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Final tally on key education bills in 2016

Final tally on key education bills in 2016

Up to date, Oct. four: With a crush of bills allotted with final week, the yr’s scorecard is full. Right here is the ultimate replace of a dozen bills that EdSource tracked in the ultimate weeks of the legislative session. They embrace a problem to the State Board of Education’s framework for a faculty accountability system (AB 2548), which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed, and a invoice to make it simpler for districts to construct instructor housing, which Brown signed. 

Most of the main education bills that have been launched at the beginning of the yr, reminiscent of instructor analysis reforms, died or, like extra money for school preparatory programs, have been included into this yr’s state finances. Others survived the impediment course that’s the legislative course of or quietly disappeared in the ultimate week of the session. 

Together with the bills on our listing, we additionally wrote individually concerning the following bills:

  • AB 709, requiring constitution faculties to adjust to public data, open conferences and conflict-of-interest legal guidelines. Vetoed.
  • AB 2009, requiring California State College campuses and group schools to determine facilities or liaison positions to assist undocumented college students. Vetoed. 
  • AB 2329, laying the groundwork to increase pc education in all grades. Signed. 

Ban on for-profit digital constitution faculties

AB 1084, by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Harmony, would ban for-profit corporations from working on-line constitution faculties. In an effort to additionally ban for-profit on-line corporations from establishing nonprofit associates, the invoice additionally would forestall a nonprofit on-line constitution faculty from contracting with a for-profit entity that gives educational providers.

Why it’s necessary: There are solely a half-dozen for-profit on-line charters in the state; the obvious goal of the invoice is Okay12, Inc., the most important operator of on-line faculties in the state, serving 15,000 college students via California Digital Academies, a sequence of nonprofit faculties that Okay12 created and managed because the sole-source supplier of curriculum. The workplace of the California lawyer common fined Okay12 $eight.5 million after a prolonged investigation into its practices. Bonilla has stated, “Taxpayer dollars should be spent on academic services and improving the educational experience of California students, not on enriching a company.”

Why it’s controversial: A corporation of on-line faculty mother and father asserts that their youngsters thrive in on-line charters, however a 2015 research by the group CREDO of Stanford College discovered that general efficiency of on-line constitution college students is poor. Gov. Jerry Brown, nevertheless, vetoed an identical invoice final yr, saying it might be interpreted to limit the power of nonprofit constitution faculties to proceed utilizing for-profit distributors.

Standing: Died in the Senate. The California Constitution Faculties Affiliation and constitution opponents agreed that for-profit on-line charters ought to be banned. Nevertheless, Bonilla was unable to barter a deal on the larger stumbling block: the best way to forestall for-profit corporations from managing nonprofit on-line faculties. The difficulty will possible be again in 2017.

Curbs on constitution faculty suspensions, expulsions

SB 322, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would place new due-process obligations and reporting necessities on constitution faculties earlier than they will droop and expel college students.


State finances heads to Gov. Brown: How education fared

Why it’s necessary: There was laws and strain for all public faculties to decrease suspension charges, that are disproportionately excessive for black and Hispanic college students. Constitution faculty critics declare that some faculties use suspension insurance policies to push out low-performing college students.

Why it’s controversial: The California Constitution Faculties Affiliation opposes the invoice as an effort to re-regulate charters, which, it says, ought to have latitude to create their very own suspension and expulsion insurance policies.

Standing: Died in the Meeting, with 31 members voting in favor, 34 towards and 15 members not voting.

Faculty selection

SB 1156, by Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Dimas, would allow college students in some low-performing faculties to proceed to switch to raised faculties inside and out of doors of their districts beneath the 2010 Open Enrollment Act.

Why it’s necessary: Identification of eligible faculties had been based mostly on low scores on the now-suspended Educational Efficiency Index. The invoice would align eligibility to the brand new state faculty accountability system figuring out the lowest-performing 5 % of faculties.

Why it’s controversial: The Legislature handed the Open Enrollment Act in a failed effort to get a federal Race to the Prime grant. Supporters name it an essential avenue of selection for folks whose youngsters attend low-performing faculties. The California Faculty Boards Affiliation and districts which may lose college students oppose the invoice.

Standing: The invoice handed the Senate and Meeting unanimously, however the Division of Finance opposed it, The division cited potential prices to the state of notifying all mother and father in low-performing faculties of their switch choice and in addition referred to as the invoice untimely, because the new state faculty accountability continues to be being developed. With a veto from Gov. Brown probably, Huff withdrew the invoice, however the challenge will possible return in 2017,

Associated invoice: SB 1432, additionally by Huff, would have continued, with revised circumstances, Districts of Selection, a bit used program in which faculty districts can open up their faculties to college students from surrounding districts. With out citing a cause, the Meeting Appropriations Committee killed the invoice. “The future of nearly 50 school districts has been thrown into doubt and thousands of California children have just been denied the best education we can give to them, and the reason is purely a political one,” Huff stated in a press release.

Cap on district reserves

SB 799, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, would carry the restrict on the share of the overall fund that a district can maintain in reserve. The quantity can be based mostly on a district’s enrollment.

Why it’s necessary: Faculty districts say that the restrict, which has but to be imposed however might be in future years underneath sure fiscal circumstances, would jeopardize districts’ monetary stability, forcing them to spend down financial savings wanted for future emergencies.

Why it’s controversial: The reserve cap was a shock deal in 2014 finances negotiations between the Brown administration and the California Academics Affiliation, and continues to anger faculty district officers. CTA argues districts had been constructing extreme reserves that ought to be spent on scholar providers and says the difficulty is overblown, since districts have already got methods to justify exceeding the cap.

Standing: The invoice languished all through the session; behind-the-scenes efforts to succeed in a potential compromise on most ranges of district reserves failed once more this yr.

State position in new accountability system

AB 2548, by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, would give the Legislature a task in overseeing the brand new statewide faculty accountability system, based mostly on a number of measures of faculty success, by locking in statute the work that the State Board of Education is doing on its personal by way of guidelines and laws. It will place extra emphasis on check scores for figuring out low-performing faculties needing help than the state board favors, and it will require a abstract rating of a faculty’s efficiency, enabling mother and father to readily examine faculties – a place the state board opposes.

Why it’s necessary: The invoice would restrict future actions by the state board to deviate considerably from the accountability system it’s at present drafting.

Why it’s controversial: Gov. Brown favors giving members of the state board, whom he appoints, flexibility to do their work via laws. If he views the invoice as constraining, he’ll probably veto it.

Standing: Gov. Brown vetoed the invoice, saying in his veto message that it was “unnecessary and premature” to second-guess the state board’s judgment in approving the brand new accountability system in early September (see EdSource article).

New proper for unions

AB 2835, by Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, and Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, would require faculty districts and different employers of public worker unions to carry annual in-person orientations for all new staff, at which unions can be allowed to make a 30-minute pitch for union membership.

Why it’s essential: The invoice was conceived as a essential response to Friedrichs v. California Academics Affiliation, a lawsuit that challenged the duty of public staff to pay unions the fee to characterize them. Till the dying of Justice Antonin Scalia in January, it appeared the U.S. Supreme Courtroom was poised to overturn obligatory union charges. That’s not the case, however the invoice stays a prime precedence of CTA and different unions.

Why it’s controversial: The invoice is prescriptive about how and when the orientation periods have to be held – and probably pricey, argues the California Faculty Boards Affiliation, which opposes it.

Standing: The invoice died with out fanfare on the ultimate days of the session. .

State Seal of STEM for diplomas

AB 2072, by Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, would permit California highschool graduates who’ve demonstrated excessive achievement in a STEM topic — science, know-how, engineering and math — to obtain a “State Seal of STEM” hooked up to their diplomas and transcripts.

Why it’s essential: The invoice goals to encourage extra college students to pursue research in STEM by offering a particular recognition that faculties and universities might assessment in the admissions course of or that companies might think about when hiring staff.

“Providing students with a symbol of their accomplishments can benefit not only their personal drive and their self-esteem but also overall marketability,” Chang stated.

Standing: The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to droop the invoice, in half as a result of the primary outcomes from new state science assessments gained’t be obtainable till 2019-20.

Suicide prevention in grades 7-12

AB 2246, by Patrick O’Donnell, D-Lengthy Seashore, would require faculty districts that serve Seventh- by way of 12th-grade college students to undertake a suicide prevention coverage that particularly addresses prevention procedures for youth who’re at excessive danger of psychological well being points and suicidal considering, together with those that are bereaved, homeless, experiencing discrimination based mostly on sexual orientation or fighting substance abuse.

Why it’s essential: About one in 5 college students in ninth and 11th grade reported that they had significantly thought-about suicide, in response to 2013-15 knowledge from the California Wholesome Youngsters Survey carried out by the analysis group WestEd. A instructor is the No. 1 individual a scholar would contact to assist a pal who could be suicidal, in response to a Jason Basis research cited by O’Donnell.

Why it’s controversial: The creation of a suicide prevention coverage can be a brand new state mandate with unknown prices. The invoice requires the California Division of Education to create a mannequin coverage, though the writer notes that the state might undertake an present mannequin coverage advisable by the Trevor Basis. In flip, districts might create their insurance policies utilizing the state’s coverage as a information. The coverage would tackle the necessity for instructor coaching on procedures for suicide prevention, intervention and follow-up. No funding is hooked up for placing the coverage into motion. Beneath present regulation, the state “encourages” faculties with college students in center faculty by way of highschool to offer suicide prevention coaching at the least as soon as to every faculty counselor through the course of employment.

Standing: Gov. Brown signed the invoice.

After-school program reimbursement

AB 1426, by Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, would have raised After Faculty Education and Security Program per-pupil reimbursement charges from $7.50 to $eight.50 per day efficient July 1, 2017.

Why it’s necessary: After-school packages serve greater than 400,000 college students statewide. Annual funding for this system of $550 million hasn’t modified in a decade, and advocates say reimbursement has fallen far under prices. With the state’s minimal wage set to rise from $10 to $12 by 2018, advocates predict that a third of packages might shut down inside two years.

Why it’s controversial: Gov. Brown didn’t embrace $73 million in further funding wanted to accommodate present enrollment in this yr’s state price range, regardless of persistent lobbying.  This invoice would have raised day by day charges with out offering further funding. (see word under)**

Standing: The Senate Appropriations Committee killed the invoice.

Reasonably priced housing for academics

SB 1413, by Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would set up the Instructor Housing Act of 2016 to assist with the acquisition, development and preservation of reasonably priced housing for academics or different faculty district staff.

Why it’s necessary: A number of districts in the Bay Space have established or plan to construct rent-subsidized housing for college staff. By explicitly authorizing districts to develop housing on district-owned property for his or her staff, the invoice will allow tasks to qualify for federal low-income housing tax credit, an incentive for builders to turn into concerned.

Standing: Gov. Brown signed the invoice.

Ethnic research

AB 2016, by Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, would require the State Board of Education to undertake a mannequin curriculum in ethnic research by April 2020. It might allow faculties to create programs reflecting demographics in their communities and to include ethnic research programs that the College of California has licensed as satisfying school admissions standards.

Why it’s essential: A number of faculty districts, together with Los Angeles Unified and Montebello Unified, already require college students to take ethnic research. Advocates say an ethnic research course raises scholar understanding of the state’s numerous cultures.

Why it’s controversial: Gov. Brown vetoed an identical invoice final yr with objections that Alejo has tried to deal with.

Standing: Gov. Brown signed the invoice.


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