BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                           167 (Adams)
          
          Hearing Date:  08/27/2009           Amended: 06/17/2009
          Consultant:  Dan Troy           Policy Vote: ED 8-0
          _________________________________________________________________ 
          ____
          BILL SUMMARY:   AB 167 would exempt pupils in foster care from  
          district graduation requirements that exceed state requirements  
          if the pupil transfers to the district, or transfers from one  
          high school to another within a district, in the 11th or 12th  
          grade.  The bill would require the district to notify the pupil  
          if the exemption granted would affect the pupil's ability to  
          gain admission to postsecondary institution and to provide  
          information about transfer opportunities available through the  
          California Community Colleges.  
          _________________________________________________________________ 
          ____
                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2009-10      2010-11       2011-12     Fund
                                                                  
          Exemption notifications             $75 to $150, annually         
                           General*

          * Counts toward meeting the Proposition 98 minimum funding  
          guarantee     
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          ____

          STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE.
          
          In addition to passing both portions of the California High  
          School Exit Exam, current law requires the completion of the  
          following courses to receive a high school diploma:

                 Three years of English.
                 Two years of mathematics.
                 Two years of science, including biological and physical  
               science.
                 Three years of social studies, including: United States  
               history and geography, one semester of government and one  
               of economics.
                 One year of visual or performing arts or a foreign  










               language.
                 Two years of physical education, unless exempted.

          Current law also allows school district governing boards to add  
          additional requirements beyond those specified in law, such as  
          health or other courses that meet requirements for admission to  
          the University of California or the California State University  
          (a-g requirements).  

          By waiving district-specific requirements, this bill would make  
          it easier for certain pupils in foster care to graduate by age  
          19 (foster care may extend to age 19 depending on certain  
          circumstances, including educational status).  As exemption from  
          these requirements may prevent a pupil from meeting a-g  
          requirements, this bill would require districts to notify pupils  
          who receive exemptions if these exemptions will affect their  
          ability to gain admission to postsecondary educational  
          institutions and to provide information about community college  
          transfer opportunities.
          Page 2
          AB 167 (Adams)

          Available data indicates that there are 73,000 children in  
          California's foster care system.  Typically, these children will  
          transfer to new homes multiple times before exiting the system,  
          and these transfers will frequently move children to different  
          school districts.  A report from the California Education  
          Collaborative for Children in Foster Care suggest that foster  
          youth face significant obstacles toward completing a high school  
          degree, as indicated by the fact that only 46 percent obtain a  
          diploma and less than 3 percent attend a four-year college.  

          Assuming 2,500 to 5,000 annual notifications are necessitated by  
          this bill, this bill would result in state reimbursable mandated  
          costs of $75,000 to $150,000.  

          AB 2138 (Adams, 2008), legislation substantially similar to this  
          bill, was vetoed by the Governor last year.  The Governor's veto  
          message expressed concern that this bill would usurp the  
          authority of local school boards to establish their own  
          graduation requirements and noted that boards could exempt  
          students from local requirements at their own discretion.