The Latest on California Legislation

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by Martha Zaragoza-Díaz, CABE Lobbyist

Vacation for Legislators Ending Soon!

Legislators will be returning from their summer vacation on August 15, 2015.  This is an opportunity for legislators to focus on work in their districts or to hold or attend special committee hearings for the purpose of learning more about a policy issue they are interested in. Legislative proposals in the fiscal committee of each house need to report bills to the Floor by August 28th. Floor sessions in each house will begin August 31st through September11th. Policy or fiscal committees may not meet for any purpose unless approval from their Rules Committee has been given to hold a “committee hearing off the floor”. During the last week of session legislative proposals are significantly changed, especially in the wee hours of the day. So let’s see if any education “surprises” occur! Legislative proposals approved on the Floor of the Assembly or Senate then proceed to the Governor for action; signing or vetoing a bill.

The Governor has until October 11, 2015 to decide what action he is going to take on a bill.

CABE’s Sponsored Bill –SB 750 Mendoza-Closer to the Governor’s Desk

I am happy to report that CABE’s/Californians Together sponsored bill SB 750 is on the Assembly Floor awaiting approval of the Assembly Members. The bill was introduced by Senator Tony Mendoza in order to address several technical issues identified by the California Department of Education upon their implementation of the Long Term English Learner statutes and to update the criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy so that the criteria reflects what is currently happening as reflected by the new California Assessment of Student Performance.

SB 750 modifies the definitions of a “long-term English learner” (LTEL) and “an English learner at risk of becoming a long-term English learner” (ARLTEL), expands the notification requirements of the California Department of Education (CDE) regarding these students, and authorizes the use of alternate assessments for the purpose of the State Seal of Biliteracy.

Upon approval of the Assembly, SB 750 then proceeds to the Governor’s desk for action.

Stay tuned for further information!

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