BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                         SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                                Carol Liu, Chair
                           2013-2014 Regular Session
                                        

          BILL NO:       AB 631
          AUTHOR:        Fox
          AMENDED:       May 13, 2013
          FISCAL COMM:   No             HEARING DATE: June 12, 2013
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:    Lynn Lorber

           SUBJECT  :  Juvenile court schools.
          
           SUMMARY
           
          This bill authorizes a county board of education to adopt  
          and enforce a course of study that enhances instruction in  
          mathematics and English language arts for pupils attending  
          a juvenile court school.

           BACKGROUND
           
          Juvenile court schools, administered by the county board of  
          education, provide public education for youth who are  
          incarcerated in juvenile hall, juvenile home, day center,  
          juvenile ranch and juvenile camp, regional youth  
          educational facility or in any group home housing 25 or  
          more children.  
          (Education Code  48645.1 and  48645.2)

          Current law establishes the minimum schoolday for juvenile  
          court schools to be 240 minutes, and requires the minimum  
          schooldays to be calculated on the basis of the average  
          number of minutes of attendance during up to 10 consecutive  
          days in which classes are conducted.  The minimum schoolday  
          for pupils in attendance in approved vocational education  
          programs, work programs prescribed by the probation  
          department, and work experience programs is 180 minutes.   
          (EC  48645.3)

          Current law requires the county board of education to adopt  
          and enforce a course of study and evaluate its program in  
          accordance with current law requiring:

          1)   The course of study to be kept on file for public  
               inspection.







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          2)   The evaluation of the educational program, and made  
               revisions as deemed necessary.
          3)   The enforcement in its schools the course of study and  
               the use of instructional materials prescribed and  
               adopted by the county board of education.
          4)   The adopted course of study to include the specific  
               areas of study and topics contained in the adopted  
               course of study for grades 1-6 and 7-12 (except  
               foreign languages).  (EC  48645.3)  

          Current law requires pupils enrolled in county community  
          schools (serves pupils who have been expelled, referred by  
          probation or an attendance review board, or are homeless)  
          to be assigned to classes or programs deemed most  
          appropriate for reinforcing or reestablishing educational  
          development.  These classes or programs may include basic  
          educational skill development, job training, tutoring,  
          independent study, and individual guidance activities.  An  
          individually planned educational program based upon an  
          educational assessment must be prescribed for each pupil.   
          The course of study for county community schools is to be  
          adopted by the county board of education and enable each  
          pupil to continue academic work leading to the completion  
          of a regular high school program.  
          (EC  1983)

          Current law states legislative intent that school districts  
          operating community day schools (serves pupils who have  
          been expelled for any reason, or referred by probation or a  
          school attendance review board) include as a program  
          component individualized instruction and assessment.  (EC   
          48660.1)

           ANALYSIS
           
           This bill  authorizes a county board of education to adopt  
          and enforce a course of study that enhances instruction in  
          mathematics and English language arts for pupils attending  
          a juvenile court school.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)   Authorizes the county board of education to adopt and  
               enforce a course of study that enhances instruction in  
               mathematics and English language arts for pupils  
               attending juvenile court schools, as determined by  
               statewide assessments or objective local evaluations  
               and assessments as approved by the county  







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               superintendent of schools.

          2)   Requires the enhanced course of study to meet the  
               common core standards, as appropriate, and be tailored  
               to meet the needs of the individual pupil to increase  
               the pupil's academic literacy and reading fluency.

           STAFF COMMENTS
           
           1)   Need for the bill  .  According to the author, "Pupils  
               who attend juvenile court schools often perform at far  
               below basic in math and reading - many at three or  
               more years below grade level.  These students can  
               benefit from increased math and reading instruction  
               and are encouraged to continue their education when  
               they see progress in their math and reading abilities.  
                The need for this bill centers around the fact that  
               juvenile court schools are not considered alternative  
               schools and must therefore offer students a complete  
               course of classes based on the minimum instructional  
               minutes for a calendar year."

           2)   Permissive Education Code  .  Current law requires each  
               school district and county office of education to  
               adopt a course of study for use in each of its  
               schools.  All schools are required to provide  
               instruction that meets state academic content  
               standards, and there are several areas of study and  
               topics that must be included within the course of  
               study.  While the course of study is required to meet  
               content standards, curriculum is adopted by each  
               school district and county office of education to meet  
               the needs of its pupils.  Given the flexibility in  
               current law for a county board of education to  
               establish a course of study specifically for pupils in  
               juvenile hall, it is not clear that this bill is  
               necessary.

           3)   Do community day schools and county community schools  
               have more flexibility  ?  Current law relative to  
               community day schools (operated by school districts)  
               and county community schools (operated by county  
               offices of education) reference "individualized  
               instruction" and "individually planned educational  
               program" respectively.  However, statutes relative to  
               juvenile court schools do not reference individualized  







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               instruction, education, or curriculum.  

           4)   What does it mean to "enforce" a course of study  ?   
               This bill authorizes the county board of education to  
               adopt and enforce a course of study that enhances  
               instruction for pupils attending juvenile court  
               schools.  Enforcing a course of study means schools  
               under the jurisdiction of a county board of education  
               are required to provide instruction consistent with  
               the adopted course of study.

           5)   Why only mathematics and English language arts  ?  This  
               bill authorizes the county board of education to adopt  
               and enforce a course of study that enhances  
               instruction in mathematics and English language arts  
               for pupils attending juvenile court schools.  While  
               this bill references only mathematics and English  
               language arts, the common core standards in English  
               language arts include literacy standards in  
               history-social science, science and technical subject.

           SUPPORT
           
          Advancement Project
          California Catholic Conference
          California Federation of Teachers
          Los Angeles County Office of Education
          School for Integrated Academics and Technologies

           OPPOSITION

           None on file.