K-12 Education Bills in 2014

By on March 12, 2014
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The following valuable information was shared by Capitol Advisors Group via CETPA.

Initial Analysis of K-12 Education Bills in 2014

There will be some substantial K-12 education issues debated in the Legislature this year, most prominent will be the potential expansion of transitional kindergarten (TK) for all four-year olds. We also expect another year of debate around teacher dismissal, with several bills being introduced in both houses.

We have noticed a relatively larger number of pro-labor measures (dealing with paid sick days, permanent status, dismissal, etc.), likely attributable to 2014 being an election year and the effort by many legislators to curry favor and support for their reelection campaigns. The Legislature also has a number of measures that would tackle concurrent enrollment in the high school and community college systems.

New issues may emerge over the next few weeks because it is also worth noting the large number of “spot bills” that have been introduced. These measures contain only placeholder language, signaling a potential interest of the author, but not substantive enough at this point to get a sense of specifics of a proposal. These measures will either be amended in the coming weeks to better reflect the author’s intention, or never move at all. In particular, there are a substantial number of LCFF clean-up bills in spot bill form. These measures could be amended to address any number of issues related to LCFF/LCAPs. We expect at least one measure to address issues related to student counts at Provision 2 and 3 schools.

In the spirit of flagging issues that may arise in the coming days or weeks, we could see legislation amended to address issues related to state assessments, especially if the US Department of Education comes down on California for ceasing STAR assessments and only field testing in 2014 (AB 484, Bonilla from 2013).

Initial Key Education Bills

There will certainly be more bills hitting the radar in the coming days and weeks, but following is a review of some initial key K-12 education measures introduced in 2014 that we have flagged. The bills are hyperlinked to the full text version of the bill.

AB 1444 (Weber) Elementary Education: Kindergarten

Expresses the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would require the children of this state to attend kindergarten. This is a CTA sponsored bill.

AB 1573 (Jones Sawyer): Student Achievement: Excellence Accountability System

Requires the SPI to develop the Student Achievement via Excellence accountability system for the schools under the jurisdiction of a county board of education or a county superintendent of schools, community day schools, nonpublic, nonsectarian schools, and alternative schools, including continuation high schools and opportunity schools. Requires the system to be fully implemented beginning with the 2016-17 school year.

AB 1754 (Hagman) School Bonds: Equipment Purchases

Prohibits proceeds from the sale of bonds authorized and issued pursuant to the exception to the ad valorem tax limit to be used to purchase instructional materials.

AB 1946 (Chesbro) School Finance: Necessary Small High Schools

Adds to the definition of a necessary small high school a high school maintained by a unified school district as the only comprehensive high school if the high school has an average daily attendance of less than specified pupils and the school district has 50 specified pupils per mile of school district territory.

AB 1955 (Pan) Medi-Cal: Administrative Claiming Process

The bill makes technical, nonsubstantive changes to existing law establishing an Administrative Claiming process under which local governmental agencies and local educational consortia contract with the Department of Health Care Services for the purpose of obtaining federal matching funds to assist with the performance of administrative duties relating to the Medi-Cal program.

AB 2057 (Bonilla) Pupil Assessment: Consortium Alternate Performance

Provides that a consortium alternate performance assessment in English language arts and mathematics that measures specified content standards would be administered in grades 2 to 11, in English language arts and mathematics. Provides that the alternate performance assessment in English language arts and mathematics would be a pilot test only.

AB 2235 (Buchanan) Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities

Enacts the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2014 to authorize an unspecified amount of state general obligation bonds to provide aid to school districts, county superintendents of schools, county boards of education, charter schools, the California Community Colleges, the University of California, the Hastings College of the Law, and the California State University to construct and modernize education facilities.

AB 2522 (Jones-Sawyer) School Facilities: Security Locks

Amends existing law requiring all new construction projects submitted to the Division of the State Architect pursuant to the Greene Act to include locks that allow doors to classrooms and any room with an occupancy of certain number of persons to be locked from from the inside.

SB 837 (Steinberg) Schools: Transitional Kindergarten

Creates the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2014. Requires each school district or charter school that offers kindergarten to offer transitional kindergarten. Requires a child that meets specified minimum age requirements to be admitted. Authorizes the average daily attendance of a school district to include the average daily attendance of pupils enrolled. Specifies teacher requirements. Requires informing the public of such kindergarten programs. Authorizes contracting with private local providers.

SB 897 (Steinberg) Educational Competitive Grant Programs: Adult Education

Provides that for a career pathways program connected with a public sector entity, the SPI should consider whether the grant recipient shall be required to include specified social studies standards in the program funded by the grant. Requires classes and courses for immigrants to include basic instruction in government and civics.

SB 971 (Canella) School Finance: Categorical Programs

Repeals many provisions requiring, authorizing, or prescribing the elements of certain categorical education programs.

SB 1108 (Padilla) English Learner: Reclassification

Amends existing law that requires each school district that has one or more pupils who are English learners to assess the English language development of each of those pupils in order to determine their level of proficiency. Requires the CDE to recommend, and the State Board of Education to adopt, the department’s recommendations and best practices for English Learners pursuant to the department’s recommendations. Reclassifies English learners to the list of numerically significant pupil subgroups.

SB 1137 (Torres) School Transportation Apportionments

Currently a spot bill and pending amendments, this bill is intended to increase Home-to-School-Transportation funding for some school districts.

SB 1143 (Liu) Pupil Instruction

This bill is the Governor’s Independent Study reform proposal. Among other things, the measure would relax a number of audit requirements for LEAs, including the removal of the requirement that student work samples contain a date and signature for the purposes of apportionment. The bill would allow student work samples to be stored in an electronic format and allow parents to submit signed agreements in an electronic/PDF format. It would also provide the option for LEAs to locally bargain alternative pupil/teacher ratios for Independent Study.

SB 1164 (Liu) School Employees: Discipline: Dismissals and Suspensions

Deletes known membership in the Communist Party as a reason for which a permanent employee may be dismissed. Authorizes the governing board of a school district to give the notice at any time of year, except for a notice in a proceeding involving only charges of unsatisfactory performance, which the bill would require to be given during the instructional year of the schoolsite at which the employee works.

SB 1174 (Lara) English Language Education

Repeals Proposition 227, a measure requiring that all children in California public schools be taught English by being taught in English.

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