BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 340             
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          |Author:    |Weber                                                |
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          |Version:   |July 8, 2015                                Hearing  |
          |           |Date:        July 15, 2015                           |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes            |
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          |Consultant:|Kathleen Chavira                                     |
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          Subject:  Postsecondary education:  campus climate:  report

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board  
          of Governors (BOG) and the California State University (CSU)  
          Trustees, and encourages the University of California (UC)  
          Regents, to each generate a report, as specified, pertaining  
          campus climate.

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

          1)Declares it a shared goal of public education and independent  
            institutions of higher education to achieve educational equity  
            not only through a diverse and representative student body and  
            faculty, but also through educational environments in which  
            each person, regardless of race, gender, gender identity,  
            gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability or  
            economic circumstances has a reasonable change to fully  
            develop his or her potential.  (Education Code  66010.2)

          2)Provides that it is the policy of the State of California to  
            afford all persons, regardless of disability, gender, gender  
            identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity,  
            religion, sexual orientation, or any other basis that is  
            contained in the prohibition of hate crimes, as specified,  
            equal rights and opportunities in the postsecondary  
            institutions of the state.  (EC  66251)







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          3)Declares that, consistent with specified federal law  
            provisions, all students have the right to participate fully  
            in the educational process, free from discrimination and  
            harassment and that California's postsecondary educational  
            institutions have an affirmative obligation to combat racism,  
            sexism, and other forms of bias, and a responsibility to  
            provide equal educational opportunity.  It also declares the  
            Legislature's intent that each postsecondary educational  
            institution undertake educational activities to counter  
            discriminatory incidents on school grounds and, within  
            constitutional bounds, to minimize and eliminate a hostile  
            environment on school grounds that impair the access of  
            students to equal educational opportunities.  (EC  66252)

          4)Requests the UC Regents, CSU Trustees, and the governing board  
            of each community college district to adopt and publish  
            policies on harassment, intimidation, 

            and bullying to be included within the rules and regulations  
            governing student behavior within their respective segments of  
            public postsecondary education. 
            (EC  66302)
            
          ANALYSIS
          
          This bill:

          1)Requires the California Community Colleges (CCC) Board of  
            Governors (BOG) and the California State University (CSU)  
            Trustees, and encourages the University of California (UC)  
            Regents, to generate a report once every biennium of the  
            legislative session, beginning with the 2017-2018 Regular  
            Session that include, but is not limited to the following  
            elements:

             a)   New and recent administrative efforts intended to affect  
               campus climate.

             b)   Recent campus program developments related to gender,  
               race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual  
               orientation, disability, and gender identity that impact  
               campus climate.









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             c)   Data, including, but not limited to, student demographic  
               data, and crime data, including, but not limited to, the  
               data required to be kept and disclosed under specified  
               federal law and other hate crime statistics.

          2)Requires the CCC BOG and the CSU Trustees, and encourages the  
            UC Regents, to each post the respective segment's report on  
            its Internet Web site and send it to the Governor, the  
            Attorney General, and the appropriate policy committees of the  
            Legislature.

          3)Defines "campus climate" to mean a measure of an individual's  
            experience within a learning environment, specifically on the  
            current attitudes, practices, policies, and behaviors of  
            campus life that impact the success and retention of all  
            members of a campus community.

          4)Deletes the request that the CSU Trustees and each community  
            college district governing board adopt and publish policies on  
            harassment, intimidation, and bullying as part of their rules  
            and regulations governing student behavior and instead,  
            requires such action if the governing body expends funds to  
            support activities related to campus climate, as defined. 

          5)Requests the UC Regent adopt and publish policies on  
            harassment, intimidation, and bullying to be included within  
            their rules and regulations governing student behavior. 

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
       1)Source of the bill.  This bill is a result of the efforts of the  
            Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate.  According to the  
            author, "The select committee sought to examine public safety  
            protocols and practices of California's higher education  
            institutions while exploring solutions to encourage campus  
            safety and promote healthier campus climates.  The select  
            committee's mission was to ensure that the state's college  
            campuses are safe and welcoming environments for all students.  
            "   The author contends that, existing law does not  
            specifically address campus climate and that this measure  
            would be the appropriate next step in creating some type of  
            oversight of campus climate.  According to the author the UC  
            recently conducted a system-wide campus climate survey which  
            revealed that every campus handles related situations  








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            differently.  As California's higher education systems  
            continue to grow and become increasingly diverse, students  
            need to feel safe on campus and knowledgeable about campus  
            procedures, policies, and services. 

       2)Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate.  Created by former  
            Speaker John Perez in 2014, the select committee was a result  
            of a number of incidents such as a 2013 case involving an  
            African-American student who experienced on-campus racial  
            bullying at San Jose State.  The committee held four hearings  
            throughout the state and heard from system-wide  
            representatives, university administrators, faculty,  
            university staff, students, community organizations and policy  
            experts.  The committee issued a report with its  
            recommendations in October 2014. Among other things, the  
            committee recommended that the UC, CSU and CCC provide an  
            annual report to the Legislature on recent challenges and  
            developments in regards to campus climate. This bill  
            implements these report recommendations with the intent that  
            there be a certain level of oversight and that the Legislature  
            be kept informed of any major changes at California colleges  
            and universities. 

            SUPPORT
          
          Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges
          California Conference of the NAACP
          California Federation of Teachers
          California State University

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received.

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