New laws for 2005 affecting California K-12 education include:
Assembly Bill (AB) 164 by Lois Wolk (D-Davis) expands the activities for high school principal training under California's current Principal Training Program. It also authorizes high school training plans to include professional development activities that include coaching, mentorship, assistance, and intensive support customized to meet the individual needs of high school administrators. O'Connell sponsored the bill. (Takes effect Jan. 1)
AB 825 by Assemblymember Marco Firebaugh (D-South Gate) establishes block grants for specified categorical programs: a pupil retention block grant, school safety consolidated competitive grant, teacher credentialing block grant, professional development block grant, a new targeted instructional improvement block grant, and school library improvement block grant. (Takes effect Jan. 1)
AB 1554 by Assemblymember Rick Keene (R-Chico) authorizes the state to make interim emergency loans, and then transfer those loans to lease financing made available by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank, which would be authorized to issue bonds for this purpose. (Already in effect as a urgency measure)
AB 1820 by Assemblymember Bill Maze (R-Visallia) authorizes the Death Valley Unified School District to operate one or more schools on a four-day school week as long as the district complies with specified requirements, including instructional time requirements. (Takes effect Jan. 1)
AB 2756 by Assemblymember Lynn Daucher (R-Brea) makes substantive changes to the oversight process of a school district’s fiscal condition and changes procedures following a school district’s receipt of an emergency loan. (Already in effect as an urgency measure)
Senate Bill (SB) 311 by Senator Byron Sher (D-Stanford) makes changes to the Class Size Reduction Program. Under existing law participating school districts are provided funding for each class in which the class size is reduced to a ratio of 20 pupils to one teacher in kindergarten and any of grades 1 to 3, inclusive. Until July 1, 2009, this bill requires the Controller to deduct from the next principal apportionment of the district a specified amount based on the annual pupil enrollment of a class above a different prescribed number. The bill also provides relief for the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura that suffered a loss of state funding as a result of the fires that occurred in October 2003. O’Connell sponsored the relief portion of the bill. (Already in effect as an urgency measure)
SB 722 by Senator Bruce McPherson (R-Santa Cruz) amends existing law relating to the Academic Performance Index to conform with requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It amends the definition of annual yearly progress for the purpose of assessing progress toward meeting federal improvement targets. (Takes effect Jan. 1)
SB 1448 by Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego) reauthorizes California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program until January 2011. The bill will also, commencing July 1, 2007, exclude pupils in grade 2 from the standards-based achievement test requirement and makes other conforming changes. O'Connell sponsored the bill. (An extension of an existing bill)
SB 1254 by Senator Nell Soto (D-Pomona) reauthorizes the California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP) until January 1, 2009. Without SB 1254, CTAP -- California’s statewide educational technology project designed to assist schools, school districts, county offices of education and state special schools with integrating technology into teaching and learning – would have expired this year. O’Connell sponsored the bill.
SB 1912 by Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) authorizes a pupil to carry and self-administer auto-injectable epinephrine medication if the school district receives the statements described above if the school district receives a written statement from the student’s physician detailing the method, amount, and time schedules by which the medication is to be taken and a written statement from the parent, foster parent, or guardian of the pupil indicating the desire that the school district assist the pupil in the matters set forth in the physician's statement. (Already in effect as an urgency measure)
A 2000 class-action lawsuit known as the Williams case became a major focus of the Legislative session after the suit was settled. As part of the settlement, the state allocated $138 million in additional funding for standards-aligned instructional materials for schools in the first and second ranks (known as deciles) determined through the 2003 Academic Performance Index (API) Base. The settlement includes another $50 million for implementation costs and other oversight-related activities for schools in deciles one through three (2003 API Base). These two amounts were included in the state budget signed in July 2004 by Governor Schwarzenegger. Another $800 million will be provided for critical repair of facilities in future years for schools in deciles one through three (2003 API Base).
The Williams multiyear settlement agreement will be implemented through urgency legislation adopted in August 2004 through SB 6, SB 550, AB 1550, AB 2727, AB 3001:
SB 6 by Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego) establishes the School Facilities Needs Assessment Grant Program and the School Facilities Emergency Repair Account.
SB 550 by Senator John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) requires county superintendents to annually review the sufficiency of instructional material, the assignment of teachers, and the condition of school facilities of schools ranked in the lower deciles of the 2003 Academic Performance Index. This information will be added to the School Accountability Report Card. In addition, the bill establishes a uniform complaint process for inadequate instructional materials.
AB 1550 by Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles) prohibits operation after 2012 of a Concept 6 program, which allows a school to operate on a 3-track year-round calendar in which each track provides fewer than 180 but no fewer than 163 days of instruction per school year. The bill also expresses legislative intent to eliminate the Concept 6 program as soon as practical and requires the State Board of Education to intervene if a district is not complying.
AB 2727 by Assemblymember Lynn Daucher (R-Brea) requires a school district to use its uniform complaint process to help identify and resolve any emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of pupils or staff instead of conditions of facilities that are not maintained in a clean and safe manner or in good repair.
AB 3001 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) requires the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team to review teacher hiring practices, teacher retention rates, the percentage of highly qualified teachers and teacher misassignments in school districts. This information will be reported to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which will make it available to the public in its annual report. In addition, the bill allows out-of-state teachers who meet certain requirements to teach in California.
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