Brown Vetoes Bills Involving Later School Start Time, Suspension Ban and Standardized Testing

October 3, 2018

In a flurry of activity during late September and early October, Governor Jerry Brown signed scores of bills. But he also vetoed a number of bills as well, including three that are of interest to K-12 educators:

Brown Vetoes Later Start Time for Middle School, High School Students

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill on September 20 requiring that California middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., saying the decision of when to start classes should be up to schools not the state...

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Brown Signs Bills Impacting Medi-Cal Billing, Migrant Students, and Banning For-Profit Charter Schools

October 3, 2018

During late September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed several bills backed by the California School Boards Association (CSBA):

Brown signed Assembly Bill 3192 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach), a CSBA co-sponsored bill that will streamline the process for receiving Medi-Cal funding. The bill requires that, by Jan. 1, 2020, the California Department of Health Care Services prepares and distributes a fiscal and compliance guide for the LEA Medi-Cal Billing Option. This guide will provide greater clarity and consistency for schools receiving funding from this program...

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Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenges to Two California Gun Safety Laws

September 6, 2018

On August 3, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra hailed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recent rejection of challenges to California's Gun-Free School Zone Act in Gallinger v. Becerra, and California's Unsafe Handgun Act in Peña v. Lindley.

"The Court ruled in favor of protecting our children, our law enforcement, and our public safety,” said Attorney General Becerra. “California will continue to lead and remains committed to protecting its residents and reducing gun violence.”...

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DeVos Considering Policy to Make It Easier to Arm Teachers, NEA Says Students Need More Books, Not Gun in Classroom

September 6, 2018

On August 23, President Lily Eskelsen García of the National Education Association (NEA) opposed the proposed guidance by the Department of Education. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is considering guidance that will allow Title IV-A funds to be used for arming teachers.

“The idea of arming teachers is ill-conceived, preposterous, and dangerous. Arming teachers and other school personnel does nothing to prevent gun violence...

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CDE Creates Team to Recommend Updates in Charter School Law

August 22, 2018

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced on August 14 that he is creating an Action Team on Charter Schools to review laws governing California’s charter schools, and provide recommendations about any needed changes to the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Governor, State Board of Education, and State Legislature.

The guiding law for charter schools - the California Charter School Act - was enacted 26 years ago but has had few changes and little comprehensive review since then. In the meantime, California’s population and student population have increased significantly, our demographics have shifted, and our education system has been transformed with the introduction of new academic standards and new systems for funding and evaluating schools, Torlakson said...

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CSBA Legislative Update
Bills Signed to Streamline Credentialing Requirements, Delay Start of Board Member Terms Following Election

August 7, 2018

(Editor’s note: the California School Boards Association (CSBA) published this summary of new legislation on July 25, 2018)

The first crop of 2018 bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown includes CSBA’s first signed co-sponsored bill of the year, and a measure that delays the required start date of a school or county board member’s term of office by one week. Assembly Bills 2285 and 2449 were both signed into law on July 20.

AB 2285 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) - Out-of-state prepared teachers - Co-sponsor - CSBA co-sponsored AB 2285 to remove critical barriers for teachers credentialed in other states to attain a clear credential in California...

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Carl Perkins Career Technical Education Act Reauthorized by Congress

August 7, 2018

On July 25, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) applauded the bipartisan effort that has resulted in the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (CTE Act). Last reauthorized in 2006, the CTE Act is a vital source of federal support for our students, helping them gain the academic and practical skills they need for successful careers.

“We appreciate the modernization of this crucial piece of legislation that will expand college- and career-readiness opportunities for our public school students and strengthen both local and national economies,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director & CEO...

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Torlakson Urges Support for Student Mental Health Legislation

August 7, 2018

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is urging educators, parents, school board members, community leaders and all residents to voice their support for state legislation that will improve mental health services for students.

Torlakson is putting a major focus on mental health awareness and treatment, suicide prevention, and school safety as the Legislature reconvenes August 6 for the final weeks of the 2017-18 session...

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New California Law Will Automatically Register Teens to Vote As They Receive CDL or State ID

May 3, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation to automatically pre-register all voting eligible 16- and 17-year-olds to vote when they receive a California Driver’s License or California State ID.

The measure, AB 1407, by Assembly members Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) and sponsored by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, will automatically pre-register approximately 200,000 teens to vote annually and will be the largest expansion of youth voter access in American history, according to McCarty’s office...

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Legislation Would Strengthen School Climates and Provide Safe Learning Environments

April 21, 2018

Legislation by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) that is intended to help school districts improve school climate is advancing through the California Legislature.

AB 2820 was introduced earlier this year by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). The bill sets up a “Community Engagement and School Climate for Continuous Improvement Block Grant.” This fund would provide school districts, at no cost, the option of using state-vetted school climate surveys, along with support and technical assistance on the administration of the surveys and utilization of results to improve school conditions and climate. If districts choose to use the surveys, they would be conducted annually with students, parents, teachers, and school staff...

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Achievement Gap Legislation by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber Advances

April 21, 2018

By Manny Otiko, California Black Media

Legislators and education advocates came together on April 11 to show support for a bill that they believe will help fix how education is funded for one of the lowest performing subgroups. Advocates say there was a flaw in the five-year-old law that overhauled how education funding is appropriated to school districts through the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

Assembly Bill 2635, authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), would target $350 million towards struggling school districts. Many of these districts educate California’s black student population which has historically failed to meet grade-level proficiency in math and reading and perform right above special education students...

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NAACP Opposes Legislation to Arm Teachers at School

March 9, 2018

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) -- the nation’s leading civil rights organization -- issued the following statement on March 8 regarding the arming of Florida teachers with guns. Johnson said:

“The Florida Legislature voted yesterday to allow teachers to carry weapons in schools. The NAACP finds the very idea of arming teachers as a solution to gun violence utterly absurd and misguided. We know that children of color are portrayed and seen as more dangerous, more culpable and less human than children viewed as white.  Given this background, how can parents of Black children feel comfortable sending their children to a school where guns abound and where the perception of threat could have deadly consequences?  Can one imagine telling a parent that their child has been shot in school not by an intruder but by a teacher or staff person who felt threatened by them?...

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