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Assembly Education Committee Actions: Foster Youth, Teacher Evaluation, others

Last week, the Assembly Education Committee passed a number of bills, including measures to create a new teacher evaluation system and expand Forster Youth Services.

Teacher Evaluation - After lengthy testimony and debate, the committee passed AB 575, authored by the committee chair, Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). The bill would require a teacher evaluation system be locally negotiated, including the performance standards on which teachers would be evaluated.

The bill’s supporters include State Superintendent Tom Torlakson and Public Advocates. It is notable that so far CTA is not publicly supporting the measure. In addition to individual school agency representatives, a number of statewide education stakeholder groups opposed the bill, including ACSA, SSDA, CCSESA, CASBO, EdVoice, The Education Trust-West, The Chamber of Commerce, California Charter Schools Association, and Children Now.

Assembly Member Shirley Weber (D-San Deigo) seemed to sympathize with some of the arguments made by the opposition. One being that the new system could have the practical effect of inextricably linking academic issues with financial matters and other employment conditions subject to bargaining. The example being that in return for an agreement on the specific attributes of the standards and criteria by which teachers would be evaluated, employee organizations could insist upon compensation increases or other costly benefits that in the long run would result in fewer resources being available to address the needs of students. It is relevant that Assembly Member Weber is carrying AB 1495, which would make changes to the Stull Act. That bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee this week.

AB 575 (O’Donnell/Atkins) passed out of committee by a vote of 5-2 and now heads to the Appropriations Committee. The Senate is considering a nearly identical measure, SB 499 (Liu), which passed out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday as well.

Foster Youth Services - A bill that started out with some pretty significant concerns from Foster Youth Services providers in county offices of education, AB 854 (Weber) was amended in committee to address nearly all of them. The bill would expand the uses of Foster Youth Services funding to support students in all foster care placements, makes significant changes to the FYS program, and establishes a State Foster Youth Services Director within the CDE. Amendments taken will:

  1. clarify that the bill does not require the creation of new education teams/plans, defining these teams and plans as existing teams and plans
  2. change certain references to “school districts” in the bill to “local educational agencies”, which includes both school districts and county offices of education
  3. include court appointed special advocates (CASAs) as members of the councils established in the bill
  4. include information on complaint procedures when the bill refers to educational rights of foster youth

With the author taking these amendments, the counties dropped their opposition and moved to a support position.

Because the bill requires additional state funding, look for Assembly Member Weber to leverage her role as the Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee Committee to secure the needed funds in the final state budget to implement this bill.

Assembly Education Committee Actions - Following is a full review of the committee’s actions from April 22 (bill titles are linked to the full text):

AB 252 - Holden (D): Advanced Placement Program: STEM Curriculum

Establishes a grant program to award moneys to cover the costs associated with a high school establishing or expanding its advanced placement STEM curriculum.  Several amendments were taken to:

  1. clarify that the bill will provide grant funding targeted to students traditionally underrepresented in STEM
  2. define purposes for which the grant funds may be used
  3. better define the grant application requirements
  4. limit the grants to one per school, and 10 per district
  5. provide that a school district, rather than a high school, may apply for grants

Action: Passed as Amended 6-1

AB 319 - Rodriguez (D): Pupil Instruction: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Requires that school districts and charter schools provide instruction on performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to students in grades 9-12 as part of a course required for graduation. Amendments taken will:

  1. strike Section 1 from the bill to remove a requirement that schools train staff in CPR/AED in addition to students
  2. allow certified instructors from non-profit groups like the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association to provide the training
  3. strike references to online instruction, clarifying “hands on” training is required
  4. push the effective date of the requirements to the 2017-18 academic year

Action: Passed as Amended 6-1

AB 329 - Weber (D): Pupil Instruction: Sexual Health Education

This bill makes instruction in sexual health education a requirement, revises HIV prevention education content, expands topics covered in sexual health education, requires this instruction to be inclusive of different sexual orientations, and clarifies parental consent policy.

Action: Passed 6-1

AB 491 - Gonzalez (D): English Learners: Assessment: Reclassification

Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to recommend, and the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt, best practices for the reclassification of English learners, by July, 2016.  Amendments taken will:

  1. change current law reporting date for English Language Learner (ELL) recommendations to January 1, 2019 to allow for analysis of one full year of data from the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)
  2. delete a requirement in current law to issue a second report
  3. change the date by which recommendations would be made to SBE (as proposed in this bill) to January 1, 2022

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 496 - Rendon (D): Pupil Nutrition: Fresh Drinking Water: Funding

Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to identify available sources of funding to fund school water quality and infrastructure.  An amendment taken will require CDE to post information regarding available funding sources on its Internet Web site.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0; Consent

AB 524 - Low (D): School Curriculum: Social Studies: Service Learning

This bill requires, beginning with the high school class of 2020-21, that at least one of the social studies classes required for graduation include a service-learning component. Also requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to develop curriculum standards for social studies courses that incorporate a service-learning component. Amendments taken will:

  1. define service-learning based on the definition used in the National and Community Service Act of 1990
  2. allow the service-learning requirement to be met in any course required for graduation by either the state or local governing boards
  3. make standards applicable to service-learning in any subject required for high school graduation
  4. push the date back by which the CDE must submit standards to the SBE to March 1, 2017, and, correspondingly, require the SBE to adopt or reject those standards

Action: Passed as Amended 5-2

AB 566 - O'Donnell (D): School Facilities: Leasing: Construction Contracts

This bill requires school districts entering into specified school building lease contracts to use a skilled and trained workforce and comply with the requirement to prequalify and rate prospective bidders regardless of the source of funding.

Action: Passed 5-2

AB 575 - O'Donnell (D): Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System

Requires the governing board of each school district and the governing body of each charter school to adopt and implement a best practices teacher and administrator evaluation system by July 1, 2018. The bill specifies certain components of the evaluation system. The bill was amended to:

  1. make the following changes to the administrator evaluation system:
    1. clarify that the public hearing requirements apply to the administrator evaluation
    2. clarify that the provisions of the administrator evaluation cannot be omitted
    3. clarify that the administrator evaluation system applies to charter schools
    4. specify that the existing permissive administrator evaluation system is repealed and the new evaluation system is operative on July 1, 2018
    5. add the administrator evaluation system to the mandate block grant
  1. clarify that charter schools cannot seek a State Board of Education waiver
  2. in Section 44662 (c), change the code reference from the administrator services credential to Government Code Section 3540.1 (m) and (g)
  3. rewrite 44664(a)(3)(B) to say: The evaluator shall conduct at least one unscheduled observation per year during the year when the certificated employee does not receive a
    formal performance evaluation and assessment
  4. specify that county offices of education are required to implement the best practices teacher and administrator evaluation program
  5. clarify in 44664(c)(1) regarding certificated employees that receive an unsatisfactory rating provide that this subdivision applies only to “permanent” certificated employees and provide that for probationary certificated employees, an employing authority may elect to offer a program designed to improve appropriate areas of the employee’s performance and to further pupil achievement and the instructional objectives of the employing authority
  6. clarify that EC Section 35161.5 applies to county offices of education and charters schools
  7. technical amendment in EC Section 44662(a)(1)(G)(iii) to create a new subparagraph for the sentence: “Pupil data used for purposes of teacher evaluation shall be confidential in the same manner as all other elements of a teacher's personnel file

Action: Passed as Amended 5-2

AB 827 - O'Donnell (D): Teachers: Training: Lesbian and Gay Pupil Resources

Requires schools to provide in-service training to teachers on school site and community resources available for the support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. Amendments taken will:

  1. extend in-service training to all certificated staff at a site
  2. state intent that schools provide additional training on ways of supporting LGBTQ students

Action: Passed as Amended 6-1

AB 839 - Allen T (R): School Accountability: Collaborative for Excellence

This bill adds a representative of charter schools, appointed by the Governor, and a parent of a public school pupil, appointed by the Joint Committee on Rules, to the governing board of the State Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE).

Action: Failed Passage 2-5; Reconsideration Granted

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

Expands the uses of Foster Youth Services (FYS) funding to support students in all foster care placements, makes significant changes to the FYS program, and establishes a State Foster Youth Services Director in the California Department of Education (CDE). Amendments taken will:

  1. clarify that the bill does not require the creation of new education teams/plans, defining these teams and plans as existing teams and plans
  2. changes certain references to “school districts” in the bill to “local educational agencies”, which includes both school districts and county offices of education
  3. include court appointed special advocates (CASAs) as members of the councils established in the bill
  4. include information on complaint procedures when the bill refers to educational rights of foster youth

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 943 - Allen T (R): Charter Schools: Educational Excellence Collaborative

Requires that a contractor that is assigned by the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) to provide advice and assistance to a charter school, non-charter school, school district, or county office of education shall have expertise, experience, and a record of success in working with charter schools in improving pupil outcomes.  An amendment taken will delete a section of the bill that would require all contractors assigned by CCEE to have experience working with charter schools, even though not all assigned contractors will be working with charter schools.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0; Consent

AB 1014 - Thurmond (D): Pupils: Truancy: Early Intervention Attendance Grants

Establishes the Our Children's Success – The Early Intervention Attendance Grant Program for the purpose of helping public schools resolve the attendance problems of pupils in kindergarten through grade 3.  Amendments taken will:

  1. specify that components outlined in the bill may be part of a school’s plan to address attendance issues, rather than are required to be
  2. specify that funds be used for early intervention for pupils in grades K-3
  3. eliminate criterion that would require CDE to give grant priority to applicants that have prioritized pupil engagement in their LCAP
  4. make the program a pilot to assess the effectiveness of early intervention strategies

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 1064 - Hernandez R (D): Education Finance: Indirect Cost Rates

Removes the January 1, 2016 sunset date from provisions of law that require the California Department of Education (CDE) and any other state agency to allow the full indirect cost rate established by the CDE for state or federal grant programs administered by local education agencies unless a lower rate is required by other state or federal law.

Action: Passed 7-0; Consent

AB 1204 - Chau (D): Instructional Quality Commission: Membership

Adds a voting student member to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and increases the number of appointed classroom teachers from seven to eight. An amendment taken will specify that the additional student member will be selected from one of the remaining two finalists not appointed to the IQC by the Governor using the current elective process.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0; Consent

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

This bill requires each school district or county office of education maintaining any kindergarten through grade 12 to offer breakfast at schools where at least 40% of the pupils enrolled at the school are considered "needy."  An amendment taken will limit the requirements of the bill to elementary schools.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 1358 - Dababneh (D): School Facilities: Design Build Contracts

Aligns the process for school districts awarding contracts through the design-build method with the process established for state and local agencies.

Action: Passed 5-2

AB 1369 - Frazier (D): Special Education: Dyslexia

Requires schools to annually screen all students in Kindergarten and grades 1 through 3 for dyslexia, identify students with dyslexia with a specified screening instrument, and instruct students with dyslexia with a specified instructional approach. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to adopt program guidelines, a screening instrument, and an instructional approach for this purpose. An amendment taken will significantly narrow the bill by:

  1. changing the current law definition of “psychological processes” used by school districts when evaluating individual student data to include a “phonological processing deficit”, a hallmark of dyslexia, rather than just visual and auditory processing deficits

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 1431 - Gomez (D): Local Agency Construction: Job Order Contracting

Extends the authority to utilize job order contracting (JOC) to all school districts, so long as the school district has entered into a project labor agreement/agreements (PLA) that will apply to all public works in excess of $25,000 undertaken by the school district through at least December 1, 2021.  Amendments taken will:

  1. strike a reference to a school district labor compliance office, as not all school districts may have one
  2. strike a provision placing a moratorium on the enactment of any legislation authorizing school districts to use JOC, as all school districts will have the authority to utilize it under this bill

Action: Passed as Amended 5-2

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Senate Education Committee to Consider Revised Vaccination Bill

Vaccine Bill Update - Is expected to be a make it or break it moment for the vaccination bill (SB 277, Pan). The Senate Education Committee is expected to consider several amendments intended to resolve issues that prevented the bill from moving out of committee last week. The bill stalled after nearly four hours of debate last Wednesday with Senators Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), Marty Block (D-San Diego), Connie Leyva (D-Chino), and the Chair, Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) voicing concern over the perception that the bill would effectively force parents unwilling to vaccinate children from the public school system, raising the question of compliance with the State Constitution that makes public education a fundamental right.

Tonight we have learned the committee will consider amendments tomorrow morning to address those concerns by including language ensuring unvaccinated students have the option to enroll in home-based private schools that serve multiple families and clarify that unvaccinated pupils may enroll in public school through independent study. At his point, it is not clear to us that the bill has the votes to pass out of the committee and it sounds like Senators Pan and Allen are lobbying committee members.

The bill needs to move out of committee tomorrow or its fate will become increasingly grim. Because the bill was referred to three policy committees (known as “triple-referred”) and still needs to be heard in the Judiciary Committee, there is some question as to whether the bill will meet what is called the “policy committee deadline,” which effectively means it must be passed to the Appropriations Committee by Friday, May 1. If the bill fails to move out of Education Committee tomorrow, it will not have enough time to meet that legislative deadline, and could die (we say could because rule waiver politics are always interesting).

We will keep you posted.

Senator Runner Named Vice-Chair - We also wanted to let you know that a familiar face has returned to the Senate Education Committee. Sharon Runner (R-Palmdale), who won the special election for the the seat vacated by now Congressman Steve Knight, is the new Vice-Chair of the committee. She replaces Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), who is off the committee. Her first committee hearing is tomorrow (her prize is the vaccination bill, apparently…).

Last week’s Senate Education Committee Actions - Following is a summary of all the committee’s actions from Wednesday, April 15:

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

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.

Action: Passed 6-2

SB 277 - Pan (D): Public Health: Vaccinations

This bill removes the ability for parents to file a personal belief exemption from the requirement that children receive vaccines for specific communicable diseases prior to being admitted to any private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center.

Action: No vote taken; will be a vote-only item on 04/22

SB 311 - Beall (D): Child Care and Development Services Act: Alum Rock

This bill, an urgency measure, authorizes a pilot project at Alum Rock Union Elementary School District (ARUESD), located in Santa Clara County, that allows the district to create a part-day pre-school subsidy plan to meet the particular needs of families in the school district until January 1, 2022.

Action: Passed 8-0

SB 318 - Morrell (R): Education Technology and Digital Resources

Appropriates funds from the General Fund to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to be allocated to specified local educational agencies for the purpose of implementing a pilot program in the County of San Bernardino County to train kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, teachers to more effectively utilize technology and digital resources within their instructional day, while also measuring and teaching skills pupils need to succeed in next-generation online assessments, college and careers.  Amendments taken will:

  1. Open the program to other regions around the state
  2. Create a priority sequence for participation
  3. Make the provision of the bill requiring Adherence to standards developed/defined by the International Society for Technology in Education permissive

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

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

Requires each local educational agency serving grades 8 or 9 to develop and implement a fair, objective, and transparent mathematics placement policy.  Amendments taken were technical and clarifying.

Action: Passed as Amended 8-0

SB 402 - Mitchell (D): Pupil Health: Vision Examinations

This bill deletes the requirement that students’ vision be appraised by a school nurse, and instead requires that students’ vision be examined by a physician, optometrist, or ophthalmologist. Amendments taken will:

  1. Restore requirement for CDE to adopt guidelines for implementation of school vision appraisals, rather than requiring the implementation of standards from non-governmental entities identified in the bill
  2. Restore the option of having a school nurse perform the vision appraisal

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

SB 463 - Hancock (D): School Climate: Train the Trainer Program

This bill requires the California Department of Education, to the extent that funding is available in the Budget Act of 2015, to designate a county office of education to be the fiduciary agent for the Safe and Supportive Schools Train the Trainer Program.  Amendments taken will:

  1. Require the designated COE to, identify existing professional development activities and train-the-trainer models, in addition to identifying new activities as required in the bill
  2. Clarify that the designated COE is responsible for the development or identification of professional development activities, and that those activities will be available as a statewide training resource

Action: Passed as Amended 7-1

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Assembly Education Committee: Common Core Funding, Required Kindergarten, and PE Minutes

The Assembly Education Committee took action last week on a number of bills. Some of the highlights include the following:

Bipartisan Support for Another Round of Common Core Funds - The committee unanimously passed AB 631 (Bonilla), which would provide $1 billion in 2015-16 for schools to implement Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. The funds would have identical rules as the last round of funding, with broadly allowed uses related to technology, instructional materials, and professional development. It is remarkable that Republicans supported this bill, signaling strong support in the Assembly for more one-time funds. Ultimately, the issue of how to use any one-time funding for schools will be resolved through the state budget process.

Kindergarten Requirement Moves Forward - Assembly Budget Committee Chair Shirley Weber’s (D-San Diego) AB 713 to require a child to complete one year of Kindergarten before admittance to first grade passed the committee with bipartisan support from the Vice-Chair, Assembly Member Chavez (R-San Diego). The bill is sponsored by CTA. While there are a number of funding impediments to requiring Kindergarten (facilities being a big one), labor support and Dr. Weber’s position as the chair of the budget committee allow her to push this issue with a higher degree of seriousness than last year.

PE Minutes Bill Passed Unanimously - A number of school districts have recently been targeted in lawsuits alleging non-compliance with PE minutes requirements in grades 1 to 6. The lawsuits have been costly for school agencies and generated substantial attorney’s fees for the attorney filing the suits. In an effort to remove the incentive for unnecessary litigation, but retaining a viable accountability process for PE minutes, the committee unanimously passed Assembly Member Jimmy Gomez’s (D-Los Angeles) AB 1391, which would subject the PE minutes requirement to the Uniform Complain Process (UCP). The bill will be heard next in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Following is a full review of the Assembly Education Committee’s actions (bill titles are linked to the text):

AB 58 - Rodriguez (D): School Safety Plans

Makes each county office of education (COE) the entity responsible for the overall development of all comprehensive school safety plans and requires school safety plans to include procedures in response to individuals with guns on school campuses.  Amendments taken will:

Restore the references to school districts in the provisions regarding the development of the school safety plan and restore the responsibility for schools to submit their school safety plans to their school districts

Restore current school safety plan non-compliance annual notice/reporting requirements

Strengthen those requirements by requiring school districts or COEs to certify that schools in their jurisdiction have complied with school safety plan development requirements

Extend requirement to develop school safety plans to charter schools

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 302 - Garcia (D): Pupil Services: Lactation Accommodations

Requires that school districts provide reasonable accommodations to breastfeeding students on high school campuses.  Amendments taken will:

Specify that students shall not be penalized, and will be allowed to make up any work while missing academic time to express breast milk

Extend the provisions of the bill to all high schools, including those operated by COEs, Special Schools for the Deaf and Blind, and charter schools

Make complaints regarding non-compliance with this law subject to the Uniform Complain Procedure (UCP), with expedited timelines.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-1

AB 517 - Gallagher (R): HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act: Parental Consent

Prohibits the participation of a student in comprehensive sexual health education or HIV/AIDS prevention education which is taught by outside consultants or through guest speakers at assemblies unless prior written permission of the student’s parent or guardian has been provided.

Action: Failed Passage 1-5; Reconsideration Granted

AB 523 - Kim (R): School Enrollment: City of La Palma: School Districts

This bill requires a high school district with a high school campus within the city limits of La Palma to accept students who reside within the city limits without regard to the attendance boundaries.

Action: Failed Passage 1-5

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

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

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 677 - Dodd (D): School Safety: Door Locks

This bill requires K-12 and higher education institutions to equip the doors of every classroom with locks that allow the doors to be locked from the inside. Amendment taken will make the provisions of the bill contingent on passage of a statewide education bond after January 1, 2016.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 711 - Santiago (D): School Curriculum, Foreign Languages

Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt World Languages content standards which are in accordance with the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages by June 1, 2017, pursuant to the recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI). Amendments taken will:

Change adoption date to September 1, 2017

Reflect the proposed advisory committee in AB 740 (see below)

Require the SBE to either adopt or reject the proposed standards, and, if the standards are rejected, to provide written explanation to the SPI, Governor, and Legislature of the reasons why they were rejected.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

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

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

Action: Passed 6-1

AB 740 - Weber (D): Academic Content Standards

Requires the SPI, by January 1, 2017, to recommend to the SBE a schedule for the regular update of academic content standards. This bill authorizes the SBE to convene academic content standards advisory committees to update the standards, and requires that the SBE adopt or reject the updated standards.  Amendments taken will:

Allow the SBE to take into consideration the revision of nationally-developed standards in determining whether an update is necessary

Add language stating legislative intent that content standards in each subject area be updated prior to the revision of the curriculum framework in that area

Add language stating legislative intent regarding the makeup of the advisory committee.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 753 - Medina (D): Certificated School Employees

This bill makes changes, as of July 1, 2017, regarding which credentialed employees can attain permanent employee status.  Specifically, this bill extends permanent employee status to all nonsupervisory, non-management employees who work in positions requiring certification in school districts and COEs as follows:

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

Action: Passed 5-1

AB 787 - Hernandez R (D): Charter Schools: Operation: Nonprofit Corporations

Requires a charter school operated as a nonprofit to nominate, in the charter petition, twice the number of people needed for their board of directors; requires the chartering authority to appoint a majority of the members of the board of directors for such charter schools from the nomination list; and, prohibits a charter school from operating as a for-profit corporation.  Amendment taken will specify that geographic and ethnic diversity be encouraged and promoted in the governance of a charter school.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-3

AB 881 - Garcia (D): Pupils: Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion: Bullying

Revises, for the purposes of pupil suspension and expulsion, the definition of bullying via an electronic act from the "creation and transmission" of a communication to the "creation or transmission" of a communication, via an electronic device, originated on or off the schoolsite.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 891 - Campos (D): Low-Income Youth: Educational Attainment

Provides homeless and low-income youth with priority for enrollment in before and after school programs and free transportation to and from school, and requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide youth in families receiving benefits through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program additional assistance for specified purposes.  Amendments taken will:

Restore a provision being changed by the bill, regarding kids who commit to attend the program on a regular basis, making their priority enrollment only applicable to students in middle or junior high schools

Specify that, for purposes of an implementation plan, all options be explored, including non-education resources

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

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

Authorizes the SPI to certify specified career training programs for the purpose of participating in specified federal student financial assistance programs.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 916 - O'Donnell (D): Career Technical Education: Student Organizations

Appropriates $1.17 million to the CDE to be allocated in support of career technical student organizations (CTSOs) for youth leadership development programs and other activities.  Amendment taken will clarify that the funding be allocated by the CDE to a local educational agency, such as a county office of education, for purposes of Proposition 98 accounting.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 1058 - Baker (R): Pupil Safety: Child Abuse Prevention: Training

Encourages school districts, COEs and charter schools to participate in child abuse prevention training and to require that all employees receive training in child abuse prevention at least every three years. Amendment taken will clarify that child abuse prevention training is encouraged, and not required.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 1112 - Lopez (D): Adult Education: Consortia: Family Literacy Education

Authorizes adult programs, California Community Colleges (CCC) noncredit courses and classes, and the adult education regional consortia, established pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 84830, to provide family literacy education.

Action: Passed 5-2

AB 1126 - Rendon (D): School Facilities: Heating, Ventilation: Reports

This bill requires each public school maintaining kindergarten of any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to post a copy of any heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system inspection report on its Internet Web site and on the Internet Web site of its school district or county office of education. Finds and declares that many pupils and staff in California's public schools have a variety of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, and that documentation of inspections of HVAC systems are often not easily available for review by staff, parents, or pupils to make that the inspections are carried out in accordance with law.  Amendment taken will strike the requirement to post the HVAC inspection report on both schools and school districts' Web sites and instead require schools to post the date inspections were completed and provide information on how interested parties can access the report. If a school does not maintain a Web site, the information would be posted on the school district's Web site.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 1133 - Achadjian (R): School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention Program

Establishes a 4-year pilot program, the School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention and Prevention Services Support Program, to provide outreach, free regional training, and technical assistance for local educational agencies in providing mental health services at schoolsites.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 1166 - Bloom (D): Pupils in Foster Care: Homeless Pupils

This bill allows students in foster care and those who are homeless to be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements even if they are not notified of this right within 30 days of enrollment, and allows homeless students to be exempt even if they are no longer homeless or if they transfer to another school or district.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 1226 - Chavez (R): School Accountability: Local Control: Priorities

Requires school district local control and accountability plans (LCAPs) to address the degree to which the certificated instructional personnel of the school district are offered opportunities for professional development and growth in effectiveness, including, but not necessarily limited to, the requirement to confer with a certificated employee making specific recommendations as to areas of improvement in the employee's performance and endeavor to assist the employee in his or her performance pursuant to existing requirements regarding professional development for certificated employees.  Amendments taken will:

Strike the requirement that opportunities for professional development include individual conferences and the identification of specific areas of needed improvement

Add opportunities for professional development to the elements that are required to be addressed by charter school petitions.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

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

Modifies the physical education instructional minute requirement for elementary schools serving students in grades 1-8 from 200 minutes each 10 schooldays to 400 minutes each 20 schooldays, makes complaints regarding compliance with that requirement subject to the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP), and states that the UCP shall be the adequate remedy at law for such complaints.  Amendment taken will remove the provisions of this bill which allow physical education minutes to be taught for 400 minutes each 20 schooldays, instead of 200 minutes each 10 days.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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Senate Education Committee: School Bond and CTE are Big Priorities

Last week’s Senate Education Committee was interesting for one main reason, Senators voted to advance legislation directly in conflict with the Governor’s priorities related to two major education issues: a 2016 state school facilities bond and career technical education (CTE).

School Bond Bill Advances - Democrats on the committee voted to advance the chair’s 2016 school bond bill, while the committee’s two Republicans abstained (Senators Vidak and Huff). Senator Liu amended SB 114 to apply only to K-12 schools by removing higher education facilities and to require the state agencies that oversee and administer state bond funds to develop an interagency plan to reduce program complexity. So far, the bill does not specify an amount for the bond, likely subject to continued political conversations. The bill now heads to the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance.

Senator Liu joins with many of us trying to overcome two serious challenges to a state school bond in 2016: 1) the Governor’s dislike of state school bonds, and 2) CTA’s push for a long term revenue solution for schools (think Prop 30 extension or tex reform). It’s anyone’s guess how you convince Governor Brown that state financing of school facilities is a good idea. A lot of smart people close to him have tried, so we’ll leave that as problem in search of a solution… Regarding CTA’s push for revenue, it is their top priority (at the end of the day, it is likely the entire education community’s top priority). CTA’s extremely sophisticated political operation has polled and focus-grouped the issue and there is a strong perception that two measures on the same ballot dealing with school finance increase the likelihood that both fail. We are all working to find a solution because we need both. We could see a “package” option develop that incorporates both school facilities and on-going revenue for school in a single ballot measure - but that could get legally questionable. Look for school bond bills to keep moving through the legislative process until the issue is resolved outside the Capitol.

CTE has a Bipartisan Support in Senate - By a unanimous and bipartisan vote of 8-0, the committee advanced newly-elected State Senator Mike McGuire’s (D-Healdsburg) bill to create a new $600 million CTE incentive grant program for K-12 schools. The bill is remarkable because it goes much further than the Governor’s proposal to create a short-term program that would provide $250 million in matching dollars for each of the next three years. The fact that Republicans are voting with Democrats to support the creation of new program costing more than half a billion dollars shows the broad support that exists for CTE. Ultimately, we believe the future of CTE will be resolved in the state budget negotiations sometime this summer, but this legislation highlights the stark contrast between the Governor and Legislature on the issue.

Legislators are on Spring Break this week, but Education Committee hearings will resume next Wednesday (April 8).

Following is a full review of the committee’s actions (titles are linked to the bill text):

SB 114 (Liu) Education facilities: K-12 Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016

Makes changes to the existing School Facility Program and 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 become effective if approved by voters at the November 8, 2016 statewide general election.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

SB 138 (Fuller) Physical education: exemption: high school rodeo

Authorizes school districts to exempt high school students from physical education courses if the student is engaged in high school rodeo.

Action: Passed 6-0

SB 148 (McGuire) Career technical education: Career and Job Skills Education Act

Establishes the Career and Job Skills Education Act, a grant program administered by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, for the purpose of developing and enhancing career technical education (CTE) courses within K-12 school districts and appropriates $600 million for this purpose. Amended in committee to extend eligibility for the grant program to County Offices of Education, direct-funded charter schools, and certain regional occupational programs.

Action: Passed as Amended 8-0

SB 232 (Hall) School accountability: California Collaborative for Educational Excellence: state administrator

Allows a state-appointed trustee or administrator of a school district in receivership to request the advice and assistance of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence.

Action: Passed 8-0

SB 242 (Monning) School security: surplus military equipment

Requires a school district’s police department to obtain approval from its governing board prior to receiving federal surplus military equipment. Amended in committee to remove the requirement that written notice of what surplus equipment the school police department will receive be given to all parents.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-1

SB 247 (Lara) Dream Centers: educational support services

Authorizes the governing board of a school district or county office of education that maintain grades 9-12, the governing board of a California Community College district, and the trustees of the California State University and encourages the Regents of the University of California to establish on-campus Dream Centers for the purposes of providing educational support services applicable to undocumented students. Amended in committee to edit language to ensure that undocumented students’ needs are met.

Action: Passed as Amended 8-0

SB 252 (Leno) Pupils: diploma alternatives: fees

Prohibits a fee from being charged to homeless youth for the high school proficiency exam and the high school equivalency tests. Amended in committee to (1) cap the age at which homeless youth are eligible for the exemption to youth who have not turned 25 years old and (2) delete the list of “homeless services provider” and instead cross-reference to the existing definition in the Health and Safety Code.

Action: Passed as Amended 8-0

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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First Assembly Education Committee Hearing of 2015

This past Wednesday (March 25) was the first Assembly Education Committee hearing for the new chair, Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach). The committee continues to be smaller than in the past with only seven members (five Democrats, two Republicans). In prior years there have been up to 13 members. While the hearing was substantive, the policy hearings at this early stage are interesting because many of the education stakeholder groups have yet to take formal positions on the bills before the committee.

Interesting Politics Make for Liberal Committee - One of the most remarkable things for us was the realization of just how liberal this committee is likely to be this year. The only two Republicans on the committee were voting with Democrats more often than not. Assembly Members Rocky Chavez (R-San Diego) and Young Kim (R-Fullerton) each have their respective next elections in mind. For Chavez, he is likely to run for retiring U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s open seat in 2016. Already viewed as a moderate Republican, it looks like Chavez is distancing himself from his traditional Republican base by moving more to the middle. For Assembly Member Kim, she is expected to have a hard re-election battle against the woman she unseated in November 2014, former Democratic Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva. Quirk-Silva has pledged to run again in 2016 - a presidential election cycle that tends to favor Democrats. She is raising money and actively campaigning in the community. Kim’s legislative district has a Democratic voter registration advantage (37% - Democrat and 35% - Republican).

Summary of Major Debate - Some of the more interesting debate and testimony centered around bills related to the recognition of our state’s diversity. There was a lot of emotional debate around bills like AB 101 (Alejo) mandating that all schools with grades 7-12 offer Ethnic Studies as an elective, AB 30 (Alejo) which would prohibit all public schools from using the term “Redskin” as an athletic team name or mascot, and AB 146 (Garcia, C.) which requires the State Board to consider including instruction on the deportation of citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. to Mexico during the Great Depression in the next revision to the state’s history-social science framework. AB 207 (Grove), a bill that would have given online charter schools greater freedom to enroll students in nearby counties was defeated after heated debate. It was the only bill to fail passage.

Finally, for those of us who knew John Mockler, AB 158 (O’Donnell) was an appropriate and touching tribute to the legendary school finance genius. The bill effectively re-names Chapter 2 of the Education Code the “John B. Mockler School Finance Act.” Those provisions implement Proposition 98, the voter-approved school funding formula that was essentially written by Mockler in the late 1980s. The bill hearing enjoyed some colorful reflection from those that testified on the impact John Mockler had on school finance and policy over the past few decades. Mockler served in several high-ranking positions in both the State Senate and Assembly. He also served as the Executive Director of the State Board of Education, as well as a short stint as Governor Gray Davis’ Secretary of Education, which Mockler jokingly referred to as the “Reign of John the Brief.” He will be missed.

What’s Next? Most of the bills that passed out of committee will head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. With Legislators on Spring Break this week, committees will resume next Wednesday (April 8).

Following is a full review of the committee’s actions (titles are linked to the bill):

AB 7 (Bonta) Public schools: Larry Itliong Day

Designates October 25 of each year as Larry Itliong Day, and encourages public schools to recognize it as a day of special significance. Larry Itliong was a California labor organizer in the 1930’s through 1970’s, helped organize the Delano table grape boycott in the 1960’s, and was the Assistant Director of the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 30 (Alejo) School athletic team names: California Racial Mascots Act

Establishes the California Racial Mascots Act and prohibits, beginning January 1, 2017, all public schools from using the term "Redskins" for school or athletic team names, mascots, or nicknames. Amended in committee to strike the provision authorizing the use of the term “Redskins” if authorized by a tribe with jurisdiction over the school boundaries.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 63 (Bonilla) School safety programs: funding

Requires the CDE to apply to the DMV for the purpose of creating a specialized license plate program to generate funds for school violence prevention programs. Amendments were technical.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 101 (Alejo) Pupil instruction: ethnic studies

Requires the development of a model curriculum in ethnic studies, establishes an advisory committee on ethnic studies, and requires that all school districts serving students in grades 7-12 students offer ethnic studies as an elective course.

Action: Passed 6-1

AB 141 (Bonilla) Teacher credentialing: beginning teacher induction programs

Requires a school district or county office of education (COE) to provide a beginning teacher induction program and prohibits a school district or COE from charging a beginning teacher a fee to participate in the induction program. Amended in committee to clarify that charter schools are included in the provisions of the bill.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 146 (Garcia, C.) Pupil instruction: social sciences: deportations to Mexico

Requires the State Board of Education to consider including content on the deportation of citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. to Mexico during the Great Depression in the next revision of the history-social science framework and related materials.

Action: Passed 6-0

AB 158 (O’Donnell) School finance: The John B. Mockler School Finance Act

Provides that Chapter 2 of the Education Code shall be known as, and may be cited as, the John B. Mockler School Finance Act.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 163 (Williams) Teaching credential: American Indian language-culture credential

Renames the existing "American Indian languages credential" as the "American Indian language-culture credential.”  Requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue an American Indian language-culture credential upon recommendation by the tribal government of a federally recognized Indian tribe in California.

Action: Passed 6-0

AB 207 (Grove) Virtual or online charter schools: average daily attendance

Authorizes virtual or online charter schools to claim independent study average daily attendance for pupils who are residents of a county that is 125 miles or less from the county in which the apportionment claim is reported.

Action: Failed Passage 2-4

AB 220 (Holden) Pupil instruction: mathematics: algebra

Allows students to meet the graduation requirement that one of the two mathematics courses required for graduation be Algebra 1, or a course of equal rigor, that is aligned to the state content standards, by completing the course Mathematics 1. Amended in committee to (1) provide that a pupil who has completed a course that met the content standards for Algebra 1 as they read on June 30, 2011 has satisfied the graduation requirement and (2) retain the option to complete Algebra 1 or Mathematics 1 through “a combination of courses.”

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 224 (Jones-Sawyer) Pupils: educational liaison for foster children

Requires the CDE, in collaboration with the Foster Youth Education Task Force, to develop a standardized notice of existing educational rights of foster children. Amended in committee to (1) require that complaint process information be included in the notice, (2) require consultation with the State Foster Care Ombudsperson in the development of the notice and (3) require the notice include both education and other rights specific to youth in foster care in a single document.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 292 (Santiago) Pupil nutrition: free or reduced-price meals: adequate time to eat

Declares that the CDE specifies adequate time to eat school lunch as 20 minutes after being served, and specifies that upon annual review of the bell schedule, if a school determines that it is currently not providing pupils with adequate time to eat, the school, in consultation with the district, shall identify ways to increase pupils' time to eat.  Amended in committee to (1) clarify that the requirement applies only to lunch, (2) specify that schools ‘shall make available’ to their pupils adequate time to eat, and (3) to specify that if a school determines it is currently not providing adequate time, a school, in consultation with the district, shall identify and develop a plan to increase pupil’s time to eat.

Action: Passed as Amended 5-1

AB 331 (Levine) School district governing boards: reduction of membership

Authorizes elementary school districts to have three-member governing boards, as specified, and authorizes county committees on school district organization to establish three- member school district governing boards pursuant to a process specified in existing law. Amended in committee to (1) remove provision that requires elementary school districts that have three board members and more than 300 ADA in the preceding year to either increase its board membership to five by its own action or submit the question to the voters and (2) make the provision apply only to school districts with fewer than 300 ADA.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AB 377 (Linder) Examination fees: AP and IB Examination Fee Grant Program

Re-establishes, subject to an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for this purpose, a grant program to award grants to cover the costs of AP examination fees or International Baccalaureate examination fees, or both, for eligible economically disadvantaged high school pupils or foster youth; and requires the CDE to administer the program.

Action: Passed 6-0

AB 379 (Gordon) Foster youth: complaint of noncompliance

Makes complaints alleging violations of certain educational rights afforded to students in foster care and students who are homeless subject to the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP), and establishes an expedited process for complaints regarding certain rights and on behalf of certain students. This bill also places limits on the time students can be educated in emergency shelters. Amended in committee to (1) define the purpose and scope of “compensatory educational services” and (2) change the title of the article amended by the bill to “Education of Pupils in Foster Care and Pupils who are Homeless.”

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

AJR 5 (Dahle) Federal Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000: extension

Urges Congress to reauthorize the federal Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000.

Action: Adopted 6-0

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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School Finance Legislation

Below is a complete list of school finance legislation. The bill titles are hyper-linked to the full text of the bill.

Many of these bills remain in “spot bill form,” meaning they lack substance at this point. We expect most of them to be amended significantly in the next few weeks (bills must be in print for 30-days after their introduction before they can be amended). We will update you as major changes occur.

In the area of school finance, you will see several bills seeking to repeal or amend the school district budget reserve cap. That conversation is happening mostly behind the scenes between the Governor’s Office and representatives from the major statewide education associations.

There are also several bills seeking to place a school facilities bond on the November 2016 ballot, but everyone capitulates this conversation is predicated upon voter attitudes towards supporting a revenue solution for schools (either in the form of some sort of extension of Prop 30 tax rates, or tax reform that would yield ongoing funding for education) and a school bond on the same ballot. CTA is doing a lot of polling and focus groups on the topic.

AB 6 (Wilk (R)): Bonds: Transportation: School Facilities

Provides that no further bonds shall be sold for high-speed rail purposes pursuant to the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century. Requires the net proceeds of other bonds to be made available to fund construction of school facilities for K-12 and higher education.

AB 47 (McCarty (D)): State Preschool Program: Report

Requires the Department of Education to report to the Legislature and Department of Finance a plan for expanding the state preschool program to all eligible low-income children who do not have access to one year of state preschool or transitional kindergarten. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 63 (Bonilla (D)): School Safety Programs: Funding

Authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to consult with specified entities on school violence prevention and intervention in order to carry out one or more of the purposes of the programs established under the School Safety and Violence Prevention Strategy Program. Requires the Department of Education to apply for the creation of a specialized license plate program with the revenues therefrom to be used to carry out the program.

AB 148 (Holden (D)): School Facilities: General Obligation Bond Measure

Expresses the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to submit a general obligation bond measure to the voters during the 2016 calendar year to fund the modernization and construction of school facilities. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language and we hear the intent of the bill is to provide a “bridge bond” of approximately $2 billion.

AB 158 (O'Donnell (D)): School Finance: John B. Mockler School Finance Act

Relates to existing law that defines the words and phrases used to calculate the moneys to be applied by the State for the support of school districts and community college districts and provides the method for calculating the amount of moneys to be applied. Provides that those provisions shall be known, and may be cited, as the John B. Mockler School Finance Act.

AB 200 (Alejo (D)): Student Financial Aid: Competitive Cal Grant Awards

Requires that an unspecified total number of Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards be granted for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years and that a specified amount of funds be granted for the 2018-19 academic year and each year thereafter.

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

Requires, before the adoption of any new parcel tax, the legislative body of a local agency to provide at least 90 days' notice of the vote to enact the proposed parcel tax to the owner of each parcel affected by the tax. Requires the notice to include specified information and to be provided to the property owner in a specified manner.

AB 252 (Holden (D)): Advanced Placement Program: STEM Curriculum

Establishes a grant program for purposes of awarding grants to cover the costs associated with a high school establishing or expanding its advanced placement STEM curriculum. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to submit a specified report to the Legislature describing the effectiveness of the grant program.

AB 283 (Dababneh (D)): Financial Affairs

Eliminates the limitation that would become operative on January 1, 2017, and thus would indefinitely continue the existing authority for a local agency to invest its surplus funds, in certificates of deposit or in another form of investment. Removes the limit on the percentage of local agency funds that may be invested by any one private sector entity.

AB 377 (Linder (R)): Examination Fees: Advanced Placement and IB Program

Establishes a grant program by the Department of Education for the purpose of awarding grants to cover the costs of advanced placement examination fees or International Baccalaureate examination fees, or both, for eligible economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils. Authorizes a school district or charter school to apply to the department for grant funding under the program.

AB 440 (Alejo (D)): Local Government Finance: Property Tax Revenue

Deems to be correct certain property tax revenue apportionment factors that were applied in allocating property tax revenues in the County of San Benito for certain fiscal years. Requires property tax apportionment factors applied in allocating property tax revenue in the County for the 2002-03 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter to be determined on the basis of certain apportionment factors.

AB 482 (Harper (R)): Concurrent Enrollment in Secondary School and College

Expresses the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation later in the 2015-16 Regular Session regarding concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college for pupils pursuing studies related to computer science.

AB 531 (O'Donnell (D)): School Finance: Budget Calculations

Makes the formula for school districts with less than 400,000 units of average daily attendance applicable to school districts with 400,000 units of average daily attendance or less.

AB 567 (Gipson (D)): Property Taxation: Change in Ownership

Provides that information requested or furnished in a change in ownership statement, with respect to a legal entity and its real property does not include the fact that a change in ownership statement has been filed with the Board of Equalization or that the board has issued a determination to the assessor relating to a change in ownership statement, and that the board and the assessor are not required to hold these facts secret.

AB 631 (Bonilla (D)): Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

Establishes the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards Implementation Fund Act. Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to allocate funds for the 2015-16 fiscal year to local education agencies, on the basis of an equal amount per pupil based on the prior year's enrollment for specified purposes relating to the integration of common core academic content standards, science standards and English language development standards in schools, and teacher development.

AB 646 (McCarty (D)): Education Finance: School Districts

Makes non-substantive changes to existing law that requires the governing board of each school district to approve an annual statement of all receipts and expenditures of the district for the preceding fiscal year and to file the statement with the county Superintendent of schools.

AB 668 (Gomez (D)): Property Taxation: Assessment: Affordable Housing

States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would require a county assessor to consider a recorded contract with a nonprofit corporation that restricts the use of the land for at least 30 years for affordable housing or affordable rent when valuing real property for property taxation purposes. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 699 (Olsen (R)): Education Technology: Grants

Makes a non-substantive change to existing law that establishes the Education Technology Grant Act of 2002 to provide technology education grants to school district applicants for schools serving pupils in grades 4 to 8, inclusive, consistently with federal law, and defines school district for purposes of this act. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 710 (Brown (D)): Youth on Probation: Local Control Funding Formula

Amends existing law that relates to public school financing system and a local control funding formula. Includes a youth who is on probation as an unduplicated pupil. Requires 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. Requires the State Department of Education to add appropriate data collections questions to the State Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System.

AB 748 (Lackey (R)): Taxation: Exemptions: Public Schools

Adds public schools to the list of entities eligible for the cancellation or refund of any tax or penalty or interest imposed on property acquired in a given calendar year after the lien date but before the first day of the fiscal year commencing within that calendar year.

AB 760 (O'Donnell (D)): Local Educational Agencies: Portable Elect Equipment

Requires the Department of General Services to seek bids for the purchase of portable electronic equipment and establish a process for local educational agencies to purchase the equipment under terms negotiated by the department.

AB 765 (Ridley-Thomas S (D)): Child Care and Development: Reimbursement Rates

Makes non-substantive changes to existing law that requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to implement a plan that establishes reasonable child care standards and assigned reimbursement rates. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 853 (Hernandez R (D)): Electrical Transmission: Public Convenience Certificate

Includes demand response as being amongst the demand-side alternatives that the Public Utilities Commission is to consider when considering an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for an electric transmission facility.

AB 882 (Wilk (R)): School Bonds: Portable Electronic Devices

Prohibits proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized and issued pursuant to the exception in existing law to be used to purchase portable electronic devices, including laptop computers and tablet computers, that are not closely connected to classroom instruction, are assigned to individual pupils, or are permitted to leave the school site for more than one school day, or to purchase basic or supplemental instructional materials.

AB 889 (Chang (R)): Concurrent Enrollment in School and Community College

Authorizes the governing board of a school district to authorize a pupil to attend a community college during any session or term as a special part-time or full-time student and to undertake one or more STEM courses offered at the community college if that pupil has exhausted all opportunities to enroll in an equivalent course at the high school of attendance, or at an adult education program.

AB 912 (Wilk (R)): Local Educational Agencies: School Bonds: Notices

Requires that before the approval by the governing board of the school district to proceed with the issuance of bonds, the school district notify the county superintendent of schools and the county auditor. Deletes the language limiting the requirement of this notice to instruments that do not require approval of the voters of the school district or county.

AB 1007 (McCarty (D)): Minimum Wage

States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation relating to the minimum wage. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1048 (Baker (R)): School Finance: School Districts: Annual Budgets

Repeals an existing law which provides that in a fiscal year immediately after a fiscal year in which a transfer is made into the Public School System Stabilization Account, a school district's budget is prohibited from containing a certain combined assigned or unassigned ending fund balance.

AB 1064 (Hernandez R (D)): Education Finance: Indirect Cost Rates

Amends existing law that makes a non-substantive change that requires the State Department of Education or any other state agency that administers a grant or allocation of state funds to a school district to allow an indirect cost rate that is not less than the indirect cost rate established by the department, unless a lower rate is required by law.

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

States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would create the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act, a state general obligation bond act that would provide funds to construct and modernize education facilities. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1112 (Lopez (D)): Adult Education: Consortia

Expresses the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to provide that the funding distributed to local educational agencies through adult education consortia continues to be available to pupils who are minors participating in high school credit recovery pursuant to designated provisions. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1161 (Olsen (R)): Preschool: Privately Funded Pilot Program

Authorizes the State Department of Education to accept monetary contributions made to the state Preschool Investment Fund by a person for purposes of preschool education. Requires the money in the fund to be used to fund state preschool parts of the state preschool program located in participating counties.

AB 1181 (Calderon I (D)): Adult Education Programs: Federal Pell Grant Program

States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would, to the extent feasible, qualify adult education programs operated by local educational agencies to participate in the federal Pell Grant Program under Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 so that students enrolled in those programs may qualify to receive federal Pell Grant program awards for short-term career technical education programs.

AB 1185 (Ridley-Thomas S (D)): Los Angeles Unified School District

Establishes a pilot program to authorize the Los Angeles Unified School district to use a best value procurement method for bid evaluation and selection for public projects. Establishes various requirements applicable to the use of the best value procurement method under this authorization.

AB 1198 (Dababneh (D)): School Facilities: California School Finance

Establishes the Credit Enhancement Program within the California School Financing Authority for purposes of providing lower cost alternatives for school facility financing through a leveraged public-private partnership program.

AB 1262 (Wood (D)): Telecommunications: Universal Service

Requires that of the moneys collected for California Advanced Services Fund on and after a specified date, a specified amount is to be deposited into the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account and used for specified purposes and a specified amount is to be deposited into the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account and used for specified purposes.

AB 1297 (Achadjian (R)): School Finance: Local Control Funding Formula

Makes non-substantive changes to provisions of existing law which establishes a public school financing system that requires state funding for county superintendents of schools, school districts, and charter schools to be calculated pursuant to a local control funding formula, as specified. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1318 (Gray (D)): School Finance: School Districts: Annual Budgets

Expresses the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation regarding adequate levels of school district reserves, as specified. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1372 (Holden (D)): School Facilities: Funding

States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to adopt a long-term funding solution to ensure California meets its obligation to provide adequate funding to school districts for facility construction and maintenance.

AB 1342 (Steinorth (R)): Pupil Transportation

Makes non-substantive changes to provisions of existing law that authorizes the governing board of any school district to provide for the transportation of pupils to and from school. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1428 (Gray (D)): California State Lottery: Education Finance

Requires the State Lottery Commission to collect, and make publicly available on the commission's Internet Web site, information related to certain lottery education accounts.

AB 1474 (Chavez (R)): Community Colleges: Technical Education Bond Act

Enacts the Community College Career Technical Education Bond Act, which if adopted by the voters would authorize the issuance of bonds to finance a community college career technical education bond program.

AB 1487 (Obernolte (R)): Property Taxation: Assessment: Full Value

Makes a technical, non-substantive change to existing property tax law that requires every assessor to assess all property subject to general property taxation at its full value. We expect the author to amend this bill with more substantive language.

AB 1503 (Perea (D)): Telecommunications Universal Service Programs

Relates to a program to advance universal service by providing discounted rates to qualifying schools, community colleges, libraries, hospitals and community organizations. Requires the Public Utilities Commission to include auxiliary organizations of the California State University in the program.

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

The bill would increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017. Beginning in 2019, the bill would require automatic increases tied to the Consumer Price Index.

SB 8 (Hertzberg (D)): Taxation

Expands the Sales and Use Tax Law to impose a tax on the gross receipts from the sale in the State or, or the receipt of the benefit in the State of services at a specified percentage rate.

SB 25 (Roth (D)): Local Government Finance: Property Tax Revenue

Amends an existing law which requires that each city, county and city and county receive certain additional property tax revenues in the form of a vehicle license fee adjustment amount and which requires that these additional allocations be funded from ad valorem property tax revenues otherwise required to be allocated to educational entities. Modifies certain reduction and transfer provisions.

SB 111 (Fuller (R)): School Facilities: Military Installations

Appropriates a specified amount of funds from the General Fund to the State Department of Education for the 2015-16 fiscal year for apportionment to school districts to meet the matching share requirement of a school construction grant made by the Office of Economic Adjustment of the federal Department of Defense to construct, renovate, repair, or expand elementary and secondary public schools located on military installations.

SB 114 (Liu (D)): Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities

Revises the definition of modernization under the Leroy F. Greene Facilities Act of 1998 to include the replacement of facilities on a site containing a permanent structure that is at least 25 years old or, in the case of a portable classroom, that is at least 20 years old. Requires a district to reestablish eligibility. Authorizes a grant to be used for seismic mitigation purposes, and design, study, and testing costs. Enacts a specified facilities bond act for funds for K-12 and postsecondary facilities. **

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

Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, for specified fiscal years, to apportion to each school district, county office of education, entity providing services under a school transportation joint powers agreement, or a regional occupational center or program that provides pupil transportation services, in an amount determined by a specified formula.

SB 222 (Block (D)): School Bonds: School Facilities: Statutory Lien

Requires school facility bonds issued and sold pursuant to existing law to be secured by a statutory lien on all revenues received pursuant to the levy and collection of the tax. **

SB 256 (Berryhill (R)): School Finance: Necessary Small Schools

Makes non-substantive changes to existing law that provides that a necessary small school is an elementary school with an average daily attendance of less than 97 maintained by a school district to which any of certain conditions apply.

SB 318 (Morrell (R)): Education Technology and Digital Resources

Appropriates funds from the General Fund to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to be allocated to specified local educational agencies for the purpose of implementing a pilot program in the County of San Bernardino County to train kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, teachers to more effectively utilize technology and digital resources within their instructional day, while also measuring and teaching skills pupils need to succeed in next-generation online assessments, college and careers.

SB 320 (Lara (D)): Pupil Fees

Makes non-substantive changes to existing law that prohibits a pupil enrolled in a public school from being required to pay a fee for participation in an educational activity.

SB 329 (Mendoza (D)): School Finance: Accounting

Makes non-substantive changes to existing law that requires the accounting system used to record the financial affairs of any school district to be in accordance with the definitions and procedures published in the California School Accounting Manual.

SB 416 (Huff (R)): Public Schools: Repeal of Funding Programs

Repeals the Art Work Visual and Performing Arts Education Program. Repeals the School Safety and Violence Prevention Act. Repeals the California Peer Assistance Review Program for Teachers. Repeals the Education Technology Staff Development Program. Repeals the Impacted Languages Act of 1984, the Chacon-Moscone Bilingual-Bicultural Education Act of 1976, and the State Bilingual Teacher Training Assistance Program.

SB 436 (Liu (D)): Education: Omnibus Bill

Amends existing law to delete specified allocation authorizations to the State School Deferred Maintenance Fund. Deletes an authorization that school district's may deposit certain funds into the district's general fund to receive an apportionment from the Fund. Requires a postsecondary institution to make it possible for each candidate to complete all teaching credential requirements in the equivalent of a specified amount of study. Repeals obsolete provisions regarding the Compton Unified School District.

SB 458 (Gaines T (R)): Insurance Taxation: College Access Tax Credit Fund

Allows a credit equal to a certain percentage of a contribution to the College Access Tax Credit Fund. Specifies that the aggregate amount of credit allocated shall not exceed an unspecified sum for each calendar year. Requires the State Educational Facilities Authority to perform certain duties with regard to allocating and certifying the tax credits allowed under this provision.

SB 481 (Hueso (D)): Internal Auditors: Independence

Requires internal auditor employees to conduct their work under conditions that ensure their independence, including the requirement that the head of the auditing unit, branch, or group for which he or she works be answerable directly to the head, deputy head, or governing board of the governmental agency being audited, is given direct access to that person or persons and is required to report the audit results to the unit head, deputy head, or governing board.

SB 515 (Beall (D)): Grant Programs

States the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that establishes funding priorities for moneys distributed from the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund to the Board of State and Community Corrections.

SB 527 (Liu (D)): Education Finance: Safe Neighborhoods and Schools

Expresses findings and declarations of the Legislature with respect to the purposes of the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. Specifies the administrative duties and responsibilities of the State Department of Education with respect to the administration, commencing with the 2016-17 fiscal year, of a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund Grant Program.

SB 549 (Hall (D)): Charitable Raffles

Authorizes a raffle conducted by an eligible organization for the purpose of directly supporting specified beneficial or charitable purposes or financially supporting another private, nonprofit, eligible organization that performs those purposes if, among other requirements, each ticket sold contains a unique and matching identifier, 50% of the gross receipts generated from the sale of raffle tickets are used to benefit or provide support for beneficial or charitable purposes.

SB 618 (Pavley (D)): Educational Apprenticeships: Grant Programs

Establishes a statewide grant program for educational apprenticeship programs under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Requires that a grant allocated by the Superintendent to be distributed on a competitive basis, subject to funding being made available in the annual Budget Act. Specifies certain criteria to be applied by the Superintendent to determine the competitive value of an application for a grant.

SB 645 (Hancock (D)): After School Programs: Grant Amounts

Relates to the After School Education and Safety Program Act of 2002 to serve pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 9. Requires the Department of Finance to annually adjust the amount provided that adjustment does not result in a reduction. Provides that funds appropriated would be applied toward the minimum funding requirement for school districts and community college districts.

SB 774 (Fuller (R)): School Finance: School Districts: Annual Budget

Repeals provisions of existing law that prohibits a school district's adopted or revised budget from containing a combined assigned or unassigned ending fund balance that is in excess of either 2 or 3 times the minimum recommended reserve for economic uncertainties adopted by the State Board of Education, depending on the school district's units of average daily attendance.

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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March 2015 SBE Hearing – Accountability, Assessment and Special Education

The main areas of focus at the State Board of Education meeting last week were Accountability, Assessment and Special Education.

Among the other issues discussed was the retirement of Chief Deputy Superintendent Richard Zeiger, with Glen Price serving as the interim Chief Deputy while a national search for a replacement is being conducted. The topics discussed under those three main areas of focus are summarized below.

Accountability

Revised API

The conversations regarding development of an accountability system centered on implementation of a “holistic approach” that includes both the revised Academic Performance Index (API) and the LCAP. The responsibility for revising the API was given to the Public Schools Accountability Act Advisory (PSAA). The PSAA has met over the last year and, while still far from finished, has been putting together various recommendations for the board’s consideration.

SBE approved two of those recommendations at the hearing. First, the board approved moving the API from a single index (a composite score illustrating a school’s quality based on student performance on statewide standardized test), to multiple measures, including graduation data, suspension rates and college and career readiness indicators.  The new API is meant to fit into the overarching accountability structure created by the LCAP and yet allow comparability across schools. Second, the board voted to suspend the API for the 2014-15 school year recognizing the lengthy transition to a new accountability system.

Evaluation Rubrics

The SBE members also received an update on the development of the Evaluation Rubrics required to be created under LCFF by October 15, 2015, as a tool for LEAs, County Offices of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to “evaluate strengths and weaknesses and inform support and assistance related to state and local priorities.” WestEd, who has been charged with the development of the rubrics, provided the board with both this slideshow and this lengthy document, Updated Item 06 Attachment 3, on the rubrics and their status. While the rubrics are still in preliminary draft form, you will see by what is proposed in the slide show that they are quite detailed and will be quite time-intensive to complete.

There was extensive public comment on the rubrics, and it divided largely along two lines – social justice and community groups on one side, and education management organizations on the other. The social justice and community engagement organizations requested additional detail and metrics, as they seem to see the rubrics as more of a compliance document; at the same time, education management groups urged the board to limit further additions, and to continue to view the rubrics as a “flashlight rather than a hammer.” It is clear this battle will continue until the rubrics are finalized.

Assessment 

The second large topic at the hearing was assessment. While the hot item was the naming of the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) testing contractor, CDE staff also provided an update of other areas within the new CAASPP system.

CAASPP Testing Contractor

The CDE recommended, and SBE approved, Educational Testing Service (ETS) as the official contractor, which has served as the interim contractor up to this point.  The decision followed a long explanation of the process used to determine the best candidate for the testing contractor, including that CDE used a “Request for Submission” rather than a “Request for Proposal”, so that they would not be forced to go with the lowest bid.  The recommendation was disappointing to the other applicants, NCS Pearson and California Test Bureau/McGraw-Hill (CTB) – particularly Pearson as their bid was $34 million less than that of ETS. Having an RFS also allowed CDE to further negotiate the contract so they are requiring ETS to incorporate something offered by Pearson in their bid - using California teachers “to the maximum extent possible” for test scoring.

As the new contractor, ETS will be responsible for:

  • Smarter Balanced Summative and Interim Assessments
  • California Standardized Tests/California Modified Assessment
  • California Alternate Performance Assessments (current and the CAPA successor)
  • Next Generation Science Standards assessments (once the standards are in placStandards-based Tests in Spanish (STS)
  • Primary Language Assessments (successor to STS
  • Other assessments as determined needed by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

CAASPP Programs Update

CDE staff provided an update on several of the assessments and programs that will be integral to the CAASPP system.

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments – The testing window opened on March 10 and will run through August 31, 2015. CDE conducted several outreach activities and provided resources to assist LEAs in administering the assessments. Some of those resources may be found at: http://caaspp.org/administration/instructions/index.html.

While the general hope is that the testing will go smoothly, there is concern that LEAs may encounter various difficulties. SBE is very interested in hearing from LEAs on the test administration. If you are interested in sharing your experience, please contact me as I have been asked by SBE and CDE staff for response.

  • Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments – The interim assessments, which are voluntary for LEAs to use, are intended to assist with teaching and learning. On January 28, 2015, the Smarter Balanced Interim Assessments and the Interim Assessment Hand Scoring system were made available. There are two types of interim assessments offered: the interim comprehensive assessments (ICAs) and the interim assessment blocks (IABs). The ICAs are built on the same blueprints as the summative assessments. The IABs focus on smaller sets of standards and provide more detail for instructional purposes. CDE conducted a webinar on the interim assessments. The webinar as well as additional information on the assessments can be found here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/sbacinterimassess.asp.
  • Individual Student Reports (ISR) – The ISR will be sent to parents to illustrate their child’s achievement on the Smarter Balanced assessments. The templates considered by SBE at the hearing can be found here. The templates drew some consternation by SBE members as they currently provide a comparison between a student’s score and the average score within the national Smarter Balanced Consortium. As the comparison score would be derived from the field test, members expressed concern that the illustration did not provide parents with an accurate depiction of their child’s achievement. SBE members also found some of the wording used on the templates to be confusing and directed the SBE Executive Director to make changes to the template as needed.
  • California Alternate Assessment Field Test – Item development concluded in early February and yielded 210 field test items. The field test will be administered from April 15 through June 10, 2015 and will be a one-to one, computer-based test administration.
  • New Primary Language Development Test – The State Superintendent is required to create a stand-alone language arts summative assessment in primary languages other than English that aligns with the ELA content standards. To that end, there were two stakeholder meetings in January and input from those meetings will be incorporated into a final report along with the Superintendent’s recommendations to SBE.
  • Smarter Balanced Digital Library – Another resource for LEA is the Digital Library, an online warehouse that includes tools and resources designed to support teachers in the use of formative assessment practices. However, access to the library continues to be an issue for some educators. CDE has been working with LEAs through out the state to increase awareness of and accessibility to the library and while there is increased participation, there still seem to be some areas where questions over rights to access have created obstacles to participation. Information on the resources provided through the Digital Library can be found at: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sa/diglib.asp
  • Technology – The availability of technology, much less appropriate technology, still continues to be an issue for many LEAs. The Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grants did provide relief to many sites. However, 64 sites did not receive bids from providers. Of those sites, twelve has received other assistance and the K12 High Speed Network is working with the remaining sites. As mentioned previously, please let us know if your LEA has any technology difficulties, or has to make any technology adjustments in order to administer the Smarter Balanced assessments.

Statewide Task Force on Special Education

The third main area of focus at the SBE hearing was the long-awaited recommendations from the Special Education Task Force. Led by the chair, Dr. Carl Cohn and Co-Executive Directors Dr. Vicki Barber and Maureen O’Leary, the purpose of the task force was “to examine California’s complex systems for serving students with disabilities and forwarding recommendations to SBE, CDE and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) for consideration.” The task force focused on the following areas:

  • Early Learning
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Assessment and accountability
  • Educator preparation and professional learning
  • Finance
  • Family and student engagement

The task force had one overarching theme, “The need for ONE unified system, grounded in expertise, responsive to students’ needs, and focused on results.” It identified barriers such as funding inequities; availability of programs and services; separate and different educator preparation for general educators and special educators; funding, support and services siloes at all levels; and insufficient early intervention.

The task force came up with the following recommendations:

  • Statewide leadership to unify the education system
  • Addressing the needs statewide for professional learning for all educators to implement shifts
  • Workgroups with involved stakeholders
  • Inter-agency collaboration
  • Potential legislative changes
  • Resources to support these recommendations

More information on the task force report, executive summary and subcommittee reports can be found at: http://www.smcoe.org/about-smcoe/statewide-special-education-task-force/.

SBE members considered the recommendations and directed SBE and CDE staff to work with CTC staff to determine the specific policy changes that would be required to implement the task force’s recommendations and how any current efforts, consistent with the task force’s vision, may provide a foundation for next steps.

I expect updates on progress made on the task force’s recommendations at future meetings.

Lee Angela Reid, Senior Legislative Advocate
Capitol Advisors Group

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Key Education Bills

Friday was the deadline for Legislators to introduce legislation in 2015. Legislators are not unlike students in that many of them waited until the last minute to turn in their legislative package. There was a deluge of new bills introduced Thursday and Friday. We’ve gone through all of them and want to provide you with a rundown of what we see as some of the key K-12 education measures. This is admittedly difficult to do because so many of the bills are in “spot bill” form, meaning the bill language is either vague or simply states intent to put in more substantive language later. But based on our conversations with Legislators, Capitol staff, and our school advocate colleagues we’ve compiled a list of some of the key K-12 education measures introduced in 2015.

ASSESSMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Stricter LCAPs – There are a number of spot bills targeting the Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs). Many Democrats in the Legislature would like to require more oversight regarding the use of LCFF dollars (particularly those associated with ELs, low income, and foster pupils). While this will be an interesting conversation, we don’t think the Governor is ready to make any changes to LCFF accountability.

AB 1099 (Olsen): School Accountability: LCAPs: Teacher Evaluations

AB 1153 (Calderon, I): School Accountability: LCAPs: Posting: Evaluation Rubrics Data

AB 1226 (Chavez): School Accountability: LCAPs: State Priorities

SB 460 (Allen): School Accountability: LCAPs

CAHSEE Suspension – A bill by Senate Education Committee Chair Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) would suspend the administration of the high school exit exam and remove it as a condition of graduation for the 2016–17, 2017–18, and 2018–19 school years. The bill also asks the State Superintendent to convene a panel of experts and make recommendations to the Legislature regarding alternatives.

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

CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE)

Rebuilding CTE – There are a remarkable number of spot bills in the area of CTE. Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) has a few that are worth watching. Senator Mike McGuire (D-Santa Rosa) has a bill to fund CTE at $600 million (the Governor has proposed $250 million).

AB 566 (O’Donnell): Career Technical Education: Advisory Committee

AB 1491 (O’Donnell): Career Technical Education

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

CHARTER SCHOOLS

Open Meetings, etc. – There are two bills taking on the years-long effort to require charter schools to adhere to certain requirements like Brown Act (open meetings), Public Records, and conflict of interest policies.

AB 709 (Gipson): Charter Schools

AB 1057 (Medina): Charter Schools

Suspension and Expulsion – Senator Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill to would require charter schools to comply with suspension and expulsion laws, including notifying the district superintendent of the reason for a student’s departure from the school.

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

Charter School Governance/Site Location – Senator Pavley’s (D-Agoura Hills) bill requests the State Superintendent study the number of charter schools that are located outside the boundaries of the authorizing school district.

SB 739 (Pavely): Charter Schools: Sited Outside Boundaries: Report

CURRICULUM & INSTRUCTION

English Learner Reclassification – The issue of how and when students are reclassified as English proficient will be a high priority for the State Senate this year as their leader, Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), has introduced a bill on the subject.

SB 409 (De Leon): English Learners: Reclassification

PE Minutes – Assembly Member Gomez (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a bill that would provide a process to resolve potential disputes regarding compliance with the requirement to provide a specific amount of instructional time (200 minutes each 10 schooldays) in Physical Education for elementary school students. The bill is intended to prevent the practice of filing large numbers of lawsuits related to this Education Code provision, which have recently resulted in significant attorney’s fees awards.

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

Sexual Assault Training for High Schools – Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon has successfully pushed for stricter laws around sexual assault on college campuses and he wants to bring that to the state’s high schools. His bill would require schools that teach health class to add curriculum about sexual violence.

SB 695 (De Leon): School Health Education: Sexual Assault Training

EARLY LEARNING

Expanding State Preschool – Assembly Budget Subcommittee Chair Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) is expected to push hard for expanded Preschool. McCarty previously served as a legislative advocate for one of the major early learning advocacy organizations and it is something he feels passionate about.

AB 47 (McCarty): State Preschool Program: Report

CHILD NUTRITION

Adequate Time to Eat – The issue of eating time is back, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago’s (D-Los Angeles) would require students are given an adequate time to eat after being served lunch. Assembly Member Bonta (D-Alameda) introduced AB 1240 to require school districts and county offices of education that meet certain threshold of needy children to provide breakfast.

AB 292 (Santiago): Pupil Nutrition: Free or Reduced-Price Meals

AB 1240 (Bonta): Pupil Nutrition: Free or Reduced-Price Meals

Clean Drinking Water – Two bills have been introduced on the subject. SB 334 by Senator Leyva (D-Fontana) requires school districts to provide free, fresh, clean, and cold drinking water to students during meal times. AB 496 by Assembly Member Rendon (D-Lakewood) would allocate state or federal funds received by the CDE to school districts to provide access to drinking water.

AB 496 (Rendon): Pupil Nutrition: Fresh Drinking Water: Funding

SB 334 (Leyva): Pupil Nutrition: Drinking Water

TEACHER TRAINING AND EVALUATION

BTSA – In his January Budget Proposal, Governor Brown noted that teacher induction programs (such as BTSA) were not consistently available to all teachers and that some LEAs charged fees for beginning teachers to participate in these programs.  The Governor proposed having the CTC study the issue, but AB 141 by Assembly Member Bonilla (D-Concord) would simply prohibit LEAs from charging such fees to teachers.

AB 141 (Bonilla): Teacher Credentialing: Beginning Teacher Induction

Teacher Evaluation – The Vergara case dealing with teacher tenure and other teacher employment issues has led to increased focus on teacher evaluations, and a number of bills have been introduced related to this topic by legislators. Legislation on this topic have been introduced by both Chairs of the Educations Committees, the chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, and the Assembly Republican leader. Expect a lot of activity related to this issue and these bills.

AB 575 (O’Donnell): Teachers: Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System

AB 1078 (Olsen): Teacher Evaluations

AB 1495 (Weber): Teachers: Evaluations

SB 499 (Liu): Teachers: Best Practices Teacher Evaluation System

FACILITIES

2016 School Facilities Bond – The biggest question in the school facilities arena is whether the Legislature will pass a bill placing a school facilities bond on the 2016 ballot.  A number of legislators are carrying spot bills related to a facilities bond. It remains to be seen whether any of these measure will gain traction or whether a bond will be placed on the ballot through the initiative signature gathering process. Just to be safe, Assembly Member Holden (D-Pasadena) also has AB 1372, which expresses the intent of the Legislature to provide a long-term solution to funding for school construction and modernization without reference to a bond or any other revenue source.

AB 148 (Holden): School Facilities: General Obligation Bond Measures

AB 1088 (O’Donnell): School Facilities: Bond Act: Green Act

AB 1372 (Holden): School Facilities: Funding

SB 114 (Liu): Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2016

Door Locks and Synthetic Turf – Other facilities bills likely to attract attention include a bill requiring classroom door locks for student safety and another bill requiring a study of the potential adverse health impacts of synthetic turf.

AB 677 (Dodd): School Safety: Door Locks

SB 47 (Hill): Environmental Health: Synthetic Turf

Open Enrollment/Residency – There are a remarkable number of bills addressing the issue of a students’ ability to attend schools other than those in the neighborhood where they live.

AB 532 (Kim): Open Enrollment Act: Option to Transfer

AB 1101 (Bonilla): Pupil School Enrollment: Residency Requirements

SB 200 (Lara): Pupils: School District Residency Requirements

TRANSPORTATION

Home-to-School Transportation COLA - There continues to be an effort to provide a COLA to transportation funding provided under LCFF. This is contentious issue because the current funding for transportation is based on an old formula and many districts don’t receive funds under the old formula. Senator Vidak’s (R-Hanford) bill looks like an attempt to collect additional data regarding the use of transportation funds around the state.

SB 497 (Vidak): Pupil Transportation: Data

HUMAN RESOURCES

Unemployment Insurance – A bill by Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) is a repeat of a bill from last year that would allow employees to receive unemployment benefits between school years.

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

Sick Leave – Two sick leave bills to watch include Senator Jackson’s (D-Santa Barbara) SB 579, which would allow sick leave to be used to address childcare or school emergencies and Assembly Member Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced a spot bill related to sick leave, AB 304.

AB 304 (Gonzalez): Sick Leave

SB 579 (Jackson): Employees: Sick Leave

Permanent Status and Reduction in Force – A number of bills authored by Republicans addressing tenure and reduction in force issues. The bill to watch is AB 753 by Assembly Member Medina (D-Riverside).

AB 753 (Medina): Certificated School Employees

AB 1044 (Baker): School Employees: Reduction in Workforce

AB 1248 (Chavez): Teachers: Permanent Status

SB 381 (Huff): School Employees: Reduction in Workforce

STRS Creditable Service – As a growing number of STRS audits and court cases related to those audits have highlighted, there is a lack of clarity around creditable service in STRS. Assembly Member Bonilla (D-Concord) has a bill that attempts to clarify the issue.

AB 963 (Bonilla): Teachers’ Retirement Law

PUPIL HEALTH

Vaccinations – Probably one of the most high profile bills this year will be around the issue of the right of parents to currently exempt their child from vaccination requirements for “personal belief” reasons. Senator Pan (D-Sacramento) is a Pediatrician.

SB 277 (Pan): Public Health: Vaccinations

Medi-Cal Data Sharing – There is a bill to allow county mental health plans to contract with LEAs to provide services for Medi-Cal eligible pupils under EPSDT.

AB 1018 (Cooper): Medi-Cal: Early and Periodic Screening and Diagnosis (EPSDT)

SCHOOL FINANCE

Legislation to Leverage State Budget Issues – While most major school finance issues are addressed in the Budget Act and related “trailer bill” legislation, a number of bills have been introduced to address funding for specific purposes. Many of these bills are meant to focus attention on these issues and leverage potential solutions through the budget process.

AB 631 (Bonilla): Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards

AB 699 (Olsen): Education Technology: Grants

SB 191 (Block): School Transportation: Apportionments

SB 256 (Berryhill): School Finance: Necessary Small Schools

School District Budget Reserve Cap – There are also a couple of Republican bills that would repeal the local budget reserve cap enacted with the 2014-15 Budget Act, and a Democratic bill (AB 646) that might revise the cap provisions. Expect a lot of activity related to these bills.

AB 646 (McCarty): Education Finance: School Districts

AB 1048 (Baker): School Finance: School Districts: Annual Budgets

AB 1318 (Gray): School Finance: School Districts: Annual Budgets

SB 774 (Fuller): School Finance: School Districts: Annual Budget

Pupil Fees – Senator Lara’s (D-Bell Gardens) bill will revisit the issue of pupil fees. The bill is currently a spot bill, but look for more substantive language next month.

SB 320 (Lara): Pupil Fees

Minimum Wage – Senator Leno’s (D-San Francisco) minimum wage bill will attract broad attention from advocates for both employers and workers. The bill would increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 in 2016 and $13 in 2017. Beginning in 2019, the bill would require automatic increases tied to the Consumer Price Index.

SB 3 (Leno): State Minimum Wage

SCHOOL SAFETY

Bullying – In a continued effort to curb bullying in schools, Assembly Member Christina Garcia (D-Los Angeles) introduced a bill aimed at expanding upon the current definition of “electronic act” with regards to an act of bullying.

AB 881 (Garcia): Pupils: Grounds for Suspension and Expulsion: Bullying

Legal Age to Smoke – Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Covina) has introduced a bill that would extend the “Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act” to persons under 21 years of age.

SB 151 (Hernandez): Tobacco Products: Minimum Legal Age

Barrett Snider, Partner
Capitol Advisors Group

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LAO Analysis of 2015-16 Budget Prop 98 Spending

The attached analysis of Proposition 98 revenues and spending in the Governor’s 2015-16 Budget Proposal was released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) earlier today.  The LAO largely agrees with the Governor’s revenue assumptions and spending plans, but notes that an additional $1-2 billion in revenues will likely be available based on larger than anticipated tax receipts.  Most of the additional revenues will go to K-14 public education pursuant to Proposition 98 formulas.

With regard to spending proposals in the Governor’s 2015-16 Budget, the LAO supports the major expenditures related to LCFF but questions some of the programs related to workforce education and training.  The LAO supports spending $500 million for Adult Education but argues that the different programs included within the Career Technical Education (CTE) portion of the workforce education and training proposal remain fragmented and require additional attention.

The Legislature will consider both the Governor’s Budget Proposal and the LAO’s assessment as it begins the process of Budget Subcommittee and Committee meetings in advance of the May Revision.  We’ll keep you updated as the budget conversation moves forward.

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Legislative Analyst Anticipates $1-2 Billion More than Governor

Yesterday, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) released updated tax collection data for January and reinforced their prediction that there is likely an additional $1-2 billion in tax receipts than the Governor assumed in his January budget proposal, barring a sustained dropped in the stock market between now and the end of the fiscal year (June).

As we highlighted in our budget workshops, it is likely that Prop 98 will require nearly all of these additional funds go to K-14 schools.

The LAO’s report on January General Fund Revenues can be found here.

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