2012 LEGISLATIVE OVERVIEW

Prepared by Frost, Davis, & Donnelly

English Language Learners

AB 2193 – Long Term English Language Learners 

This bill defines “long-term English learners” and “English learners at risk of becoming long-term English learners.”  The bill also requires school districts to report the number of pupils identified in these two categories and requires notification to be provided to parents of pupils who are, or are at risk of, becoming long term English learners.  The bill also establishes a statewide system of support for long term EL students including regional consortia, district assistance and intervention teams and targeted technical assistance for student that are long-term EL or are at risk of becoming long-term ELs.

Status:  Signed by Governor

AB 1521 (Brownley) – STAR Test; Duel Language Immersion Programs 

This bill authorizes the administration of a primary language assessment to pupils enrolled in dual immersion programs who are not limited English proficient or who have been redesignated as fluent English-proficient, and eliminates several high school level tests.

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 754 (Padilla) – Reporting of EIA Expenditures

This bill establishes specified reporting requirements for school districts as a condition of their receipt of economic impact aid funds. Specifically, the bill requires:  1) information be posted in an easily accessible location on the district’s internet web site; 2) requires that the posted information specifically include the amount of economic impact aid allocated to the district, used by the district for administrative purposes, expended for limited English proficient students, and expended for compensatory education,

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 1108 (Padilla) – Reclassification of English Learners

This bill requires, as a condition of receiving funding, for school districts to report the criteria used to reclassify a pupil as English proficient.  The bill also requires the department to determine which criteria currently used represent the best practices in reclassifying pupils.  CDE would be required to make recommendations to the State Board of Education on these best practices.

Status:  Signed by Governor

Assessment & Accountability

SB 1458 (Steinberg) – Academic Performance Index; Indicators

This bill reduces the value of test scores in the constitution of a school’s Academic Performance Index from at least 60% to no more than 40%, authorizes the incorporation of additional measures, and deletes the decile ranking and authorizes a program of locally convened school quality review panels.  The bill authorizes the SPI, with the approval of the SBE, to incorporate into the API the rates at which pupils successfully promote form one grade to the next in middle and high school, and allows for the incorporation into the API of valid and reliable measures of preparedness for post secondary and career.

Status:  Signed by Governor

Instructional Materials

AB 1719 (Fuentes) – Supplemental Instruction; EL materials

This bill establishes a process for the review and approval of supplemental instructional materials that are aligned to the common core state standards and the revised English language development (ELD) standards for English learner pupils.  The bill requires the Department of Education to recommend and the State Board of Education to approve content experts to review supplemental materials and provides for the adopt of recommended supplemental materials by the Board.  School districts would be authorized to select and purchase these materials based on a local review.

Status:  Signed by Governor 

AB 1246 (Brownley) – IMF; Content Submission and Approval Cycles

This bill requires the SPI, and authorizes school districts, to submit instructional materials for review to the State Board of Education.  The bill also changes the submission cycles for all subject areas to make all adoptions 8 years.  The bill would require a fee on late submissions by publishers and manufactures.

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 1154 (Walters) – Instructional Materials; Digital Format

This bill will require publishers who sell state adopted instructional materials to offer those materials in an equivalent digital format.  The bill also allows school districts to obtain an equivalent digital format of purchased print textbooks at no cost in order to create a district-wide online data base for classroom use.  If school districts do decide to offer this type of online access for their students and teachers, they would be required to develop a security system to ensure that the publisher’s copyright material is protected.  The bill also ensures that school districts have the right to purchase “unbundled” materials.

Status:  Vetoed by Governor

The Governor vetoed this bill.  In his message he stated that “providing on-line instructional materials and coursework to pupils in California is an educational goal that I very much share”  But he went on to state that the requirements of the bill “puts unrealistic burdens on California businesses that will lead to increased costs of instructional materials.”

Curriculum Review/Common Core Standards

SB 1200 (Hancock) – Academic Content Standards; Review

This bill requires the State Board of Education to adopt the college and career readiness standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative consortium.  The bill also authorizes the review of the current 8th grade mathematics standards if it is found that there is a need to revise or modify the standards.

Status:  Signed by Governor

Student Fees

AB 1575 (Lara) – Student Fees

In its last set of amendments, designed to get the approval of the Governor, the Uniform Complaint Process has been shifted from the Williams section of the code to the regular UCP section.  The bill also would expand the uniform complaint process to include student fees and adds a requirement that the CDE will periodically provide written guidance to school districts on the nuances of fee prohibitions and the sue of lawful donations.  Prior to this set of amendments the bill included numerous provisions requiring superintendent reviews, board actions and audit requirements.  Additionally, the bill has been narrowed to statutorily declare that existing law upholds the state constitutional “free school” guarantee, as interpreted by the courts.

Status:  Signed by Governor

School Finance

AB 18 (Brownley) – School Finance Task Force 

This bill (1) establishes a 21-member California Task Force on School Finance (Task Force) as of January 1, 2013, to review and analyze alternative formulas for allocating funds to public schools in California for the purpose of identifying and recommending a formula or formulas that best meet the needs of California’s public school system and public school pupils.  This bill specifies criteria to be used by the Task Force to evaluate funding formulas.  This bill provides that 10 of the members of the Task Force will be appointed by the Governor, five appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, five appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and that the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) or his/her designee will be a member of, and serve as chair of the Task Force; requires the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature on or before April 1, 2013; becomes operative only if the SPI certifies, on or before January 31, 2013, that sufficient non-state funds are available for its implementation; and makes these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2013, and repeals them as of January 1, 2014.

Status:  Vetoed by the Governor

The Governor vetoed this bill.  In his veto message the Governor agreed there was a problem with our “complicated school finance laws.”  However, he indicated that “rather than create a task force, lets work together to craft a fair weighted student formula.”

Employee-Employer Relations

AB 1203 (Mendoza) – Classified Employees:  Paid Leave

This bill requires a school district to provide a paid leave of absence to a classified employee who is a member of a union in order to participative in activities that member is authorized by the organization to attend, including PERB hearings.  The employee organization is required to reimburse the district and the employee organization must require reasonable notification to the employer when a leave is requested.

Status:  Signed by Governor

AB 1908 (Alejo) – Classified Employees; Layoff Notification

This bill extends from 45 days to 60 days the notification of a classified employee layoff for those working in public schools and community colleges.

Status:  Signed by Governor

AB 2307 (Butler) – Classified Employees:  Permanent Status

This bill changes the definition of a “permanent” classified employee to mean an employed who has already obtained permanent status regardless of position or classification.  Amendments in the Senate narrowed the provisions of the bill to only require that a classified school employee, who is placed on a reemployment list and is subsequently reemployed in a new position, retains the right to be returned to the reemployment list for the remainder of the 39-month period in the event he/she fails to complete the probationary period in the new position.  This bill is designed to overturn the Eastside Union High School District court case from 2011 regarding an employee who has been laid off and then rehired at a lower job classification.

Status:  Signed by Governor

Principal Evaluations

SB 1292 (Liu) – Principal Evaluation

This bill authorizes a school district to evaluate a principal annually for the first and second year as a new principal under the Administrator Training Program.  The bill also authorizes the governing board of a district to identify who will conduct the evaluations and determines that the criteria for school principal evaluations is to be based on the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.  The criteria should include evidence of pupil academic growth, effective and comprehensive teacher evaluations, and effective school management, among many criteria.

Status:  Signed by Governor

Suspensions and Expulsions

AB 1729 (Ammiano) – Suspensions & Expulsions; Pupil Rights

This bill will authorize a superintendent of the school district or principal of the school to use alternatives to suspension or expulsion that are age appropriate and designed to address and correct the root causes of the pupil’s specific behavior.  The bill specifies the other means of correction as including conferences with the parents or guardian, referrals to the school counselor, psychologist or social worker, use of study or guidance teams, referral for a full psycho-educational assessment, referral to community service programs such as outdoor education, among other options.  The bill also authorizes a district to document the other means of correction and to place that documentation in the pupil’s record.

Status:  Signed by Governor

AB 1732 (Campos) – Bullying or Impersonation

This bill amends existing law that authorizes pupil suspension or expulsion recommendation for specified acts including bullying and defines bullying to include certain postings on a social network Internet Web site. This bill identifies specific conduct that would constitute a post on such Web site, including postings to or creating a burn page, creating a credible impersonation of a person and creating a false profile and also provides that an electronic act does not constitute “pervasive conduct” solely on the basis that it has been transmitted on the Internet or is currently posted on the Internet.

Status:  Signed by the Governor

AB 2242 (Dickinson) – Pupils; Grounds for Suspension & Expulsion

This bill provides that, if the Superintendent of a school district or principal of the school in which students willfully defy the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials, or other school personnel engaged in the performance of their duties, the pupil may be subject to other means of correction or community services during nonschool hours, or in-school suspension in a supervised classroom rather than a formal suspension.  Additionally, the bill relocates the provision of law authorizing a principal or superintendent to suspend or recommend expulsion of a pupil enrolled in grades 4 to 12 if the principal or superintendent determines that the pupil has intentionally engaged in harassment, threats, or intimidation, to the provision specifying the acts for which a principal or superintendent may suspend or recommend expulsion of a pupil.

Status:  Vetoed by Governor

The Governor vetoed this bill stating that “he could not support limiting the authority of school leaders especially in a time when budget cuts have raised class sizes and reduced the number of school personnel.”  He went on to note that “the principle of subsidiarity calls for greater, not less, discretion to local school boards who are directly accountable to the citizenry.”     

AB 2537 (V.M. Perez) – Mandatory Expulsion 

This bill grants discretion to school principals to make a determination of the appropriateness of the expulsion of a pupil who possesses an imitation firearm, and makes other changes relative to expanded discretion on mandatory expulsion provisions.

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 1088 (Price) – Pupil Readmission

This bill prohibits a school from denying enrollment or readmission to a pupil solely on the basis that he or she has had contact with the juvenile justice system.  The bill also requires the governing board of a school district, if it denies the readmission of an expelled student and the pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian requests a reevaluation, to set a date to reevaluate the pupil for readmission to a regular district program or to the school the pupil attended before the expulsion.

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 1235 (Steinberg) – Suspensions

This bill requires a school district at a school where the number of pupil suspensions in the prior school year exceeded a specified percent of its enrollment or a numerically significant pupil subgroup of that enrollment to implement either an evidence-based system of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports that employs school-level information about the behavioral and academic history of pupils or other school-wide strategies.  The bill also requires a yearly decrease in the enrollment of such subgroup pupils.

Status:  Vetoed by Governor

In his veto message, the Governor indicated that “my preference is to leave the matter of student suspension to local school boards and the citizens who elect them. I understand the author’s concern, which is why I have signed a number of other bills aimed at reducing the number of student suspensions and expulsions”.

Charter Schools

AB 1811 (Bonilla) – Charter Schools; Funding

This bill requires the general purpose entitlement of a charter school that is established through the conversion of an existing public high school within a unified school district to be calculated based according to a specified formula that utilizes the ADA of the charter times the average statewide revenue limit for high schools.  The bill excludes from the funding formula a conversion charter school within a unified school district that has a specified pupil population, thereby requiring its general-purpose entitlement to be calculated based on the charter school block grant.  Amendments in the Senate specify that commencing with the 2013-14 fiscal year, the general-purpose entitlement of a conversion charter high school established on or after January 1, 2013 shall be equal, for the first three years of operation, to the current year base revenue limit, and beginning the fourth year, will be equal to the statewide average revenue limit funding per unit of Average Daily Attendance (ADA) received by high school districts; and (2) sunsets the provision as of July 1, 2018.

Status:  Vetoed by Governor

The Governor vetoed this bill and stated “I agree that the funding gap created when a high school within a unified school district converts to a charter needs to be addressed.  Shifting the inequity of the current funding system, however, from the school district to the charter school, as this bill does, is not right.  California’s complex school finance laws need comprehensive reform and I look forward to working with the Legislature to craft a fair Weighted Student Formula that could resolve this issue.”

AB 1919 (Brownley) – Charter Schools; API Scores

This bill requires the CDE to calculate and provide to a school district a secondary Academic Performance Index that includes charter school scores for which the district is the chartering authority.  Amendments in the Senate deleted language that required individual pupil achievement data through CALPADS and a secondary Academic Performance Index (API) for pupils who attend a charter school for which the school district is the chartering authority.

Status:  Vetoed by Governor

In his veto message the Governor stated that “this bill would require the State Department of Education to send individual pupil level data to school districts that request the information.  The data would cover each and every student attending a charter school the district authorizes.  Authorizing districts may already collect this data, so another law is unnecessary. The locals can handle it.

SB 1290 (Alquist) – Charter Schools; Renewal and Revocation 

This bill requires the authority that granted a charter school to consider increases in pupil academic achievement for all groups of pupils served by the charter school as the most important factor in determining whether to grant a charter renewal or whether to revoke a charter school; and, requires a charter school to achieve its Academic Performance Index (API) growth target for schoolwide and numerically significant pupil subgroups for renewals.

Status:  Signed by Governor

Special Education

AB 1705 (Silva) – Assessment; High School Exit Exam

This bill defines an eligible pupil with a disability, for purposes of the high school exit exam, as a pupil who has an anticipated graduation date and is scheduled to receive a high school diploma on a specified date. Authorizes an eligible pupil with a disability to participate in the alternative means of demonstrating the level of academic achievement in the content standards required for passage of the exit exam in the manner prescribed by the regulations adopted by the State Board of Education.

Status:  Signed by the Governor

SB 1381 (Pavley) – Mental Retardation; Change 

This bill revises existing law referring to mental retardation or a mentally retarded person to refer instead to intellectual disability or a person with an intellectual disability. Provides that nothing in these provisions shall be construed as making a substantive change in law or a change to services or eligibility for services in revising this terminology. Makes related and technical changes.

Status:  Signed by Governor 

Technology & Online Education

AB 644 (Blumenfield) –   Synchronous Online Education 

This bill provides that school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools that offer online courses may claim attendance toward average daily attendance on the basis of the pupil’s attendance in an online course or courses where the learning is “synchronous.”  For purposes of this section, “synchronous, online instruction” means a class or course in which the pupil and the certificated employee who is providing instruction are online at the same time and use real-time, Internet-based collaborative software that combines audio, video, file sharing, and other forms of interaction.  The larger issue of “asynchronous” learning is not being addressed in this bill.

Status:  Signed by Governor

School Facilities 

AB 1186 (Skinner) – School Energy Efficiency Projects

This bill creates the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and directs the California Energy Commission (CEC) to fund energy efficiency improvements for K-12 schools through the existing Bright Schools program and utilizes revenues from the sales of emissions credits from the California ARB’s cap and trade program.

Status:  Vetoed by Governor

The Governor vetoed this bill.  In his veto message the Governor indicated that “while well intentioned, the bill jumps the gun by establishing a program before we are ready.”

AB 1565 (Fuentes) – Public Contracts; Prequalifications 

This bill, beginning with contracts awarded on or after January 1, 2014 and until January 1, 2019,         requires a school district to prequalify a prime contractor who provides a bid and all electrical, mechanical and plumbing subcontractors utilized, if it meets all the specified conditions.

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 1268 (Pavley) – Energy Efficiency 

This bill extends the operation of an existing energy efficiency loan program administered by the California Energy Commission (CEC) that assist local governments.  Specifically, this bill           extends the sunset date, from January 2013 to January 2018, of the existing Energy Conservation Assistance Account (ECAA) at CEC and expands the scope of the use of the funds to include  reducing peak electricity demand.  The bill also specifies requirements for unexpended funds by doing the flowing:  a) funds from bond sales shall remain in ECAA accounts, and once bond obligations are satisfied, unexpended funds are to revert to the General Fund and b) funds from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act remaining in an ECAA account on January 1, 2018, are to revert to the Federal Trust Fund.

Status:  Signed by Governor

SB 1404 (Hancock) – School Facilities; Civic Center Act Fees 

This bill authorizes a governing board of a school district to, until January 1, 2020, charge an entity for using school facilities or grounds, an amount for maintenance, repair, restoration, and refurbishment, proportional to the use of the school facilities or grounds.

Status:  Signed by Governor