BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 374|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                         |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                         |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                         |
          |327-4478                          |                         |
                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 374
          Author:   Block (D)
          Amended:  6/1/09 in Assembly
          Vote:     21

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 7/15/09
          AYES:  Romero, Huff, Alquist, Hancock, Liu, Padilla,  
            Simitian, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Maldonado

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  75-1, 6/2/09 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Consequences of dropping out notice

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the Superintendent of Public  
          Instruction (SPI) to produce a consequences of dropping out  
          (CDO) notice to inform pupils of the consequences of  
          dropping out of school prior to reaching 18 years old or  
          completing high school graduation requirements, as  

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law subjects each person between 6  
          and 18 years of age who is not exempted under specified  
          statutes to compulsory full-time or continuation education.  
           Existing law requires each person subject to compulsory  
          full-time or continuation education who is not exempted to  


                                                                AB 374

          attend a public full-time day school or continuation school  
          or classes for the full time designated as the length of  
          the schoolday by the governing board of the school district  
          in which the residency of either the parent or legal  
          guardian is located and requires each parent, guardian, or  
          other person having control or charge of the pupil to send  
          the pupil to the appropriate school or classes for the  
          designated periods of time each schoolday.  Existing law  
          prescribes truancy procedures for pupils who do not comply  
          with these provisions.

          This bill:

          1.Requires the SPI to make the CDO notice available to  
            school districts by posting it on the California  
            Department of Education's Web site. 

          2.Requires the CDO notice to include, but not be limited  
            to, the following information: 

            A.   Specified consequences of dropping out before high  
            graduation, such as reduced income, greater likelihood of  
            engaging in                                             
            criminal activity and receiving public assistance, and  
            the lesser                                              
            likelihood of properly caring for and educating children.

            B.   Rights and procedures of a pupil reenrolling in  
            school to complete graduation requirements.

            C.   The availability of alternative educational  
            services, as specified. 

          According to the author's office, "Recent studies have  
          shown that the high school dropout rate is nearly 25  
          percent statewide, and as high as 33 percent in places like  
          Los Angeles.  The dropout rate is especially high among  
          students of color.  For African American students it is  
          41.6 percent and 30.3 percent for Latino students.  Studies  
          have also shown that high school graduates create more  
          wealth over their lifetime, cost the state less money in  
          public benefits, and are less likely to end up in prison." 


                                                                AB 374

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/17/09)

          American Federation of State, County and Municipal  
          Association of California School Administrators
          California Teachers Association
          Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/17/09)

          Department of Finance

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The American Federation of State,  
          County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) writes, "A high  
          school education is an important factor to beginning a  
          successful life. The National High School Center reports  
          high school drop-outs are more likely to be unemployed, use  
          public assistance, be single parents, have children at a  
          younger age, and earn $260,000 less over a lifetime.   
          AFSCME supports this bill in hopes that the form will make  
          potential drop-outs consider the consequences of dropping  
          out of high school." 

          The Association of California School Administrators states:

               Given the alarming number of students dropping out  
               (24.2%) and the need to send a uniform message to all  
               students and families ACSA supports the goals of AB  
               374.  This will particularly help small and rural  
               school districts in which there are few counselors and  
               other staff to develop outreach materials for at risk  
               youth and their families.  In addition, a uniform  
               notice will assist families on what programs and right  
               students have when they are at-risk of dropping out.   
               For example, the notice would include information  
               regarding the availability of alternative education  
               services that may provide a grates opportunity to keep  
               students in school when a traditional setting has not  
               worked for them.  Finally, local educators frequently  
               use the California Department of Education website and  
               download materials on a regular basis concerning all  


                                                                AB 374

               types of education matters and topics.  This is a  
               win-win for the state and for local school district in  
               our view.  We believe AB 374 is a cost effective  
               approach to assisting students and the school  
               districts that serve them.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The Department of Finance is  
          opposed to this bill for the following reasons:

               There is no evidence to suggest that simply providing  
               a notice to students would have any impact on dropout  
               rates.  Identifying and following up with students who  
               have or may dropout can only be done at the local  
               level and likely requires more intensive intervention  
               than a paper notice.  LEAs already have incentives to  
               prevent students from dropping out.  Dropout rates are  
               included in the school accountability report card.   
               Also, dropout rates for students in grades 8 and 9  
               will be included in the state accountability  
               calculation beginning July 1, 2011, and graduation  
               rates are already included in the federal  
               accountability calculation.  A loss of students does,  
               and will, reflect badly on LEA performance measures  
               that are available to the public.  The bill would  
               create cost pressure for the state to reimburse LEAs  
               for downloading, printing, and providing this notice  
               to all students in grades
               9 to 12.

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Beall, Tom  
            Berryhill, Blakeslee, Blumenfield, Brownley, Buchanan,  
            Caballero, Charles Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Conway,  
            Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, DeVore,  
            Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes,  
            Fuller, Furutani, Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gilmore,  
            Hagman, Hall, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman,  
            Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Krekorian, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie  
            Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande,  
            Niello, 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


                                                                AB 374

          NOES:  Nielsen
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Bill Berryhill, Block, Duvall, Harkey

          DLW:nl  8/19/09   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                ****  END  ****