BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 122
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 29, 2009

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Kevin De Leon, Chair

                     AB 122 (Coto) - As Amended:  April 14, 2009 

          Policy Committee:                              EducationVote:8-1

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill authorizes a school district to establish a small  
          school including construction, located within an existing  
          elementary, middle, or comprehensive high school.  This measure  
          also sunsets this provision on January 1, 2017.  Specifically,  
          this bill:  

          1)Specifies pupil enrollment requirements for the following  
            grade levels: (a) for grades 1-5, inclusive, no fewer than 80  
            and not more than 250 pupils; (b) for grades 1-8, inclusive,  
            no fewer than 80 and not more than 450 pupils; and (c) for  
            grades 6-12, inclusive, no fewer than 80 and no more than 400  
            pupils.  

          2)Requires enrollment in the school to be open to all pupils who  
            have at least one parent or guardian who is a resident in the  
            attendance area of the school district and requires admission  
            to the school not be determined by pupil achievement, as  
            specified. 

          3)Requires the school to have a governing body consisting of  
            school staff, parents, guardians, and pupils elected by their  
            peers.  

          4)Requires a school district that establishes a small school to  
            allocate funds to the school in a manner which results in the  
            school receiving the amount of funds that each pupil would  
            generate at the pupil's prior school or the school that the  
            pupil would otherwise attend.  This measure further requires  
            funds to be subtracted for contracted or required district  
            services established in the school plan or the memorandum of  
            understanding (MOU) between the governing body of the small  








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            school and the governing board of the school district.  

          5)Requires school staff and the governing body of the small  
            school to have flexibility on how allocated funds to the  
            school district are spent and requires the small school to  
            have autonomy over budget, hiring decisions, curriculum,  
            instructional practices and working conditions (subject to a  
            negotiated collective bargaining agreement).  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)State school construction bond cost pressure, at least in the  
            tens of millions, to establish a small school program in  
            statute that is encouraged to access state new construction  
            and modernization funds, as specified. 

          2)AB 127 (Nunez), Chapter 35, Statutes of 2006, authorized  
            Proposition 1D: the Kindergarten-University Public Education  
            Facilities Bond Act of 2006 for $10.416 billion. The voters  
            passed Proposition 1D on November 7, 2006. Of the $10.416  
            billion, $7.329 billion is allocated for K-12 education  
            facilities.  Of this amount, $1.9 billion is for new  
            construction and $3.3 billion for modernization.  Proposition  
            1D also provided up to $200 million in new construction and  
            modernization funds for small high schools established  
            pursuant to AB 1465 (Chan), Chapter 894, Statutes of 2004.  As  
            of February 2009, there is approximately $500 remaining for  
            new construction and $2 billion remaining for modernization  
            projects.    
           
          SUMMARY CONTINUED  : 

          6)Requires a school district that establishes one or more small  
            schools to develop a plan for each school that includes  
            specific elements related to pupil achievement, teaching and  
            learning, school culture, leadership, budget, and the  
            decision-making process, as specified.  

          7)Requires a school district that establishes one or more small  
            schools to develop a process for interested stakeholders to  
            submit proposals for the establishment of a small school.   
            This bill also requires a school district that establishes a  
            small school to adopt regulations that includes creating small  
            schools as an academic reform strategy, as specified.  









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          8)Encourages a school district that establishes a small school  
            to do any of the following: (a) apply for state new  
            construction grants; (b) use modernization funding to  
            reconfigure existing campuses into small schools; and (c)  
            establish the small school in order to provide the small  
            school with flexibility of a charter schools while allowing it  
            to be located within the district.  
           
          COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose  .  AB 1465 (Chan), Chapter 894, Statutes of 2004,  
            established the small high school pilot  program until January  
            1, 2008, for the purpose of allocating state school new  
            construction and modernization funds to establish small  
            schools.  This statute defined a small high school as having  
            an enrollment of no more than 500 pupils and set aside $20  
            million in Proposition 55 new construction funds for this  
            purpose.  Chapter 894 also required a high school with an  
            enrollment of 1,000 that reconfigures into two or more small  
            high schools to be eligible for $5 million in modernization  
            funding, as specified.  According to OPSC, only one project  
            was approved under this program and approximately $18.9  
            million in new construction and $5 million in modernization  
            funds remain.  

            According to the author, the purpose of this bill "is to close  
            the achievement gap and to assist many more California  
            students experiencing achievement and success in our schools.   
            AB 122 points out and defines the potential of small schools  
            to meet this aim.  Many such schools, including in Los  
            Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, have proven themselves as  
            places for student success and for closing the achievement  
            gap."

           2)Non-fiscal bill  .  This bill is keyed as non-fiscal; however,  
            the committee requested this measure because of the potential  
            cost pressures related to accessing state school construction  
            funding to establish a small school.    

           3)Governance issues  .  This bill requires the small school to  
            have a governing body consisting of school staff, parents,  
            guardians, and pupils who are elected by their peers.  School  
            districts, governed by an elected board, are responsible for  
            schools located in their jurisdiction with regard to  
            academics, pupil safety, employees, etc.  Why should a small  








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            school established under this measure be allowed to have its  
            own elected governing body?  Would the governing board have  
            jurisdiction over making decisions with regard to state and  
            federal laws?  The author may wish to address these issues by  
            authorizing the small school to have an advisory body that  
            works with the elected school district governing board.      



           Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081