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.
(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:
- Requires a school employer to provide 30-day written notice before implementing and the terms of a last, best, and final offer
- 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
- Requires meeting to negotiate remedies for any terms of the agreement found to be unlawful
- 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
- 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.
- On August 15, 2014