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Bills to Watch: ACSA Tracking Key Legislation

July 25, 2016

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As the Legislature prepares to come back from its summer recess on August 1, there will be a flurry of activity, as both houses have exactly one month to pass bills and send them to the governor.

The Association of California School Administrators’ Governmental Relations is working on dozens of K-12 related bills, and following is a partial list:

  1. AB 2835, Cooper. This bill was recently amended to require public agencies, including schools, to collectively bargain orientation meetings for new and existing employees and require 30 minutes within the first hour of the orientation for unions to talk to their members. The bill passed out of Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee and is now in Appropriations. ACSA position: Oppose.
  2. SB 799, Hill. This is a compromise proposal on the school district budget reserve cap. It would raise the cap to 17 percent from the current 6 percent. It would exempt small school and basic aid districts from the cap. It did not get out of Education committee. ACSA position: Support.
  3. AB 934, Bonilla. This was a proposal in the wake of the failure of the Vergara lawsuit. It would have extended the probationary time for new teachers; required districts to provide coaching and mentoring for teachers in their third year of probation; required administrator training on evaluations; and made the LIFO policy a potentially collectively bargained issue. It failed to pass out of the Senate Education Committee after a two-hour meeting. However, it could still be amended and reheard. ACSA position: Support, if amended.
  4. AB 2393, Campos. This legislation would extend the length of paid parental leave to 12 weeks of differential pay. ACSA opposed the bill, but was able to work on two amendments: 1) clarify that leave under this bill is limited to up to 12 weeks of family leave (bill would have accidentally allowed up to 24 weeks of leave) and 2) amendments currently being written to address a drafting error. The bill was intended to allow for a district to determine whether it would offer differential pay or 50 percent pay during the leave. The bill states that it is up to the individual employee to determine. AB 2393 is expected to be amended in August to fix this issue. ACSA position: Disapprove.
  5. SB 1432, Huff. This legislation deals with issues of attendance and school districts of choice. It would extend the sunset date for DOC and delete the 10 percent cap for students transferring out of a district. It is in Appropriations. ACSA position: Neutral.
  6. SB 884, Beall. This legislation deals with special education and providing mental health services. It requires local education agencies and SELPAs to submit to the CDE how they have spent their mental health funds and what the impact of those funds has been on the students served. ACSA has concerns about it being overly prescriptive on how funding is allocated. The bill is in Appropriations. ACSA position: Oppose, unless amended.
  7. AB 1084, Bonilla. This bill was recently amended to prohibit online charter schools from being owned or operated as a for-profit entity. It has passed committee. ACSA has not yet taken a position since the bill was just amended. The charter community is opposed, which will likely result in a veto, unless the charter concerns are addressed.
  8. AB 2853, Gatto. This bill deals with requirements of the California Public Records Act. Under this law, state and local agencies – including school districts – must make their records available for public inspection, and make copies available upon request, unless the records are exempt from disclosure. The bill would authorize agencies that post a public record on their websites to first refer requests to inspect or obtain a copy of the public record to the website where the public record is posted.
  9. ACSA and the Orange County Office of Education are sponsoring the bill to reform the Public Records Act as a result of complaints from our members. The problem is that for-profit companies are demanding information on employees, so they can market to them. Much of this information is already available on websites, but it is easier to demand it from the public agency. This bill allows public agencies to refer individuals to the website to find information requested under the Public Records Act, instead of providing the information that is already available. ACSA position: Co-sponsor.
  10. SB 1225, Mendoza. This legislation would create a “Teacher Bill of Rights.” It requires the principal in each school to post a notice of teachers’ rights in a common area of the school’s administrative offices. ACSA position: Oppose. Among the requirements ACSA opposes is the expansion of rights for teachers where they currently do not exist. After several meetings with Sen. Mendoza, he has agreed not to move the bill forward in its current form and has asked ACSA to provide input on a classroom bill of rights.
  11. AB 2197, Garcia. This bill would extend unemployment benefits up to eight weeks to classified employees for the time between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next. The eight weeks would be phased in over the next four years, two weeks added per year. The argument against this legislation centers around the economic impact on employers and that these employees are not employed during a break in service. ACSA has opposed this bill every time it has been introduced. In response to the cost issue raised by ACSA, the bill was amended to only go into effect should the budget provide funding to school districts for the cost of insurance. ACSA position: Oppose.

Source:  Association of California School Administrators

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