Changes to Independent Study included in 2021-22 budget
This year’s budget contained significant changes to current Independent Study (IS) law including making IS the sole alternative to in-person instruction in the 2021-22 school year. Originally designed as a program for students for whom traditional, in-person instruction did not work, the changes made to the program by AB 130 have made IS more about compliance and less about providing a mode of instruction designed to meet the needs of individual students. Changes include requiring daily live interaction or synchronous instruction and weekly synchronous instruction, depending on the grade, requiring a parent-teacher conference before signing an IS written agreement if requested by the parent, and requiring a local educational agency (LEA) to develop tiered reengagement strategies for students struggling to meet the requirements of IS. A full overview of the changes made to Independent Study Programs can be found here.
Ethnic Studies a graduation requirement for Class of 2030
AB 101 by Assembly Member Jose Medina (D-Riverside) requires LEAs serving grades 9-12 to offer at least a one-semester course in ethnic studies beginning in the 2025-26 school year. In addition, the bill adds the completion of at least one semester of ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for the Class of 2030. Pupils can fulfill the requirement by completing any of the following: a course based on the ethnic studies model curriculum adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE), an existing ethnic studies course, an ethnic studies course taught as part of a course that has been approved as meeting the A-G requirements, or a locally developed ethnic studies course approved by the governing board of a school district or charter school.
You may recall that Assembly Member Medina carried a nearly identical bill last session, AB 331. That legislation was vetoed by Governor Newsom who implied the bill was premature given that, at that time the bill was before him, there were questions and concerns over the appropriate K-12 model curriculum for ethnic studies. Upon direction from the Governor, his staff worked with SBE President, Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), Tony Thurmond, and a revised model curriculum was approved by the SBE this past March, opening the door for AB 101 to become law.
The 2021-22 Budget also included $5 million for CDE to provide professional development and resources to support LEAs offering new and expanded ethnic studies courses and $50 million to the SPI for allocations to LEAs to support the creation or expansion of ethnic studies course offerings.
Financial aid application completion a state priority
AB 132, the Postsecondary Education Budget Trailer Bill, requires an LEA to ensure, beginning in the 2022-23 school year, that a grade 12 pupil, who has not opted out, completes and submits a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, if the pupil is exempt from paying nonresident tuition under existing law, completes and submits a form for purposes of determining eligibility for the California Dream Act (CADAA). The bill requires the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), on or before July 1, 2022, to adopt regulations that include model opt-out forms and acceptable use policies for the purpose of providing LEAs with guidance. An LEA is required to exempt a pupil, or the pupil’s parent or legal guardian, from completing a form if the LEA determines the pupil is unable to complete it and if failure to complete the form would prohibit a pupil’s ability to graduate. These new requirements were first introduced in AB 469 by Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Grand Terrace); however, when the language was included in the state budget, AB 469 was amended to be a companion bill.
Signed by Governor Newsom, AB 469 now requires, on or before September 1, 2022, CSAC and CDE to facilitate the completion of the FAFSA or CADAA by requiring CDE to share the current school year’s student roster with CSAC and requiring CSAC to match the roster with pupil application status based on the FAFSA and CADAA data possessed by CSAC.
The Governor signed the following curriculum and instruction bills
- AB 486 (Committee on Education) – Elementary and secondary education: omnibus bill.This bill replaces gendered terms with nongendered terms and makes various other nonsubstantive changes to provisions of the Education Code. Chapter 666, Statutes of 2021
- SCR 25 (Hurtado) – Adult Education Week. This bill proclaimed the week of April 18, 2021 to April 24, 2021 as Adult Education Week. Chapter 62, Statutes of 2021
Career Technical Education
- AB 643 (Ramos) – Apprenticeship programs: career fairs. AB 643 requires an LEA planning to have a college or career fair to notify their local apprenticeship programs and share the details of the planned event in order to ensure that students are made aware of and have access to those local apprenticeship programs. Chapter 324, Statutes of 2021
- ACR 16 (Rivas, Luz) – Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. This measure proclaimed February 25, 2021 as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Chapter 9, Statutes of 2021
- ACR 36 (O’Donnell) – California’s regional occupational centers and programs.This resolution commemorates California’s regional occupational centers and programs for over 50 years of service to students, industries, and communities. Chapter 55, Statutes of 2021
- SB 628 (Allen) – California Creative Workforce Act of 2021.Upon an appropriation by the Legislature, SB 628 enacts the California Creative Workforce Act of 2021. The purpose of the Act is to establish creative arts workforce development as a state priority and to promote employment and “earn and learn” job training opportunities for creative workers. The bill requires the California Arts Council to consult with local government, community nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions, among others, in this effort. The bill also requires the Council, in consultation with the California Workforce Development Board, to design the program guidelines and criteria and vests the Council with the responsibility of overseeing and administering the grant program. Chapter 767, Statutes of 2021
- SB 779 (Becker) – California Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act: earn and learn programs.As part of the California Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the California Workforce Development Board is required to identify opportunities for “earn and learn” job training that meets the industry’s workforce demands and that is in high-wage, high-demand jobs. “Earn and learn” programs include transitional and subsidized employment particularly for individuals with barriers to employment. SB 779 amends the definition of “earn and learn” programs, and specifically, the definition of “transitional and subsidized jobs” under the California Workforce and Innovation Opportunity Act to include employment with an employment social enterprise or a worker cooperative. Chapter 223, Statutes of 2021
- SCR 16 (Caballero) – Women in Construction WeekThis measure named the week of March 7, 2021 to March 13, 2021 as Women in Construction Week. Chapter 20, Statutes of 2021
- SCR 20 (Ochoa Bogh) – Women and Girls in STEM Week.This resolution designated April 4, 2021 to April 10, 2021 as Women and Girls in STEM Week and encouraged citizens and community organizations to support the observance of California’s Women and Girls in STEM Week by encouraging and celebrating women in the STEM fields. Chapter 23, Statutes of 2021
Curriculum and Instruction
- ACR 49 (Choi) – Arts Education Month.This resolution proclaimed March 2021 as Arts Education Month and encouraged all educational communities to celebrate the arts with meaningful pupil activities and programs that demonstrate learning and understanding in the visual and performing arts. Chapter 27, Statutes of 2021
- AB 101 (Medina) – Pupil instruction: high school graduation requirements: ethnic studies.This bill requires high school students, commencing with the graduating class of 2029-30, to complete a one semester course in ethnic studies that meets specified requirements, in order to receive a high school diploma, and requires, commencing with the 2025–26 school year, LEAs, including charter schools, serving students in grades 9 through 12 to offer at least a one-semester course in ethnic studies. The bill also authorizes LEAs to require a full-year course in ethnic studies at their discretion. Chapter 661, Statutes of 2021
- AB 469 (Reyes) – Pupil instruction: financial aid applications.AB 469 requires, on or before September 1, 2022, and each year following, the California Student Aid Commission and the CDE to facilitate the completion of the FAFSA and the form established for purposes of determining eligibility for the CADAA. Chapter 560, Statutes of 2021
- Posted by CCIS
- On November 8, 2021