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What Happened to That Bill? A Report After the House of Origin Deadline for the 2021-22 Session

May 26 2022

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Despite a coordinated effort by opponents, three “charter killer” bills are moving forward as of today’s legislative deadline for policy bills to pass out of the house of origin. 

Legislation moving through the legislative process needed to pass off the floor of the house (Assembly or Senate) where the bill was originally introduced in order to remain alive in this session. This was a critical deadline, with only three months left of regular legislative activity left before the final legislative recess, as well as a November 30 “Sine Die” adjournment looming.

Of specific note are three “charter-killer” bills AB 2214 (Garcia, C) AB 2484 (Bonta) and SB 1343 (Leyva).  CSDC has tagged these three measures as among the top threats to charter schools in the 2021-22 legislative session. Thank you to everyone who engaged in our advocacy campaigns to try and stop these bills. Our results to date are mixed but we’re hearing clearly that our efforts are being noticed and our voices are being heard.

CSDC is following more than 150 bills and below we’ve listed those we’re tracking most closely.

 

Assembly Bills

AB 58 Salas (D-Bakersfield) Pupil health: suicide prevention policies and training.
Last Amended: 1/13/2022
Location: Senate Rules Committee
CSDC Position:  Watch

Summary: Would require charter schools and other LEAs, on or before June 1, 2024, to review and update their policy on pupil suicide prevention, and revise its their training materials, to incorporate best practices identified a model policy developed by the California Department of Education (CDE).

AB 452 Friedman (D-Glendale) Pupil safety: parental notification: firearm safety laws.
Last Amended: 1/3/2022
Location: Senate Education Committee (double referred to Senate Judiciary Committee)
CSDC:  Watch

Summary: Would require charter schools and other LEAs to inform parents and guardians of pupils of California’s child access prevention laws and laws relating to the safe storage of firearms several times a year.

AB 544 O'Donnell (D-Long Beach) School property: location and facility details.
Last Amended: 4/5/2021
Location: Senate Education Committee (double referred to Senate Judiciary Committee)
CSDC: Watch

Summary: Would, commencing with the 2023–24 school year, require charter schools and other LEAs to provide, and to update annually as needed, certain information to CDE for each school facility, schoolsite, or school property owned or leased by the local educational agency. The bill would require the charter schools and other LEAs to report to CDE, when a natural disaster occurs, the status of school facilities during an emergency caused by the natural disaster.

AB 558 Nazarian (D-North Hollywood) School meals: Child Nutrition Act of 2022.
Last Amended: 5/10/2022
Location: Senate Education Committee
CSDC: Watch

Summary: Would require CDE to develop, and to post on its internet website by July 1, 2023, guidance for local educational agencies participating in the federal School Breakfast Program that maintain kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 6, on how to serve eligible nonschoolaged children breakfast or a morning snack at a local educational agency schoolsite.

AB 762 Lee – San Jose (D) Hazardous emissions and substances: schoolsites: private and charter schools.
Last Amended: 6/29/2021
Location: Senate
CSDC: Oppose

Summary: This bill would prohibit a lead agency from certifying an environmental impact
report or approving a negative declaration for a project involving the purchase of a schoolsite or the construction of a new elementary or secondary school by a charter school or a private school, unless specified conditions are met.

This bill is currently stalled because a similar bill, AB 2214 is moving through the legislature instead.

AB 1652 Medina - Riverside (D) County boards of education: members: charter school employees
Last Amended: 3/28/22
Location: Assembly
CSDC: Oppose

Summary: This bill would make any charter school employee or executive director of a charter school ineligible to be a member of the county board of education in the county where their employing school is located. Exempts members elected or appointed before January 1, 2023. [Do we want to note that this bill presumably is attempting to preclude charter school advocates from supporting candidates to serve on county boards of education, alleging that they have a conflict-of-interest given county boards’ vital role in the charter appeal process?]

AB 2214 Garcia, C – Bell Gardens (D) Charter School Site Acquisitions
Last Amended: 4/25/22
Location: Pending in the Senate
CSDC: Oppose

Summary: This bill would place additional school-site acquisition requirements on charter schools, including siting requirements for potential hazardous substances, hazardous emissions or hazardous waste and requiring city or county facility approval. CSDC has labeled this a “charter killer” bill because we believe it will make it difficult, if not impossible for charter schools to acquire facilities in many areas of the state because it is nearly impossible to navigate the proposed restrictions quickly enough to acquire desirable commercial properties in a competitive environment while also navigating the burdensome pre-review processes required by this bill.

AB 2484 Bonta –Alameda (D) Charter schools: school closures: apportionments: facility ownership.
Last Amended: 5/3/22
Location: Senate
CSDC: Oppose

Summary: This measure establishes new requirements when a charter school that has received lease aid funding closes, including imposing restrictions on the sale and use of the leased property, requiring return of lease aid to the state in arrears under some circumstances, and designating the school district in which the charter school is located as the designated entity for disposing of net assets. Further this bill imposes other, mandated, non-reimbursable duties on charter schools. CSDC has labeled this bill a “charter killer” bill because it would severely restrict the use of leased facilities when schools close, may require return of large sums to the state, thereby making it very difficult for charter schools to acquire and lease facilities using state lease aid.

 

Senate Bills:

SB 579 (Allen D) Education finance: local control funding formula “hold harmless”.
Last Amended: 1/20/2022
Location: Assembly Education Committee
CSDC: Support

Summary: This bill would, for the 2021-22 (current) year, bases ADA on the greater of actual (2021-22) or 2019-20 data for all LEAs, including charter schools, and for 2022-23, the bill bases ADA on the greater of 2019-20, 2021-22, or (actual) 2022-23, for all LEAs, including charter schools. CSDC notes that the Governor’s May Revision proposes similar provisions.

SB 593 (Glazer D) School accountability: independent study, educational enrichment activities, oversight, and audit requirements.
Last Amended: 5/20/2021
Location: Assembly Education Committee
CSDC: Watch

Summary: This bill would require the Controller to also consult with the California Charter Schools Association and the Charter Schools Development Center to recommend the statements and other information to be included in the audit reports filed with the state by local educational agencies, and to propose the content of the Audit Guide regulations that govern how auditors conduct audits of charter schools and other local education agencies.

SB 830 (Portantino D) Education finance: enrollment-based funding.
Last Amended: 5/19/2022
Location: Pending in the Assembly
CSDC: Support

Summary: This bill would, starting in the 2022-23 school year, allow for the use of enrollment of average daily attendance (ADA), whichever is greater, to compute LCFF funding to local school districts and charter schools.

SB 878 (Skinner D) School transportation.
Last Amended: 4/18/2022
Location: Pending in the Senate
CSDC: Watch

Summary: This bill would require the governing board or body of a school district, county office of education, entity providing services under a school transportation joint powers agreement, or regional occupational center or program, beginning in the 2023–24 school year, to offer to transport all pupils to and from their neighborhood school. The measure would also provide funding for these services. The bill explicitly excludes charter schools from the requirement and the ability to receive funding.

SB 955 Leyva (D) Pupil attendance: excused absences: civic or political events.
Current Text: Introduced: 2/9/2022
Location: Pending in the Assembly
CSDC: Watch

Summary: This bill would include as another type of required excused absence an absence
that is for the purpose of a middle school or high school pupil participating in a civic or political event. The bill would require a middle school or high school pupil who is absent from school to engage in a civic or political event to be excused for only one schoolday-long absence per school year.

SB 1343 Leyva (D) Public employees’ retirement: charter schools.
Last Amended: 4/26/22
Location: Pending in the Assembly
CSDC: Oppose

Summary: This bill requires all charter schools authorized on for after January 1, 2023 to participate in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). This bill also authorizes county offices of education requisition up to three months of advance payments to CalSTRS and CalPERS for charter schools in their geographical boundaries when a charter’s education funding dollars are disbursed from the state. CSDC has deemed this a “charter killer” bill because of the huge and increasing costs of participating in the public retirement systems and due to the negative impact that it could have on charter schools’ cash flow.