Senate BillNo. 559


Introduced by Senator Huff

February 22, 2013


An act to amend Sections 44949 and 44955 of the Education Code, relating to school employees.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 559, as introduced, Huff. Certificated employees: layoff notices.

Existing law requires that, when a reduction in the number of certificated employees employed by a school district is authorized for specified reasons, the notice of termination of the services of an employee in the subsequent school year be given to the employee before May 15. Existing law further requires the superintendent of the school district to give written notice, no later than March 15, to the governing board of the school district and the employee that it has been recommended that the notice of termination described above be given to the employee.

This bill would revise the deadline for the notice of termination of services to the employee to before August 1, and would revise the deadline for the notice the superintendent of a school district is required to provide to no later than June 1. The bill would make various findings and declarations relating to the issuance of the notices specified above.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

P2    1(a)Each year, the May revision of the proposed state budget,
2and the annual Budget Act, provide more predictive information
3for purposes of the district’s budgetary and personnel decisions
4than the January budget proposed by the Governor.

5(b) Existing law requires school districts to issue preliminary
6reduction in force notices by March 15 and final reduction in force
7notices by May 15 of each year.

8(c) As a result of this existing law and in order to guarantee that
9it will remain fiscally solvent, school districts have relied on the
10January budget proposed by the Governor to determine the number
11of layoff notices that it must give to its employees. This results in
12thousands of teachers receiving notices that are later rescinded
13when more accurate information is available in May when the
14proposed budget is revised and later when the annual Budget Act
15is enacted.

16(d) According to the Legislative Analyst Office, this practice
17unnecessarily costs taxpayers $706 per teacher, amounting to
18millions of dollars annually that could be spent in the classroom
19and employing teachers.

20(e) Given the evidence that the existing statutory deadlines hurt
21schools across the State of California, it will be more productive
22for the schools, pupils, and teachers if the deadlines for giving
23notice to certificated employees that the school district may
24terminate their services are extended by two and one-half months.

25

SEC. 2.  

Section 44949 of the Education Code is amended to
26read:

27

44949.  

(a) begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insert No later thanbegin delete March 15end deletebegin insert June 1end insert and before an
28employee is given notice by the governing board that his or her
29services will not be required for the ensuing year for the reasons
30specified in Section 44955, the governing board and the employee
31shall be given written notice by the superintendent of the district
32or his or her designee, or in the case of a districtbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert has
33no superintendent by the clerk or secretary of the governing board,
34that it has been recommended that the notice be given to the
35employee, and stating the reasonsbegin delete thereforend deletebegin insert for the noticeend insert.

begin delete

36 Until

end delete

37begin insert(2)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertUntilend insert the employee has requested a hearing as provided in
38 subdivision (b) or has waived his or her right to a hearing, the
39notice and the reasonsbegin delete thereforend deletebegin insert for the noticeend insert shall be confidential
40and shall not be divulged by any person, except as may be
P3    1necessary in the performance of duties. However,begin delete theend deletebegin insert aend insert violation
2of this requirement of confidentiality, in and of itself, shall not in
3any manner be construed as affecting the validity of any hearing
4conducted pursuant to this section.

5(b) The employee may request a hearing to determine if there
6is cause for not reemploying him or her for the ensuing year. A
7request for a hearing shall be in writing and shall be delivered to
8the person who sent the notice pursuant to subdivision (a), on or
9before a date specified in that subdivision, which shall not be less
10than seven days after the date on which the notice is served upon
11the employee. If an employee fails to request a hearing on or before
12the date specified, his or her failure to do so shall constitute his or
13her waiver of his or her right to a hearing. The notice provided for
14in subdivision (a) shall advise the employee of the provisions of
15this subdivision.

16(c) begin deleteIn the event end deletebegin insertIf end inserta hearing is requested by the employee, the
17proceeding shall be conducted and a decision made in accordance
18with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of
19Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and the governing
20board shall have all the power granted to an agency therein, except
21that all of the following shall apply:

22(1) The respondent shall file his or her notice of defense, if any,
23within five days after service upon him or her of the accusation
24and he or she shall be notified of this five-day period for filing in
25the accusation.

26(2) The discovery authorized by Section 11507.6 of the
27Government Code shall be available only if request is made
28therefor within 15 days after service of the accusation, and the
29notice required by Section 11505 of the Government Code shall
30so indicate.

31(3) The hearing shall be conducted by an administrative law
32judge who shall prepare a proposed decision, containing findings
33of fact and a determination as to whether the charges sustained by
34the evidence are related to the welfare of the schools and the pupils
35thereof. The proposed decision shall be prepared for the governing
36board and shall contain a determination as to the sufficiency of
37the cause and a recommendation as to disposition. However, the
38governing board shall make the final determination as to the
39sufficiency of the cause and disposition. None of the findings,
40recommendations, or determinations contained in the proposed
P4    1decision prepared by the administrative law judge shall be binding
2on the governing board. Nonsubstantive procedural errors
3committed by the school district or governing board of the school
4district shall not constitute cause for dismissing the charges unless
5the errors are prejudicial errors. Copies of the proposed decision
6shall be submitted to the governing board and to the employee on
7or beforebegin delete May 7end deletebegin insert July 24end insert of the year in which the proceeding is
8commenced. All expenses of the hearing, including the cost of the
9administrative law judge, shall be paid by the governing board
10from the district funds.

11The boardbegin delete may adoptend deletebegin insert,end insert from time to timebegin delete suchend deletebegin insert, may adoptend insert rules
12and proceduresbegin delete not inconsistentend deletebegin insert consistentend insert withbegin delete provisions ofend delete this
13section as may be necessary to effectuate this section.

14(d) Any notice or request shall be deemed sufficient when it is
15delivered in person to the employee to whom it is directed, or when
16it is deposited in the United States registered mail, postage prepaid
17and addressed to the last known address of the employee.

18(e) If after request for hearing pursuant to subdivision (b) any
19continuance is granted pursuant to Section 11524 of the
20Government Code, the dates prescribed in subdivision (c)begin delete whichend delete
21begin insert thatend insert occur on or after the date of granting the continuance and the
22date prescribed in subdivision (c) of Section 44955begin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert
23 occurs after the date of granting the continuance shall be extended
24for a period of time equal to the continuance.

25

SEC. 3.  

Section 44955 of the Education Code is amended to
26read:

27

44955.  

(a) No permanent employee shall be deprived of his
28or her position for causes other than those specified in Sections
2944907 and 44923, and Sections 44932 to 44947, inclusive, and no
30probationary employee shall be deprived of his or her position for
31cause other than as specified in Sections 44948 to 44949, inclusive.

32(b) begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insert Whenever in any school year the average daily
33attendance in all of the schools of a district for the first six months
34in which school is in session shall have declined below the
35corresponding period of either of the previous two school years,
36whenever the governing board determines that attendance in a
37district will decline in the following year as a result of the
38termination of an interdistrictbegin delete tuitionend deletebegin insert educationend insert agreement as
39begin delete definedend deletebegin insert set forthend insert in Section 46304, whenever a particular kind of
40service is to be reduced or discontinued not later than the beginning
P5    1of the following school year, or whenever the amendment of state
2law requires the modification of curriculum, and when in the
3opinion of the governing board of the district it shall have become
4necessary by reason of any of these conditions to decrease the
5number of permanent employees in the district, the governing
6board may terminate the services of not more than a corresponding
7percentage of the certificated employees of the district, permanent
8as well as probationary, at the close of the school year. Except as
9otherwise provided by statute, the services ofbegin delete noend deletebegin insert aend insert permanent
10employeebegin delete mayend deletebegin insert shall notend insert be terminated underbegin delete the provisions ofend delete this
11section while any probationary employee, or any other employee
12with less seniority, is retained to render a servicebegin delete which saidend deletebegin insert that
13theend insert
permanent employee is certificated and competent to render.

begin delete

14 In

end delete

15begin insert(2)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertInend insert computing a decline in average daily attendance for
16purposes of this section for a newly formed or reorganized school
17district, each school of the district shall be deemed to have been
18a school of the newly formed or reorganized district for both of
19the two previous school years.

begin delete

20 As

end delete

21begin insert(3)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertAsend insert between employees who first rendered paid service to
22thebegin insert schoolend insert district on the same date, the governing board shall
23determine the order of termination solely on the basis of needs of
24thebegin insert schoolend insert district and thebegin delete students thereofend deletebegin insert pupils of the districtend insert.
25Upon the request ofbegin delete anyend deletebegin insert anend insert employee whose order of termination
26isbegin delete soend delete determined, the governing board shall furnish in writing no
27later than five days prior to the commencement of the hearing held
28in accordance with Section 44949begin delete,end delete a statement of the specific
29criteria used in determining the order of termination and the
30application of the criteria in ranking each employee relative to the
31other employees in the group. This requirement that the governing
32board provide, on request, a written statement of reasons for
33determining the order of termination shall not be interpreted to
34give affected employees any legal right or interest that would not
35exist withoutbegin delete such aend deletebegin insert thatend insert requirement.

36(c) begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insert Notice ofbegin delete suchend delete termination of services shall be given
37beforebegin delete the 15th of Mayend deletebegin insert August 1end insert in the manner prescribed in
38Section 44949, and services ofbegin delete suchend deletebegin insert thoseend insert employees shall be
39terminated in the inverse of the order in which they were employed,
40as determined by the board in accordance withbegin delete the provisions ofend delete
P6    1 Sections 44844 and 44845.begin delete In the event thatend deletebegin insert Ifend insert a permanent or
2probationary employee is not given the notices and a right to a
3hearing as provided for in Section 44949, he or she shall be deemed
4reemployed for the ensuing school year.

begin delete

5 The

end delete

6begin insert(2)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertTheend insert governing board shall make assignments and
7reassignments in such a manner that employees shall be retained
8to render any service begin deletewhichend deletebegin insert thatend insert their seniority and qualifications
9entitle them to render. However, prior to assigning or reassigning
10any certificated employee to teach a subjectbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert he or she
11has not previously taught, and for which he or she does not have
12a teaching credential orbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert is not within the employee’s
13major area of postsecondary study or the equivalent thereof, the
14governing board shall require the employee to pass a subject matter
15competency test in the appropriate subject.

16(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a school district may
17deviate from terminating a certificated employee in order of
18seniority for either of the following reasons:

19(1) The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to
20teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services
21authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either
22pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the
23certificated employee has special training and experience necessary
24to teach that course or course of study or to provide those services,
25which others with more seniority do not possess.

26(2) For purposes of maintaining or achieving compliance with
27constitutional requirements related to equal protection of the laws.



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