BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 770 (Irwin) - Community colleges: basic skills innovation  
          program.
          
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          |Version: August 18, 2015        |Policy Vote: ED. 9 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 24, 2015   |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill expands the duties of the California  
          Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) related to  
          implementation of the Community Colleges Basic Skills and  
          Student Outcomes Transformation Program established in the  
          Budget Act of 2015 trailer bill.  These duties are related to  
          determining the level of funding to be awarded to a recipient  
          community college district and advising on the creation of a  
          team of technical assistance providers to assist in the  
          development of required community college plans, as specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Costs likely in the hundreds of thousands to contract out for  
            technical assistance teams.  These costs would likely be  
            covered by the $60 million appropriation provided in the  
            budget.  This would translate to fewer grants for community  
            colleges. (Proposition 98)







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          Background:  Basic skills courses provide those foundational skills in  
          reading, writing, mathematics, and English as a Second Language,  
          as well as learning skills and study skills, which are necessary  
          for students to succeed in college-level work.  According to a  
          survey by the CCCCO, about 85 percent of incoming community  
          college students arrive unprepared for college-level work in  
          math, and about 70 percent arrive unprepared for college-level  
          English.  There has been a national movement to reform remedial  
          education.
          SB 81 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chapter 22,  
          Statutes of 2015) established a new program for the purpose of  
          adopting or expanding the use of evidence-based practices for  
          accelerating completion of basic skills courses.  The Budget Act  
          provided $60 million for the program.  According to the author's  
          office, AB 770 builds upon the recently adopted program by  
          providing further guidance to the CCCCO in administering the  
          program.


          To receive a grant, the governing board of a community college  
          district must demonstrate in its application for funding, that  
          its participating community colleges will redesign their  
          curriculum, career pathways, assessment and placement  
          procedures, to implement, or significantly expand the use or  
          application of two or more of the following evidence-based  
          practices and principles: 


             1)   Adopting placement tests or other student assessment  
               indicators and related policies, including grades in high  
               school;


             2)   Increasing the placement of students directly in gateway  
               English and mathematics courses that are transferable;


             3)   Aligning content in remedial courses with the student's  
               course of study to target students' actual needs and  
               increase relevance;










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             4)   Contextualizing remedial instruction in foundational  
               skills for the industry cluster of pathways in which the  
               student seeks to advance;


             5)   Providing proactive student support services that are  
               integrated with the instruction provided; and


             6)   Developing two- and three- course sequences, as  
               appropriate, for completion of a college-level English or  
               mathematics course for underprepared students by either by  
               using technology to enhance the adoption of the practices  
               above or other strategies so long as the college provides  
               evidence that the practice is effective.


          Each community college is required to develop a plan based on  
          two or more of the above evidence-based practices that  
          demonstrate a clear strategy for ensuring that within a  
          five-year period, an increasing share of the students who enroll  
          at participating community colleges will complete a  
          college-level English or mathematics course within three or less  
          courses, or earn an industry-relevant college certificate or  
          degree within two years.  The plan must include a baseline of  
          current practices, targets for interventions, and plans for  
          addressing related professional and technical needs.  


          The CCCCO is responsible for developing application criteria,  
          administrative guidelines, distributing and monitoring awards to  
          community college districts, and transmitting information  
          provided by community college districts regarding the progress  
          of the grant program so that the Legislative Analyst's Office  
          can aggregate, analyze, and report on the information.




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill also adds to the duties of the CCCCO regarding  
          implementation of this program: 
             (1)  Determining the level of funding to be awarded to a  
               recipient community college district based upon the scope  








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               and complexity of the work proposed in its plan, as  
               evidenced by the number of students to be served,  
               strategies to be employed, and projected results of the  
               plan's implementation; and 


             (2)  Consulting with internal and external stakeholders to  
               advise on the creation of a team of technical assistance  
               providers to assist a community college in the development  
               and implementation of its plan.  This bill provides that  
               the CCCCO may contract out for this activity.




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