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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - June 16, 2011

 

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Both Assembly and Senate Education Committees are set to hear bills next week on Wednesday, June 22nd. Dozens of measures are up, including a companion bill to the Dream Act by Assembly Member Gil Cedillo (D – Los Angeles). Several important charter school bills are scheduled to be heard along with measures impacting mandates, English learner testing, and California’s education data system. Summaries of these and other important bills are below.

 

Finance

AB 131 (Cedillo D) Student financial aid.
Introduced: 1/11/2011  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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 students attending and graduating from California technical schools and adult schools, as well as high schools.

 

AB 189 (Eng D) Education funding.
Introduced: 1/26/2011  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law establishes various categorical education programs and appropriates the funding for those programs in the annual Budget Act. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, for the 2008-09 to 2014-15 fiscal years, inclusive, to apportion from the amounts provided in the annual Budget Act for specified categorical education programs an amount based on the same relative proportion that the local educational agency received in the 2008-09 fiscal year for those programs and authorizes school districts, for those fiscal years, to use these funds, with specified exceptions, for any educational purpose, to the extent permitted by federal law. This bill would require that public hearing to be held prior to and independent of a meeting where the governing board of a school district or county office of education adopts a budget. The bill would also require the governing board to identify the program or programs to be closed prior to the public hearing, as specified.

 

AB 202 (Brownley D) Local educational agencies: reimbursable state mandates.
Introduced: 1/27/2011  Last Amended: 5/16/2011
Status: 6/13/2011-In committee: Hearing postponed by committee. (Refers to 6/8/2011 hearing)

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.

 

AB 440 (Brownley D) Charter schools.
Introduced: 2/14/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires the Controller, in consultation with the Department of Finance and the State Department of Education, to develop a plan to review and report on financial and compliance audits. Existing law requires the Controller to propose the content of an audit guide and authorizes a supplement to the audit guide to be suggested in the audit year to address issues resulting from new legislation in that year that changes the conditions of apportionment. Existing law requires the Controller to submit the proposed content of the audit guide and any supplement to the Education Audits Appeal Panel for review and possible amendment and requires the Education Audits Appeal Panel to adopt the audit guide and any supplement pursuant to the rulemaking procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. This bill would require the Controller to propose, and the Education Audits Appeal Panel to adopt, a charter school supplement to the audit guide in order to provide guidance to auditors regarding which sections of the school district and county office of education audit guide apply to charter schools and to create specific guidance related to the unique nature of charter schools.

 

AB 751 (Furutani D) Education finance.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 4/26/2011
Status: 6/7/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

Summary: Existing law requires the county superintendent of schools to submit two reports during the fiscal year to the county board of education on the financial condition of a county office of education, which certify if the county office of education is unable to meet its financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years or if a county office of education has a positive, qualified, or negative certification. This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the county superintendent to clearly distinguish between specified county offices of education as part of each of those reports, and any other report that indicated that a county office of education is assigned a qualified certification.

 

SB 821 (Fuller R) School district reorganization: fiscal actions affecting newly organized or reorganized school districts.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 5/17/2011
Status: 5/27/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Under existing law, the process of school district reorganization begins with the submission of a petition that is reviewed by the county superintendent of schools and, if sufficient, forwarded to the county committee on school district organization and the State Board of Education for additional review and public hearings. The county committee on school district organization is authorized to formulate plans and recommendations for the reorganization of school districts. The reorganization, if approved by the county committee on school district organization or the State Board of Education, is required to be voted upon during the next available election. The reorganization plans are also required to meet specified requirements, and the reorganization plans for school districts with more than 500,000 pupils based on average daily attendance are required to satisfy additional conditions. This bill would, with respect to a school district involved in a reorganization, as specified, require the interim or governing board of the existing school district or districts, and, where applicable, the administrators of the existing school district or districts, to notify the county superintendent of schools in writing and provide relevant documents and information no less than 10 schooldays, as defined, before taking any action on any matter that could have a material fiscal impact on, or impose a debt or liability on, the existing, proposed, newly formed, or newly organized school district.

 

Current & Instruction

AB 790 (Furutani D) Career technical education: Multiple Pathway Pilot Program.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-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, commencing with the 2012-13 school year, would establish the Multiple Pathway Pilot Program to be administered by the California Department of Education according to specified requirements for the purpose of implementing district-wide multiple pathway programs, as defined, 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 no more than 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 September 30, 2016, that makes specified evaluations and recommendations.

 

SB 402 (Correa D) Education: curriculum frameworks.
Introduced: 2/16/2011  Last Amended: 3/31/2011
Status: 5/27/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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: 5/3/2011
Status: 6/9/2011-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 532 (Hernandez D) Pupil instruction: high school curriculum.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 5/12/2011
Status: 6/2/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law contains legislative findings and declarations stating that advanced placement courses, among other things, help to improve the overall curriculum at schools where they are provided and provide a cost-effective means for high school pupils to obtain college-level coursework experience. This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction annually to update the information on advanced placement available on the Internet Web site of the California Department of Education to include current information on the various means available to school districts to offer or access advanced placement courses, including online courses, and annually to communicate with high schools that offer advanced placement courses in fewer than five subjects and inform them of the various options for making advanced placement courses and other rigorous courses available to pupils who may benefit from them.

 

SB 754 (Padilla D) Pupil assessment: California English Language Development Test.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/6/2011
Status: 5/19/2011-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. The assessment primarily consists of the administration of the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) that assesses pupils in grades 2 to 12, inclusive, in English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, and pupils in kindergarten and grade 1 in English listening and speaking. This bill would prohibit a pupil in any of grades 3 to 12, inclusive, to the extent permitted by federal law, from being required to retake those portions of the CELDT that measure English language skills for which he or she has previously tested as early advanced or advanced within the appropriate grade span, as determined by the California Department of Education in accordance with specified law. This prohibition would not become effective until the current CELDT publisher's contract expires. The bill would also state legislative findings and declarations regarding English learners and the CELDT.

 

Facilities

SB 132 (Lowenthal D) School facilities: state planning priorities.
Introduced: 1/27/2011  Last Amended: 5/11/2011
Status: 6/9/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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 review the guidelines, rules, regulations, procedures, and policies adopted for implementation of the Greene Act to ensure they reflect the state planning priorities referenced above and to revise those guidelines, rules, regulations procedures, and policies as necessary.

 

SB 423 (Wyland R) School facilities: local bond measures.
Introduced: 2/16/2011  Last Amended: 3/23/2011
Status: 5/27/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: The California Constitution limits the maximum amount of any ad valorem tax on real property to one percent (1%) of the full cash value of the property. The California Constitution states that the one percent limitation for ad valorem taxes does not apply to ad valorem taxes or assessments to pay the interest and redemption charges on bonded indebtedness incurred by a school district, community college district, or county office of education for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities approved by 55% of the voters if the proposition includes specified accountability requirements. The accountability requirements include a requirement that the governing board of either the school district or community college district or the county office of education conduct annual, independent performance and financial audits. This bill would require these annual audits to be submitted by March 31 of each year to the citizen's oversight committee for its review.

 

Human Resources

AB 13 (Knight R) Public school volunteers.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 5/11/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Coms. on ED. and PUB. S.

Summary: Existing law authorizes any person, except a person required to register as a sex offender pursuant to a designated provision, to be permitted by the governing board of a school district to serve as a nonteaching volunteer aide under the immediate supervision and direction of certificated personnel of the district to perform non-instructional work that serves to assist the certificated personnel of the district in their teaching and administrative responsibilities. Existing law authorizes a school district or county office of education to request that a local law enforcement agency conduct an automated records check of a prospective nonteaching volunteer aide in order to ascertain whether the prospective nonteaching volunteer aide has been convicted of a designated sex offense. This bill would specify that each of these provisions applies to charter schools. The bill would also authorize a school district, county office of education, or charter school to request a local law enforcement agency to conduct an automated records check of a prospective nonteaching volunteer aide in order to ascertain whether that person has been convicted of a felony controlled substance offense that involves a minor or a violent or serious felony, as specified. The bill would additionally prohibit persons who have been convicted of violent or serious felonies, specified sex offenses, or felony controlled substance offenses, as specified, from serving as nonteaching volunteer aides, but would provide that a person would not be prohibited from serving as a nonteaching volunteer aide solely because of a conviction of a controlled substance offense that involves a minor or a violent or serious felony five years after the date of that conviction.

 

AB 925 (Lara D) Charter schools.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/26/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-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 exempts charter schools from the laws governing school districts except those of the Charter Schools Act, those establishing minimum age for public school attendance, specified building code regulations, and other specified laws. Existing law requires a charter school to comply with its charter. This bill would require a charter school to comply with specified laws governing school employees, including, among others, those governing classified employees. The bill would require a charter school to give its employees employed in positions that would be classified positions in a school district sick leave and vacation time based on time served, in addition to 11 paid holidays, and would require a charter school to establish policies for paid sick leave and vacation time. To the extent this bill would impose additional duties on charter schools, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 9 (Ammiano D) Pupil rights: bullying.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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. This bill would require the policy adopted by the local educational agencies to prohibit discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics, as specified. The bill would also require the process for receiving and investigating complaints to include complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics, as specified, and to include a requirement that school personnel who witness such acts to take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so, a timeline to investigate and resolve complaints, and an appeal process, as specified.

 

AB 25 (Hayashi D) Athletics: concussions and head injuries.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: 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 supervised recreational 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 supervised recreational 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 143 (Fuentes D) Pupil records: privacy rights.  
Introduced: 1/13/2011  Last Amended: 4/6/2011
Status: 6/7/2011-Set, first hearing. Hearing cancelled at request of author. (Refers to 6/8/2011 hearing)

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 counsel of record for a minor to access pupil records for the same purposes stated above. The bill would also require a probation officer, district attorney, and counsel of record for a minor to be deemed to be local officials for purposes of specified federal law, and would require pupil records obtained pursuant to the above provision to be subject to specified evidentiary rules.

 

AB 360 (Brownley D) Charter schools.
Introduced: 2/14/2011  Last Amended: 4/6/2011
Status: 6/13/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

Summary: The Ralph M. Brown Act requires that all meetings of a legislative body, as defined, of a local agency be open and public and all persons be permitted to attend unless a closed session is authorized. The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act requires, with specified exceptions, that all meetings of a state body be open and public and all persons be permitted to attend. This bill would expressly state that a charter school is subject to the Ralph M. Brown Act, unless it is operated by an entity governed by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, in which case the school would be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.

 

AB 1034 (Gatto D) Charter schools.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-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 each charter school to annually prepare and submit specified reports to its chartering authority and the county superintendent of schools. This bill would require each charter school, at least six (6) months prior to applying for renewal of the charter, to additionally report specified information relating to pupil demographics and academic progress.

 

SB 381 (Pavley D) School attendance: residency requirements.
Introduced: 2/15/2011  Last Amended: 4/6/2011
Status: 4/28/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law provides that a pupil is deemed to have complied with the residency requirements for school attendance in a school district if the pupil satisfies one of the specified requirements. Until July 1, 2012, existing law authorizes a school district in which at least one parent or the legal guardian of a pupil is employed to allow that pupil to attend a school in that district through grade 12 if the parent or legal guardian of the pupil so chooses and if the parent or legal guardian of the pupil continues to be employed by an employer situated within the attendance boundaries of the district. This bill would extend the operation of the provision authorizing the school district in which a parent or the legal guardian of the pupil is physically employed to allow the pupil to attend a school in that district, through June 30, 2017, and would repeal the provision on January 1, 2018. The bill additionally would modify this provision by requiring that the parent or legal guardian's employment occur during a majority of the hours that the pupil is scheduled to be in school.

 

SB 473 (Price D) Pupils: dropouts: recovery programs.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 5/11/2011
Status: 6/9/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, on or before August 1, 2011, and annually thereafter, to submit to the Governor, the Legislature, and the State Board of Education a report called the Annual Report on Dropouts in California. Existing law requires, among other things, that the report contain specified information on dropout rates, graduation rates, and pupil promotion rates. Existing law states the intent of the Legislature that the report be usable by schools, school districts, policymakers, researchers, parents, and the public, for purposes of identifying and understanding trends, causal relations, early warning indicators, and potential points of intervention to address the high rate of dropouts in California. This bill would require the report also to include information about the availability of dropout recovery programs.

 

SB 512 (Price D) Academic Performance Index: pupil subgroups: performance data.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 4/13/2011
Status: 5/19/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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 school and pupil performance. Existing law requires a school to demonstrate comparable improvement in academic achievement as measured by the API by all numerically significant pupil subgroups at the school, including ethnic subgroups, socioeconomically disadvantaged pupils, English learners, and pupils with disabilities. For purposes of these provisions, existing law defines a numerically significant pupil subgroup as one that either consists of at least 50 pupils each of whom has a valid test score, or one that constitutes at least 15% of the total population of pupils at a school who have valid test scores, except as specified. This bill would require that reporting conducted pursuant to these provisions include performance data for pupil subgroups consisting of 10 or more pupils with valid test scores. The bill would require that this reporting be conducted in accordance with specified federal privacy laws, and would state the Legislature's intent that this data not be used for federal or state accountability purposes.

 

SB 745 (Hernandez D) Pupils: school attendance: school districts of choice.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 3/21/2011
Status: 6/9/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law defines a school district of choice as one in which the governing board has, by resolution, elected to accept interdistrict 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.