BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                               Gloria Romero, Chair
                            2009-2010 Regular Session
                                         

          BILL NO:       SB 471
          AUTHOR:        Romero and Steinberg
          AMENDED:       April 22, 2009
          FISCAL COMM:   Yes            HEARING DATE:  April 29, 2009
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:Beth Graybill

           SUBJECT  :  Education:  Stem Cell and Biotechnology Education  
          and Workforce 
                              Development.

           SUMMARY   

          This bill establishes the Stem Cell and Biotechnology  
          Education and Workforce Development Act of 2009, requires  
          specified activities relating to stem cell education and  
          workforce development, and states findings and declarations  
          relating to stem cell science and regenerative medicine.  

           BACKGROUND  

          Proposition 71, approved by California voters in November  
          2004, authorized 
          $3 billion in state bond funding for stem cell research and  
          established the California Institute for Regenerative  
          Medicine (CIRM) to regulate stem cell research and provide  
          funding for such research and research facilities.   
          Proposition 71 also established an Independent Citizens  
          Oversight Committee (ICOC) to govern CIRM, established a  
          constitutional right to conduct stem cell research, and  
          prohibited funding of human reproductive cloning research.  

          Existing law provides for the establishment and maintenance  
          of the California Subject Matter Projects (CSMP) for the  
          purpose of developing and enhancing teachers' subject matter  
          knowledge and instructional strategies in order to improve  
          student learning and academic performance in core content  
          areas, including science.  

          Existing law provides for the operation of the California  
          State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)  
          through the University of California (UC).  The 2009-10  
          Budget Act provides $1.897 million for this program.  



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          In March 2009, the State Board of Education (SBE) unanimously  
          adopted a proposal to include stem cell science in the  
          science curriculum and include the content in the update of  
          the 2010 Science Frameworks.  






           ANALYSIS  

           This bill :

             1)   Requires the California Department of Education  
               (CDE), in consultation with CIRM and representatives of  
               the biotechnology industry, to promote stem cell and  
               biotechnology education and workforce development in its  
               existing programs such as the California Partnership  
               Academies, the California Resource Network, regional  
               science resource centers, the K-12 High Speed Network,  
               and other specified entities.  

             2)   Requires the California Department of Education (CDE)  
               to post on its Internet Web site, information and links  
               about:  

               a)        Existing biotechnology education programs as  
                    specified.  

               b)        CIRM education initiatives and related stem  
                    cell education and workforce development programs.   


             3)   Requests the Regents of the University of California  
               to consult with California Institute for Regenerative  
               Medicine (CIRM) and representatives of the biotechnology  
               industry in developing curriculum for California State  
               Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS).  

             4)   Requires the State Board of Education to incorporate  
               stem cell science curriculum content into the next  
               revision of the Science Curriculum Framework.  

             5)   Requires the Science Subject Matter Project, upon  
               agreement by the Regents of the University of  



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               California, in consultation with CIRM and  
               representatives of the biotechnology industry, to  
               include stem cell and biotechnology science in  
               professional development programs for educators.  

             6)   Requests the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee  
               (ICOC), when allocating funds for stem cell research and  
               facilities, to consider education and workforce  
               development in addition to other criteria with the goal  
               of furthering this article.  

             7)   States findings and declarations of the Legislature  
               relating to stem cell research and science, and the need  
               for all education, policymakers and institutions of  
               public education, and all relevant public agencies and  
               industry organizations to collaborate and make it a  
               priority to increase stem cell and biotechnology  
               education and workforce development.  

           COMMENTS
           
              1)   Stem cell research  .  According to the analysis  
               provided by the Legislative Analyst for Proposition 71,  
               stem cell research may provide information on the  
               complex events that occur during human development that  
               lead to serious medical conditions and birth defects.   
               Stem cells differ from other cells in that they are  
               unspecialized, can, under certain circumstances, be  
               transformed into cells with specialized functions, and  
               are capable of reproducing themselves, which allow them  
               to serve as a repair system for the body.  

             The various types of stem cells have different potential  
               for treating disease.  Researchers indicate that stem  
               cells could be used to test the safety of drugs and  
               offer the possibility of a renewable source of  
               replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases such as  
               cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart disease,  
               diabetes, or to treat spinal cord injuries.  

             To date, the CIRM governing board has approved more than  
               $693 million in research and facilities grants and is  
               currently considered to be the largest source for  
               embryonic and pluripotent stem cell research in the  
               world.  In March 2009, President Obama signed an  
               executive order lifting restrictions on federal funding  
               for stem cell research and directing the Secretary of  



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               Health and Human Services to support and conduct  
               responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell  
               research, including human embryonic stem cell research  
               to the extent permitted by law.  To the extent that  
               industry, research institutions, and schools can work  
               together to address the education and training necessary  
               to fill positions in the stem cell field, SB 471 could  
               enable California to maintain the momentum initiated  
               through Proposition 71 and build a regenerative medicine  
               infrastructure that will generate jobs, contribute to  
               the economy, and help California maintain a competitive  
               edge in this emerging field of medicine.  

              2)   California State Summer School for Mathematics and  
               Science  .  COSMOS is a four-week residential program for  
               talented math and science students in grades eight  
               through twelve.  Students work side-by-side with  
               outstanding university researchers and faculty exploring  
               advanced topics that extend beyond the typical high  
               school curriculum.  COSMOS courses offer hands-on lab  
               intensive learning opportunities that emphasize current  
               research at the University of California (UC).  

              3)   California Science Project (CSP)  .  The UC maintains  
               the subject matter projects, in collaboration with an  
               intersegmental concurrence committee, for the purpose of  
               providing professional development that is aligned to  
               the K-12 content standards.  As such, it may make sense  
               to postpone the requirement for the CSP to include stem  
               cell and biotechnology science until after the SBE has  
               adopted the revised Science Curriculum Framework in  
               2010.  Additionally, staff notes that the 2009-10 Budget  
               Act allocates $9.35 million in state and federal funding  
               to support the California Subject Matter Projects  
               (CSMPs).  It is unclear whether the CSMP has the  
               capacity within this budget to develop training specific  
               to biotechnology and stem cell research.  Postponing the  
               requirement to 2011 would allow the CSMP to account for  
               this workload in planning its 2010-11 budget and develop  
               training that is aligned to what the SBE adopts.   
               Accordingly, staff recommends amending the bill to  
               postpone the CSP requirement until January 1, 2011.  



           SUPPORT
           



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          BIOCOM

           OPPOSITION
           
          California Catholic Conference