BILL ANALYSIS SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Gloria Romero, Chair 2009-2010 Regular Session BILL NO: AB 1683 AUTHOR: Torres AMENDED: May 28, 2010 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: June 30, 2010 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Daniel Alvarez SUBJECT : Federal Education Funding KEY POLICY ISSUE Does the state need to ensure that the State Board of Education does not inadvertently leave out county offices of education when allocating federal funds? SUMMARY This bill defines school districts to include county offices of education and "other agencies" so that the county offices and other agencies will be eligible for federal funding distributed by the State Board of Education. BACKGROUND Current law provides that whenever federal aid to education is provided to the state, and the disposition of the funds is not otherwise specified by federal or state law, then the distribution of those funds to local educational agencies shall be determined by the State Board of Education, consistent with the requirements of federal law. (Education Code 12000) Current law provides for county boards of education and county superintendents of schools to direct county offices of education. County offices of education operate a variety of alternative schools such as county community schools, juvenile court schools, as well as Regional Occupational Programs and Centers (ROP/C) and Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA). County offices also assist school districts in a variety of ways, providing instructional and financial support services and exercising oversight over the fiscal condition of districts, among other functions. (EC 1000 AB 1683 Page 2 et. al.) County offices have historically received federal funds provided for services related to their areas of responsibility, such as special education and neglected and delinquent youth. On the other hand, counties have often not been eligible for federal funds under programs such as the Title I basic grants because those programs are distributed to schools on the basis of the characteristics of pupils in an attendance area, and county schools serve pupils that are referred to them, but do not serve pupils on the basis of their residence in an attendance area. ANALYSIS This bill defines school districts to include county offices of education and "other agencies" so that the county offices and other agencies will be eligible for federal funding distributed by the State Board of Education. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Need for the bill . According to the author, this measure would clarify that the state allocations of federal funds to school districts also include county office of education. This legislation would provide equity in funding county offices of education. County offices of education play a vital role in providing educational programs and services for students, parents, school districts and the community. This measure will ensure the county offices are not inadvertently left out when federal funds are allocated. 2) Prior and related legislation . AB 339 (Torres), which is nearly identical to this measure, was vetoed with the following message: "This bill would redefine "school districts" to include school districts, county offices of education, and other agencies deemed eligible pursuant to state and federal law, for the purpose of allocating federal education funds. However, in its current form, I am concerned that the bill may have unintended consequences for charter schools and/or other educational agencies currently eligible for these federal funds." AB 1683 Page 3 3) Staff recommends an amendment that would include "charter schools, where applicable" in the definition of other agencies. SUPPORT Advancement Project American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees California State PTA Fight Crime Invest in Kids, California Kern County Office of Education Los Angeles County Office of Education OPPOSITION None received.