BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

           AB 1381
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           (Without Reference to File)
          AB 1381 (N??ez)
          As Amended August 28, 2005
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |     |(January 30,    |SENATE: |23-14|(August 28,    |
          |           |     |2006)           |        |     |2006)          |
               (vote not relevant)

          Original Committee Reference:    ED.
           SUMMARY  :  Enacts the Gloria Romero Educational Reform Act of  
          2006. Revises the governance and operation of the Los Angeles  
          Unified School District (LAUSD) in three major areas: broadens  
          the LAUSD Superintendent's authority; limits the authority and  
          responsibilities of the LAUSD governing board ("the Board"); and  
          establishes a council of mayors with specified roles and  
          responsibilities.  Establishes the Los Angeles Mayor's Community  
          Partnership for School Excellence to administer, under the  
          direction of the mayor, a demonstration project to improve pupil  
          performance among the lowest performing schools.  

           The Senate amendments  delete the Assembly version of this bill,  
          and instead:

          LAUSD superintendent and board responsibilities

          1)Expand the scope of authority of the LAUSD superintendent over  
            a number of functions previously under the purview of the  
            Board.  The superintendent has the authority to - 

             a)   Directly request approval from the State Board of  
               Education to waive compliance with provisions of the  
               Education Code and regulation;

             b)   Make employment decisions, including appointment or  
               dismissal of a school principal.  The superintendent may,  
               but is not required to, consult with community leaders,  
               schoolsite personnel and parents of the school to which a  
               principal is assigned. The superintendent must consult with  


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               the mayors and city council members representing territory  
               within the attendance boundary of the school.  Principal  
               actions require ratification by the LAUSD governing board; 

             c)   Consult with local government officials in assigning or  
               reassigning a local district superintendent.  Authorizes  
               specified coalitions of multiple cities to ratify of local  
               district superintendents;

             d)   Defines consult to mean, at a minimum, to suggest  
               qualifications for positions, recommend individuals for a  
               position, and provide opinion and feedback regarding  
               finalists being considered for a position; and,

             e)   Manage all LAUSD personnel.

             f)   Make all decisions regarding the fiscal operations of  
               LAUSD, including negotiating and executing contracts,  
               except for collective bargaining agreements.  The  
               superintendent is required to report all contracts to the  
               board and to give access to all contracts and contracting  
               processes to the Inspector General.  Requires the Inspector  
               General to report on any findings arising from the review.   
               The superintendent must provide public notice of any  
               contract in excess of $250,000 at least 45 days before  
               execution of the contract, except in the case of urgency  
               when at least 30 days notice is required.

             g)   Develop and manage a facilities program for the  
               district.  Eminent domain proceedings, however, are  
               required to have the approval of the board; the board also  
               retains decision-making power related to the placement of  
               school facilities bond measures on the ballot and related  
               to levying development fees for school facilities; the  
               board is not deprived of the authority to adopt or enter  
               into project stabilization agreements or project labor  
               agreements for district construction or facilities  
               projects, which are within the sole discretion of the  

          2)Authorize the board to employ a pool of staff, subject to  
            budget approval, and specifies that no individual board member  
            may employ individual staff.


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          3)Require the superintendent to establish an Office of Parent  
            Communication to assure that LAUSD complies with the processes  
            for receiving and addressing parent complaints, requirements  
            regarding the provision of information to parents, and the  
            rights of parents to participate in the education of their  

          4)Require the superintendent to annually prepare a detailed  
            budget for LAUSD and present it to the Council of Mayors (see  
            below) prior to consideration and adoption by the board.  The  
            Council may recommend, and the board may only approve, changes  
            to the budget at a level no more detailed than the fund,  
            resource code, and major object code level.

          5)Provide that the LAUSD Superintendent and Board, when  
            selecting textbooks, curriculum and other instructional  
            materials shall ensure all of the following:
             a)   Parents, teachers and other certificated staff have an  
               authentic and central role;
             b)   The majority of the advisory curriculum and textbook  
               selection committee are classroom teachers;
             c)   Basic K-8 instructional materials purchased with state  
               categorical funds for instructional materials are state  
               board-adopted materials;
             d)   The grade 9-12 instructional materials adopted by the  
               LAUSD Board are aligned to State Content Standards; and,
             e)   There is a wide selection of supplemental instructional  
               materials consistent with the needs of the pupils and  
               available at school sites.
          6)Provide that the LAUSD governing Board retains existing  
            authority to establish graduation standards.

          Council of Mayors
          7)Create a council of mayors comprised of the mayors of cities  
            and county supervisors with territory within LAUSD and grants  


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            that council specific authority in several functional areas of  
            the school district. Provides that a city or member of the  
            county board of supervisors may elect not to participate in  
            the council.

          8)Provide that each member of the council has a vote on the  
            council that is weighted by the proportional share of LAUSD  
            residents within the boundary of the city or unincorporated  
            area represented by the member.  

          9)Require the council of mayors, in exercising its duties, to  
            act by 90% of the weighted vote of the total membership of the  

          10)The Council of Mayors does all of the following:

             a)   Reviews and comments on the annual budget proposed by  
               the superintendent, prior to consideration and adoption by  
               the board;

             b)   Advises the superintendent regarding the facilities  
               program, including a process for completing joint-use  
               projects, providing local government input in the  
               development of school construction strategic plans, and  
               determining the location of school sites;

             c)   Participates, through its representative, in all aspects  
               of the selection of the LAUSD superintendent. Ratifies the  
               appointment, removal and terms of employment of the  
               superintendent; and,

             d)   Reviews and comments annually on the School  
               Accountability Report Cards of the schools in LAUSD.

          11)Require, by March 1, 2007, the council of mayors and the  
            district superintendent to enter into memoranda of  
            understanding to establish each of the following:

             a)   An efficient and effective process to ensure that the  
               LAUSD and each city or county have every opportunity to  
               consult and agree upon joint-use projects between the  
               district and each city or county to permit youth, children,  
               and families to access and use school resources at times  
               other than during the regular schooldays;


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             b)   An efficient and effective process to ensure that each  
               city or county supervisorial district in which a new school  
               is proposed to be constructed by the LAUSD has the  
               opportunity to provide feedback to the district  
               superintendent and to propose alternative sites or modified  
               construction options, without unreasonably delaying the  
               completion and opening of a newly constructed school;

             c)   An efficient and effective process for the council of  
               mayors and the LAUSD to jointly conduct and complete, by  
               January 1, 2008, the first periodic comprehensive  
               identification, mapping, and assessment of available  
               services for children and youth in each school community,  
               and to jointly consult about creating and maintaining new  
               community services for children and youth to fill gaps  
               identified in the assessment, in order to support the  
               education and increased achievement of pupils in each  
               school community; and,

             d)   Requires the Chief of the Los Angeles School Police  
               Department and the chief or sheriff of a law enforcement  
               agency serving each city and unincorporated county area  
               within the LAUSD to develop and coordinate efficient and  
               effective protocols for mutual cooperation, timely sharing  
               of information, ongoing communication, and memorandums of  
               agreement related to the responsibility of each agency.

          12)Authorize the council of mayors to create a committee of  
            parents to provide input on the selection of a superintendent  
            and other education related matters considered by the council  
            of mayors.

          Community Partnership for School Excellence

          13)Establish the Los Angeles Mayor's Community Partnership for  
            School Excellence to administer, under the direction of the  
            Mayor, a demonstration project to improve pupil performance  
            among the lowest performing schools.  The partnership has sole  
            operational authority over three clusters of low performing  
            schools, selected by the Mayor and the superintendent, with  
            the following provisions:

             a)   Authorizes the community partnership, directed by the  


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               Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, to request that the Los  
               Angeles County Superintendent of Schools authorize the  
               demonstration project and specifies that the demonstration  
               project shall not proceed without that authorization;

             b)   Requires the county superintendent to act upon a request  
               within 20 days of his or her receipt, to grant a request  
               for authorization unless the county superintendent  
               determines that one or more of the following conditions  

               i)     The mayor and the partnership are demonstrably  
                 incapable, and not likely to gain the capability before  
                 the project begins, of implementing a sound educational  
                 program at the schools in the demonstration project;

               ii)    The mayor and the partnership have an irremediable  
                 and significant conflict of interest in undertaking the  
                 demonstration project involving the partners; and,

               iii)   The mayor and the partnership are demonstrably  
                 incapable, and not likely to gain the capability before  
                 the project begins, of providing sufficient financial  
                 oversight to ensure that the schools in the project are  
                 financially capable of sustaining a sound educational  
                 program and other operational services.
             c)   Authorizes the county superintendent, after completing a  
               required progress report to withdraw authorization of the  
               demonstration project by concluding and certifying that the  
               progress report demonstrates that one or more of the  
               conditions noted above exist;

             d)   Provides that the partnership includes LAUSD, parent and  
               community leaders and organizations, school personnel and  
               employee organizations of the schools within the clusters.   
               Each cluster must include a high school ranked in decile 1  
               or 2 on the state's Academic Performance Index;  

             e)   Authorizes the partnership to seek waivers from the  
               state board and authority to operate the schools in the  
               demonstration project with maximum flexibility and  


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             f)   Requires schools in the partnership to continue to be  
               funded with existing resources at levels appropriate for  
               the pupils in the cluster, and from private donations; and,

             g)   Specifies the purposes and goals of the demonstration  
               project which are generally to improve pupil learning and  
               reduce drop-out rates, consistent with the goals of bill as  
               stated in the intent and goals for the bill (see item 19,  

          14)Transfer the authority of the LAUSD Board and Superintendent  
            over the cluster schools to the Partnership except as  
            otherwise provided by law and with the exception that the  
            partnership will not have the authority to negotiate  
            collective bargaining agreements.
          15)Specify that LAUSD participation in the partnership shall be  
            through a full-time district employee appointed by the  
            district superintendent for each of the three clusters.   
            Specifies representation required from parent organizations,  
            community leaders, teachers, classified employees and school  
            administrators for each cluster.

          16)Declare, for the purposes of meeting constitutional  
            requirements regarding the administration of the public  
            schools, that the schools included in the demonstration  
            project remain public schools and remain part of the school  

          17)Provide for the state Department of Education (SDE) to  
            contract for an evaluation of the effectiveness of the  
            programs established by this measure, to be completed by  
            January 1, 2011, with an interim report by January 1, 2008,  
            and specifies components that should be reviewed in the  

          18)State the following legislative findings and declarations:

             a)   As the largest school district in California and an  
               urban district with high numbers of pupils from  
               historically disadvantaged groups, LAUSD has unique  
               challenges and resources that require and deserve special  
               attention to ensure that all pupils are given the  
               opportunity to reach their full potential; and,


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             b)   The freedom to deviate from the strictures of generally  
               applicable education statutes and regulations while  
               maintaining the constant commitment to fairness and equity,  
               and to increase achievement among all pupils regardless of  
               background, is central to the success of quality schools in  
               California and is appropriate, as a concept, for the unique  
               circumstances of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

          19)State legislative intent that the goals of the bill include:

             a)   Significantly improved pupil learning and academic  
               achievement, as measured by the California Standards Test  
               and other valid and reliable assessments of achievement; 

             b)   Significantly improved graduation rates and reduced  
               dropout rates; 

             c)   A significant reduction in the academic achievement gap  
               between Latino, African-American, White, and Asian pupils; 

             d)   Parent satisfaction with their schools; and, 

             e)   Success of English language learner pupils in developing  
               English language proficiency and increased redesignation as  
               measured by the California English Language Development  

          20)States the expectation that the schools and administration of  
            LAUSD will ensure all of the following:

             a)   All schools are clean and safe places for pupils and  
               school staff;  each pupil has a qualified teacher; 

             b)   Each school has a principal trained as an educational  
               leader to assist in improving teaching and learning, in  
               building strong educational teams, and in promoting  
               parental involvement and community relations; 

             c)   Fiscal affairs of the schools and school district are  

             d)   Teachers and parents are full partners in the decisions  
               that affect schools; 


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             e)   The district is decentralized to reduce bureaucracy and  
               transfer resources to schools and classrooms; 

             f)   Class sizes are at or below statewide averages for the  
               corresponding grade levels; and, 

             g)   The school community is held accountable for the  
               achievement of these goals.

          21)Specify that the provisions of this bill will remain in  
            effect only until January 1, 2013, and as of that date are  
            repealed unless extended by another statute.

          22)Declare that a special law is necessary and that a general  
            law cannot be made applicable because of the unique  
            circumstances that have resulted in LAUSD facing more serious  
            challenges to the achievement of pupils and schools than most  
            other school districts.

           EXISTING LAW  authorizes the Los Angeles Unified School District  
          to create the Office of the Inspector General to investigate  
          internal cases of waste and fraud.  Current law authorizes the  
          Governing Board of any school district to request that the State  
          Board of Education waive provisions of the Education Code with  
          specified exceptions.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill transferred the authority  
          of SDE to administer the Instructional School Garden Program to  
          the California Integrated Waste Management Board, to be  
          administered in consultation with SDE, the Department of Food  
          and Agriculture, and the State Department of Health Services.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations Committee  
          analysis, the fiscal impact of this bill is as follows:

                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2006-07      2007-08       2008-09     Fund
           State mandates
           - COM support         Unknown new program or higher level   


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                                 of service

          - LAUSD/COM parent     Unknown, potentially significant  
            outreach             potentially on going

          - LAUSD/COM services   Unknown, potentially major cost one  
            assessment           by 1/1/2008 (cost pressure to the  
                                 private funds are not secured)

          - Facilities program   Unknown, potentially major costs  
                                                 (see staff comments)

          - community partnership            Estimated $360 annually   

          - community partnershipPotential mandate to LAUSD for  
            administration       support of partnership schools

          SDE assessment oversight        $125 annually through 1/1/2011    
                  assessment contract          $200        $400  $400    

           COMMENTS  :  Proponents of this measure contend that student  
          achievement can be improved and the dropout rate can be reduced  
          in LAUSD only if it is recognized that the current structure of  
          the district is not working.  This bill will:

          1)Promote the district superintendent to chief executive  

          2)Empower teachers, principals and parents.

          3)Create a council of mayors to bring together local government  
            and the schools.

          4)Rescue some of the lowest-performing schools in the district  
            through the Community Partnership for School Excellence.


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          Individuals representing various groups with an interest in this  
          legislation have raised questions about several provisions of  
          the bill.  The operation of some provisions of this bill may be  
          constrained or invalidated by requirements of the state  
          constitution, depending on the interpretation of how those  
          sections of the constitution may apply:

          1)The state constitution provides that only entities that are  
            part of the system of public schools, such as school districts  
            and county offices of education, may operate and administer  
            the schools.  AB 1381 deems the council of mayors and the  
            Community Partnership for School Excellence to function as  
            local education agencies authorized to maintain the public  
            schools for the purposes of this constitutional requirement.   
            There are other provisions included in the bill, such as  
            requiring the county superintendent to authorize the  
            partnership, that are also intended to assure that the council  
            of mayors and the partnership operate within the bounds of  
            this provision of the constitution.

          2)City charters and amendments to those charters are required to  
            be adopted by a majority vote of the electorate.  This bill  
            broadens the responsibilities of the cities with territory  
            within the boundaries of the LAUSD to include specific review,  
            advisory and ratification responsibilities related to the  
            administration of the public schools in the district.   If  
            these changes are viewed as an expansion of city  
            responsibilities as authorized by a charter then a charter  
            amendment may be required to conform it to the expanded city  
            role required by the bill. 

          3)Statutes are constitutionally required to be of general  
                                                                                   applicability, unless there are unique circumstances requiring  
            legislative action that cannot be made generally applicable.   
            This bill characterizes LAUSD as unique for the purposes of  
            this governance change because it faces "more serious  
            challenges to the achievement of pupils and schools than most  
            other school districts."  The question raised is whether or  
            not this criteria is sufficiently unique to LAUSD.

          Other concerns include the following:

          1)Does this bill establish a precedent for state authorization  


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            of the mayoral role in the administration and operation of the  
            public schools, thereby putting the state in the position of  
            approving proposals for mayoral participation in the public  
            schools of many other cities in California?

          2)Should the district superintendent have the sole discretion  
            over siting schools, even with the input from local government  
            and communities required by this bill?

          3)Should the district superintendent have sole authority of  
            contracting for facilities construction in a district with a  
            $19 billion facilities program?

          4)Does the LAUSD inspector general have sufficient authority to  
            provide investigatory safeguards over the revised governance  
            structure envisioned by this bill?  Historically, the  
            administration and operation of the schools were separated  
            from local government, in part because co-mingling these  
            governmental operations provided mixed incentives and  
            conflicting priorities.  

          This bill was substantially amended in the Senate and the  
          Assembly-approved provisions of this bill were deleted.  This  
          bill, as amended in the Senate, is inconsistent with Assembly  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Michael Ricketts / ED. / (916) 319-2087  

          FN: 0017542