BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 13
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          Date of Hearing:   May 27, 2011

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                     AB 13 (Knight) - As Amended:  May 11, 2011 

          Policy Committee:                              Education 
          Vote:6-3

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill authorizes a school district, county office of 
          education (COE), or a charter school to request a local law 
          enforcement agency conduct an automated records check of a 
          prospective nonteaching volunteer aide (NTVA) to determine 
          whether the aide has been convicted of any sex, controlled 
          substance, or violent/serious offense as defined under current 
          statute.  This measure also establishes a five-year wash out 
          period for individuals convicted of specified offenses 
          (excluding sex offenses), which allows him or her to serve as 
          NTVA five years after the date of the conviction.  Specifically, 
          this bill: 

          1)Prohibits a person from serving as an NTVA, if he or she (as 
            an employee of a school district, COE, or charter school) 
            would be prohibited from employment due to conviction of a sex 
            offense or a violent or serious felony as specified under 
            existing law. 

          2)Prohibits an individual from serving as an NTVA until five 
            years after the date of his or her conviction of all offenses 
            specified in the bill, except those requiring registry as a 
            sex offender, who would never be authorized to serve as a 
            NTVA.   

          3)Requires COEs and charter schools to comply with automated 
            records checks for NTVAs, including coaching. This measure 
            also requires charter schools to comply with automated records 
            check statute for employees, as specified. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  








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          1)Minor absorbable costs to school districts, COEs, and charter 
            schools that choose to conduct an automated records check of 
            NTVAs, as specified. Current law authorizes school districts 
            to conduct a check for sex offenses. In most cases, the NTVA 
            pays all or part of the automated records check fee. It costs 
            approximately $32 to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and $19 
            to the Federal Bureau of Investigations to cover the costs of 
            fingerprinting and the background check. 



          2)Potential one-time GF/98 cost pressure to charter schools, 
            likely less than $100,000, to develop initial systems to 
            ensure employees and paid volunteers serving in a coaching 
            capacity comply with automated record checks. In most cases, 
            individuals pay all or part of the automated records check 
            fee, as referenced above. According to a May 2006 decision by 
            the Commission on State Mandates (CSM), charter schools are 
            not eligible to claim mandate reimbursements. In denying 
            charter schools' mandate claims, the CSM repeatedly cites the 
            fact that charter schools are "voluntarily" created. 


           COMMENTS  


           1)Purpose  . Current law authorizes any person (except if he or 
            she is a registered sex offender) to supervise pupils during 
            breakfast, lunch or other nutrition period, or to serve as an 
            NTVA. Statute also specified that individuals in this capacity 
            are required to be under the immediate supervision and 
            direction of certificated personnel of the school district to 
            perform non-instructional work, as specified. 


            Existing law also authorizes school districts to conduct an 
            automated records check of NTVAs to determine whether the 
            individual has been convicted of a sex offense. Current 
            statute does not explicitly authorize this check of NTVAs for 
            other offenses, including controlled substances and other 
            felonies, as specified. According to the author, "Local school 
            districts have reported instances where parents of students 
            offer to volunteer in the classroom, on field trips and/or for 








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            other district activities. However, when a district has run 
            their fingerprints, per normal procedure, the DOJ report comes 
            back showing convictions for offenses that would prohibit the 
            district, under current law, from employing them, but does not 
            prohibit them from volunteering."



           2)Under existing law  , DOJ makes criminal history information 
            available to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and 
            employing school districts upon the submission of fingerprint 
            information at the time of hire. 


            AB 1025 (Conway), Chapter 379, Statutes of 2009, authorizes 
            the CTC to issue an Activity Supervisor Clearance Certificate 
            to non-credentialed individuals, in a paid volunteer capacity, 
            to supervise or coach a pupil activity program, as specified. 



           3)Opposition  . Opponents (Public Advocates, the American Civil 
            Liberties Union (ACLU), East Bay Community Law Center, and 
            Parent Leadership Action Network - Bay Area PLAN) argue this 
            bill encroaches on a parent's civil rights to participate in 
            their child's education.  Specifically, they state: "AB 13 
            will bar parents from meaningful participation in their 
            children's education. Such an erosion of civil rights should 
            not occur without facts to support the policy. In addition, 
            excluding people with certain convictions from volunteering 
            will disparately impact low-income communities and communities 
            of color because of the racial disparities in the criminal 
            justice system.  Parent participation improves academic 
            outcomes for individual children as well as improving school 
            safety - a benefit to the community as a whole. In the most 
            recent National Household Education Survey, conducted by the 
            United States Department of Education, almost half of all 
            parents reported volunteering or serving on a committee at 
            their child's school. (Safe and Participatory Public Schools). 
            For Bay Area PLAN members, this is one of the most important 
            ways they help their children succeed in school."


           4)Previous legislation  .  AB 2034 (Knight), similar to this bill 
            (without the five-year wash out provisions), was held never 








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            head by the Senate Education Committee.  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916) 
          319-2081