September 13 marked the end of the first year of the two-year legislative session, in which an unprecedented 10 CFT-sponsored or co-sponsored bills passed the Legislature and made it to the governor’s desk for his consideration. The governor had until October 13 to sign or veto those bills that made it to his desk.
The governor signed eight of CFT’s bills and vetoed two. Six became two-year bills. In addition, the CFT succeeded in securing the enactment of Senate Concurrent Resolution 29, which recognizes the anniversary of the commencement of the UC-AFT representation of librarians.
The Legislature will be on interim recess until January 6, 2020.
Below is a summary of the CFT’s sponsored and co-sponsored bills and their status at the end of the first year of the two-year session.
Increase base funding for K-12 schools
Assembly Bill 39 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance) would express the intent of the legislature to establish new, aspirational base grants to school districts beginning in 2020-21 to amounts equal to the national average per pupil funding. In addition, the bill would express the intent of the legislature to apply a cost-of-living adjustment above the cost-of-living adjustment in current law. This increase in the base grant would in turn increase the supplemental and concentration grant amounts proportionally per current law.
AB 39 was eligible for a Senate Floor vote by the deadline of September 13, 2019 but was not heard at the request of the author. The bill now becomes a two-year bill.
Early childhood education: Funding, access and standards
Assembly Bill 123 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) would expand access to full-day, full-year preschool for all 4-year-olds who live in a neighborhood where there are more than 70 percent of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. In addition, AB 123 would ensure that all 3-year-olds living in poverty receive two years of high-quality preschool. AB 123 also would raise reimbursement rates with the intent that early childhood educators would see increases in their salaries. In addition, AB 123 would require all new early childhood lead teachers to have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field by 2028. However, lead teachers employed prior to the enactment of the bill would be exempt from this requirement. Finally, AB 123 would provide scholarships for current lead teachers and paraprofessionals who choose to earn degrees in majors related to early childhood education and in turn earn higher salaries.
AB 123 was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee, but the hearing was canceled at the request of the author. The bill now becomes a two-year bill (significant amendments are expected).
Early childhood education reimbursement rates
Assembly Bill 125 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) would require the state superintendent to implement a reimbursement system plan that establishes reasonable standards and assigned reimbursement rates that would vary with additional factors, including a quality adjustment factor to address the cost of staffing ratios. AB 125 would also require the reimbursement system plan, including methodology, standards, county rate targets and total statewide funding amounts necessary to reach annual rate targets for all agencies to be annually submitted to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on or before November 10th. The bill would require the plan to include a formula for annually adjusting reimbursement rates.
AB 125 was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee at the request of the author and now becomes a two-year bill.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for part-time faculty
Assembly Bill 463 (Cervantes, D-Riverside) factors in part-time faculty preparation time and office hours in the calculation for qualifying for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program by applying a 3.35 multiplier to class time. In addition, AB 463 requires the chancellor’s office to develop and provide to community college districts materials designed to increase awareness of the PSLF Program among community college faculty members. AB 463 also requires the governing board of a community college district to annually provide this information to faculty members. Finally, AB 463 requires a community college district to annually provide a faculty member who is enrolled in the PSLF Program with notice of renewal and a copy of the employment certification form with the employer portion of the form already completed.
AB 463 was signed into law by the governor on October 4, 2019.
Paid maternity leave for K-14 certificated and classified employees
Assembly Bill 500 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) would have required K-14 districts to provide certificated and classified employees a paid leave when an employee is required to be absent for a length of time to be determined by the employee and their doctor for a minimum of six weeks for pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and recovery.
AB 500 was vetoed by the governor on October 13, 2019. The governor’s veto message can be found here.
Community college apprenticeship programs
Assembly Bill 595 (Medina, D-Riverside) authorizes a student enrolled in a community college class or classes pursuant to an apprenticeship training program or an internship training program who does not have a social security number to use an individual tax identification number for purposes of any background check required by the class or program.
AB 595 was signed into law by the governor on August 30, 2019.
Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE)
Assembly Bill 843 (Rodriguez, D-Pomona) would repeal loan assumption benefits that rely on API rankings, and instead provide additional loan assumption benefits of an unspecified amount to a person who holds a credential appropriate for teaching and who teaches mathematics, science, special education, bilingual education or career technical education in a school district that is determined to be in need of differentiated assistance beginning in 2020-21.
AB 843 was scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee, but the hearing was canceled at the request of the author. The bill now becomes a two-year bill.
Increase allowable community college part-time faculty load to 85 percent
Assembly Bill 897 (Medina, D-Riverside) would raise the community college part-time faculty workload maximum from 67 percent to 85 percent. AB 897 would also clean up part-time faculty job security language that is being misinterpreted by some districts.
AB 897 remained in the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File and now becomes a two-year bill.
Community colleges: Student equity plans
Assembly Bill 943 (Chiu, D-San Francisco) authorizes the use of Student Equity and Achievement Program funding for emergency student financial assistance to help students overcome unforeseen financial challenges that directly impact the student’s ability to persist in their course of study, such as the need for food or shelter.
AB 943 was signed into law by the governor on October 4, 2019.
Community college districts: Governing board elections
Assembly Bill 1150 (Gloria, D-San Diego) requires a candidate for election as a member of the governing board of the San Diego Community College District and the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District to submit at least 40 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
AB 1150 was signed into law by the governor on October 8, 2019.
Mandated child abuse employee training
Assembly Bill 1153 (Wicks, D-Oakland) would have established the Child Abuse Reporting Training Act of 2020 which would have required each governing board of a community college to 1.) annually train, using an online training module, employees and administrators of the district who are mandated reporters on the reporting requirements; 2.) develop a process for those persons to provide proof of completing this training within six weeks of each academic year or within six weeks of that person’s employment; and 3.) develop a process to identify students who are minors enrolled in classes at a community college district and provide that information only to faculty members and other employees who are mandated reporters.
AB 1153 was vetoed by the governor on October 13, 2019. The governor’s veto message can be found here.
Classified employee probationary period
Assembly Bill 1353 (Wicks, D-Oakland) shortens the length of the probationary period for classified employees in non-merit school districts from one year to not exceeding six months or 130 days of paid service, whichever is longer. In addition, AB 1353 provides that, to the extent these provisions conflict with a collective bargaining agreement entered into before January 1, 2020, these provisions would not apply until the expiration or renewal of that agreement.
AB 1353 was signed into law by the governor on October 7, 2019.
Charter school authorization
Assembly Bill 1505 (O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) addresses a number of charter school policy issues, including the following: 1) allowing charter school authorizers to consider how the charter school would financially impact the community and neighborhood schools; 2) creating a limited appeal process to the State Board which would only hear appeals for a charter school that can show the local education agency abused its discretion; 3) requiring charter school authorizers to use the state accountability system as a basis for charter school renewal and allowing authorizers to close a charter school for fiscal and governance concerns or if the charter school is not serving all student populations; 4) ensuring that every teacher at a charter school has the appropriate credential for their assignment and a state level background check; and 5) establishing a two-year moratorium on non-classroom based charter schools, with a commitment to reform the sector in the next two years.
AB 1505 was signed into law by the governor on October 3, 2019.
Charter school location
Assembly Bill 1507 (Smith, D-Santa Clarita) closes a loophole in current law which allows a charter school to operate outside of its authorizing district. The bill ends the practice of local school districts being forced to accept a charter school in their district if it was authorized by a different school district.
AB 1507 was signed into law by the governor on October 3, 2019.
Charter school transparency
Senate Bill 126 (Leyva, D-Chino) requires charter schools to adhere to the Ralph M. Brown or Bagley Keene Open Meetings Act, the California Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act.
SB 126 was signed into law by the governor on March 5, 2019.
Charter school moratorium
Senate Bill 756 (Durazo, D-Los Angeles) would express the intent of the legislature to enact legislation containing specified policies relating to charter schools and would prohibit the approval of a petition for the establishment of a new charter school until January 1, 2022. The bill would require by January 1, 2022 the Legislative Analyst’s Office to publicly issue a report that answers specified questions relating to charter schools, the effects of the moratorium and the projected effects of those specified policies if enacted by the legislature.
SB 756 was not heard on the Senate Floor and was ordered to the Inactive File at the request of the author on May 29, 2019. The bill now becomes a two-year bill.
UC-AFT librarians recognition
Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 29 (Leyva, D-Chino) recognizes June 27, 2019, as the anniversary of the commencement of the University Council-AFT representation of librarians.
SCR 29 passed off of the Assembly Floor with a 77-0-2 vote on August 12, 2019. Subsequently, the resolution passed off of the Senate Floor with a 39-0-1 concurrence vote on August 22, 2019 and was enacted.