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CSBA Following These Bills as Legislature Returns on August 1

July 25, 2016

The California School Boards Association (CSBA) is following several key bills that await fiscal hearings and floor votes when the Legislature reconvenes from its summer recess on August 1, while others are unlikely to advance in 2016. The summer recess began on July 1; the 2015-16 legislative session ends on August 31. Here is CSBA’s rundown.

(Note: Fixing the reserve cap is still very much an active issue in 2016, and a legislative solution can still be reached before the current session ends.)

AB 934 (Bonilla, D-Concord) – Certificated school employees
A key bill addressing a number of the issues raised in the Vergara v. California lawsuit will not advance after being held by the Senate Education Committee today, after more than 90 minutes of zealous testimony and discussion from the bill’s author, education groups, teachers, administrators and members of the Committee. Described by author Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) as “a discussion on very, very important issues” that has been “exhaustively vetted over months,” AB 934 would have, among other things, extended the probationary period for new teachers from two years to three years, allowed school districts and labor unions to negotiate teacher dismissal processes locally and made changes to administrator evaluation procedures.

CSBA reported about this “work in progress” bill earlier in June and has been working closely with the author on key amendments to the bill, many of which were accepted prior to today’s hearing. These amendments included:

  1. Adjustment of probationary period for new teachers to add a third year to the current two-year probationary period.
  2. Removal of dismissal processes involving arbitration – the bill would allow for school districts and unions to negotiate dismissal processes locally.
  3. Removal of requirements for administrators from other districts and other school sites to participate in teacher evaluations

Status: Heard in Senate Education Committee on June 29; Heard in Senate Education Committee on June 29, held in committee on a 2-5 vote.
CSBA Position: Support if Amended

 

AB 2835 (Cooper, D-Elk Grove) – Public employees: orientation and informational programs
CSBA is working closely with a coalition of education management organizations in response to the introduction of AB 2835, which would require all public employers to provide an orientation to new employees within two months of hire while authorizing employee organizations to participate in those orientations; the bill also expands collective bargaining authority to include orientations for existing employees. CSBA signed onto a June 22 coalition letter with several other statewide groups representing education, counties, cities and local public agencies in opposition to the bill, on the grounds that it, among other things, 1) expands the scope of collective bargaining and places a heavy logistical burden on schools and public agencies, 2) is overly prescriptive in its scope and 3) would drive up costs for all local agencies. CSBA will continue discussions regarding this bill during the July recess.

Status: Heard in Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee on June 27, passed to Appropriations on a 3-2 vote; will be taken up by Appropriations in August.
CSBA Position: Oppose

 

AB 2316 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) – School facilities: leasing property
AB 2316 establishes a competitive selection process for school districts that choose to exercise the lease-leaseback option for school construction projects; the new process closely mirrors a design-build approach, whereby districts can consider the overall value of a proposal based on price and other factors and will be better able to avoid cost overruns. With amendments made earlier in June to clarify provisions of the bid process, CSBA adjusted its position from “support if amended” and now supports the bill.

Status: Heard in Senate Education Committee on June 29, passed as amended on a 7-0 vote to the Assembly Floor.
CSBA Position: Support

 

ACA 7 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) – Voting age: school and community college district governing board elections
In an effort to promote civic engagement for students, this proposed amendment to the state constitution would have granted 16- and 17-year-olds statewide, who are otherwise qualified based on residence, the right to vote in elections for school and community college governing board members.

CSBA took a position of “support if amended,” seeking to expand the scope of the amendment to apply to all non-federal elected positions and ballot measures. In its original form, limited only to school board elections, the amendment would have created inequalities in California’s voting populace by establishing one class of voters that does have full voting rights and one that does not. It would also create an inequitable situation where school and community college governing board members would be subject to a different electorate than every other elected position at every level of state and local government.

ACA 7 will not move forward in 2016 – following its most recent hearing, the bill’s sponsors have committed to conducting further research and collecting stakeholder feedback on the issue of lowering the voting age before revisiting the issue, which may happen in 2017. A similar bill, AB 2517 (Thurmond, D-Richmond), would have allowed California’s 121 charter cities to propose amending their charter to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school board member elections. CSBA opposed AB 2517, as it had the potential to alter the electorate for an entire school district even if the district only partially crosses boundaries with a charter city that exercised the option.

Status: ACA 7 was heard in Assembly Elections & Redistricting Committee on June 15; AB 2517 was heard by the same committee on April 27; both were held in committee.
CSBA Position: ACA 7: Support if Amended – AB 2517: Oppose

 

Legislative Committee Update

CSBA’s Legislative Committee met on Friday, June 24, adopting positions on the following legislation:

AB 575 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) – Instructional materials: follow-up adoptions
Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt instructional materials for kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive, and to adopt procedures for the submission of instructional materials, and provides that instructional materials may be submitted for adoption in specified subject areas every 8 years. This bill would instead provide that instructional materials may be submitted for adoption at least once but no more than twice every 8 years.

Status: Heard in Senate Education Committee on June 29; passed to Appropriations.
CSBA Position: Support

 

AB 2350 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) – English learners
Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt curriculum frameworks and evaluation criteria that are aligned to specified content standards for English language arts on or before July 30, 2014. This bill would define the terms “designated English language development” and “integrated English language development” for purposes of the English Language Arts/English Development Framework adopted by the state board, as specified. The bill would specify that a middle or high school pupil who is enrolled in an English language development course or is classified as an English learner shall not be prevented from enrolling in specified other courses required for graduation, grade promotion, or meeting specified college admission standards, and would require credit toward graduation to be conferred for courses designed for long-term English learners, except as specified.

CSBA Position: Support

 

SB 1121 (Leno, D-San Francisco) – Privacy: electronic communications: search warrant
Existing law prohibits a government entity from compelling the production of or access to electronic communication information or electronic device information, as defined, without a search warrant, wiretap order, order for electronic reader records, or subpoena issued pursuant to specified conditions, except for emergency situations, as defined. Existing law also specifies the conditions under which a government entity may access electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device, such as pursuant to a search warrant, wiretap order, or consent of the owner of the device. This bill would additionally authorize a government entity, without a warrant or other order, to access electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device for the purpose of accessing information concerning the location of the electronic device in order to respond to an emergency 911 call from that device. The bill would also provide that the definition of "electronic device" for purposes of the bill does not include a magnetic strip on a driver’s license or identification card, as prescribed. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

CSBA Position: Oppose Unless Amended

Source:  California School Boards Association



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