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Facilities Bond will not be moving forward

Assembly Member Joan Buchanan has just released a statement declaring AB 2235 dead.    The Governor has officially drawn his line in the sand, and it’s time to say “Uncle” on this effort.    We will continue to pursue a 2016 State Facilities Bond.

Message from Joan:

“We've come to the end of the road.  The Governor made it clear to the Speaker on Friday that he does not want a school bond on the same ballot as the water bond and rainy day fund.  We have no commitment to support a future bond.  In our meetings with the Department of Finance, they stressed that the Governor questions what role, if any, the State should play in funding facilities.

We know that the responsibility for educating our children is not written in local city or county ordinances, it is written in our state Constitution.  Our Constitution places such a high value on education, that it prioritizes funding for education second, after debt service.  This is why major education court cases (e.g.,  Serrano v. Priest) and Williams, were cases that named the state as the defendant.  The ultimate decision on the state’s responsibility for school facilities may be decided in the courts, not the Legislature.

"As we move forward, I want to thank each of you for your support of AB 2235 and for all you do for our children and our schools. It has been a pleasure working with you.  You make a difference!”

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More Details on AB 2235

Although AB 2235 is not in print yet, we were able to obtain the amendments submitted to Legislative Counsel.  In addition to the summary we sent last night, I have listed some additional details of the bill below.

The bill will be heard on the floor of the Senate, then on the Assembly Floor for concurrence in Senate amendments, and finally to the Governor.  We predict the Legislature will act quickly to send the bill to the Governor.  As you know, Governor Brown has already publicly opposed a school bond, so it will be interesting to see his action when the bill is on his desk.

 November 2014 Ballot

There is an attempt to place the measure on either the general or supplemental November 2014 ballot.

“Sec.18 (a) The Secretary of State shall include in the ballot pamphlet for the November 4, 2014, statewide general election...  the information specified in Section 9084 of the Elections Code regarding the measure described in Section 16 of this act.  If that inclusion is not possible, the Secretary of State shall publish a supplemental pamphlet regarding this act, to be mailed with the ballot pamphlet.  If the supplemental ballot pamphlet cannot be mailed with the ballot pamphlet, the supplemental ballot pamphlet shall be mailed separately.”

Seismic and High Performance Provisions

The Seismic program will now be incorporated into the Modernization and New Construction Program.

High Performance requirements are defined as follows:

“An applicant who receives a new construction grant shall ensure that the project incorporates designs and materials that promote the efficient use of energy and water, the maximum use of natural lighting and indoor air quality, the use of recycled materials and materials that emit a minimum of toxic substances, the use of acoustics conducive to teaching and learning, and other characteristics of high performance schools.”

“In the development of guidelines and regulations, the board shall provide a school district with maximum flexibility in the design and new construction of facilities”.

 Interagency Collaboration

CDE, DSA, OPSC, and DTSC will be required to convene and develop an interagency plan before July 1, 2015 to “streamline the school facility construction application, review and audit processes in order to reduce the time and improve the efficiency of the SFP process.”

Modernization for Demolition and Construction of Buildings

A new provision for replacement of facilities is included, but the parameters of this program are yet to be determined.  The new law now states:

“A modernization apportionment may also be used to demolish and construct a building or buildings on an existing school site if the total cost of providing a new school building, including land, on anew site would not protect the economic interest of the state and school district.”

“The board shall establish additional requirements it deems necessary to ensure that the economic interests of the state and the educational interests of the children of the state are protected.”

Grant Provision for School Assessments for Low Performing Schools

A one-time grant program, the “School Facilities Needs Assessment Grant Program” would be established for school districts with school sites ranked in deciles 1-3 on the API based on the 2003 API score for each school newly constructed prior to January 1, 2000.

Districts will be funded $10 per pupil enrolled in the eligible school as of October 2003 with a minimum allocation of $7,500 for each school site.   A list of the criteria included in the assessment include:

?         Year each building constructed

?         Year each building modernized

?         Pupil capacity of school

?         Number pupils enrolled in the school

?         Pupil density of school per acre

?         Number of classrooms

?         Age and number or portable classrooms

?         Status of multi-track, year-round calendar

?         Whether school has a cafeteria, auditorium or space for pupil eating

?         Useful life of all major building systems for each structure housing instructional space – including sewer, water, gas, electrical, roofing, fire an life safety

?         Estimated costs for five years to maintain functionality of each instructional space to maintain health, safety and suitable learning environment

?         List of necessary repairs

We presume the assessment is due January 1, 2016 (although the bill states 2006).


Priority Funding for Community-based Facilities

There is a comprehensive section giving priority to various types of joint-use programs consistent with the Administration’s goals for districts to obtain maximum local funding.

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School Facilities Bond Bill Passes out of Senate Appropriations Committee

AB 2235 (Buchanan/Hagman), the school facilities bond bill, passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 5-0 vote this afternoon.  The amendments include $4.3 billion and contain significant program reforms.  The exact content of the amendments has not been released yet, but we expect to have them shortly.  We hear rumors that the bond will only be for K-12 and that there will be more funding for urban districts.

The bill will next go to the Senate Floor, then back to the Assembly for Concurrence in Senate Amendments.  Because the deadline for getting an initiative on the November 2014 ballot was yesterday, we’re uncertain on how the timing will work for a future ballot.

Below is a breakdown of what’s included in the facilities bond bill.  The bond will not be on the November, regular 2014 ballot.  More details will be forthcoming.

$4.3 billion bond:

$1.23 billion for New Construction (up to 5% can be used for charters)

$2.47 billion for Modernization (up to 5% can be used for charters)

$200 million for CCC

$200 million for CSU

$200 million for UC


Program changes:

Requires each district to conduct an inventory as a condition for funding

  • Authorizes New Construction and Modernization grants to be used for seismic retrofits
  • Requires New Construction and Modernization projects to meet high performance requirements
  • Revises the definition of “modernization” project to include “replacement” of a permanent building and authorizes mod funds to be used to demolish and construct a building on an existing schoolsite. Makes such a project to be eligible for a grant equal to a New Construction grant level
  • Requires OPSC to propose recommendations to revise regs to ensure that a school district can design flexible learning environments
  • Requires CDE, DSA and DTSC to develop an interagency plan to streamline the process
  • Establishes a School Facilities Needs Assessment Grant Program for school districts with deciles 1-3 schools to develop a needs assessment of those school sites
  • Requires the SAB to give priority for funding to districts that have public/private partnerships with local entities to coordinate educational, developmental, family, health and other comprehensive services.
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Appropriations Committees Determine Fate of Education Bills

Today, the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees took sweeping actions on hundreds of bills. Measures that passed out of the committees today have cleared the last major hurdle in the committee process and are headed to the Senate and Assembly floors. These bills generally stand a good chance of making it to the Governor’s desk for his consideration. Bills that were held in committee are effectively dead. The Legislature has until August 31 to send bills to the Governor.

Attached you will find a comprehensive summary of the Appropriations Committees’ actions on the remaining K-12 education bills.

Appropriations Committee Actions

(Note: online versions of the bills will not reflect today’s amendments for a few days)

Key education bills that PASSED out of the Appropriations Committees:

SB 1174 (Lara) amends and repeals various provisions of Proposition 227, subject to voter approval on the November 2016 ballot. The bill also allows school districts and county offices, in consultation with language experts and parents, to determine the best language instruction methods and language acquisition programs to implement. The amendments address multiple concerns from stakeholders who worried about limiting local control and potential conflict with LCAP requirements. More amendments may be necessary to secure a signature from the Governor. We are engaged with the author and the Administration as this is debated.

AB 1522 (Gonzalez) passed with amendments and is among the most burdensome of the package of legislation proposed by labor unions this year. It would require employers to provide at least three paid sick days to employees who work 30 or more days in a calendar year.  This bill has had widespread opposition in the private sector, among trade associations, and education management groups.  The state also estimated costs in the many millions for state departments and state-operated programs.

AB 1550 (Rendon) passed with amendments (pending language). In its current form, the bill makes the following changes to impasse procedures:

  1. Requires a school employer to provide 30-day written notice before implementing and the terms of a last, best, and final offer
  2. Prohibits an employer from unilaterally implementing terms and conditions of employment following an impasse declaration unless those terms and conditions have been subject to negotiations
  3. Requires meeting to negotiate remedies for any terms of the agreement found to be unlawful
  4. Grants the Public Employment Relations Board an additional 5 days to appoint a mediator. The measure may pose additional costs to school employers

Finally, despite the Governor’s public opposition to a school bond on the November 2014 ballot, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed AB 2235 (Buchanan/Hagman) to the Senate Floor. The bill would place a $4.3 billion school facilities bond on the November 2014 ballot. In addition to the revised dollar amount, the bill was significantly amended by the committee to include programmatic changes.

Breakdown of $4.3 billion:

  • $1.23 billion for New Construction (up to 5% can be used for charters)
  • $2.47 billion for Modernization (up to 5% can be used for charters)
  • $200 million for California Community Colleges
  • $200 million for California State University
  • $200 million for University of California

Program changes:

  • Requires each district to conduct an inventory as a condition for funding
  • Authorizes New Construction and Modernization grants to be used for seismic retrofits
  • Requires New Construction and Modernization projects to meet high performance requirements
  • Revises the definition of “modernization” project to include “replacement” of a permanent building and authorizes modernization funds to be used to demolish and construct a building on an existing school site. Makes such a project eligible for a grant equal to a New Construction grant
  • Requires the Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) to propose recommendations to revise regulations to ensure that a school district can design flexible learning environments
  • Requires California Department of Education (CDE), Division of State Architects (DSA) and Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to develop an interagency plan to streamline the process
  • Establishes a School Facilities Needs Assessment Grant Program for school districts with deciles 1-3 schools to develop a needs assessment of those school sites
  • Requires the State Allocation Board to give priority for funding to districts that have public/private partnerships with local entities to coordinate educational, developmental, family, health and other comprehensive services

Attorney General Truancy Bill Package

The four remaining bills in Attorney General Kamala Harris’ legislative package on truancy passed out of committee today. (One bill, SB 1107 by Senator Monning, died earlier this year).

AB 1643 (Buchanan) which requires each county to have a School Attendance Review Board (SARB) and for County SARBs to provide guidance to local SARBS, was amended to address some of the mandate issues (although it is unclear at the moment, how).

AB 1672 (Holden), which expands reporting requirements related to student attendance and referrals for school districts that have established SARBS, was amended to address some of the data collection issues. It is still of great concern to education management groups who argue that the bill creates both duplicative as well as over-burdensome requirements on school districts.

AB 1866 (Bocanegra), requires CDE to enhance CALPADS to include information on rates of pupil attendance, chronic absenteeism and truancy, was amended to be subject to a budget allocation.

AB 2141 (Hall), which also had some technical amendments, requires state and local prosecuting agencies that conduct truancy-related mediation (not LEAs) to report outcomes of referrals to the referring agency (school district, SARB, county superintendent of schools, probation department, etc).

Key education bills that were HELD in the Appropriations Committees:

AB 2216 (Muratsuchi) would have extended the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement for LEAs that operate Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCPs) to the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year.

SB 1137 (Torres) would have created a new transportation funding formula to provide LEAs that participate in Home-to-School Transportation (HTST) with a minimum of 50% of approved transportation costs (phased in over seven years beginning in 2015-16).  The new formula would have also included an annual COLA.  State costs for this measure would be approximately $165 million in 2015-16 and $270 million annually by full implementation in 2021-22.

AB 1562 (Gomez) would have expanded eligibility for unpaid family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act to public or private school employees under certain circumstances. The state costs were estimated in two ways: implementation would cost approximately $500,000 and increased cost pressure on Prop. 98 spending could cost in the tens of millions annually.

SB 837 (Steinberg) originally created transitional kindergarten for all four year olds. It then became implementation language for the professional development portions of the Preschool/Child Care package that were part of the 2014-15 Budget Act. Because the language is now in the trailer bill, AB 837 was held in committee.

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Governor Brown Formally Opposes School Bond Yesterday

In a legislative hearing yesterday, the Department of Finance announced the Governor’s official opposition to putting a school bond on the November ballot.  The bill, AB 2235, carried by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), was sent to the Senate Appropriations Suspense File during yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

This announcement has huge negative implications for the bond, slimming the chances a school bond passes the Senate and ultimately reaches the ballot this November.

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CDE – E-rate Modernization Email Brief

On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the first of what is likely to be several E-rate modernization orders. The Order (the legal and technical information regarding proposed changes) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (public notice issued by law when an agency wishes to add, remove, or change a rule or regulation as part of the rulemaking process) were released July 23, 2014, and are available on the FCC Web page at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-99A1.pdf. The E-rate Modernization Order expands Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries and sets an annual target of $1 billion per year for Wi-Fi, while continuing to support availability for broadband connectivity to schools and libraries.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will work to determine the new E-rate changes and anticipate having a Webinar mid-August to share those details.

For additional information related to the order, please visit the following FCC Web pages.

Open Commission Video from the July 14th FCC Meeting
http://www.fcc.gov/events/open-commission-meeting-july-2014

Fact Sheet on E-rate modernization Order
http://www.fcc.gov/article/doc-328172a2

Upcoming E-Rate and California Teleconnect Fund Training 

The California Department of Education (CDE), in conjunction with the K-12 High Speed Network (K12HSN), is pleased to announce the Fall 2014E-rate training dates available to all local educational agencies, libraries, and service providers in California. Information related to the videoconference hosting sites and face to face sites for these training dates will be confirmed by late August.

NOTE: All training sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Beginner Training Session Dates

Friday, October 17, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Intermediate/Advanced Training Session Dates

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Friday, January 16, 2014

California Teleconnect Fund Revisions

The CTF is also undergoing revision and a Staff Proposal was published in 2013 that outlined the proposed changes, and opened the discussion to public comments. For background information and archived workshops regarding the proposed revisions, please visit the CTF Web page at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Public+Programs/CTF/Rulemaking_to_Conduct_a_Comprehensive_Examination_of_the_California_Teleconnect_Fund.htm. There are also two upcoming Public Participation Hearings regarding the CTF revision:

July 29, 2014
1 p.m. Rancho Cordova City Council Chambers
2729 Prospect Park Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

The Call-in number for the audio-cast (listen-only) available to the public:
Toll Free Number: 866-759-3680
Passcode: 3783287#

July 31, 2014
1 p.m. Long Beach City Council Chambers
333 West Ocean Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90802

The Call-in number for the audio-cast (listen-only) available to the public:
Toll Free Number: 866-836-1585
Passcode: 9087049

Educational Data Management Division
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6308
Sacramento, CA 95814
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/et/ft/

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Curriculum, Accountability and Assessment Key Issues at SBE Hearing

The LCFF regulations weren’t the only issue covered by the State Board of Education this week. Below is a short summary of some of the other key items the board tackled.

English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) Framework

With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, a revised ELA/ELD curriculum framework was necessary. The Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) was charged with creating a draft ELA/ELD framework aligned to the CCSS. The IQC presented the draft framework to the board during the hearing and, after a public hearing, the framework was approved by SBE. The framework can be found here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/rl/cf.

Changes to the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) Template

Under current law, SBE is required to annually approve the SARC template. However given the advent of LCFF and the LCAP, that there won’t be an API for 2014-15, as well as the move to replace the STAR Test with the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards, more modifications than usual are needed to the template. SBE approved changes to align the SARC with the LCAP, update the academic assessment tables to differentiate STAR and CAASPP results, and update the state and federal tables to reflect the lack of a 2014 growth and base API and a 2015 growth API. In addition, the SBE approved expanding suspension and expulsion reporting in the SARC.

The National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Alternative Assessment

As part of a project to develop alternate assessments for mathematics and English Language Arts aligned to the Common Core State Standards, NCSC has developed a pilot field test in which California is one of 26 states participating.  For this past year, a limited number of California’s LEAs took part (1,615 students).

There has been quite a bit of debate over whether to update the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) to align with CCSS, or to create a new assessment. While it is not yet clear that the NCSC test will be the most appropriate test, the Special Education community is adamantly opposed to continuation of the CAPA. In order to have more data to better evaluate the NCSC assessment, SBE approved a plan for full participation in the NCSC field test in Spring 2015.

SBE is pursuing a federal waiver, similar to what was previously granted to allow California use the Smarter Balanced field test as its sole assessment, to be allowed to use the NCSC field test as its sole alternate assessment.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Implementation of the NGSS continues to move forward and as part of the implementation, California’s Science Framework must be revised. SBE approved guidelines and appointed members to the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria committee to begin work on the 2016 revision of the framework.

Smarter Balanced Assessments

The board approved extending its current contract with Educational Testing Service (ETS) until December 31, 2015 to administer the 2014-15 CAASPP assessments since the Smarter Balanced Consortium (SBAC) rescheduled release of part of the software program or system states would need to provide the SBAC assessments. The extension will allow for a transition from the field test to the operational test in 2015. CDE expects to release the Request for Submission for an assessment contract beyond 2015 in November 2014.

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Senate Education Committee Actions

On Wednesday, the Senate Education Committee heard over forty bills in relative quick fashion. Today is the deadline for all policy bills to be acted upon by policy committees in both houses. Bills that failed to move out of policy committees by today are effectively dead. Most of the measures passed by the committee will now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration, unless they were determined to be non-fiscal, in which case they will be sent directly to the Senate Floor.

As the hearing started, management advocates heard good news as Senator Liu (Chair of the committee) announced that Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) pulled AB 1619 from the agenda. As you will recall, the bill had failed passage last week, but was granted vote-only reconsideration. The bill would have allowed certain educators and employees in small districts, county offices of education, and regional occupational centers and programs to attain permanent employment under certain conditions. The bill had seen a relatively hearty battle between management and labor. Absent a political deal that includes dramatic legislative maneuvering, this bill is dead.

Another bill worth noting is AB 2216 (Muratsuchi), which would extend the existing maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement for Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROCPs) through the end of the 2016-17 school year. The bill was amended to include clarifying language to ensure that the bill’s provisions apply to county offices of education. This bill now clearly embodies the exact solution most county office of education observers believe is the worst option for the preservation of CTE programs and a heavy lobbying effort continues to alter or stop the bill.

Below is a summary of the committee’s actions sorted by broad category. The bills are hyperlinked to the full text of the bills.

Curriculum and Instruction

 AB 455 (Medina) Pupil instruction: special education: blind and visually impaired pupils: deaf and hard-of-hearing pupils

This bill requires the SPI to develop standards in Braille and American Sign Language that are aligned to the common core standards.

Action: Measure pulled by Author. Failed to meet policy committee deadline

 AB 1530 (Chau) Model curricula: computer science

This bill requires the SPI to consider identifying, developing or revising model curriculum on computer science.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

 AB 1539 (Hagman) Content standards: computer science

This bill requires the Instructional Quality Commission to develop computer science content standards by July 31, 2016.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

 AB 1548 (Mullin) Standardized tests: reports

This bill requires, until January 1, 2017, any agency that administers standardized college admission tests to report annually to the SPI and the Legislature regarding the number of test scores for each type of standardized test that were canceled or invalidated, and the associated reasons for cancellation or invalidation. The report is not to include identifiable information on the test subjects.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-2

 AB 1719 (Weber) Full-day kindergarten

This bill requires the SPI to submit to the Legislature, by March 1, 2015, a feasibility study and implementation plan for providing full-day kindergarten.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-2

 AB 2016 (Campos) Pupil instruction: sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention

This bill requires the SBE to consider adopting, by March 1, 2017, content standards in sexual abuse and sexual assault awareness and prevention upon the recommendations of the SPI.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-0

 AB 2110 (Ting) Pupil instruction: computer science

This bill requires the Instructional Quality Commission to consider incorporating computer science curriculum content into the mathematics, science, history-social science, and language arts frameworks.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

 AB 2303 (Bloom) State Recognition Program of Multiple Pathways Biliteracy

This bill establishes the State Recognition Program of Multiple Pathways to be administered by the CDE for purposes of recognizing school districts and county offices of education demonstrating excellence in providing and supporting multiple opportunities for students in grades 1-12 to attain high achievement and linguistic biliteracy through biliteracy programs. The bill also authorizes the use of alternate assessments for the purpose of the State Seal of Biliteracy.

Action: Passed as Amended 5-1

 

Child Care

AB 1944 (Garcia) Child care: administration: preferred placement of children of 11 or 12 years of age

This bill deletes the requirement that a parent of an 11 or 12 year old student provide certification that a before or after school program is not available, for the student to be eligible for subsidized child care.

Action: Passed 5-1

 AB 2125 (Ridley-Thomas) Child care: standard reimbursement rates

This bill requires the SPI to review the plan that establishes standards and assigned reimbursement rates for child care and development programs, and to submit recommendations for a single reimbursement system that reflects the actual current cost of child care based on the most recent regional market rate survey.

Action: Passed 5-1

 

Pupil Health and Nutrition

 AB 1840 (Campos) Pupil health: vision appraisal

This bill adds a trained individual, who meets specified requirements, to those who perform gross external observation of a student's eyes, visual performance, and perception.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

 

AB 2449 (Bocanegra) Pupil nutrition: free or reduced-price meals: adequate time to eat

This bill requires school districts and county offices of education to ensure that each of their schools provide students adequate time to eat after being served a meal.

Action: Passed 4-2

 

Governance and Operations

 AB 1672 (Holden) Pupil attendance: truancy

This bill requires school districts that have established a local school attendance review board to annually submit specified attendance and truancy data to the county superintendent of schools and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Action: Passed 5-1

 AB 2160 (Ting) Cal Grant Program: grade point average

Requires the California Student Aid Commission to require electronic submission of the GPA of all 12th grade students at public schools and charter schools, with specified exceptions, deems all 12th grade students in a California public school to be Cal Grant applicants for this purpose, requires that parents be notified of such and that pupils be provided an opportunity to opt out of such designation by a school district or charter school.

Action: Passed 6-0

 AB 2276 (Bocanegra) Pupils: transfers from juvenile court schools

This bill makes various changes regarding the transfer of pupils from juvenile court schools to district schools.

Action: Passed 6-0

 AB 2380 (Weber) School plans: consolidated application for categorical programs: single plan for pupil achievement

This bill adds various requirements for school districts that elect to prepare a single plan for pupil achievement, including the requirement for a school district to ensure in its consolidated application that a schoolsite council has developed and approved a single plan for pupil achievement for schools participating in programs funded through the LCFF.

Action: Passed 6-0

 AB 2684 (Stone) Pupil attendance: service on precinct board

This bill, an urgency measure, deems a pupil serving as a member of a precinct board for an election to be participating in independent studies for purposes of calculating ADA and thus allowing the school district to generate state apportionment payments for the pupil's absence.

Action: Passed 5-1

 AB 2706 (Hernandez, R.) Schools: health care coverage: enrollment assistance

This bill requires schools to add to enrollment forms, for the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 school years, information about health care coverage options and enrollment assistance.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-2

 

Human Resources

 AB 1619 (Gonzalez) Certificated school employees

This bill would allow certain educators and employees in small school districts, county offices of education, and regional occupational centers or programs to attain permanent employment under specified conditions.

Action: Measure pulled by Author. Failed to meet policy committee deadline.

 

School Finance

 AB 1599 (Education Cmt.) Education: omnibus bill

This bill, the education omnibus clean-up bill, would make technical, non- controversial revisions to numerous provisions of the Education Code.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

 AB 1971 (Bocanegra) School districts: best value procurement: pilot program

This bill, until January 1, 2020, establishes a pilot program to authorize the Los Angeles Unified School District and three other unspecified districts to use a best value procurement method for public projects that exceed $1 million, and requires submission of specified reports on the use of this procurement method.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-1

 AB 2007 (Grove) Virtual or online charter schools: average daily attendance

This bill would authorize virtual or online charter schools to claim ADA for pupils enrolled in the school’s independent study program who move outside of the geographic boundaries in which the charter school is authorized to operate.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

 AB 2033 (Salas) Agricultural career technical education: grant funding

This bill specifies the intent of the Legislature to continue funding the Agricultural Career Technical Education Incentive Program and require school districts to demonstrate how the expenditure of the funds will be consistent with their local control and accountability plans.

Action: Passed 6-0

 AB 2216 (Muratsuchi) Regional occupations centers and programs: funding

This bill seeks to preserve funding for Regional Occupational Centers and Programs (ROC/Ps) by extending the existing maintenance of effort requirement for school districts from the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year to the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Action: Passed as Amended 6-0

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Senate Education Acts on Education Bills

It is that time during the legislative year when we want to start bringing popcorn to committee hearings because things get pretty interesting. A lot of the political theater and drama is associated with the fact that the committees are holding hearings on bills authored by members from the opposite house (Senate is hearing Assembly bills and vise-versa). That is important because, for a variety of reasons, members tend not to vote to kill legislation authored by their colleagues in the same house, sometimes no matter how awful it might be.

When the bills are taken up by the other house, opposition intensifies, political dealmaking abounds, and personalities clash (both members and staff – and yes, even lobbyists). It all makes for good theater.

This past week, the Assembly Education Committee did not meet, however the Senate Education Committee did considered a number of K-12 education measures. We have prepared a summary of the actions below, sorted by category. Most of these bills will move to the Senate Appropriations Committee, unless they were double-referred to another policy committee, or if they have no fiscal impact, in which case they move directly to the Senate Floor. The bills on the list below are hyperlinked to the full bill text.

One key measure worth noting is AB 1619 (Gonzalez), which would allow certain educators and employees in small school districts, county offices of education, and regional occupational centers or programs (ROC/Ps) to attain permanent employment under specified conditions. The bill was opposed by a number of county offices of education and SSDA, ACSA, CSBA, and CCSESA. There was lively debate/testimony and despite the author agreeing to amendments to satisfy the ROCP folks’ concerns, two democrats on the committee abstained, denying the author the needed votes to get the bill out of committee. The bill was granted vote-only reconsideration, which means it could be taken up again this Wednesday. Because CTA and CSEA are sponsors of the bill, we understand they are lobbying hard to get Correa and/or Hancock to switch to support. We’ll keep you posted.

This upcoming Wednesday (6/25), both the Senate and Assembly Education Committees are holding long hearings to consider all remaining education bills that have a fiscal impact, as Friday (6/27) is the deadline for those bills to move out of policy committee.

Following is a review of the Senate Education Committee actions from Wednesday, June 18.

Human Resources

AB 1432 (Gatto) Mandated child abuse reporting: school employees: training

This bill requires local education agencies to annually train employees on their duties regarding the mandated reporting of child abuse and neglect. 

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 1619 (Gonzalez) Certificated school employees

This bill would allow certain educators and employees in small school districts, county offices of education, and regional occupational centers or programs (ROC/Ps) to attain permanent employment under specified conditions.

Action: Failed Passage 3-2 - bill was granted a vote-only reconsideration (may be reconsidered on Wednesday, June 25). Sneators Wyland and Huff voted NO (Republicans), while Senators Hancock and Correa abstained (two Democrats). This bill is a priority of the California Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association. We expect the unions are making a push for Hancock and Correa to support the bill upon reconsideration. Stay tuned.

School Finance and Facilities

AB 1451 (Holden) Public schools: concurrent enrollment in secondary school and community college

Authorizes the governing board of a school district to enter into a formal concurrent enrollment partnership agreement with a community college district located within its immediate service area, with the goals of developing a seamless pathway from high school to community college for career-technical education or preparation for transfer, improving high school graduation rates, or helping high school pupils achieve college and career readiness.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 1518 (Eggman) Military: National Guard: youth challenge program

This bill would codify the authority in federal law for the existing California National Guard Youth Challenge Program and specify certain geographic areas to be served, subject to the availability of funding.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 1581 (Buchanan) School facilities: construction contracts

This bill, until January 1, 2019, requires that school districts entering into
lease/ leaseback or lease-to-own contracts comply with specified pre-qualification requirements, if the project is funded with state bond funds, the expenditure of the project is $1 million or more, and the average daily attendance (ADA) of the school district is more than 2,500.

Action: Passed 5-1

AB 1664 (Hagman) School facilities: sale or lease of real property

Modifies the Naylor Act to authorize a school district to offer open-space property to a school district, county office of education or an agency that will use the property for child care and development services, prior to offering the property to a city, park or recreation district, regional park authority or a county, if the school district had purchased, constructed, modernized, or made improvements on the property using state bond funds, and makes other related and conforming changes.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 1892 (Bocanegra) Pupils redesigned as fluent English proficient

This bill, until July 1, 2018, or whenever the state adopts statewide English learner reclassification criteria, whichever comes first, requires that local educational agencies continue to receive a percentage of supplemental and concentration grant funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFFF) for two additional years after an English Learner (EL) student has been reclassified as Fluent English Proficient (RFEP), and requires that the local educational agency provide specified information regarding these pupils in their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 2235 (Buchanan) Education facilities: Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2014

This bill, an urgency measure, makes changes to the existing School Facility Program and authorizes the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2014 to provide for the issuance of $9 billion in general obligation bonds for construction and modernization of education facilities (to become effective only if approved by voters), and requires its submission to voters at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election.

Action: Passed as Amended 5-0. The bond bill continues to move through the Legislature as the Governor considers the politics of allowing two large bonds on the same ballot (water and schools) while he runs a reelection campaign on a record of paying down the state’s debt. If there is no bond in 2014, folks are beginning to debate whether it is wise to have both a school bond and an initiative to extend (or make permanent) the current Prop 30 tax rates on the same ballot in November 2016… stay tuned.

Curriculum and Instruction

AB 1444 (Buchanan) Elementary education: kindergarten

Requires, beginning with the 2016-17 school year, a student to have completed one year of kindergarten before being admitted to the first grade, thereby requiring kindergarten attendance.

Action: Passed 5-2

AB 1750 (Alejo) Pupil instruction: ethnic studies: report

This bill requires the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to evaluate existing standards, curricula, programs and training regarding ethnic studies at the high school level, and make recommendations for establishing a “California Cultures” multicultural or ethnic studies course that can be incorporated into existing high school curriculum.

Action: Passed 5-2

AB 1764 (Olsen) School curriculum: mathematics: computer science

This bill authorizes school districts that require more than two years of mathematics for high school graduation to award credit for a “category C” approved computer science course.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 1915 (Nazarian) Pupil instruction: social sciences: Armenian Genocide

This bill requires the IQC to consider including the Armenian, Cambodian, Darfur and Rwandan genocides in the history-social science framework.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

CalPADS and Truancy

AB 1643 (Buchanan) Pupil attendance: school attendance review boards

Requires each county to have a school attendance review board.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 1866 (Bocanegra) Pupil attendance: California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)

This bill expands the information reported through CALPADS to include specific data relative to truancy.

Passed as Amended 7-0

AB 2057 (Bonilla) Pupil assessment: consortium alternate performance assessments (CAPA)

This bill adds as a state assessment a consortium alternate performance assessment in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11 that is aligned to the common core standards, and authorizes school districts to administer either a consortium field test or the existing CAPA in 2014-15.

Action: Passed as Amended 5-2

AB 2141 (Hall) Pupil attendance: truancy: referrals for prosecution

Requires a state or local agency conducting truancy-related mediation or prosecuting a student or parent for a truancy-related matter to provide the outcome of the case to the referring agency.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 2341 (Quirk-Silva) California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System: pupils of military families

This bill adds an indicator to CALPADS to identify pupils of military families.

Action: Passed as Amended 7-0

Governance and Operations

AB 913 (Chau) Charter schools

This bill requires that charter schools be subject to a variety of the same open meeting, conflict of interest, and disclosure laws as school districts, including the Ralph M. Brown Act and the Political Reform Act of 1974.

Action: Passed as Amended 4-2

AB 1851 (Bradford) School attendance: interdistrict attendance

This bill extends the sunset date, from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2018, that authorizes county boards of education, with countywide ADA greater than 180,000, to determine whether a pupil who has filed an interdistrict appeal should be permitted to attend in the district in which the pupil desires to attend, within 40 schooldays. 

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 2217 (Melendez) Pupil and personnel health: automated external defibrillators

This bill encourages schools to acquire and maintain at least one automatic external defibrillator, authorizes schools to solicit and receive non-state funds for automatic external defibrillators, and clarifies that schools and school employees are not civilly liable when acting in good faith.

Action: Passed 7-0

AB 2384 (Bradford) Schoolsite councils

This bill would authorize schoolsite councils to be established at any school and imposes requirements, as specified, for those schoolsite councils.

Action: Passed 7-0

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State Controller’s Race Still In Flux

The 2014 Primary Election is almost three weeks behind us, and the top-two results in most races were known before election night was over; however, that is not the case with one statewide race that has some importance for K-12 education.  We have been watching over the last three weeks as counties have continued to count hundreds of thousands of mail ballots and provisional ballots without reaching a clear result in the State Controller’s race.

The State Controller is the CFO for the State of California, and has responsibilities that impact public education in the state. The Controller helps administer two of the largest public pension funds in the nation, PERS and STRS, and serves on numerous state boards and commissions, including the Commission on State Mandates.  The Controller also accounts for and controls disbursement of all state education funding, determines the legality and accuracy of every mandate claim, disburses payments of lottery funds, and is responsible for overseeing audits of local educational agencies.  These responsibilities put the State Controller right in the middle of our K-12 fiscal operations.

As the votes for Controller have continued to be counted since election night, Ashley Swearengin has maintained her position as the top vote getter with 24.8% of the vote (slightly over 1 million votes).  The race for the second spot (and a chance to run against Swearengin in November), though, has gone back and forth between Betty Yee, former member of the Board of Equalization, and John A. Perez, former Speaker of the Assembly.  There are now only a little more than 8,878 ballots left to count in the state; as of 5:00 p.m. last Friday  Betty Yee was 659 votes ahead of John Perez – that is 659 votes out of more than 3.8 million cast for Controller.  The table below shows where all of the candidates currently stand:

Tammy D. Blair (DEM) 200,066 5.0%
John A. Pérez (DEM) 876,011 21.7%
Betty T. Yee (DEM) 876,670 21.7%
David Evans (REP) 848,338 21.0%
Ashley Swearengin (REP) 1,000,285 24.8%
Laura Wells (GRN) 230,459 5.7%

At this point there are 8,878 votes yet to be counted by the counties; that includes 5,934 mail ballots, 2,897 provisional ballots and 47 other (e.g., spoiled or otherwise challenged) ballots; since some of the provisional and other ballots will not yield votes that can be counted, the best we can do is to say that there are somewhere between 5,934 and 8,878 ballots yet to be processed.  Remember also, that not all of those ballots will yield votes for Controller.  For example, there were nearly 4.3 million votes cast for Governor, while a little more than 3.8 million votes were cast for Controller; so, at the most, that means that approximately 89% of the ballots counted so far included a vote for Controller.  In the end, this means that there are likely between 5,000 and 8,878 votes for Controller still to be counted.

Those remaining 8,878 ballots are spread across only 7 counties: Amador (122), Lake (6053), L.A. (110), San Mateo (4), Santa Cruz (1600), Sutter (468) and Trinity (521).  In those counties the percentages of votes already counted for Yee / Perez are as follows:  Amador 16.0 / 14.8, Lake 18.6 / 20.6, L.A. 23.0 / 27.8, San Mateo 28.3 / 30.8, Santa Cruz 36.2 / 19.3, Sutter 10.0 / 14.0, Trinity 18.1 / 13.1.  If those percentages were to hold for the remaining ballots, and if all of the remaining ballots hold votes for Controller, then Betty Yee would pick up a little over 150 votes, meaning that the gap would expand to a little over 800 votes.  If you drop all the provisional and other ballots, assume that the remaining mail ballots all hold valid votes for Controller, and assume that the percentages hold, then John Perez would pick up about 100 votes - making the gap around 550.

Since all of this conjecturing is based on assumptions that won’t necessarily hold, the final result in this race is completely uncertain; however, the overall conclusion is clear - this is one close race.  The closest election for a Constitutional office in California history was in 1990 when Dan Lundgren won the race for Attorney General by a little more than 28,000 votes (a .39 percentage point difference); the closest California statewide election was in the 1980s, when a transportation bond lost by 355 votes (a .006 percentage point difference).  The current difference between Betty Yee and John Perez is only .00017 percentage points, and that difference could shrink even more as the final votes are counted; so this race will very likely end up being the closest statewide contest we have ever had.

Counties are required to complete processing all of their ballots and to report counts to the Secretary of State by July 4; however, since counties have plowed through more than 100,000 unprocessed votes in this last week, it may be possible that the 7 remaining counties will finish their counts prior to the 4th.  The Secretary of State has until July 11 to certify the election.

There are no automatic election recounts, but any voter can ask for a recount in any county at any time within 5 days of the July 4th reporting date (i.e., by July 9); statewide recounts are uncommon, since the requestor has to foot the bill for the recount.  In fact, there had never been a recount in a California statewide race until 2012, when there were partial recounts on two propositions; there has never been a recount in a race for a California Constitutional office.

We will continue to watch and update you as the remaining votes are counted in this important statewide election.

This analysis was prepared by Gerry Shelton with Capitol Advisors.

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