The biggest fights this year are more political than usual. There are heated debates around instructional materials (AB 1078, see description below) along with an emerging conversation over if/how schools disclose information to parents about a student’s gender identity. We are expecting a last-minute measure to be introduced next week, likely backed by Governor Newsom, to address this issue. We will provide an analysis of that measure when it is in print.
We’re also working with our statewide colleagues to stop, or secure workable amendments to, AB 1699, which requires school districts, county offices of education, and community college districts to offer any new part- or full-time classified assignments to existing classified employees at least 10-days before the assignment is publicly posted. The bill also requires the district to provide job-required training if the training required is ten hours or fewer.
What’s Next? Next Friday, the Appropriations Committees will act on their “suspense files,” where we expect many bills to get significantly amended or held in committee. Our team will provide a comprehensive update next week on the fate of the measures of interest.
In the meantime, below are some of the major education bills we’re watching closely and/or lobbying on in the final weeks.
This measure requires, if a permanent classified employee of a district requests a hearing on the charges lodged against the employee, the third-party hearing officer to be paid for by the school district. The third-party hearing officer would be jointly selected by the district and the employee or their employee organization from a list of seven arbitrators obtained by the parties from the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service, unless the employee organization and the district agree otherwise. The bill extends these requirements to classified employees of any joint powers authorities that include a school district, and to classified employees of a county superintendent of schools.
This bill temporarily increases the postretirement compensation earnings limit for CalSTRS, members from 50 percent to 70 percent of the median final compensation of all members who retired for service during the fiscal year ending in the previous calendar year. It also temporarily authorizes an alternative process for educational employers to hire a retired CalSTRS member prior to satisfying the statutory 180-day separation from service requirement if the superintendent seeks an exemption to the 180-day separation from service requirements and zero-dollar earnings limit and submits documents to CalSTRS with certification, under penalty of perjury, as to each of the following:
- The nature of the employment
- That the appointment is necessary to fill a critically needed position before the 180 calendar days have passed
- That the CalSTRS member is not ineligible for application of these provisions
- That the termination of employment of the retired member with the employer is not the basis for the need to acquire the services of the member
- That the employer did not have a reduction-in-force layoff pursuant to existing laws within the prior 18 months
Curriculum & Instruction
This bill deletes authorization for the K-12 Strong Workforce Program (K-12 SWP) and shifts the $150 million in SWP funding to the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program (CTEIG), administered by the California Department of Education (CDE).
This bill makes various changes to the requirements on local school boards regarding 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.
This bill also mandates that during the Categorical Program Monitoring process, the CDE ensures that LEAs and their governing bodies adopt specific policies. The bill stipulates that if a county superintendent makes a determination of insufficient textbooks or instructional materials, as defined in the bill, the LEA must rectify the situation within two months of the school year. If the LEA fails, the county superintendent must take additional actions, including requesting that CDE purchase sufficient instructional materials. Complaints regarding insufficient materials, arising from a school board’s actions, can be directly filed with the SPI. AB 1078 also gives the SPI authority to assess a financial penalty against an LEA if, after these avenues have been exhausted, it has not provided sufficient textbooks or instructional materials.
This bill authorizes a bond measure of $14 billion for the construction and modernization of Transitional Kindergarten through community colleges public education facilities on an unspecified 2024 statewide ballot. The bond would include Pre-K through Community College facilities. It does not include UC or CSU facilities.
This bill authorizes a $15 billion bond measure for the construction and modernization of public preschool, K-12, California Community College (CCC), University of California (UC), and California State University (CSU) facilities to be placed on the ballot for the March 2024 statewide primary election.
Of the $15 billion, $9 billion is to be used for preschool to grade 12 school facilities. Specifically, $2.8 billion is for new construction, $5.2 billion is for modernization, $500 million is for charter schools, and $500 million is for career technical education. The remaining $6 billion is to be used for higher education facilities. Specifically, $2 million for CCC, $2 million for CSU, and $2 billion for UC, with $50 million of this to fund construction to support the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Sciences’ new medical school program.
This bill enforces new rules for drivers, whether employed or contracted by local educational agencies (LEAs), who transport students for pay. It specifically targets drivers of vehicles with a capacity of 10 or fewer, mandating measures like criminal backgound checks, satisfactory driving records, drug/alcohol tests, medical exams within two years, tuberculosis assessments, training, log maintenance, and first aid qualifications. Vehicles used for student transport must undergo inspections every 12 months or 50,000 miles and carry first aid kits and fire extinguishers. Moreover, if an LEA contracts with a private entity for student transportation, the entity must provide a written assurance of no law violations, sustained compliance, employment of qualified drivers, and maintenance of required records. Exceptions include parents, relatives driving their own children, school employees transporting supervised pupils, and certain government/foster care agencies serving homeless and foster youth.
This bill takes effect on July 1, 2025. If its requirements clash with contracts made before January 1, 2024, the article will only apply upon contract renewal or expiration.
This bill requires, by July 1, 2026, for each school site serving students in grades one through 12 that has more than one female restroom and more than one male restroom to provide and maintain at least one all-gender restroom for voluntary student use. The bill also requires each LEA to designate a staff member to serve as a point of contact for these requirements and post related notices outside all-gender bathrooms. The bill also requires the CDE to post guidance on its website related to these new requirements. For school sites that do not have more than one female restroom and more than one male restroom for students, the bill requires, if an LEA applies for state funding for a school modernization project after July 1, 2026, the application to include an all-gender restroom designed for student use at each school site serving grades one through 12.
Current law requires an action for the recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood sexual assault to be brought within 22 years of the plaintiff obtaining the age of majority or within 5 years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual assault. Current law also prohibits such an action from being commenced on or after the plaintiffs 40th birthday unless certain criteria are met. This bill would eliminate these statutes of limitations, but only for claims in which the childhood sexual assault occurred on or after January 1, 2024.
This bill requires each campus of a public school, a California Community College (CCC), a California State University (CSU), a University of California (UC), a private postsecondary educational institution, and each stadium, concert venue, and amusement park in the state, to maintain unexpired doses of opioid antagonists on its premises and ensure that at least two employees are aware of the location of the opioid antagonists.
In addition, this bill permits pupils in grades nine to 12 to carry naloxone hydrochloride or another opioid antagonist that has received over-the-counter approval from the Food and Drug Administration while on a school campus or while participating in school activities. The bill includes an immunity clause for individuals who administer naloxone hydrochloride or another opioid antagonist in good faith to another individual who appears to be experiencing an opioid overdose. The bill also includes an immunity clause for entities and entity employees for the aforementioned individual’s administration of naloxone hydrochloride or another opioid antagonist in good faith to another individual who appears to be experiencing an opioid overdose.
The bill also requires each LEA to annually report all incidents of on- campus pupil opioid exposure to the CDE.
This bill eliminates the requirement that all employees of contracted entities offering work experience opportunities to students undergo criminal background checks if (a) the entity designates at least one adult employee “liaison” in the workplace to be responsible for a participating student’s work experience to have a criminal background check; (b) a staff representative of a participating student’s LEA makes at least one visitation every three weeks to consult with the student’s workplace liaison, observe the student at the workplace, and check in with the student to ensure the student’s health, safety, and welfare; and (c) the parent of a participating student signs a consent form stating they understand that persons employed by the contractor have not had background checks. This bill is an urgency measure so it will take effect upon approval by the Governor.
This bill requires the CDE to develop an online training curriculum and online delivery platform by July 1, 2025 to support LGBTQ+ cultural competency training for teachers and certificated employees. This bill also requires LEAs to provide at least one hour of training each year to all certificated staff on cultural competency in supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) students.
This bill expands the grade range in which a public school’s women’s and all-gender restrooms, and in at least one men’s restroom, must stock menstrual products to any combination of classes from grades 6 to 12 to grades 3 to 12, beginning the 2024-25 school year.
This measure would declare that it is the public policy of the state that pupils are recommended to be fully immunized against the human papillomavirus (HPV) before admission or advancement to the eighth grade. The bill would also require, upon a pupil reaching the 6th grade, an LEA to send a notification to the pupil and their parents/guardians notifying them of this public policy and advising the pupil be fully vaccinated against HPV before entering the 8th grade.
Please reach out to anyone on our team if we can provide additional information.
Have a good weekend.
Partner | Capitol Advisors Group