Bill to Curtail Book Banning Already in Effect.
AB 1078 by Assembly Member Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley) made some of the biggest changes in decades to how the state polices diversity and inclusion in instructional materials adopted by local school agencies. This bill was largely the state’s response to the governing board of the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s refusal to adopt instructional materials for their students by citing a reference to Harvey Milk, a gay American civil rights leader.
The bill prohibits governing boards from refusing to use any instructional materials, or any book/resource in a school library on the basis that it includes a study of the role and contributions of certain individuals or groups (including African Americans, Latino Americans, LGBTQ+ Americans, and members of other religions and socioeconomic groups), in violation of California’s Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Act. AB 1078 deems a violation of this duty unlawful discrimination and allows complaints to be made through the Uniform Complaint Procedures, or with the State Superintendent (SPI). If a violation is reported, and provided the complaint identifies the basis for filing directly with the SPI and presents evidence that supports the basis for filing, the SPI may directly intervene without waiting for an investigation at the district level. The bill applies to school districts, county boards of education, and charter schools and took effect immediately upon the Governor’s signing on September 25, 2023.
In addition to the changes described above that relate to violations of the FAIR Act, AB 1078 placed additional duties on county superintendents if they determine a school district has insufficient instructional materials. Specifically, the law now requires the county superintendent to do both of the following after that determination is made:
- Provide the school agency with the opportunity to remedy the deficiency no later than the second month of the school term.
- If the deficiency is not remedied, then:
- The county superintendent must request that the California Department of Education (CDE) purchase sufficient textbooks or instructional materials
- If CDE purchases the instructional materials, the department must issue a public statement at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the State Board of Education occurring immediately after the department receives the request of the county superintendent and that meets the applicable public notice requirements, indicating that the district superintendent and the governing board of the school agency failed to provide sufficient textbooks or instructional materials and the SPI must notify the State Controller to deduct an amount equal to the total amount used to purchase the textbooks and/or materials from the next principal apportionment of the school agency or from another apportionment of state funds, unless that agency repays the amount owed based upon an agreed-upon repayment schedule with the SPI.
The law further specifies if the SPI determines a school agency has not provided sufficient textbooks or instructional materials, then financial penalties shall be assessed against its local control funding formula allocation.
Handwriting Instruction to Include Cursive or Joined Italics.
A bill authored by Assembly Member Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) clarifies current English content standards in the Education Code for Grades 1-6 to specifically include cursive or joined italics. This bill should not be disruptive as current State Content Standards adopted by the State Board of Education already include this instruction. Specifically, current California State Standards in grade 3 say students should “write legibly in cursive or joined italics, allowing margins and correct spacing between letters in a word and words in a sentence.” In grade 4, students should be able to “write fluidly and legibly in cursive or joined italics.” AB 446 adds this specific instruction to the Education Code.
The Governor signed the following curriculum and instruction bills:
- AB 1340 (Garcia) – School accountability: pupils with exceptional needs
Existing law requires CDE to annually report enrollment data by disability. AB 1340, contingent upon an appropriation, requires CDE to include, on or before January 1, 2025, a report on its website that allows the public to view statewide-level four- and five-year cohort graduation rates for pupils who are individuals with exceptional needs, disaggregated by certain identified disabilities.
Chapter 576, Statutes of 2023
- SB 609 (Caballero) – Local control and accountability plans: California School Dashboard
SB 609 eliminates the provision in current law that requires the SPI to post local control and accountability plans (LCAPs) and instead requires school districts, county offices of education (COEs), and charter schools to post the current school year’s LCAP on the California School Dashboard. The bill also requires CDE to notify those local educational agencies (LEAs) of, and to ensure that they meet, the requirement.
Chapter 494, Statutes of 2023
- SB 293 (Grove) – Pupil assessments: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress: statewide results
This bill requires CDE to make statewide summative CAASPP results publicly available by October 15 each year and requires the State Board of Education’s calendar for delivering results to CDE to be consistent with that deadline.
Chapter 177, Statutes of 2023
Curriculum and Instruction
- AB 10 (Lowenthal) – Pupils: body shaming model policy and resources
AB 10 requires CDE, by June 30, 2025, in consultation with other agencies and stakeholders, to develop and post on its website a model policy and resources about body shaming that LEAs may use to educate staff and pupils about body shaming.
Chapter 791, Statutes of 2023
- AB 285 (Rivas, Luz) – Pupil instruction: science requirements: climate change
This bill requires the science area of study to include an emphasis on the causes and effects of climate change and methods to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The bill also requires that appropriate coursework including this material be offered to pupils as soon as possible, commencing no later than the 2024–25 school year.
Chapter 426, Statutes if 2023
- AB 370 (Addis) – Pupil instruction: State Seal of Biliteracy
This measure modifies the criteria for demonstrating proficiency in English and a language other than English for purposes of earning the State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), including passing assessments, earning credit at a community college, and passing a school district identified examination which meets specified criteria.
Chapter 326, Statutes of 2023
- AB 446 (Quirk-Silva) – Pupil instruction: handwriting
AB 370 defines handwriting, in the course of study for grades 1 to 6, to include cursive and joined italics. This bill effectively requires handwriting instruction, which is already part of the state’s standards, to include cursive or joined italics.
Chapter 804, Statutes of 2023
- AB 714 (McCarty) – Pupil instruction: newcomer pupils: curriculum frameworks: high school coursework and graduation requirements: exemptions and alternatives
The bill requires CDE to maintain information on its website relating to the education of recently arrived immigrant students (newcomers), to annually publish enrollment and other information about newcomers on its website. AB 714 also requires the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to consider adding content to help teachers meet the unique needs of newcomers to the next revision of the English Language Arts (ELA)/English Language Development (ELD) curriculum framework and recommended instructional materials and revises the definition of newcomers to align with the federal definition for purposes of specified educational rights in existing law.
Chapter 342, Statutes of 2023
- AB 873 (Berman) – Pupil instruction: media literacy: curriculum frameworks
This bill requires the IQC to consider incorporating the Model Library Standards and media literacy content at each grade level when the ELA/ELD curriculum framework is next revised and media literacy content into the mathematics, science, and History-Social Science (H-SS) Framework when those frameworks are next revised after January 1, 2024.
Chapter 815, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1354 (Fong, Mike) – Pupil instruction: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
This bill requires, in the next revision of the H-SS curriculum framework, the IQC to consider the historical, social, economic, and political contributions of, and examples of racism, discrimination, and violence perpetrated against, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Chapter 140, Statutes of 2023
- SB 369 (Nguyen) – Pupil instruction: model curricula: Vietnamese American refugee experience: Cambodian American history and heritage
This bill requires that the state’s model curriculum related to the Vietnamese American refugee experience include the period from the Vietnam War and the Fall of Saigon in 1975 to the year 2000, and modifies the model curriculum on the Cambodian Genocide to instead focus on Cambodian American history and heritage.
Chapter 711, Statutes of 2023
- AB 1078 (Jackson) – Instructional materials and curriculum: diversity
The measure makes various changes to the adoption of instructional materials for use in schools, including a provision that would prohibit a governing board from disallowing the use of an existing textbook, other instructional material, or curriculum that contains inclusive and diverse perspectives.
Chapter 229, Statutes of 2023
- AB 87 (Quirk-Silva) – Pupils: Section 504 plans: meetings and team meetings
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794) regulations require a school district to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction. Potentially eligible students must be referred to a Section 504 Team to determine eligibility. AB 87 authorizes parents, guardians, and LEAs to audio record the proceedings of Section 504 meetings and team meetings.
Chapter 81, Statutes of 2023
- AB 497 (Quirk-Silva) – Special education: braille instructional aide: notice of teacher credentialing programs
This bill requires an LEA to provide a braille instructional aide with information regarding the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.
Chapter 15, Statutes of 2023
- AB 611 (Weber) – Special education: nonpublic, nonsectarian schools or agencies: change in certification status: parental notification
This bill requires an LEA and charter school contracting with a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency (NPS/ A), within 14 days of becoming aware of any change to the certification status of the NPS/A to notify parents of pupils of the LEA or charter school who attend the NPS/A of the change in certification status, and to include in that notice, a copy of certain procedural safeguards. The bill would require those notices to be maintained and made available for inspection upon request of CDE.
Chapter 64, Statutes of 2023
- AB 723 (Quirk-Silva) – Pupil placement: special education: foster children: nonpublic, nonsectarian schools or agencies: school of origin.
AB 723 defines “school of origin” for purposes of foster youth educational rights to remain enrolled in a school when a residential placement changes, to include placements in NPSs, and requires an NPS, commencing with the 2024-25 school year, to provide assurances in its application for state certification that it agrees to serve as the school of origin of a foster youth and allow these students to continue their education in the school.
Chapter 812, Statutes of 2023
Capitol Advisors Group has produced a set of comprehensive client briefs detailing new education laws that were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2023. Each brief is organized by subject area and includes an executive summary highlighting major changes we think you should know about. Bills signed by the Governor take effect on January 1, 2024, unless the bill specifically states otherwise.
- Posted by CCIS
- On December 27, 2023