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July SBE Hearing ­ Accountability and Assessment

Just like the last few SBE hearings, the July meeting focused on accountability and assessment and included extensive discussion but few official actions. Below is a summary of the key items, including the Evaluation Rubrics, the SARC, the Smarter Balanced Summative and Interim Assessments, the Digital Library, Technology, the California Alternate Assessment Field Test, the Next Generation Science Standards Assessments, and the ELD Standards implementation.

SBE - SARC Template - 2014-15 School Year

ACCOUNTABILITY

Evaluation Rubrics – Adoption Deadline Extended

One of the most significant pieces of the new accountability system is the Evaluation Rubrics. According to California Education Code Section 52064.5, the evaluation rubrics will allow LEAs to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and areas that require improvement; assist county superintendents of schools to identify needs and focus technical assistance; and assist the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to direct interventions when warranted. The rubrics are also expected to provide standards for school district and individual school site performance and expectations for improvement as related to the eight LCFF state priorities.

Originally, SBE was required to approve the rubrics by October 2015. However, the SBE discussion at the May SBE hearing brought to light the misalignment between the deadline for adopting the rubrics and the time needed to ensure the rubrics are built on a solid evidence-based foundation and implemented as a part of a coherent accountability system.  The 2015-16 State Budget included a provision to extend the adoption timeline one year to October 2016.

The additional time is intended to allow CDE to work in collaboration with WestEd to prepare analyses of data related to state priorities to inform the content and structure of the rubrics. The extra time will also allow for the alignment of the rubrics to other emerging elements of the state’s accountability and support system and for the results of the new assessments to be taken into consideration.

At the July hearing, SBE members were presented with an updated evaluation rubrics plan and asked for feedback regarding a policy frame. Members also received a review of college and career accountability systems from other states that might help inform the design of California’s system. Over the next several months, the board will need to determine what indicators should be included in the rubrics. They will need to resolve what should replace the former Academic Performance Index (API) and how to incorporate it into both the rubrics and the LCAP. Finally, the board must decide how to apply the new standards to students in Special Education and, with that, how to hold LEAs responsible for moving all students forward.

School Accountability Report Card (SARC)

SBE approved three changes to the SARC:

  • Updating the state assessment tables to delete the tables for the prior STAR exams and to include the 2014-15 results for the new CAASPP assessments in ELA and math
  • Updating the state and federal accountability tables by deleting the two API tables and expanding the Average Yearly Progress (AYP) table to include all schools
  • Adding a new student group, foster youth, where applicable

The new SARC template and a document aligning the SARC with the eight state priorities are both attached.

ASSESSMENT - California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP)– Update on Program Activities

Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments

According to CDE, this year’s operational test has run smoothly and the administration benefitted from last year’s field test of all eligible students.

Online Reporting System (ORS) to Report Preliminary Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment Results

On May 4, CDE launched the ORS for LEA CAASPP coordinators. ORS provides partial and preliminary individual student summative results and aggregate reports by LEA, school, content area, grade level, and student groups. Results are available approximately four weeks after a student completes a test in one of the content areas. Users will be able to view the average scale score for a specific group or entity and the number of completed assessments. However, users will only have access to their specific LEA or school.

Public Web Reporting of Statewide CAASPP Results

CDE will be releasing aggregate results for both the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments as well as the legacy assessments for science and reading language arts in Spanish on the CDE DataQuest Web site after testing has been completed. This release will likely occur in August 2015. As with the STAR reporting, this will provide state-, county-, LEA-, and school-level reports by student groups (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, and economic status). The legacy assessments will be reported using the same platform as in previous years.

At the SBE hearing, board members expressed concern over the lateness of the results release since many districts will have already begun or be about to begin the school year. The members pushed back on the timing of the release, disturbed that it conflicted with the intent of the assessments to inform instruction.

Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments

CDE has made an Interim Assessment Viewing System available to LEA staff with access to the interim assessments. This “view only” interface allows educators to access and view the full range of interim assessments prior to administering them.

Smarter Balanced Digital Library

CDE is developing a Digital Library training video to help kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12) educators understand the formative assessment process, how to navigate and search for resources in the Digital Library, and how to use the Digital Library cross-state collaboration features. The video will be available on the CDE Digital Library Web page sometime this month.

Technology Update

The Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant (BIIG), which was developed to aide LEAs with network infrastructure issues, is ongoing. In fact, the 2015-16 State Budget contains $50 million in one-time funds for the K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN) to support additional network connectivity infrastructure grants. Priority for the funds will be given to LEAs lacking sufficient bandwidth to administer state assessments. Projects with costs in excess of $1,000 per pupil will require approval from the Department of Finance (DOF). If funds remain after the first priorities are met, K12HSN may provide grants to under-connected LEAs in a cost-effective manner (and with approval from DOF). There are still 46 sites lacking network connectivity.

California Alternate Assessment Field Test (CAA)

The CAA Field test opened on April 15, and closed on June 10, 2015. Eligible students were given 15 items each in ELA and mathematics. Each content area took approximately 45–60 minutes to complete. The tests were computer-based and administered one-on-one with the examiner.  CDE continues to have conversations with the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) as plans are developed for the 2015­–16 operational test.

At the hearing, SBE approved the CAA Blueprints for ELA and mathematics. The development of the CAA blueprints focused on strengthening the link between the test items and grade-level Common Core State Standards and the Core Content Connectors (CCCs). The CCCs were developed by NCSC. The use of the blueprints will begin with the 2016 administration.

NCSC has an RFP with some states to develop an alternate assessment. While it is too late for California to participate in the RFP, the state may be able to “piggyback” by either using the assessment or by using items from the test in California’s assessment.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Assessments

CDE continues to work with state and national science educators and experts involved in NGSS assessment development work. CDE is a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Science Assessment Item Collaborative (SAIC) – a collaborative of states established to develop high-quality summative science test items aligned to the NGSS that could be used by member states as they build state science assessments.

California English Language Development Standards (ELD Standards) Implementation

Following the adoption of the ELD Standards, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and SBE presented to the Governor, and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature, a schedule and implementation plan for integrating the new ELD Standards into the public education system.

The ELD Standards Implementation Plan identifies major phases and activities in the implementation of the ELD Standards throughout California’s educational system. The goal of the plan is to serve as a guide of the major steps in the development, adoption, and implementation of the standards for local educational agencies and county offices of education. ELD Standards Implementation Plan

At the SBE hearing, it was announced that the RFP for the new English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) had been approved and that CDE and was moving forward.

Lee Angela Reid, Senior Legislative Advocate
CAPITOL ADVISORS GROUP

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2015-16 K-12 Education Budget

As we reported earlier, the 2015-16 Budget Act process was a little unusual this year. The Legislature met the June 15 Budget Act deadline by passing a Budget Bill (AB 93) that included about $2 billion more in spending than the Governor proposed in his May Revision. The very next day, the leaders of both houses announced a “compromise” with the Governor that is only $61 million dollars higher than the Governor’s May Revision, but finds additional spending capacity by identifying additional “cost savings” since the May Revision. Those funds are primarily used to help fund expansions in early learning.

The budget deal for 2015-16 includes the Legislature’s initial Budget Act (AB 93), a second Budget Act bill (SB 97) that amends the initial Budget Act, and a number of “trailer bills” that include additional appropriations and changes in statutory language related to program details.  The Governor is expected to make only minor adjustments to this budget deal, and we expect his signature on the package of bills no later than July 1st.

The 2015-16 state general fund budget spends $115.4 billion, and also transfers $1.9 billion to the Rainy Day Fund reserve (increasing the reserve to a total of $3.5 billion). The budget assumes the 2015-16 Proposition 98 guarantee is $68.4 billion, which is $7.5 billion higher than the 2014-15 Budget Act guarantee and $2.1 billion higher than the revised 2014-15 guarantee.  Overall, very good news for K-14 spending over the last couple of years.

Following are some of the key K-12 education elements of the final budget deal:

$6 Billion for Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

The 2015-16 Budget will appropriate an additional $5.994 billion for implementation of the LCFF. This will provide 51.52% gap closure in 2015-16, and brings the total of K-12 funds allocated through the LCFF to about $52 billion.  According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), this provides for 90% of LCFF entitlement targets to be funded in 2015-16.

$3.2 Billion in Discretionary One-Time Funds

The 2015-16 Budget appropriates about $3.8 billion in Proposition 98 K-14 funding as fully discretionary one-time funding that also counts to pay down the existing mandate backlog. Of this, $3.2 billion is allocated to K-12 and will be distributed on a per Average Daily Attendance (ADA) basis.  Districts, county offices and charter schools should receive a little more than $530 per ADA.

The Budget includes intent language, but does not require, that these funds be spent on professional development, teacher induction, and supporting implementation of state-adopted academic content standards. The Budget also includes language that ensures that school districts and community colleges do not have to remit funding to pay for disallowed costs identified by audits of mandate reimbursement claims.

County offices of education will receive an additional $40 million of this discretionary one-time funding (distributed on the basis of county-wide ADA and the number of school districts in the county) for increased accountability responsibilities related to LCAP oversight.

$897 million to eliminate remaining K-12 Deferrals

As required by the “trigger” enacted in trailer bill legislation last year, the 2015-16 Budget will eliminate the remaining K-14 deferrals and produce the first budget without K-14 deferrals since 2000-01.

Early Learning and Child Care

The 2015-16 Budget will increase spending on preschool and child care (both CalWORKS and non-CalWORKs programs) by $423 million over 2014-15 Budget Act funding levels, with a little more than half of that increase funded within Proposition 98. Most of the additional spending is for increased reimbursement rates and creating new slots.  Specifically, the Budget:

  • Annualizes funding for 4000 full-day State Preschool slots initiated on June 15, 2015; provides funding for 7030 full-day slots, effective January 1, 2016; provides 2500 part-day State Preschool slots with priority for children with disabilities, effective July 1, 2015; and provides 6,800 alternative payment program (voucher) slots, effective July 1, 2015.
  • Provides a five percent increase to the Standard Reimbursement Rate, which is used to pay providers who contract with the State Department of Education.
  • Provides a 4.5 percent increase to the Regional Market Rate (RMR) for all counties. The RMR is used to pay providers who accept vouchers.
  • Increases, from 60 percent to 65 percent of the family child care home rate, the reimbursement to license-exempt child care providers, effective October 1, 2015.
  • Shifts local educational agencies’ “wrap care” into the Proposition 98 guarantee.
  • Provides a cost-of-living adjustment for free and reduced price meals served at schools and child care centers.
  • Effective October 1, 2015, establishes the RMR ceilings at the greater of either the 85th percentile of the 2009 RMR survey, reduced by 10.11 percent; or, the 85th percentile of the 2005 RMR survey. These ceilings must be calculated to include the additional 4.5 across-the-board increase, as discussed above
  • Requires that adjustment factors for serving specified infants, toddlers, children with exceptional needs, children with severe disabilities, children at risk of abuse or neglect, or limited-English speaking and non-English speaking children, must apply to a full-day State Preschool program when reimbursement rates are above the full-day State Preschool rate.
  • Establishes income eligibility limits for state subsidized child care at 70 percent of the state median income that was in use for the 2007–08 fiscal year, adjusted for family size.
  • Eliminates the July 1, 2018, sunset on the San Francisco individualized county child care subsidy pilot program.
  • Includes provisional language for Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) consortia to provide training, technical assistance, and resources to help infant and toddler child care providers meet a higher tier of quality. Specifies that each county participating in a QRIS consortia must receive a minimum grant of $25,000.
  • Authorizes the Resource and Referral network to receive $300,000 in one-time federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funds to support data collection efficiency.

Educator Effectiveness Training

The 2015-16 Budget includes $500 million in one-time funds for educator effectiveness. Of that amount:

  • $490 million is provided for school districts, county offices of education, charter schools and special schools in an equal amount per certificated staff in the 2014-15 fiscal year.  The funding may be used for beginning teacher and administrator support and mentoring; professional development, coaching, and support services for teachers who have been identified as needing improvement or additional support; professional development for teachers and administrators that is aligned to state academic content standards; and activities such as training on mentoring and coaching certificated staff, and training certificated staff to support effective teaching and learning.
  • $10 million is provided to the K-12 High Speed Network to provide professional development and training related to network management and infrastructure.

As a condition of receiving funds, local educational agencies must develop and adopt a plan for expenditure of funds. Funds may be expended through the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Career Technical Education and ROC/Ps

The 2015-16 Budget establishes the California Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program, a competitive grant program administered by the CDE to provide support for career technical education in grades 7-12.  The program provides $400 million in 2015-16, $300 million in 2016-17, and $200 million in 2017-18 for competitive grants in three size (i.e., ADA) related spans (0-140, 140-550, over 550 average daily attendance). The new grant program:

  • Requires a dollar-for-dollar match from each applicant in 2015-16, with an increasing local match required in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
  • Specifies the sources of this local match and states that these sources cannot include funding received through the Career Pathways Trust program.
  • Requires “positive consideration” be given to applicants who have not operated a Career Technical Education program; will serve low-income, English learner, and foster youth students; will serve students from schools with a high dropout rate; are located in areas with high unemployment rates; leverage other resources (e.g., Perkins, CPA, Ag Ed, labor, industry and philanthropic sources); collaborate regionally; provide infrastructure and equipment; or operate in rural districts.
  • Requires applicants to submit a three-year plan for the funds with specified elements.

Various local education entities (districts, county offices of education, charter schools and JPA operated ROCPs) may apply for this funding, and may apply for renewal grants under specified circumstances.

Adult Education Block Grant

The Budget establishes the Adult Education Block Grant program and appropriates $500 million for adult education services provided through regional consortia. The State Superintendent and Chancellor of the Community Colleges jointly approve consortia, including governance structures and funding allocations, with the advice of the Executive Director of the State Board of Education. Of this total funding the appropriation to school district adult education programs, based on the maintenance-of-effort certification, is capped at $375 million.  The remainder of the funding will be allocated to consortia or consortia members by the Superintendent and Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Executive Director of the State Board of Education. The language also specifies that joint powers agencies may participate as adult education consortia members and that older adults may access programs that relate to employment or helping children succeed in elementary and secondary education. The program also:

  • Provides for the development and collection of outcome data relating to the effectiveness of each adult education consortia in meeting the educational and workforce training needs of adults. Authorizes the Chancellor and Superintendent to collaborate on the development of common outcome data collection, and requires them to report to the Legislature by November 1, 2015 on progress.
  • Changes references to apprenticeship programs in adult education statutes to pre-apprenticeship training activities conducted in coordination with apprenticeship programs approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. Pre-apprenticeship programs will provide job preparation training courses that will lead into apprenticeship programs.

The budget also provides $25 million for data collection and reporting related to these programs.

Other K-12 Items

The 2015-16 Budget also:

  • Provides $50 million to the K-12 High Speed Network to facilitate technology infrastructure improvements according to a tiered priority structure that focuses on LEAs lacking sufficient internet capacity to administer state assessments.
  • Appropriates $273 million to the School Facilities Emergency Repair Account, to fulfill the terms of the Williams v. State of California settlement.
  • Provides $67 million ($63 million Prop 98 and $4 million federal funds) for a package of special education-related activities, with the largest increase for expanding services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities.  This package includes $10 million in one-time funds to a county office of education (or two applying jointly) to provide technical assistance and to develop and disseminate statewide resources that encourage and assist local educational agencies and charter schools in establishing and aligning school-wide, data-driven systems of learning and behavioral supports for the purpose of meeting the needs of the state’s diverse learners in the most inclusive environments possible.
  • Provides $40 million to fund a 1.02% COLA for the remaining K-12 categorical programs that receive COLAs.
  • Provides a $10 million augmentation of the Foster Youth Services program which, among other things, covers foster youth living with their relatives, and specifies that funds appropriated for the foster youth services program are intended to expand eligibility that aligns program requirements to reflect the establishment of the Local Control Funding Formula.
  • Appropriates $350,000 for support and development of evaluation rubrics through a contract between the CDE and the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
  • Extends the deadline for the State Board of Education to adopt evaluation rubrics for one year, to October 1, 2016.
  • Establishes homeless students as a subgroup for purposes of the unduplicated pupil counts used in Local Control and Accountability Plans.
  • Shifts transportation funding that has gone to home-to-school joint powers agencies (JPAs) to the agencies’ member school districts, but includes authority for the JPAs to continue to operate and administer the program.  Under the new authority,  any JPA that directly received the funds in the 2012-13 fiscal year, could identify its members to the state and choose to transfer the entitlement to funding to “any of those member local educational agencies”.  This essentially means that the JPA cannot receive the funding directly anymore, but any member or members of the JPA could receive the full entitlement of the JPA and then pass it through to the JPA.
  • Permits, through 2019-20, a phase-in of school district contributions to routine restricted maintenance accounts (no less than 2 percent by 2017-18 and 3 percent by 2020-21) and allows funds to be used for drought mitigation purposes. School districts that received an amount greater than ten percent of school facilities funds from voter-approved bonds are excluded from certain requirements.
  • Permits students who will turn five years old after the eligibility window for Transitional Kindergarten to be enrolled in Transitional Kindergarten before they turn five years old, and states that this enrollment shall not generate funding for average daily attendance or be included in the enrollment or unduplicated pupil count for purposes of the Local Control Funding Formula until those students turn five years old.
  • Removes grade spans for pupil-to-teacher ratios in independent study programs and requires calculations of the ratios to be based on average daily attendance rather than enrollment.
  • Extends the encumbrance period for funding for the second cohort of the Career Pathways Trust program for one additional year from 2014-15 through the 2016-17 fiscal year.
  • Authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), for purposes of participation in Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965, which authorizes federal student financial assistance programs, to: (1) certify by name, a regional occupational center and program, or a county office of education or an adult education program to legally authorize the center, program or county office to provide an educational program beyond secondary education, including an education program that leads to a degree or certificate; (2) adopt regulations that authorize a complaint process under the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCPs) outlined in specified regulations; and (3) decertify any program no longer in compliance with specified requirements consistent with federal regulations, among other provisions.

List of Budget Bills and Trailer Bills

AB 93 – Budget Act of 2015 *

SB 97 – Amendments to Budget Act of 2015-16

AB 104 – K-12 Education Budget Trailer Bill

SB 78 – LCFF Clean-up Trailer Bill

SB 81 – Higher Education Trailer Bill

The bill titles are linked to the full text of the legislation.

Important note: As previously mentioned, when the Legislature originally passed AB 93 to Governor Brown it appropriated funds assuming higher overall revenues. The next day, the Legislature passed SB 97, which amends sections of law in AB 93 to bring the overall appropriations in the budget in line with the Governor’s lower assumptions. Be sure to read the changes in SB 97 (particularly related to changes in early learning, transportation, professional development, etc.)

Budget Act Workshops – Registration open

We will provide more detail on the revenue, expenditure and program changes related to the 2015-16 Budget Act at our Budget Perspectives Workshops starting on June 29th.  These workshops are offered at NO COST in coordination with your county office of education.

Workshop registration is on our website: http://www.capitoladvisors.org.

Abe Hajela, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Final Budget Deal

Governor Brown, Assembly Speaker Atkins, and Senate President Kevin de Leon today announced a deal on the state budget for 2015-16 that assumes revenues virtually identical to the Governor’s May Revision revenue estimates. In total, the final budget deal spends 115.4 billion in General Fund, about $2 billion less than the package passed by the Legislature yesterday. If there is any doubt about who prevailed on the overall revenue estimates assumed, there is only a $61 million difference in the final budget deal’s general fund expenditures and the Governor’s May Revision.

For K-12 education, the major highlights are the $265 million for 6,800 new preschool slots and 7,000 new child care slots, plus a rate increase for providers and the $500 million for professional development (Prop 98).

It appears they were not able to make deals on a few health care and transportation issues and the Governor is calling a special session to ask the Legislature to deal with Medi-Cal and transportation.

We are working to provide additional details, in the mean time, below is the announcement from the Governor’s office.

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Legislature Passes State Budget ­ Despite Major Disagreements with Governor

We want to let you know that today the Legislature passed a state budget bill that spends significantly more than Governor Brown is comfortable recognizing, setting up some potentially interesting scenarios while also leaving some components of the education budget in question. The budget bill the Legislature sent to the Governor spends according to the higher revenue estimates the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recognizes in their forecast. The Governor is adamant about not spending at that higher level and many expect him to either veto the bill outright, use his line-item veto authority to bring spending more in line with his May Revision, or to hold the budget bill until negotiations with the Legislature yield a bill revising the budget bill and implementing a compromise.

Legislators Will Get Their Paycheck – By passing the main budget bill to the Governor before midnight on June 15, the Legislature meets their obligation to pass a budget and avoids the potential of losing pay for every day it is late.

Budget Negotiations Continue – Prior to voting on this budget package, Legislators on both sides of the isle acknowledged that despite sending the budget bill to the Governor, negotiations with him continue. If the Governor and Legislative leaders come to an agreement in the next 12 days, they can amend the bill they just passed with a supplemental budget trailer bill.

Veto vs. Governor’s Blue Pencil Authority – The Governor also has Constitutional authority to veto the budget bill outright and send it back to the Legislature. He could also use his blue pencil authority to eliminate or reduce appropriations in the state budget to bring it into conformity with his revenue assumptions. For example, if Governor Brown believes the Legislature spends $3 billion more than he thinks is real, he can selectively eliminate or lower budget items to reduce that much in spending. The Governor has 12 days to act on the budget bill.

Education Budget Trailer Bill Still Not Finished – The education budget trailer bill, which contains most of the major K-12 budget elements, is still being drafted and was not included in the batch of bills sent to the Governor today. Everyone is eagerly waiting to read the language as soon as it is done.

The Governor and Legislature have no more than 12 days after the budget bill is presented to the Governor to act on any budget trailer bills. The advantage of budget trailer bills is that they take effect immediately with the budget, as opposed to taking effect January 1 of the following year, as is the case with regular legislation.

We will be sure to get you details of a final budget deal as soon as we can. In the meantime, please let us know if we can provide any additional information.

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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State Budget Details – Conference Committee Compromise

As a follow-up to our report last night, this morning the Conference Committee released additional details of their actions taken last night. We expect language to be in print by Friday and will have more specific details then. But again, a reminder that all of this is subject to change as long until the Governor, Speaker, and Pro Tem announce a final budget deal. The major issue is the overall revenue assumptions the Legislature relies upon to make this package work. We continue to hear they will vote on a final budget on Monday (June 15).

Attached you will find:

  1. K-12 Operations Language Spreadsheet – details of major spending and program changes in compromise
  2. K14 Prop 98 Package - details changes in Prop 98 assumed in compromise

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Conference Committee Passes Education Budget Package

Late tonight, the two-house Budget Conference Committee voted to move forward a state budget compromise that relies on the higher overall revenue estimates provided by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). The Legislature’s budget package uses these higher revenues to fund a number of priorities beyond what the Governor proposed in his May Revision, including a substantial investment in Early Learning.

At this point there are few details available, with the exception of the areas described during tonight’s hearing. We expect more details in the coming days. The two houses are expecting to vote on a final budget on Monday, June 15, the absolute deadline for them to send a budget to the Governor before they lose pay.

Following is a review of some the major elements of the K-12 Education Budget package described in the Conference Committee tonight. We will provide additional details as the final budget deal develops.

Important note: The Governor is opposed to using the higher revenue assumptions the Legislature relies upon to pass this package. If the Governor prevails in restraining spending in the final budget deal, this entire package is subject to change. 

Early Learning Compromise – Provides $392 million ($245 million in non-Prop 98 and $147 million in Prop 98) above the Governor’s May Revision for a combination of increases in rates and slots for Preschool and Child Care. The proposal provides 27,000 new slots and spends $225 million in rate increases. Some of the major components of the package include:

  • 5,000 full-day Preschool slots
  • 10,000 part-day Preschool slots
  • 12,000 alternative payment voucher slots
  • 7.5% standard reimbursement rate increase (beginning July 1)
  • 10% standard reimbursement rate increase for part-day Preschool
  • Raises the regional market rate to the 70th percentile of the 2014 survey
  • Increases the licensed exempt percentage to 70% (beginning January 1)
  • Raises eligibility from 70% to 80% of state median income
  • $25 million for Quality Rating and Improvement System for Infants and Toddlers
  • $300,000 for Consumer Education Database

The Early Learning package is opposed by the Governor. The Department of Finance (DOF) testified that they have “major concerns” with the compromise package because the on-going costs are close to $550 million annually, mostly on the non-Prop 98 side of the state budget.

Career Technical Education (CTE) – Provides $400 million in one-time funding for the CTE Incentive Grant program for 2015-16, as proposed by the Governor (not surprisingly the Committee was silent on funding for 2016-17 and 2017-18, since funds for those years would not be appropriated in the 2015-16 Budget). The $400 million will be allocated exclusively on the basis of competitive grants, which differs from earlier legislative proposals that would have allocated the funds on a per ADA basis; clearly this result shows the strength of the Governor in these budget negotiations. One slight change from the Governor’s proposal is that the competitive grants will be awarded separately to three categories of applicants defined by size (small, medium and large – as determined by ADA). It is not clear how this will be implemented nor how this might impact the determination of what LEAs or programs might be eligible to apply for the grants. The Conference Committee also follows the Governor in placing a priority for funding programs that serve impacted populations, though the Conference Committee’s focus is on applicants that serve low income youth and areas with high unemployment rates.

Adult Education – Provides $500 million for Adult Education Block Grant and $50 million for accountability data. The package allows JPAs to be a part of the consortia and expands the focus of Adult Education to include programs for older adults.

$3.3 billion One-Time Discretionary Funding (K-12 Mandates) – Provides that as the state meets its obligations for prior year mandate reimbursements by providing discretionary funds, audits of those prior-year claims will continue; however, any reductions in claims resulting from those audits will not lead to a state recapture of the per ADA discretionary funding being provided.

Educator Support – Provides $500 million professional development.

Technology Infrastructure – Provides $50 million with trailer bill language to cap it at $1,000 per student.

Home-to-School Transportation – Approves $25 million for COLA. To the extent there are funds remaining, funds will be used for equalization.

Foster Youth Services Program – Approves $30 million to extend foster care services to youth living with relatives.

After School Education and Safety Program – Provides $25 million to increase the daily rate to $8 per child. The funding is directed to supplement programs, not supplant funding.

Homeless Youth Accountability – Provides trailer bill language to add homeless youth as a subgroup within the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

LCAP Transparency – Provides trailer bill language to require LEAs to report how supplemental and concentration grants are used to provide services to low income, foster, and EL students.

What Next? The Governor and the Legislature are far apart on overall revenues. The Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate pro Tem will continue to meet privately to hammer out a final deal. It is important to remember everything remains on the table as long as the “big three" continue to talk.

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Vaccinations Bill Passes Final Committee

Tonight, the Assembly Health Committee voted to pass SB 277 (Pan/Allen), a bill that would remove the personal belief exemption for mandatory vaccinations to attend California schools. As with prior committee hearings on this measure, it was contentious and emotional on both sides. The bill passed 12-6, largely along partisan lines, with Democrats supporting and Republicans voting no. Assembly Member Burke (D-Los Inglewood) was the only Democratic member to register as “not voting.”

The committee made a number of amendments to the bill, including language to:

  1. Clarify that the exemption for students enrolled in independent study only applies to students receiving non classroom-based instruction
  2. Address the status of students already enrolled with a personal belief exemption by allowing those students to remain enrolled until they reach the next grade span, which are as follows:
    • Birth through preschool
    • TK/Kindergarten through grade 6
    • Grade 7 through grade 12
  3. Clarifies that students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) still have access to special education services, as directed by their IEP

The authors committed to an additional amendment clarifying that physicians can consider family medical history for the medical exemption.

The bill now heads to the Assembly floor for a vote, where many expect it to pass along party lines. Then all eyes are on the Governor.

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Senate and Assembly Swap Bills, Hold Few

Today marks the deadline for legislation to pass out of their houses of origin. While most education bills passed, several failed, including a bill to put a school bond on a future ballot. Bills that failed to pass are generally dead for the year and will not be eligible for consideration until next year.

The two houses swapping bills effectively marks the middle of the legislative process for the year. Between now and September, the two houses will begin the policy and fiscal committee review process for bills from the opposite house.

Not surprisingly, members don't like to kill the bills of their direct colleagues of the same house, so most of the bills moved to the other house.

The following is a review of education measures that did not pass out of their houses of origin:

AB 67 - Gonzalez (D): Double Pay on the Holiday Act of 2015

Requires employers, with some exceptions, to pay double to employees that work on Thanksgiving.

AB 304 - Gonzalez (D): Sick Leave: Accural and Limitation

Amends the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 to (1) delay notice requirements for paid sick leave/time off; (2) permit employer to satisfy requirements by indicating unlimited sick leave on itemized wage statements; and (3) change eligibility for accrued sick leave, calculation of rates of pay, and accrual.

AB 710 - Brown (D): Local Control and Accountability Plans: Youth on Probation

Requires, on or before July 1, 2017, a local control and accountability plan to also include a description of the annual goals to be achieved for youth on probation for each state priority.

AB 1335 - Atkins (D): Building Homes and Jobs Act

Establishes the Building Homes and Jobs Act of 2015 to provide funding for affordable housing.

Note: In order to avoid the deadline, this bill was amended so that it may still move forward if it receives a 2/3 vote.

SB 114 - Liu (D): Education Facilities: Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016

Makes changes to the existing School Facility Program and authorizes an unspecified amount of general obligation bonds for construction and modernization of education facilities. Becomes effective if approved by voters at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election.

Note: In order to avoid the deadline, this bill was amended so that it may still move forward if it receives a 2/3 vote.

SB 313 - Galgiani (D): Local Government: Zoning Ordinances: School Districts

Expands the requirements to be met by a school district governing board in order to declare a zoning ordinance inapplicable to a proposed use of land for classroom facilities.

SB 572 - Pan (D): School Facilities: School District Advisory Committee: School Closures

Requires a school board to appoint an advisory committee before closing a school to conduct fact-finding and make an informal recommendation regarding the closure. The advisory committee would be made up of a cross section of the community who have interest in, and who may be affected by, the school closure.

Erin Evans-Fudem, Legislative Counsel
Capitol Advisors Group, LLC

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Legislature Acts on Major Education Bills

Today, The Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees acted to pass or hold in committee a number of major K-12 education bills. Of particular interest, key education legislation that passed out of committee included bills addressing preschool, teacher evaluation, career technical education (CTE), English learners, and a bill to place a potential school bond on the ballot.

In total, the two appropriations committees acted on over 700 bills remaining on their “suspense files.” Bills are placed on the suspense files due to costs exceeding $150,000. Today’s committee actions reflect the winners and losers in terms of members working to reduce the cost of their proposals and/or securing enough political support to keep their bills moving. Bills that passed committee head to the Senate and Assembly floors for debate and action.

Below, we have highlighted actions on some of the major education measures (bill titles are linked to the full text of the bill). We have also attached a list of actions on the remaining K-12 education bills, sorted by subject area.

Bills held in committee today are effectively dead for the year, pending extraordinary politics to secure rule waivers.

The summaries we provide describe the legislation prior to any amendments taken today.

Following is a review of actions taken on some of the major K-12 education bills:

AB 47 - McCarty (D): State Preschool Program

On or before January 1, 2017, requires all children eligible for the State Preschool Program to have access to the program the year before they enter kindergarten, if their parents wish to enroll them. Also expresses Legislative intent to: (1) provide sufficient funding in the annual State Budget to provide all low-income children access to either the State Preschool Program or a transitional kindergarten (TK) program and (2) that these be full-day/full-year programs.

Action: Passed as amended to clarify that program extension is based on a budget appropriation.

AB 148 - Holden (D): K-14 School Investment Bond Act of 2016

Reduces the minimum amount that a school district must set aside for ongoing and major maintenance of school buildings in a fiscal year. Authorizes a grant for new construction or modernization to be used for seismic mitigation. Requires an interagency plan to streamline the school facilities construction application and review process. Enacts the K-14 School Investment Bond Act of 2016 to provide funds for the construction and modernization of education facilities.

Action: Held in Committee

AB 237 - Daly (D): Local Governments: Parcel Taxes: Notice

Within one week following a legislative body’s vote to place a proposed parcel tax on the ballot, requires a local agency to provide a specified notice to all property owners that would be affected by the proposed tax.

Action: Held in Committee

AB 399 - Ridley-Thomas (D): Unemployment Insurance: Classified Employees

Allows classified, non-certificated public school employees to collect unemployment insurance benefits betweens school years. Beginning July 1, 2016 with two weeks of benefits, the bill phases in the level of benefits by two-week increments over four years, up to a total of eight weeks per yea by July 1, 2019.

Action: Held in Committee

AB 575 - O’Donnell (D): Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System: School Administrator Evaluation

Requires the governing board of each school district and the governing body of each charter school to adopt and implement a best practices teacher evaluation system and a school administrator evaluation system by July 1, 2018.

Action: Passed with amendments to remove charter schools

AB 631 - Bonilla (D): Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards Implementation Fund Act

Establishes the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards Implementation Fund, to provide $1 billion for the implementation of those standards and the English Language Development standards, upon appropriation by the Legislature.

Action: Held in Committee

AB 713 - Weber (D): Elementary Education: Kindergarten

Starting with the 2017-18 school year, requires a child to complete one year of kindergarten before he or she may be admitted to first grade.

Action: Passed with technical amendments

AB 753 (Medina) Certificated school employees

This bill extends permanent employment status to all nonsupervisory non-management employees who work in positions requiring certification in school districts and county offices of education (COEs) starting July 1, 2017. Specifically:

For school districts and COEs with 250 or less average daily attendance (ADA), permanent status is granted to an employee who has been employed by the district or COE for three consecutive years and is reelected for the fourth year.

For school districts and COEs with 250 or more ADA, permanent status is granted to an employee who has been employed by the district or COE for two consecutive years and is reelected for a third year.

Action: Held in Committee

AB 854 - Weber (D): Educational Services: Pupils in Foster Care

Expands use of the existing Foster Youth Services (FYS) grant funding, provided to certain COEs, to support students in all foster care placements and continues to provide a separate annual allocation to six specific sites that currently administer an FYS program.

Action: Passed with amendments to delete the requirement that a staff person be designated as a liaison to students in foster care, as well as other technical amendments

AB 907 - Burke (D): Career Training: Adult Students

Authorizes the Superintendent to Public Instruction (SPI) to certify by name, any regional occupational center or program (ROC/P), county office of education (COE), or adult educator program, that provides career training for purposes of participating in federal student financial assistance program.

Action: Passed

AB 1088 - O'Donnell (D): Education Facilities: Bond Act: Greene Act

Repeals provisions requiring the existing school building capacity for a high school district to be calculated without regard to multitrack year-round school considerations. Requires a workgroup to recommend changes to shorten and streamline the construction or modernization of schools process. Requires regulation recommendations regarding designing facilities. Requires baseline eligibility for modernization funding. Enacts a specified facilities bond act.

Action: Not heard, likely a two year bill

AB 1240 - Bonta (D): Pupil Nutrition: Free or Reduced-Priced Meals: Breakfast

Requires that breakfast be available for all students where at least a percentage of students are needy. The bill has a three-year implementation plan:

From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, the bill requires each school district or county office of education maintaining any grades from K-12 to make breakfast available for all pupils when at least 40% of the pupils enrolled at the school are needy children, as defined

From July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, in schools where at least 60 percent of the students are defined as needy, the bill requires that breakfast be available after instruction has begun (after the bell) for the school day

On and after July 1, 2018, in schools where at least 80% of the students are defined as needy, the bill requires that breakfast be available to all pupils at no cost after instruction has begun for the school day

Action: Held in Committee

AB 1391 - Gomez (D): Pupil Instruction: Course of Study: Physical Education: Complaints

Requires complaints regarding local education agency noncompliance with the physical education instructional minute requirement to first be filed under the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) process.

Action: Passed

SB 3 - Leno (D): State Minimum Wage: Adjustment

Currently, the State’s minimum wage will be increase to $10.00/hour on January 1, 2016. This bill would instead set the minimum wage as follows:

$11.00/hour on January 1, 2016

$13.00/hour on July 1, 2017

Beginning in 2019, increases to minimum wage would be indexed annually to the change in the California Consumer Price Index, as specified.

Action: Passed

SB 114 - Liu (D): Education Facilities: Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016

Authorizes the Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016 to provide for the issuance of an unspecified amount of general obligation bonds for construction and modernization of education facilities to be come effective if approved by voters at the November 8, 2016 statewide general election. The bill also makes changes to the existing school facility program.

Action: Passed

SB 148 - McGuire (D): Career Technical Education: Career and Job Skills Education Act

This bill establishes the Career and Job Skills Education Act and appropriates $600 million from the General Fund to the SPI for grants to LEAs for the development and enhancement of career technical education (CTE) courses. The bill also states legislative intent that “additional necessary funding” be appropriated from the General Fund for these purposes in 2017-18 and 2018-19

Action: Passed with amendments

SB 172 - Liu (D): Pupil Testing: High School Exit Examination: Suspension

This bill suspends the administration of the high school exit examination, and the requirement that students pass this exam as a condition of graduation from high school during the 2016-17 through 2018-19 school years or when the high school exit exam is no longer available. The bill also requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to convene an advisory panel to provide recommendations on the continuation of the high school exit exam and on alternative pathways to satisfy the high school graduation requirements.

Action: Passed

SB 191 - Block (D): School Transportation: Apportionments

Increases state allocations for school transportation funding over a seven-year period from the 2015-16 through the 2021-22 fiscal years. The bill provides that school districts would receive the greater of either their actual apportionments or a minimum of 41 percent of their “approved transportation costs” from the previous year in 2015-16, and the minimum percentage would increase annually to 50 percent by 2021-22. Districts that receive transportation funding apportionments above this minimum would receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

Action: Passed with Amendments to make implementation of the bill contingent upon funding being allocated in the state budget

SB 320 - Lara (D): Pupil Fees; Complaint of Noncompliance: Regulations

Prohibits a school from establishing a policy or procedure allowing that school to resolve a complaint regarding student fees by providing a remedy to the complainant without also providing a remedy to all affected students, parents, and guardians. The bill also authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to ensure appeals are resolved to all affected in a timely manner.

Action: Passed

SB 322 - Leno (D): Charter Schools: Pupils: Suspension and Expulsion

This bill adds 1) admission preferences in the event a random drawing for attendance is necessary; 2) establishes conditions for additional attendance preferences on an individual charter school basis; 3) establishes provisions for which charter schools must comply regarding pupil suspension and expulsion; and 4) requires a charter school, upon a student’s expulsion or departure, to report the reason within 10 days. The bill also requires each school district to develop a policy to annually collect data about teacher turnover at each of its schools, and at each charter school it authorizes.

Action: Passed with amendments to remove the data collection requirement and make other technical changes

SB 359 - Mitchell (D): State Mathematics Placement Act of 2015

This bill requires each LEA serving students in grade 8-9 to develop and implement a fair, objective, and transparent mathematics placement policy.

Action: Passed with amendments reducing the frequency of the required monitoring of student placement and limiting the requirement to LEAs that currently have no policy in plac

SB 425 - Hernandez (D): Career Training: Adult Students

Authorizes the SPI, for purposes of participation in Title IV authorized federal student financial assistance programs, to: 1) certify by name a regional occupational center and program, a COE, or an adult school; 2) adopt regulations that authorize a complaint process under the Uniform Complaint Procedures as specified; and to 3) decertify any program no longer in compliance with specified federal regulations

Action: Passed

SB 460 - Allen (D): Pupils Redesignated as Fluent English: Local Control Funding Formula

This bill, until July 1, 2019, or whenever the state adopts statewide English learner redesignation standards, whichever comes first, requires that LEAs continue to receive a percentage of supplemental and concentration grant funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for two additional years after an English learner student has been reclassified as fluent English proficient. The bill also requires LEAs to expand reporting in their Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) to include goals and actions for students reclassified as fluent English proficient students and to specify specialized programs or services provided to these students.

Action: Passed with amendments to make implementation of the bill contingent upon funding being allocated in the state budget

SB 499 - Liu (D): Teachers: Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System: School Administrator Evaluation

This bill repeals and replaces various provisions of existing law governing the evaluation of certificated employees and, beginning July 1, 2018, requires school districts to implement a best practices teacher evaluation system, as specified. The bill also repeals and replaces provisions of existing law regarding school administrator evaluations.

Action: Passed with amendments

Appropriations Committee Actions - 5 28 15

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Adivsors Group, LLC

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Senate and Assembly Finalize Budget Proposals

As of action taken today, the full Budget Committees of both houses have completed their plans to send to Conference Committee. In the coming days, members from both houses will be appointed by their leadership to a Conference Committee to review the areas of agreement, find compromise where the houses differ, and put together a joint budget to be approved by both houses and sent to the Governor for signature by June 15.

Even once both houses resolve their differences, we expect negotiations, not an automatic signature by the Governor. Both Legislative packages assume higher revenue projections than the Governor’s May Revise, offer costly expansions of programs, and increase state oversight and involvement – all of which Governor Brown seems likely to oppose. The Governor has line-item veto authority so the upcoming negotiations should make for an interesting few weeks!

Major differences between the houses:

LCFF Funding

  • Assembly: provides $6.3 billion in LCFF funding
  • Senate: provides $6.45 billion in LCFF funding
  • Both amounts are higher than the Governor’s May Revision proposal of $6.1 billion

Career Technical Education

  • Assembly & Senate: approved same funding amounts as Governor’s May Revision proposal ($400 million in 2015-16; $300 million in 2016-17; $200 million in 2017-18) but provides funds on a per-ADA basis, and removes local match requirement
  • While proposals are similar, due to technical differences this item will still go to Budget Conference Committee

Discretionary Funding/Mandate Claims

  • Assembly: approved Governor’s May Revision proposal of $3.5 billion for outstanding K-12 mandate claims, with minor tweaks
  • Senate: reduced Governor’s proposed amount of discretionary funding to $3 billion, added $800 million for professional development of educators

Educator Effectiveness

  • Assembly: approved $190 million for Peer Assistance Review (PAR) and Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) programs
  • Senate: approved $800 million for professional development/educator effectiveness; roughly $2,700 one-time funds per certificated employee
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA)

  • Assembly: approved $4.6 million in one-time funding for QEIA transition as proposed in the Governor’s May Revision
  • Senate: rejected Governor’s proposal, redirected that funding to professional development for educators (see Senate’s action on discretionary funding/mandate claims)

Early Education/Child Care

  • Assembly: approved $605 million in 2015-16 ($452 million General Fund, $153 million Prop. 98) to expand full-day preschool slots w/wrap-around care by 10,500, and Alternative Payment Voucher child care slots by 10,000 – total funding will grow to $975.7 million in 2016-17 and beyond
  • Senate: approved proposal to fund CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3, State Preschool wrap-around services, and other child care programs within Prop. 98; adopted a corresponding $994 million increase in Prop. 98 Guarantee

K-12 High Speed Network Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants (BIIG)

  • Assembly: approved Governor’s January proposal to provide $100 million in one-time Prop. 98 funding to support internet connectivity and infrastructure for schools; rejected Governor’s proposal to provide additional $8.8 million, instead adopted Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recommendation to reduce High Speed Network (HSN) reserve by $8.3 million (one-time) and use those funds for HSN operations instead of Prop. 98 funds
  • Senate: approved $75 million rather than the $100 million in Governor’s May Revision proposal – $25 million for connectivity to be provided pursuant to BIIG grant criteria, $5 million for HSN to provide training and professional development to LEAs on technology, and $45 million for SPI to provide grants to LEAs on a per ADA basis for technology needs; adopted language similar to Assembly regarding use of HSN reserve funds for HSN operational costs

Home-to-School Transportation Equalization

  • Assembly: no proposal
  • Senate: approved $50 million for 2015-16
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

LCFF Transparency

  • Assembly: approved language to require the California Department of Education (CDE) to report on LCFF distribution annually
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Homeless Youth Definition

  • Assembly: approved language to add homeless youth as a pupil subgroup for purposes of the development of Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP)
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Foster Youth Alignment

  • Assembly: approved $30 million to expand definition for Foster Youth Services to include youth living with relatives
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

After School Education and Safety Program (ASES)

  • Assembly: approved $50 million to raise the per-student rate to assist with rising program costs and retain capacity
  • Senate: no proposal
  • Governor’s May Revision: no proposal

Kevin R. Gordon, President
Capitol Advisors Group, LLC

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