Thursday, January 03, 2008


Written by Education Scope | Imperial Valley News

Thursday, 03 January 2008 Sacramento, California - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell released a list of new laws scheduled to take effect in 2008 or were signed into law as urgency measures that will impact public education in California.

"Some of the new laws will help us progress toward closing the achievement gap, add more rigor to the curriculum, provide more assistance to students to pass the exit exam, or protect special education and related services to students with exceptional needs," said O’Connell. “Other new measures serve to streamline existing laws to provide students with safe transportation to school, credential teachers in a timely basis, and help school facilities go green."

Here’s a short list of new laws that are expected to have statewide implications for kindergarten through grade twelve education in California:

Measures Sponsored by O’Connell:

  • Assembly Bill (AB) 347: The measure would ensure students who fail to pass the California High School Exit Exam may receive an additional two years of academic assistance from their school districts.
  • AB 485: Prohibits a nonpublic, nonsectarian school, or agency whose certification has been revoked from being eligible to apply for recertification for two years from the revocation date.
  • AB 647: Changes the method of allocating Tobacco Use and Prevention Education funds to a single competitive grant.
  • AB 685: The bill would make technical changes to existing law regarding special education and make them conform to new federal regulations.
  • AB 1663: This measure would make various revisions conforming state law to federal requirements relating to pupil identification, assessment, and eligibility; individualized education program development, and pupil information confidentiality.
  • Senate Bill (SB) 132: The Education Code assigns various duties to state and local educational agencies and governs the operation of public schools, community colleges, and universities in the state. This bill would make various clarifying and technical changes to the Education Code and also delete obsolete provisions from the code.
  • SB 733: Reauthorizes the Instructional Materials Funding Realignment Program for six years.
  • SB 734: Reauthorizes the follow-up adoption review by the California Department of Education and fee charged to publishers, as well as places in statute the review for social content compliance and fees charged to publishers.

Other Education-Related Measures:

  • AB 57 (Introduced by Assemblymember Soto): Eliminates the sunset date for the “Safe Routes to School" program for the construction of sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, and traffic calming projects designed to keep children safe and more healthy.
  • AB 139 (Bass): Would allow school bus drivers to submit a medical exam conducted by a licensed advanced practice registered nurse or a physician assistant, instead of only a physician, when applying for or renewing a certificate to drive the bus.
  • AB 216 (Bass): Would require educational materials, services and programs provided by a nonpublic, nonsectarian schools for a special education student to be consistent with the student’s individualized education plan.
  • AB 321: (Nava): Allows cities or counties to lower the traffic speed limit from 25 to 15 miles per hour in a safety zone near a school.
  • AB 373 (Wolk): Helps finance the construction of schools, parks, police and fire service, streets, and other basic infrastructure and services needed to accommodate new housing.
  • AB 394 (Levine): This measure would require the California Department of Education to monitor education agencies for adherence to the antidiscrimination and antiharassment laws as part of its regular monitoring and review of schools.
  • AB 428 (Carter): Would require high schools to notify parents whether their children’s studies satisfied the requirements for admittance into California State University or University of California, and provide information on career technical education.
  • AB 532 (Wolk): Requires solar heating to be evaluated as an option for all state-operated swimming pools.
  • AB 609 (Eng): Would remove unnecessary obstacles to the state's ability to purchase energy efficient and environmentally sustainable equipment for public facilities that may include school facilities.
  • AB 622 (Mullin): Would allow an incarcerated student to work toward passing a general educational development test and earning a high school equivalency certificate.
  • AB 629 (Brownley): Requires sex education programs run by the state to be medically accurate, effective, bias-free, and age appropriate.
  • AB 673 (Hayashi): Clarifies laws on reporting child abuse to include a definition of the crime as death inflicted by other than accidental means. Also, if people know about cases of child abuse, they may report it anonymously even if they are on personal time and not when merely acting in a professional capacity.
  • AB 766 (Walters): Adds charter schools to the list of educational agencies that may conduct school-related field trips and excursions and may have all claims against them waived for injury, accident, illness, or death occurring during the trip.
  • AB 774 (Houston): Existing law requires people to undergo background check for each school where they want to volunteer to teach physical education during or after school hours. This measure creates a central registry so volunteers and schools do not have to go through the added expense of duplicative background checks.
  • AB 905 (Arambula): Authorizes the State Superintendent to extend the eligibility period from 60 to 120 days for children and their families to receive child care and development services if the parent is having trouble getting a job.
  • AB 1014 (Bass): Authorizes a school district to use other enrollment calculations that may increase funding for new construction and modernization of school facilities.
  • AB 1061 (Mullin): Simplifies information on the School Accountability Report Card to make it more understandable for parents.
  • AB 1080 (Mullin): Requires the State Superintendent to administer state preschool programs that include part-day and preschool appropriate programs for prekindergarten children aged 3 to 5 years.
  • AB 1291 (Mendoza): Requires the Department of Justice to establish an anti-gang violence curriculum for juveniles in custody, and requires the parents or guardians to pay for those classes if they can afford it.
  • AB 1368 (Mullin): Saves school districts administrative costs in the process of securing funds for the construction and modernization of school facilities.
  • AB 1571 (DeSaulnier): Allows child care programs for low-income families to seek up to 3 percent instead of 2 percent of a contract amount reimbursement from the California of Education, if funds are available.
  • AB 1685 (Garrick): Requires teachers and after school staff – instead of only teachers -- to report the effectiveness of the 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens Program.
  • AB 1698 (Eng): Ensures schools are appropriately reimbursed after they notify parents when their child accrues three unexcused absences.
  • SB 13 (Wyland): Requires school districts to answer questions about career technical education and how to meet that need in their applications for new school construction funding.
  • SB 20 (Torlakson): Prohibits the State Board of Education from authorizing a petition to operate a state charter school unless it provides instructional services of a statewide benefit that cannot be provided by a local charter school.
  • SB 52 (Scott): Requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to establish standards for the issuance of credentials for teachers in career technical education.
  • SB 166 (Negrete/McLeod): Requires the state and federal government to develop emergency preparedness standards and guidelines to help community college districts and campuses in the event of a natural disaster, hazardous condition, or terrorist activity.
  • SB 170 (Denham): Extends existing law through 2012 that allows a pupil to attend the school district where the student’s parent or guardian is employed within the boundaries of the school district.
  • SB 219 (Steinberg): Requires the Academic Performance Index to include information on test scores, drop-out rates, and other accountability data of pupils who were referred by the school or school district to an alternative education program.
  • SB 273 (Ackerman): Requires the State Superintendent to request input from a committee regarding changes to guidelines for American Indian education programs, rather than the committee providing input and getting approval of changes before it submits them to the State Board of Education for approval.
  • SB 278 (Lowenthal): Includes another justifiable reason for student absence for attending an education conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization. Currently, students may be excused for court appearances, funeral services, religious holidays or ceremonies, religious retreats, or employment conferences.
  • SB 280 (Scott): Makes a number of technical and clarifying changes in the law relating to teacher preparation legislation from last year, including provisions relating to career technical education and out of state teachers.
  • SB 345 (Aanestad): Allows a charter school to be more like a school district for such things as making salary payments and submitting applications to the State Board of Education to waive statutes, and allows the chief executive officer to be the equivalent of a superintendent for purposes of issuing work permits to minors.
  • SB 405 (Steinberg): Ensures that public middle and high school students will be informed by counselors of their graduation requirements, individualized review of their career goals, the availability of career technical education and community and workplace learning experiences, and eligibility requirements of admission to the University of California and the California State University systems.
  • SB 418 (Migden): Directs county auditors to use excess Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds to cover up to 50 percent of the costs of funding out-of-home care in licensed children's institutions within the county.
  • SB 473 (Cox): Allows a state agency to accept a noncompetitive bid from a vendor that provides electronic fingerprinting services that is certified by the Department of Justice. The state agency may also post on its Web site, all approved vendors providing that service. This may affect the hiring of workers in child care facilities.
  • SB 490 (Alquist): Prescribes nutrition standards for snacks sold to pupils in middle, junior, or high school.
  • SB 537 (Simitian): Requires the California Research Bureau of the California State Library to prepare and submit to the Legislature by 2009 a report on the key elements and actual costs of charter school oversight.
  • SB 601 (Torlakson): Requires California Department of Education to ensure that data collected from local educational agencies comply with minimum minutes of instruction and conducting physical fitness testing, and then reporting the information to the Governor and Legislature.
  • SB 614 (Simitian): Extends existing law until 2014 that authorizes a school district to enter into a design-build contract, in which factors in addition to price and cost may be considered in awarding a contract for the design and construction of a school facility that exceeds $2.5 million.
  • SB 777 (Kuehl): Simplifies and clarifies existing civil rights protections for California students, updates more specific prohibitions against discrimination throughout the Education Code, and replaces outdated references to "handicapped students" with "students with disabilities."

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