BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 700
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 700 (Gomez)
          As Amended  August 14, 2013
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |75-0 |(May 30, 2013)  |SENATE: |39-0 |(August 26,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    ED.  

           SUMMARY  :  Requires the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to  
          ensure voter information is included in American Government and  
          civics curriculum for the high school level.  The bill specifies  
          that the curriculum shall include information on the importance  
          of registering to vote  in local, state, and federal elections,  
          how to register to vote, both online and by mail, what the  
          requirements are to register to vote, how to request an absentee  
          ballot, how to fill out and return an absentee ballot, what to  
          expect on election day, how to find a polling place, and where  
          and how to access and understand the voter information pamphlet  
          and other materials to become an informed voter.

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Specify the curriculum shall include information on how to  
            register to vote, both online and by mail;

          2)Specify the curriculum shall include the requirements that  
            must be met in order for a person to become a registered  

          3)Specify the curriculum shall include information on how to  
            request an absentee ballot and how to fill out and return an  
            absentee ballot;

          4)Specify the curriculum shall include information on what to  
            expect on election day; and 

          5)Specify the curriculum shall include information on how to  
            find a polling place.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, to the extent the requirements of this bill are  


                                                                  AB 700
                                                                  Page  2

          already included in the scheduled history-social science  
          curriculum framework review process, there will be minor,  
          absorbable General Fund (GF) costs to the State Department of  
          Education (CDE) to implement this measure.  If these  
          requirements cannot be achieved within the existing review  
          process, there will likely be one-time GF administrative costs  
          to CDE between $75,000 and $150,000.  According to the Senate  
          Appropriations Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8,  
          negligible state costs.  
           COMMENTS  :  

           Voter Education  .  Historically, voter turnout among those under  
          age 30 is lower than among other age groups.  In an article  
          published February 21, 2013, Project Vote, a national  
          nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes voting in  
          historically underrepresented communities, concluded that  
          establishing partnerships, actively involving students and  
          teachers, including a civic education component, and enacting  
          innovative voter registration programs are strategies that can  
          increase voter turnout and engagement among young people under  
          the age of 30.  Similarly, the League of Women Voters found that  
          91% of the young people who registered to vote in 2008 actually  
          turned out to cast a ballot; unfortunately, less than half of  
          all 18-year-olds were registered to vote.  The League of Women  
          Voters reported "it is lack of information, not lack of  
          interest, that keeps [young people] on the sidelines at election  
          Content Standards and Curriculum Frameworks  .  California  
          curriculum is based on content standards.  The curriculum  
          frameworks are guidelines for implementing the standards that  
          are developed by the IQC (also referenced in statute as the  
          "commission") and approved by the State Board of Education  
          (SBE).  The IQC is an 18-member commission consisting of one  
          member of the Assembly, one member of the Senate, and 16 public  
          members.  At least seven of the public members must have taught,  
          written, or lectured on the subject areas required for  
          graduation.  The history-social science standards were developed  
          in 1998 and the History-Social Science Framework was last  
          revised in 2005.  A review and update of this framework was  
          underway and nearly complete when the state suspended the  
          process on July 28, 2009, due to fiscal constraints.  The SBE is  
          specifically prohibited from reviewing frameworks and adopting  
          instructional materials until the 2015-16 school year.  SB 1540  


                                                                  AB 700
                                                                  Page  3

          (Hancock), Chapter 288, Statutes of 2012, authorizes the SBE to  
          consider the adoption of a revised curriculum framework and  
          evaluation criteria for instructional materials in  
          history-social science, but prohibits the CDE from conducting  
          any work until after CDE has completed work related to the  
          development of curriculum frameworks for the common core content  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jill Rice / ED. / (916) 319-2087