BILL ANALYSIS Ó 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 SB 49 Page 2 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. SB 49 Page 3 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 SB 49 Page 4 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 SB 49 Page 5 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 SB 49 Page 6 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 SB 49 Page 7 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 SB 49 Page 8 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.