The California Legislature took emergency action yesterday and passed Senate Bill 117 to address several of the issues confronting schools and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. SB 17 and two other emergency bills passed by the Legislature will take effect immediately.
The CFT will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates from the California Legislature.
SENATE BILL 117 – Key bill for PreK-12 schools
Senate Bill 117 provides guidance for California schools in numerous ways.
- Provides full Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for schools even if they are closed due to Coronavirus with the stated intent to ensure that employees and contractors are compensated and paid during the time that a school is closed due to the Coronavirus.
- Provides full ADA for After-School Education and Safety (ASES) programs that are closed due to the Coronavirus.
- Provides $100 million to school districts for the purchase of personal protective equipment, and/or pay for supplies and labor related to cleaning school sites – with a minimum of $250 per school site.
- Extends the testing window for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) by the length of time a school is closed or until the end of the testing window – whichever comes first.
- Provides a 45 day extension for schools to administer English Learner proficiency assessments.
- Extends the timeline by which schools have to develop an assessment plan to determine if a student has exceptional needs from 15 days after the referral to an additional number of days that the school is closed up until the school reopens and the regular school session reconvenes.
- Waives the required instructional days and minutes during a school closure due to the coronavirus.
State-Subsidized Childcare and Development Programs
- California State Preschool, General Childcare, CalWORKS child care and Alternative Payment Programs will have their attendance and reporting requirements waived subject to guidance from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure the continuity of payments.
- Charter schools without an independent study program or distance learning program in their approved charter school petition are not required to revise their petitions to offer these programs during Coronavirus closures.
Uniform Complaint Procedures
- Timelines for the Uniform Complaint Procedures are extended by the length of the school’s closure due to COVID-19.
SENATE BILL 89 – Financial assistance for individuals, small business
SB 89 provides $500 million immediately, and up to $1 billion, to assist individuals, non-profits and small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
ACR 189 – Recess for Legislature
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 189 enacts a joint recess for the California Legislature beginning on March 20 and ending on April 13.