BILL ANALYSIS SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Gloria Romero, Chair 2009-2010 Regular Session BILL NO: AB 374 AUTHOR: Block AMENDED: June 1, 2009 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: July 8, 2009 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT: Lynn Lorber SUBJECT : Consequences of dropping out notice. SUMMARY This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to produce a notice to pupils about the consequences of dropping out of school before reaching 18 years of age or graduating from high school. BACKGROUND Current law: 1) Provides that each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years not exempted by existing law is subject to compulsory full-time education and shall attend the public full-time day school or continuation school or classes and for the full length of the schoolday. 2) Requires a parent, guardian, or other person having control or charge of the pupil to send the pupil to school, as specified. As reported by the California Department of Education, the state's dropout rate for the 2006-07 school year was 24.2%, and the dropout rate for that time period for the Los Angeles Unified School District was 33.6%. ANALYSIS This bill requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to produce a notice to pupils about the consequences of AB 374 Page 2 dropping out of school before reaching 18 years of age or graduating from high school. Specifically, this bill: 1) Requires the consequences of dropping out notice to include, but is not limited to, all of the following: a) The potential consequences of dropping out include: i) Greater difficulty finding a job. ii) Reduced income and purchasing power. iii) Greater likelihood of engaging in criminal activity. iv) Greater likelihood of spending time in jail, prison, or both. v) Greater likelihood of receiving welfare, other forms of public assistance, or both. vi) Fewer choices about where to live. vii) Lesser likelihood of properly caring for and educating children. b) The right of a pupil to reenroll in school to complete the requirements for graduation from high school and the procedure for reenrollment. c) The availability of alternative educational services, including continuation school, independent study, adult education, community college, and the General Educational Development (GED) tests. 2) Requires the SPI to post the notice on the California Department of Education's website. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Will it help ? Will posting a notice on the California Department of Education's (CDE's) website affect dropout AB 374 Page 3 rates? A prior version of this bill encouraged schools to download the notice from the CDE website and distribute it to pupils; however, that provision was removed due to cost pressure concerns. 2) Fiscal impact . According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee analysis, this bill would impose one-time General Fund costs, likely in excess of $150,000, upon the CDE to develop and post the notice on its Internet website. In addition, there may be annual, minor absorbable General Fund costs to maintain and update the notice. SUPPORT American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees California Teachers Association Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities OPPOSITION None received.