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Bills on the Move

By Andrew Keller - June 29, 2011

 

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Legislators will have a number of bills waiting for them after the July 4th holiday weekend. Assembly Education Committee Chair Julia Brownley (D – Santa Monica) will have her education finance reform bill, AB 18, heard in the Senate Education Committee, and Senator Alex Padilla (D – Pacoima) will present his two bills altering assessments for English Language Learners to the Assembly Education Committee. Here are the summaries of these three measures along with a few other notable bills to be heard next Wednesday, July 6th.

 

Finance

AB 18 (Brownley D) Education finance: school-based financial reporting system: Targeted Pupil Equity funding: Quality Instruction funding.
Introduced: 12/6/2010  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-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. Existing law establishes a public school funding system that includes, among other elements, the provision of funding to local educational agencies through state apportionments, the proceeds of property taxes collected at the local level, and other sources. This bill would enact the Education Finance Reform Act. The bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction, on or before December 1, 2012, to make recommendations to the Legislature and the Governor regarding prescribed topics relating to the statutory and regulatory changes that would be necessary to support the development, implementation, and use of comprehensive school-level financial data. These provisions would be repealed on December 1, 2015. The bill would require the Superintendent, on or before July 1, 2012, to make all ministerial changes that are necessary to support the future reporting of school-level financial data by local educational agencies, as specified. The bill also would require the Superintendent, on or before July 1, 2012, and annually thereafter, to notify the superintendent of each school district and county office of education, and the administrator of each charter school, of specified items relating to tracking and reporting school-level financial data.

 

Current & Instruction

AB 250 (Brownley D) Instructional materials: pupil assessment.
Introduced: 2/3/2011  Last Amended: 5/27/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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, as defined, 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 2014-15 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: 6/21/2011-Withdrawn from committee. Re-referred to Com. on ED.

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.

 

SB 140 (Lowenthal D) Instructional materials: common core academic content standards.
Introduced: 1/31/2011  Last Amended: 5/24/2011
Status: 6/16/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

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 753 (Padilla D) Pupils: English learners: assessment.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 5/31/2011
Status: 6/16/2011-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 in order to determine the level of proficiency of those pupils. 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. Existing law requires that the assessment be conducted upon initial enrollment, and annually thereafter during a period of time determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education, until the pupil is redesignated as English proficient. This bill, commencing with the 2013-14 school year, would require the annual assessment to be conducted during a 3-month test period commencing with the day upon which 65% of the instructional year is completed, and would provide which assessment is to be used for purposes of an initial enrollment.

 

SB 754 (Padilla D) Pupil assessment: California English Language Development Test.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 4/6/2011
Status: 6/22/2011-Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

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: 6/22/2011-Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

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.

 

Miscellaneous

AB 203 (Brownley D) Public schools: parent empowerment: school intervention.
Introduced: 1/27/2011  Last Amended: 5/11/2011
Status: 6/8/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: Existing law requires a local educational agency to implement one of several specified interventions for a school not identified as a persistently lowest-achieving school that, after one full school year, fails to meet specified criteria and has a specified percentage of parents and legal guardians of pupils sign a petition requesting the local educational agency to implement at least one of five specified interventions. Existing law requires a local educational agency to implement the intervention option requested by the petition unless the agency makes a specified finding in a regularly scheduled public hearing. This bill would require interventions to be implemented also for a school that is identified as persistently lowest-achieving but does not receive specified school improvement grant funding. The bill would require a governing board of a local educational agency to allow parents and legal guardians to provide testimony at the regularly scheduled public hearing. To the extent these provisions would impose additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

 

AB 401 (Ammiano D) Charter schools.  
Introduced: 2/14/2011  Last Amended: 5/12/2011
Status: 6/15/2011-In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.

Summary: The Charter Schools Act of 1992 authorizes any one or more persons to submit a petition to the governing board of a school district to establish a charter school that operates independently from the existing school district structure as a method of accomplishing specified goals. The act limits the maximum number of charter schools authorized to operate in the 1998-99 school year to 250, and authorizes an additional 100 charter schools to operate in each year thereafter. This bill would limit, until January 1, 2017, the maximum total number of charter schools authorized to operate in the state to 1,450. The bill would prohibit charter schools operated by a private entity from employing relatives of charter school personnel, as specified.

 

SB 547 (Steinberg D) Public school performance accountability.
Introduced: 2/17/2011  Last Amended: 6/13/2011
Status: 6/13/2011-From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-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), consisting of specified indicators, to measure the performance of schools and pupils. This bill would make these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2013, and repeal them as of January 1, 2014. The bill would require the Superintendent, in consultation with a specified advisory committee, to develop an Education Quality Index (EQI), which would replace the API and consist of a State Assessment Index, a Graduation Rate Index, a College Preparedness Index, and a Career Readiness Index. The bill would require that these indices consist of specified criteria. The bill would require the state board to provide opportunities for public input, make changes as necessary, and adopt the EQI no later than August 1, 2013. Commencing with the 2013-14 school year, the bill would require that all schools and school districts be evaluated using an EQI value. The bill would require the Superintendent to report to the Governor and the Legislature by July 1, 2014, and annually thereafter, specified information relating to the creation of additional indices. The bill also would require the Superintendent, in consultation with a specified advisory committee, to report to the Governor and the Legislature, by July 1, 2018, on the effectiveness and reliability of the EQI and any statutory changes needed for improvement. To the extent that this bill would impose new duties on school districts in connection with the establishment of the EQI, including, but not limited to, new reporting duties, it would impose a state-mandated local program.

 

SB 645 (Simitian D) Charter schools: charter renewal.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 5/11/2011
Status: 6/9/2011-Referred to Com. on ED.

Summary: The Charter Schools Act of 1992 (Charter Schools Act) specifies the procedures for the submission, review, and approval or denial of a petition to establish a charter school. The Charter Schools Act limits the duration of charters to a period not to exceed five years, and authorizes the chartering authority to grant one or more subsequent renewals for an additional period of five years. The Charter Schools Act prescribes the requirements a charter school must meet in order to have its charter renewed, including a requirement that a charter school that has been in operation for four years satisfy at least one of several specified criteria regarding academic performance. This bill would change the criteria a charter school is required to meet in order to have its charter renewed.

 

SB 919 (Lieu D) School Safety: sexting.
Introduced: 2/18/2011  Last Amended: 5/10/2011
Status: 6/23/2011-Hearing postponed by committee. (Refers to 6/22/2011 hearing)

Summary: Existing law, the Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985, establishes the School/Law Enforcement Partnership, and requires the partnership to establish a statewide school safety cadre for the purpose of facilitating interagency coordination and collaboration to reduce school violence and crime, truancy rates, bullying, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and harassment. Existing law requires the partnership to sponsor at least two regional conferences to identify exemplary programs and techniques that have been effectively used to reduce school crime, including hate crimes, vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership and gang violence, truancy, and excessive absenteeism. The conferences may include, but need not be limited to, information on specified topics. This bill would define sexting for purposes of that act as the sending or receiving of sexually explicit pictures or video images by means of an electronic act. The bill would require the partnership's school safety programs to also have the purpose of reducing sexting, and would include sexting as a topic that may be included in the partnership's conferences.

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