California School News — June 2017
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Legislative Update: Bills Related To Graduation Dress Code, Playground Aides And Suspensions Advance

Assembly Bill 233 (Gloria, D-San Diego), which would limit school districts’ ability to establish cohesive dress codes for graduation ceremonies, has passed the Senate Education Committee and now heads to the Judiciary Committee. CSBA has an “oppose unless amended” position on this bill and is working with the author on amendments to more clearly define the types of attire or adornments which the bill would apply to. As written, the bill would have a much broader impact than originally intended by prohibiting school districts from developing dress codes related to “cultural” adornments; amendments proposed by CSBA would ensure that the bill allows students to wear tribal or religious adornments during graduation ceremonies, per the intent of the author.

AB 1550 (Limón, D-Santa Barbara), a CSBA-supported bill that allows small districts to enter joint powers agreements for bond sales, has passed the Senate Education Committee and now heads to the Governance and Finance Committee.

AB 1478 (Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles), the charter school transparency bill requiring Brown Act compliance and other transparency measures, and Senate Bill 806 (Glazer, D-Orinda), related to for-profit charters, are both two-year bills and will not advance in 2017.

The key remaining 2017 bill related to charter schools is the CSBAopposed SB 765 (Wiener, D-San Francisco), which pertains to the sale and lease of surplus district property by charters. Recent amendments have addressed some issues in the bill, but several concerns remain as it awaits hearing in the Assembly Education Committee. The bill would reinstate a provision in current law that grants charter schools the right of first refusal to acquire surplus district property, thereby limiting the ability of districts to improve student services using such properties.

CSBA has also adopted an oppose position on AB 670 (Thurmond, D-Richmond), which would include part-time aides working on school campus playgrounds in the local bargaining unit. This would put additional strain on tight district budgets by entitling these employees to benefits typically afforded to classified employees and limiting the flexibility school administrators have regarding these positions. The bill will be heard by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee in July.

A bill related to willful defiance, SB 607 (Skinner, D-Berkeley), would make permanent a current law preventing local education agencies from using willful defiance as a reason to expel students in grades K-5, and would prohibit the use of this category when suspending or expelling students in grades 6-12 for five years. The bill has passed the Assembly Education Committee and was sent to the Assembly floor. CSBA previously had a position of “support if amended” on the bill, seeking to expand the prohibition of using willful defiance to K-8, but still allowing it as an option when considering suspension or expulsion of high school students. The bill has not been amended to address the concerns of LEAs; CSBA now opposes the bill.

The Assembly and Senate Education Committees are set to hear several key bills on July 12: SB 527 (Galgiani, D-Stockton), CSBA’s sponsored bill to add a statutory cost-of-living adjustment for hometo- school transportation; SB 328 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge), the CSBA-opposed school start time bill; and SB 751 (Hill & Glazer), CSBA’s sponsored reserve cap bill. Visit www.csba.org/positions to view all 2017–18 legislation that CSBA is monitoring and has taken positions on.
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