of the API. This bill, instead, would require that from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016, inclusive, the results of those tests constitute at least 50% of the value of the API. Commencing with the 2012-13 fiscal year, the Superintendent, in consultation with the State Board of Education, would be required to incorporate various indicators into the API, including high school graduation rates, rates by which pupils complete a course of study at an achievement level that fulfills the requirements and prerequisites for admission to California public institutions of postsecondary education, and rates by which pupils complete a course of study that provides the skills and knowledge necessary to attain entry-level employment in business or industry when they graduate from high school. The indicators incorporated by the Superintendent would constitute the other 50% of the API. The Superintendent would be required to implement these percentage adjustments to the API commencing with the 2016-17 fiscal year.

 

SB 161 (Huff R) Schools: emergency medical assistance: administration of epilepsy medication.  
Introduced: 2/2/2011  Last Amended: 5/17/2011
Status: 5/23/2011-Placed on APPR. suspense file.

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 an emergency antiseizure medication 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 the emergency antiseizure medication, as defined, in the event that the pupil suffers a seizure when a nurse is not available. The bill would require a school that elects to train school employees to distribute an electronic notice, as specified, to all staff regarding the request. The bill would authorize the California Department of Education to include, on its Internet Web site, a clearinghouse of best practices in training nonmedical personnel in administering an emergency antiseizure medication pursuant to these provisions. 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.

 

SB 547 (Steinberg D) Public school performance accountability: Academic Performance Index.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 5/4/2011
Status: 5/20/2011-Set for hearing May 26.

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.

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