BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 167|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 167
          Author:   Adams (R), et al
          Amended:  6/17/09 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 6/10/09
          AYES:  Romero, Huff, Alquist, Hancock, Liu, Maldonado,  
            Padilla, Simitian
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Wyland
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  12-0, 8/27/09
          AYES:  Kehoe, Cox, Corbett, Denham, Hancock, Leno, Oropeza,  
            Price, Runner, Walters, Wolk, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Wyland

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  79-0, 5/4/09 (Consent) - See last page for  

           SUBJECT :    Local high school graduation requirements:   
          foster youth

           SOURCE  :     San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

           DIGEST  :    This bill exempts 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.  This bill requires  
          the district to notify the pupil if the exemption granted  
          would affect the pupil's ability to gain admission to  


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          postsecondary institution and to provide information about  
          transfer opportunities available through the California  
          Community Colleges.  

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law prescribes the course of study a  
          pupil is required to complete while in grades 9 to 12,  
          inclusive, in order to receive a diploma of graduation.   
          Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school  
          district to adopt rules specifying additional coursework  
          requirements.  Existing law also allows a child who is in  
          foster care and who is attending high school or the  
          equivalent level of vocational or technical training on a  
          full-time basis, or is in the process of pursuing a high  
          school equivalency certificate, prior to his/her 18th  
          birthday, to continue to receive foster care aid beyond  
          his/her 18th birthday so long as the child continues to  
          reside in a foster care placement, continues to attend high  
          school or the equivalent on a full-time basis, and the  
          child is reasonably expected to complete the educational or  
          training program or to receive a high school equivalency  
          certificate, before his/her 19th birthday.  Existing law  
          requires schools to allow foster youth to remain in the  
          school of origin for the duration of the school year when  
          the foster youth's residential placement changes and when  
          remaining in the same school is in the child's best  
          interest.  Existing law requires school districts to accept  
          for credit full or partial coursework satisfactorily  
          completed by a pupil while attending a public school,  
          juvenile court school, or nonpublic, nonsectarian school or  
           By waiving district-specific requirements, this bill will  
          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 requires  
          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.

          Available data indicates that there are 73,000 children in  
          California's foster care system.  Typically, these children  


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          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  
          three percent attend a four-year college.  

           Prior legislation  .  AB 2138 (Adams), 2007-08 Session, which  
          was vetoed, was nearly identical to this bill.  The  
          Governor's veto message read:

            This bill attempts to create a statewide policy of  
            exempting certain foster care students from  
            district-specific graduation requirements.  In doing so,  
            this bill would usurp the authority of local school  
            boards to determine the conditions under which students  
            should be granted diplomas.  Beyond the current minimum  
            statewide requirements, local school boards have the  
            ability to waive their own local graduation requirements  
            based on the merit of each student's case.  This bill  
            would undermine their ability to judge each individual  
            student's particular circumstances.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/31/09)

          San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors (source)
          All Saints Church Foster Care Project
          California Peace Officers' Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Association of Counties
          California State PTA
          California State University
          County of San Bernardino


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          County Welfare Directors Association
          Junior League of Orange County
          Los Angeles Unified School District
          Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles
          Special Education Local Plan Area Administrators

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The San Bernardino County Board of  
          Supervisors writes, "A foster child who is in high school  
          who has taken the required classes in their previous school  
          district may find that their new high school requires  
          additional classes, over and beyond those they have already  
          taken to graduate.  Completing these new classes would  
          likely not present a problem to a freshman, who would have  
          the time to take the required classes before they graduate.  
           These additional requirements could present a real problem  
          to a foster child who is a junior or a senior, and who may  
          not have the time to complete these additional classes." 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Beall, Bill  
            Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block, Blumenfield,  
            Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon,  
            DeVore, Duvall, Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher,  
            Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines, Galgiani,  
            Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi,  
            Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Jeffries, Jones, Knight,  
            Krekorian, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza,  
            Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello, Nielsen, John A.  
            Perez, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Price, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Audra  
            Strickland, Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran,  
            Villines, Yamada, Bass
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Huffman

          DLW:mw  9/1/09   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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