BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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

          BILL NO:       SB 49
          AUTHOR:        Lieu & Steinberg
          AMENDED:       April 15, 2013
          FISCAL COMM:   Yes            HEARING DATE:  April 24, 2013
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:    Lynn Lorber

           SUBJECT  :  School safety plans.
          
           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires school safety plans to include procedures  
          related to response to a person with a gun on campus, extends  
          from annually to every third year the frequency of review of  
          safety plans, and requires charter school petitions to include a  
          description of a school safety plan.

           BACKGROUND  

          Current law:

          1)   Requires each school district and county office of  
               education to be responsible for the overall development of  
               all comprehensive school safety plans for its schools.  The  
               schoolsite council is required to write and develop a  
               comprehensive school safety plan relevant to the needs and  
               resources of that particular school.  (Education Code   
               32281)

          2)   Authorizes the schoolsite council to delegate  
               responsibility for the development of the school safety  
               plan to a school safety planning committee, composed of the  
               principal, one teacher who is a representative of the  
               recognized certificated employee organization, one parent  
               whose child attends the school, one classified employee who  
               is a representative of the recognized classified employee  
               organization, and other members if desired.  (EC  32281)

          3)   Authorizes school districts and county offices of  
               education, in consultation with law enforcement, to elect  
               to not have its schoolsite council develop and write  
               portions of the school safety plan that include tactical  




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               responses to criminal incidents.  Portions of the safety  
               plan containing tactical responses may be developed by  
               school administrators in consultation with law enforcement  
               and with a representative of the employee bargaining unit.   
               Governing boards are authorized to approve the tactical  
               response portion of the safety plan in a closed session.   
               (EC  32281)

          4)   Requires the comprehensive school safety plan to include  
               (1) an assessment of the current status of school crime  
               committed on school campuses and at school-related  
               functions and (2) identification of appropriate strategies  
               and programs that will provide or maintain a high level of  
               school safety and detail procedures for complying with  
               existing laws; disaster procedures; policies regarding  
               suspension or expulsion; a discrimination and harassment  
               policy; and, a safe and orderly environment conducive to  
               learning.  (EC  32282)

          5)   Requires the comprehensive school safety plan to be  
               evaluated at least once a year.  (EC  32282)

          6)   Requires the schoolsite council or school safety planning  
               committee to hold a public meeting to allow public comment,  
               and requires the notification of specified people and  
               entities prior to this meeting.  Current law requires each  
               school to submit its school safety plan to the school  
               district or county office of education for approval and  
               requires a school district or California Office of  
               Education to notify the California Department of Education  
               by October 15 of every year of any school that is not in  
               compliance.  (EC  32288)

          7)   Requires each school to include a description of key  
               elements of the school safety plan in the annual school  
               accountability report card.  
               (EC  32286)

          8)   Current law requires, if the Superintendent of Public  
               Instruction determines that there has been a willful  
               failure to make any report required in school safety plan  
               statutes to do both of the following:

               a)        Notify the school district or county office of  
                    education in which the willful failure has occurred.





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               b)        Make an assessment of up to $2,000 against that  
                    school or county office, which may be done by  
                    deducting funding from the district's or county  
                    office's future apportionment.  (EC  32287).

          Charter schools are exempt from most laws governing school  
          districts except where specifically noted.  Existing law  
          requires charter schools to comply with the provisions of its  
          charter and provisions of the Education Code that apply to  
          charter schools.  
          (EC  47601 et. seq.)  

          Current law requires governing boards to grant a charter unless  
          the petition fails to meet one or more of the following:  

             1)   The charter school presents an unsound educational  
               program;  

             2)   The petitioners are demonstrably unlikely to  
               successfully implement the program described in the  
               petition;  

             3)   The petition does not contain the number of required  
               signatures;  

             4)   The petition does not contain an affirmation that it  
               will be nonsectarian in its programs and policies, shall  
               not charge tuition, shall not discriminate, and other  
               affirmations, as specified.  

             5)   The petition does not contain reasonably comprehensive  
               descriptions of among other elements, the procedures that  
               the school will follow to ensure the health and safety of  
               pupils and staff.  (EC  47605)  

           ANALYSIS
           
           This bill  requires school safety plans to include procedures  
          related to response to a person with a gun on campus, extends  
          from annually to every third year the frequency of review of  
          safety plans, and requires charter school petitions to include a  
          description of a school safety plan.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)   Adds to the required components in school safety plan  
               procedures related to individuals with guns on school  
               campuses and at school-related functions, including  




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               training programs related to active shooters and active  
               terrorists.  

          2)   Modifies the existing March 1, 2000, deadline for the  
               adoption of a school safety plan to instead require the  
               adoption of a plan with the changes proposed by this bill  
               by March 1, 2014, and requires plans to be reviewed and  
               updated by March 1 of every third year thereafter.  

          3)   Modifies the existing requirement that schools annually  
               include in the school accountability report card the status  
               of school safety plans, to require the status of plans for  
               the upcoming school year to be accurately reported no later  
               than July 31 of every third year.  This bill requires the  
               report to include, but is not limited to, whether or not a  
               school safety plan was adopted and a description of the  
               safety plan's elements.

          4)   Prohibits confidential information relating to tactical  
               responses to criminal incidents from being included at the  
               public meeting currently required prior to the adoption of  
               a school safety plan.

          5)   Requires each school principal or administrator of a school  
               without a principal to provide written or electronic notice  
               to each teacher and classified employee that the adopted  
               school safety plan is readily available for inspection. 

          6)   Requires each superintendent of a school district or county  
               office of education, or each administrator in charge of a  
               district or county office without a superintendent, to  
               annually provide written notification, by October 15, to  
               the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) identifying  
               each school within the district or county that has not  
               accurately reported the status of plans in the school  
               accountability report card.

          7)   Adds to the required elements of a charter school petition  
               the development of a school safety plan, which must include  
               specific topics, and is annually reviewed by the school and  
               updated as necessary.  

          8)   Requires each principal or administrator in charge of a  
               school without a principal to keep and maintain a copy of  
               the most recent school safety plan for that school.  This  
               bill requires each superintendent of a school district or a  




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               county office, or each administrator in charge of a  
               district or county office without a superintendent, to keep  
               and maintain a copy of the most recent school safety plan  
               and a copy of every notification sent to the Superintendent  
               of Public Instruction (SPI) of schools that have not  
               developed school safety plans.

          9)   Requires all books, documents, records, and other papers  
               kept and maintained to be open for inspection and copying  
               on business days, excluding legal holidays, during the  
               hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., within 48 hours of a written,  
               verbal, or electronic request by a law enforcement agency.

          10)  Requires California Department of Education to monitor  
               compliance using an existing monitoring framework.  

          11)  Eliminates ability of a school principal to designate  
               another person to act in the principal's place regarding  
               duties associated with school safety plans.  This bill adds  
               "administrator in charge of a school without a principal."

          12)  Modifies the requirement that all safety-related plans and  
               materials be readily available for inspection to strike  
               "public" and instead specify that plans are to be available  
               for inspection by law enforcement and school employees.

          13)  Modifies the list of people and entities that must be  
               notified about the public meeting prior to adoption of a  
               school safety plan to strike reference to the local mayor  
               and a representative of the student body government.  This  
               bill also strikes reference to the list of people and  
               entities that the schoolsite council or school safety  
               planning committee is encouraged to notify.

          14)  Adds non-governmental organizations to agencies that are to  
               be allowed to use school facilities during a disaster.

          15)  Adds the Attorney General and city attorneys to the  
               definition of law enforcement.

           STAFF COMMENTS  

           1)   Need for the bill  .  According to the author, "School safety  
               plans do not service their purpose if there is no  
               compliance.  Recent lockdowns of Los Angeles schools in  
               response to various crimes in their vicinity have exposed  




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               vast differences in the way many of these schools deal with  
               emergency situations.  In one case, according to the School  
               District's Chief of Police, thousands of students were kept  
               in classrooms longer than necessary (as much as 5 hours),  
               causing frustrated parents to complain about the district's  
               handling of the situation.  Those present at the command  
               center remarked that some of the schools were woefully  
               unprepared and improvising on the spot.  The Los Angeles  
               police blamed individual schools for failing to develop  
               their own plans for managing emergencies."  

           2)   Training school personnel  .  Current law does not require  
               the training of school personnel on school safety plans.   
               This bill requires school safety plans to include  
               procedures related to individuals with guns on school  
               campuses and at school-related functions, including  
               training programs related to active shooters and active  
               terrorists.  This bill requires school safety plans to  
               include training programs, presumably information about  
               available training, but does not directly require training.  
                The California Department of Education maintains  
               information on its website relative to training, including  
               training about crisis response.   
                http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/vp/scvptraining.asp  

           3)   Reviewing and updating safety plans  .  This bill modifies  
               the requirement that schools review and update school  
               safety plans from annually to every third year.  The  
               purpose of this extension is because the process of  
               reviewing school safety plans can be time consuming yet  
               schools do not always have a need to update their safety  
               plans.  Nothing in current law, or in this bill, precludes  
               a school from reviewing and updating the school safety plan  
               more frequently.  

          Technical amendments are needed to conform provisions for  
               charter schools and schools that were established after  
               March 1, 2001.  Staff recommends amendments to clarify that  
               all schools are required to review their school safety  
               plans every third year.  (Page 11, line 10 and page 24,  
               line 1)

           4)   Related legislation  .  SB 634 (Price) requires schools to  
               conduct specific safety drills, and adds standards for  
               safety drills to the required elements of school safety  
               plans.  This bill also requires the California Department  




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               of Education to provide information on model comprehensive  
               school safety plans and training programs for school  
               personnel.  SB 634 is scheduled to be heard by this  
               Committee on April 24, 2013.

          AB 1264 (Conway) expands the definition of "tactical response to  
               criminal incidents" to include a plan to safeguard against  
               incidents that include a firearm, explosive, or other  
               deadly weapon, requires a school district or county office  
               of education to publicly announce its adoption or update of  
               a tactical response plan, but does not require disclosure  
               of those portions of the plan that may be kept private,  
               requires school safety plans to include a tactical response  
               plan, and requires the school safety plan to include a  
               protocol for teachers to provide notification of pupils  
               identified as having a potential mental health issue that  
               is likely to result in violence or harm to the pupil or  
               others.  AB 1264 is pending in the Assembly Education  
               Committee.

          SB 316 (Block) requires modernization projects submitted to the  
               Division of the State Architect under the State School  
               Facility Program to include locks that allow classrooms and  
               rooms with an occupancy of five persons or more to be  
               locked from the inside as a condition for receipt of state  
               bond funds beginning January 1, 2016, and requires that all  
               districts and county offices equip every  classroom and  
               rooms with an occupancy of five persons or more with locks  
               that meet this same requirement by January 1, 2017.  SB 316  
               is pending in this Committee.

          AB 202 (Donnelly) establishes the School Marshal Plan and  
               authorizes school districts, county offices of education,  
               and charter schools to use general purpose funds to provide  
               training for school marshals.  AB 202 defines "school  
               marshal" as a school employee who is authorized to possess  
               a firearm at a schoolsite or designated school activities.   
               AB 202 exempts from disclosure the personally identifiable  
               information of a school marshal in an application  for  a  
               license to carry a firearm, or  in  a license to carry a  
               firearm, issued by the sheriff of a county or the chief of  
               other head of a municipal police department.  AB 202 failed  
               passage in the Assembly Education Committee on April 17,  
               2013, on a 1-5 vote.

          AB 470 (Mullin) apportions $321,000 for certain activities of  




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               the Interagency School Safety Demonstration Act of 1985,  
               which includes training to reduce school crime and  
               violence.  AB 470 is pending in the Assembly Education  
               Committee.

          AB 549 (Jones-Sawyer) requires school safety plans to include  
               clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of  
               police officers on the school campus.  AB 549 is scheduled  
               to be heard by the Assembly Education Committee on May 1,  
               2013.

          AB 699 (Donnelly) authorizes a parent or guardian of a public  
               elementary or secondary school pupil to remove his or her  
               child from an unsafe school and enroll his or her child in  
               another school or school district.  AB 699 is scheduled to  
               be heard by the Assembly Education Committee on May 1,  
               2013.

          AB 1076 (Olsen) requires, if federal funding becomes available,  
               the governing board of each school district and each county  
               superintendent of schools to equip the interior of each  
               classroom, cafeteria, theater, gym, and any other regularly  
               used space, except a parking lot, in a public school with a  
               panic button to be used to alert local law enforcement in  
               the event of a violent incident.  AB 1076 is pending in the  
               Assembly Appropriations Committee.

           SUPPORT  

          Los Angeles County Office of Education

           OPPOSITION

           None on file.