BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          SB 634 (Price) - Schools Safety Plans: Safety Drills
          
          Amended: May 1, 2013            Policy Vote: Education 8-0
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: Yes
          Hearing Date: May 23, 2013      Consultant: Jacqueline  
          Wong-Hernandez
          
          SUSPENSE FILE.


          Bill Summary: SB 634 requires comprehensive school safety plans  
          to include procedures for conducting school safety drills. This  
          bill would require each school during each school year to  
          conduct a minimum number of school evacuation drills relating to  
          fire incidents, as provided, and authorize schools to conduct  
          other specified school evacuations. This bill would further  
          require schools to conduct at least one law enforcement school  
          lockdown drill. 
          
          Fiscal Impact: 
              Mandate: Potentially significant reimbursable costs  
              incurred by requiring schools to develop procedures for  
              conducting school safety drills, and for requiring schools  
              to conduct at least one law enforcement lockdown drill per  
              year.

          Background: Existing law requires each school district and COE  
          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 school.  (Education Code § 32281)

          School districts and COEs, in consultation with law enforcement,  
          are authorized to elect not to have schoolsite councils develop  
          and write portions of the school safety plan that include  
          tactical responses to criminal incidents. Portions of the safety  
          plan containing tactical responses may be developed by school  
          administrators in consultation with law enforcement. Governing  
          boards are authorized to approve the tactical response portion  
          of the safety plan in a closed session.  (EC § 32281)









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          Existing law 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. The comprehensive school  
          safety plan is required to be evaluated at least once a year.   
          (EC § 32282)

          Existing law further requires each school to submit its school  
          safety plan to the school district or COE for approval and  
          requires a school district or COE to notify the California  
          Department of Education (CDE) by October 15 of every year of any  
          school that is not in compliance.  (EC § 32288)
          Existing law also requires, the Superintendent of Public  
          Instruction, if he or she determines that there has been a  
          willful failure to make any report required in school safety  
          plan statutes, to: a) Notify the school district or county  
          office of education in which the willful failure has occurred;  
          and, 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 COE's future apportionment.  (EC § 32287).

          Existing law requires every public, private or parochial school  
          building having an occupant capacity of 50 or more, or with more  
          than one classroom, to have a dependable and operative fire  
          alarm system, and for the fire alarm to be tested at least once  
          a month. Existing law requires a fire drill to be conducted at  
          least once every month at elementary schools and at least four  
          times a year at the intermediate levels.  (EC § 32001)

          Proposed Law: SB 634 requires that, as a component of the  
          comprehensive school safety plan, a school establish procedures  
          for conducting school safety drills. This bill would require  
          each school, during each school year, to conduct a specified  
          minimum number of school evacuation drills relating to fire  
          incidents, and authorize schools to conduct school evacuation  
          drills for other incident types. This bill would also require  
          schools to conduct at least one law enforcement school lockdown  
          drill per school year. The bill would authorize schools, school  
          districts, and COEs preparing for and executing these drills to  








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          work with local first responders and law enforcement agencies,  
          as specified. 

          Related Legislation: SB 49 (Lieu) 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. This  
          bill is also scheduled to be heard in this Committee on May 13,  
          2013.

          Staff Comments: This bill makes statutory changes to the  
          existing state mandates regarding comprehensive school safety  
          plans. The state has paid nearly $10 million over the past three  
          years in local educational agency (LEA) reimbursements for the  
          1,450 mandate claims related to comprehensive school safety  
          plans.

          This bill places two new requirements on LEAs with regard to  
          their comprehensive school safety plans already mandated in  
          state law. Both are likely to expand the scope of the existing  
          school safety plans mandates and result in significant  
          additional state costs. 
          
          This bill requires LEAs to establish procedures for conducting  
          school safety drills, including for law enforcement lockdown  
          drills newly required by this bill. This mandate will apply to  
          the more than 10,000 schools in California, and is likely to  
          result in significant reimbursable costs to LEAs. These new  
          duties and requirements will expand the reimbursement level for  
          the existing mandate. Since the mandate has already been proven  
          and the reimbursement methodology determined, it will be  
          relatively simple for school districts and COEs to show that  
          this bill further increases their mandated duties with respect  
          to comprehensive school safety plans. School districts can also  
          aggregate their costs among all their schools and file a single  
          mandate claim.

          This bill requires all schools to conduct at least one law  
          enforcement school lockdown drill "to prepare pupils, school  
          personnel, and law enforcement personnel to respond to  
          situations in which conditions inside school buildings are safer  
          than conditions outside school buildings." This requirement is  
          likely to result in reimbursable costs for LEAs to coordinate  








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          with law enforcement, as well as to plan and conduct the drills.

          While the bill states that LEAs "may work with local first  
          responders and law enforcement agencies to formulate safety  
          plans and to prepare and execute safety drills," it appears to  
          functionally require that coordination by specifying that part  
          of the purpose of the lockdown drill is to prepare law  
          enforcement personnel to respond to incidents occurring in  
          school campuses. There may be additional costs to LEAs to  
          involve law enforcement personnel, and those costs could be  
          deemed reimbursable.