Legislation Notes

 

The first year of the California Legislature’s current two-year session has now been completed.  Listed below is a summary of bills assigned to CAPSO’s “primary watch list” for 2017.  The provisions contained in signed bills take effect on January 1, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

Bill Number

Author

Status

What’s it About?


Cristina Garcia

Signed

AB 10 will require a public school maintaining any combination of classes from grade 6 to grade 12, inclusive, that meets a 40% pupil poverty threshold specified in federal law to stock 50% of the school’s restrooms with feminine hygiene products, as defined. The bill would prohibit a public school from charging for any menstrual products, including feminine hygiene products, provided to pupils.

When first introduced, AB 10’s provisions applied to all public and private schools, contained no grade-level restrictions, and required the state to pay for the feminine hygiene products in all schools.  The measure was subsequently amended so as to remove state funding for private schools, but the requirement for all private schools to provide feminine hygiene products remained – regardless of whether the highest grade of instruction in a school was kindergarten, or whether the school was a males-only institution.  Private schools were later amended out of the bill’s provisions.

 

Patrick O’Donnell

Signed

AB 170 removes a provision in current law requiring that a baccalaureate degree earned for purposes of obtaining a multiple subject teaching credential or a preliminary multiple subject teaching credential be in a subject other than professional education.  The legislation opens the door to the creation of education majors in California undergraduate programs, and could make it possible for prospective teachers to complete academic coursework required for the issuance of multiple subject teaching credentials, as part of their undergraduate studies.

Notes:

  • The bill garnered strong bipartisan support, and sailed through the Legislature without opposition.
  • The measure’s author currently serves as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee.
  • If prospective multiple subject credential holders will be able to complete all required coursework as part of their undergraduate studies, teaching credential candidates can save time and money, the supply of credentialed teachers might increase, and entry-level wage pressure might be eased.

 

Richard Bloom

Signed

AB 500 will require all public school districts and private schools that maintain a section on employee interactions with pupils in their respective employee codes of conduct to do both of the following:

  1. commencing July 1, 2018, provide a written copy of the section on employee interactions with pupils in its code of conduct to the parent or guardian of each enrolled pupil at the beginning of each school year; and,
  2. commencing January 1, 2018, post the section on employee interactions with pupils in its code of conduct, or provide a link to it on its internet website, or, in the case of a public school district, on each of its schools’ internet websites.

Notes:

  • The above provisions do not apply to home schools in which parents educate their own children, exclusively.
  • Schools that do not currently maintain a website need not create one solely for the purpose of fulfilling AB 500’s requirements..
  • This bill was originally authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, who left the State Assembly following his election to the U.S. House of Representatives.  A substantially similar measure authored by Mr. Gomez was vetoed by Governor Brown last year.

 

Hannah-Beth Jackson

Signed

SB 63 extends protections to eligible employees wishing to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.  Its provisions become effective January 1, 2018.  Eligible employees are those who have:

  • Eligible employees are those who will have completed more than 12 months of service, including at least 1,250 hours of service over the previous 12-month period.
  • Employers subject to the bill’s provisions include those employing at least 20 employees within 75 miles.
  • Employers must provide eligible employees with the same or similar positions upon their return from the relevant leave.
  • Employers may not terminate eligible employees’ participation in a group health plan during such leave.

Notes:

  • If an employer employs both parents of a child on whose behalf the relevant leave is exercised, the parents’ mandated parental leave would be capped at the amount granted to an employee (i.e., to one employee) by the bill, though the parents will be permitted to take simultaneous leave.  (Thus, parents opting to exercise simultaneous leave would be entitled to take up to six weeks of unpaid leave under provisions of the bill.)
  • An employer may recover the health care premium paid for an employee subject to the bill’s provisions in cases where, for reasons other than serious health conditions, the employee fails to return from his/her leave following the period of leave to which the employee is entitled.
  • The measure’s provisions will not apply to an employee who is subject to both specified state law regarding family care and medical leave, and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

 

Steven Bradford

Signed

CAPSO provides complete information concerning SB 621 on this web page.

 

Bill Number

Author

Status

What’s it About?


Evan Low

Vetoed

AB 189 would have required the Instructional Quality Commission to develop, and the state board to adopt, reject, or modify, a model curriculum for pupils in grades 9 to 12, inclusive, in service learning, as defined, for voluntary use by educators. The bill would have required the model curriculum to incorporate evidence-based and applied instructional practices for developing service learning skills, and to identify the ways in which the model curriculum aligns with, and is supportive of, the common core state standards. 

The Governor’s veto message includes the following comments: “I believe this bill is unnecessary. The Instructional Quality Commission carefully considered the subject of service learning when it was updating the History-Social Science Framework and embedded it throughout the curriculum framework that the State Board of Education subsequently adopted.  The appendix also includes a section ‘Practice Civic Engagement: Service Learning in the History-Social Science Framework.'”

 

Monique Limón

Vetoed

AB 978 would have required an employer who receives a written request for a paper or electronic copy of the written injury prevention program from a current employee, or his or her authorized representative, to comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 business days from the date the employer receives the request. The bill would require the employer to provide the copy of the written injury prevention program free of charge, and would authorize the employer to take reasonable steps to verify the identity of a current employee or his or her authorized representative and to designate the person to whom a request is to be made.

The Governor’s veto message includes the following comments: “I support policies that promote access and transparency in order to prevent injuries and improve health and safety. This bill, however, is unnecessary and duplicative of an existing regulatory proposal that is already underway at the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. The Standards Board advisory committee process is better suited to determine how to properly implement requirements of this kind.”

 

 

Bill Number

Author

Status

What’s it About?


Adrin Nazarian

2-Year Bill

AB 34 proposes to establish the Children’s Savings Account Program, under the administration of the Scholarshare Investment Board, for the purposes of expanding access to higher education through savings. The program would require the board to establish a plan account under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as specified, for each California resident child born on or after January 1, 2018, who is a California resident at the time of birth, except for the children whose parents or legal guardians have opted out, as specified.  The state is to make a seed deposit for each account, with a greater amount of seed funding provided to children from low-income families.  The state is to also make matching contributions of up to $100 per year, and establish incentive contributions for the achievement of certain as-of-yet-unspecified criteria (good school attendance being an example).

AB 34 passed it policy committee hearing before the Assembly Higher Education Committee by a vote of 9-3-1, but was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

Chris Holden

2-Year Bill

AB 586 would, for each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2023, allow as a deduction from gross income an amount equal to the amount paid or incurred, up to $2,500, for teacher professional development expenses incurred by teachers who hold California preliminary teaching credentials and are in the process of obtaining permanent teaching credentials (i.e., “clearing” their preliminary credentials).

In its original version, the bill also proposed a tax credit, to a maximum value of $500 (for the same purpose as that referenced above).  The measure, which is authored by a prominent Democrat, received strong bipartisan support, and was passed out of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee by a vote of 9-1-0, last April, before stalling in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

Marc Levine

2-Year Bill

AB 927 proposes the creation of a private schools law enforcement grant program to be administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections. The bill would require the board to award grants to local law enforcement agencies to provide supplemental law enforcement services to private schools, and would appropriate $10,000,000 from the General Fund to the board for such purposes.

In March, 2017, the bill was passed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee, with the author’s commitment to amend the bill in a manner that positioned its provisions in the form of a grant program.  The measure was subsequently held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

 

Tony Thurmond

2-Year Bill

AB 1565 would establish a monthly salary threshold of either $3,956, or twice the minimum wage for purposes of deeming an employee exempt.  The measure was, essentially, an attempt to establish at the state level the same salary threshold that was proposed in a federal regulation promulgated by the Obama administration – one that never took effect.  The bill’s author, who serves as Chair of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, has declared his candidacy for the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Whereas AB 1565’s provisions would not change the exempt employee salary requirements specific to private school teachers, the measure would have impacted other administrative, executive, and professional personnel.  (The exempt status of private school teachers is governed by provisions found in California Labor Code Section 515.8.)

 

Ben Allen

2-Year Bill

SB 436, to be known as the “California STEM Professional Teaching Pathway Act of 2017,” proposes to recruit, train, support and retain “qualified science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals, including military veterans, as mathematics and science teachers in California.” The legislation seeks to identify professionals engaged in STEM professions, and induce them to enter the teaching corps. While possession of state teaching credentials would be required, the bill calls for the establishment of “…agreements with teacher credentialing programs to facilitate rapid achievement of teaching credentials by STEM professionals and placement of participants in high-need schools for professional preparation and subsequent employment.”

The bill was passed out of the State Senate after undergoing amendment to make its provisions subject to the enactment of an appropriation in the annual Budget Act (or another statute for its purposes).  It then stalled in the State Assembly.

 

Bill Dodd

2-Year Bill

SB 577 would authorize the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, in consultation with the California State University and the University of California, to authorize up to 5 community college districts to offer programs leading to the granting of a teachers credential . Should the Board of Governors authorize such programs, it will be responsible for developing a funding model for the support of each teacher credentialing program.

The bill was passed by the State Senate, but stalled in the Assembly.

 

Henry Stern

2-Year Bill

SB 807 proposes a tax credit with a value equal to 50 percent of the costs incurred by teachers for the purpose of clearing their preliminary teaching credentials, and who have been employed in regionally accredited California schools (public and private) for fewer than 6 years.  The bill also proposed a 50 percent reduction in the calculation of a qualified taxpayer’s gross income for purposes of calculating that individual’s state income tax liability.  Qualified taxpayers are fully-credentialed California public school teachers employed in high-poverty schools.  The tax benefit would begin in an eligible teacher’s sixth year of employment and remain in effect for an additional four consecutive years, on condition that the beneficiary continues to teach in a qualifying school.

The measure was passed by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee by a vote of 6-0-1, but was subsequently held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The CAPSO Legislation Tracker provides daily updates on pending legislation of interest to California’s private school community.

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