The 2015-16 Legislative Session comes to a close

Martha Zaragoza-Díaz, CABE Lobbyist



by Martha Zaragoza-Díaz, CABE Lobbyist


The California Legislature has adjourned for the year. Approximately 5000 proposed bills, resolutions and constitutional amendments were introduced in the two-year legislative session; 2015-16. As is always the case, a flurry of action took place on the last day of session.

The Legislature passed bills on numerous issues such as AB 1066 (Gonzalez) that proposes offering California farmworkers specified overtime pay and SB 654 (Hannah-Beth Jackson) that would allow parents at companies with 20 or more employees to take up to six weeks off (current law applies to businesses with 50 employees and up).

Education bills that have passed the Legislature include, but are not limited, to the following:

AB 491 (Gonzalez) English Learners: Identification: Parent Notice. Amended August 19, 2016.

A Middle Eastern familyThis bill would require the notice of assessment of a child’s English proficiency to include: 1) specified information on the home language survey and the ability for a parent to dispute a district’s determination of their child’s primary language and 2) whether a child is a long-term English learner or is an English learner at risk of becoming a long-term English learner.

 AB 2290 (Santiago) Pupil Instruction: World Languages: Revision of Content Standards. Amended August 19, 2016.

multilingual concept

This bill would require the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in consultation with the Instructional Quality Commission, to recommend revisions to the World Language Content Standards to be adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) on or before March 31, 2019. If the State Board makes modified revisions, the SBE shall adopt the modified revisions before May 31, 2019. The SBE shall consider adopting curriculum framework and evaluation criteria for instructional materials that are aligned to the revised World Language Content Standards on or before September 30, 2020. The SBE may also adopt instructional materials for kindergarten and grades 1 to 8, inclusive that are aligned to the revised World Language Content Standards.

teaching culture 1.jpgAB 2353 (McCarty) Teacher Professional Development: Culturally Responsive Instruction. Amended August 16, 2016.

This bill would require the department to identify professional development programs in culturally responsive instruction and provide links to those programs on its Internet Web site. The bill would state legislative findings and declarations relating to the importance of culturally responsive teaching.                                                           

Beautiful family portraitAB 2393 (Campos). School Employees: Parental Leave. Amended August 17, 2016.

This bill would provide public school employees with up to twelve weeks of paid parental leave for both new mothers and fathers, by allowing them to use “differential pay” during parental leave.

AB 2548 (Weber) School Accountability: Statewide Accountability System. Amended August 19, 2016.

kids in a primary school classroomThis bill would, for purposes of a statewide accountability system and to ensure alignment and fidelity with the state priorities and federal law, require the state board to adopt a statewide accountability system that, among other things, is a single integrated system that aligns local, state, and federal accountability requirements.

In identifying appropriate assistance for a school or local educational agency, the bill would require the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence and county superintendents of schools to analyze data aligned with all the state priorities in order to align the level of support, collaboration, and intervention to the needs of the local educational agency or individual school or schools.

The bill would require notifications of stakeholder engagement, school support and improvement activities to be translated in the top five languages identified by the California Department of Education. To the extent required by state and federal law, the information on school, school district and subgroup performance be made available in the top five languages as identified by the California Department of Education. Lastly, includes reclassification and LTEL as additional indicators along with the English language proficiency indicator.

AB 2785 (O’Donnell) Special Education: English Learners: Manual. Amended August 1, 2016.

Students Standing in Classroom.This bill would require the State Department of Education, on or before July 1, 2018, to develop a manual providing guidance to local educational agencies on identifying, assessing, supporting, and reclassifying English learners who may qualify for special education services and pupils with disabilities who may be classified as English learners, as specified, with the goal of providing guidance, for voluntary use by local educational agencies, charter schools, and the state special schools on evidence-based and promising practices for the identification, assessment, support, and reclassification of those pupils. and to promote a collaborative approach among general education teachers.

AB 2862 Public Instruction: Visual and Performing Arts: Revision of Current Standards. Amended August 19, 2016.

Elementary school art class

This bill would require the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in consultation with the Instructional Quality Commission, to recommend revisions to the visual and performing arts content standards in certain subjects to the state board, and would require the state board to adopt, reject, or modify the recommendations on or before January 31, 2019. The bill would require the Superintendent, in consultation with the Instructional Quality Commission and the state board, to select a group of experts in visual and performing arts for purposes of assisting the Superintendent in developing recommendations under the bill.

mag-15Drama-t_CA0-articleLarge-300x200_0SB 916 (Allen) Teacher Credentialing. Amended August 15, 2016.
Current law authorizes the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue single subject teaching credentials only in specific subjects. This bill would add dance and theatre to the list of authorized subjects.

SB 1072 (Mendoza) School Bus Safety: Child Safety Alert System. Amended August 19, 2016.

Yellow school bus parkedCurrent law requires the county superintendent of schools, the superintendent of a school district, or the owner or operator of a private school that provides transportation to or from a school or school activity to prepare a transportation safety plan containing procedures for school personnel to follow to ensure the safe transport of pupils, as prescribed. This bill would require that plan to include procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left unattended on a school bus, school pupil activity bus, or youth bus, and procedures and standards for designating an adult chaperone, other than the driver, to accompany pupils on a school pupil activity bus. The bill would additionally require a charter school to prepare this plan.

These and other non-education bills are on Governor’s desk waiting for him to decide whether he will sign or veto the bill. Governor Brown has until September 30, 2016 to take action on the bills on his desk.


…for a final report on education bills signed or vetoed by Governor Brown!