BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 1116
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 4, 2010

                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                    SB 1116 (Huff) - As Amended:  August 2, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                             Education Vote:8-0

          Urgency:     Yes                  State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              No


          This bill, beginning January 1, 2011, establishes a statewide  
          process for operating a heritage school.  Specifically, this  

          1)Defines "heritage school" as a school that serves children who  
            are at least four years and nine months of age and no older  
            than 18 years of age who attend a public or private full-time  
            day school that does all of the following: (a) offers  
            education and/or academic tutoring in a foreign language or on  
            the culture/traditions of a foreign country; (b) offers  
            culturally enriching activities (e.g., art, dance, and song);  
            (c) complies with relevant government regulations; and (d)  
            does not operate out of a residential home. 

          2)Requires every person, firm, association, partnership, or  
            corporation offering or conducting heritage school instruction  
            to file an electronic registration form with the  
            Superintendent of Instruction (SPI) in January of each year,  
            as specified.  

          3)Requires the electronic registration form to contain specified  
            information, including the name of the entity responsible for  
            offering the instruction, address, and school enrollment.   
            This measure also requires certain records be maintained by  
            the entity (similar to public schools), including criminal  
            history information.  

          4)Specifies that filing the electronic form does not grant a  
            heritage school a right to receive state funding.   

          5)Requires heritage school employees, if they have contact with  


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            pupils, to abide by criminal background checks conducted by  
            the Department of Justice (DOJ), as specified.  This measure  
            provides an exception for employees with limited contact with  
            pupils, as determined by the heritage school.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)One-time GF administrative costs, likely between $125,000 and  
            $175,000, to the State Department of Education (SDE) to  
            develop an electronic registration form and a database to  
            maintain heritage school information.  SDE will incur ongoing  
            costs, likely less than $75,000, to maintain administrative  
            procedures related to heritage schools.  

            This measure establishes the Heritage Enrichment Resource Fund  
            (HERF) and requires each potential heritage school to pay a  
            fee, determined by SDE, to cover the costs of implementing  
            this act.  The fee is required to be deposited in the Heritage  
            Enrichment Resource Fund (HERF).  The number of heritage  
            schools operating in the state is unknown.  To the extent  
            there are not many heritage schools filing a form and paying  
            the fee, GF monies would be used to offset the lack of fee  

          2)GF administrative costs, likely in excess of $250,000, to DOJ  
            to process background checks on heritage school employees, as  
            specified.  These costs will be covered by fees charged to the  
            individuals required to complete the background check.    

          6)Establishes a process to ensure the safety of children for a  
            heritage school that contracts with an entity for the  
            construction or repair of a school facility, as specified.  

          7)Requires a director of a heritage school to undergo at least  
            15 hours of health and safety training, as specified.  

          8)Requires pupils attending heritage schools to have access to  
            working sinks, toilets, and drinking water.  

          9)Requires the heritage school, upon a pupil's enrollment, to  
            provide a notice to the pupil's parent/guardian that the  
            school does not hold a child care license and that attendance  
            at a heritage school does not satisfy the state's compulsory  


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            education statute.  


           1)Purpose  .  Heritage schools vary in size and location  
            throughout the state. Traditionally, many have been referred  
            to as Chinese, Greek, or Japanese Schools because they provide  
            enrichment for children by ensuring that they maintain their  
            cultural heritage. Those types of schools have expanded fairly  
            recently to include many other cultures. The intent of these  
            schools is to maintain cultural heritages throughout  
            generations. It is not known how many of these schools exist  
            in California and what form they take. Some provide education  
            only to children, while others mix adult and child students. 

            According to the author, "Heritage schools play an integral  
            role in our communities, as they are a major source of  
            language and heritage instruction at the K-12 level. They help  
            prepare students for courses in advanced language and  
            literature at colleges and universities at no taxpayer  
            expense. Some public schools even grant credit to students for  
            classes taken at these heritage schools.  

            Since heritage schools are not defined in state code as  
            educational entities, the Department of Social Services (DSS)  
            sometimes designates heritage schools as childcare centers,  
            threatening their continued existence. Without the proper  
            licensing requirements, DSS will oftentimes force these  
            schools to close, denying future generations of students the  
            rich cultural opportunity these schools provide. 

           2)Existing law  requires private schools to file an affidavit  
            with the SPI and comply with statute relating to criminal  
            background check requirements for public school employees.   
            Current law also prohibits private schools from employing a  
            person who has been convicted of a violent or serious felony  
            or a person who cannot be employed by a public school district  
            due to his or her conviction of a crime, as specified.  This  
            bill requires heritage schools to comply with similar statute  
            regarding its employees and criminal history.  

            Statute requires each person between 6 and 18 years of age to  
            attend public, full-time day school and requires his or her  


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            parent or guardian to send them unless legally exempt.  This  
            bill requires pupils attending heritage schools to have access  
            to working sinks, toilets, and drinking water.  It also  
            requires a notice be provided to the parent/guardian of a  
            pupil attending a heritage school stating attendance at this  
            school does not satisfy the compulsory education requirement.   

            Current law also requires the DSS to issue license childcare  
            centers for health and safety reasons.  This bill requires a  
            notice be provided to the parent/guardian of a pupil attending  
            a heritage school stating that the school does not hold a  
            child care license.  

           3)Previous related legislation  .  

             a)   SB 129 (Huff) was similar to this measure and was held  
               on the Senate Appropriations Committee's suspense file in  
               May 2009. 

             b)   AB 1888 (Huff) exempted heritage schools from DSS  
               licensing requirements.  This bill was held on this  
               committee's suspense file in August 2008.  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916)