California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1012


Introduced by Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer

February 26, 2015


An act to add Sections 51228.1, 51228.2, and 51228.3 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1012, as introduced, Jones-Sawyer. Pupil instruction: course periods without educational content.

(1) Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary education in this state, and requires and authorizes local educational agencies to provide specified instruction at elementary and secondary schools. Existing law prescribes various requirements with respect to a course of study for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, at these schools.

This bill would prohibit school districts that maintain any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, from assigning any pupil enrolled in a school, as defined to exclude alternative schools, community day schools, continuation schools, and opportunity schools, in the school district to any course period without educational content, as defined, for more than one week in any semester, except under prescribed conditions. The bill would specifically prohibit school districts from assigning any pupil enrolled in a school in the school district to a course period without educational content because there are not sufficient curricular course offerings for the pupil to take during the relevant period of the designated schoolday.

The bill would also prohibit school districts that maintain any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, from assigning a pupil to a course that the pupil has previously completed and received a grade determined by the school district to be sufficient to satisfy the requirements and prerequisites for admission to the California public institutions of postsecondary education and the minimum requirements for receiving a diploma of graduation for high school, except under specified conditions.

The bill would specify that it is not to be interpreted to limit or otherwise affect the authority of a school district to provide evening high school programs, independent study programs, or work-based learning or work experience education.

The bill would specify procedures to be followed if a school district determines that, at any point during the current or preceding academic year, one or more of its schools have not satisfied the requirements of the bill. The bill would also authorize members of the public to file complaints alleging violations of the provisions of the bill, and would provide for procedures for the disposition of these complaints.

To the extent that this bill would create new duties for local educational agencies, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.

(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

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

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 51228.1 is added to the Education Code,
2to read:

3

51228.1.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (e), a school
4district maintaining any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, shall not assign
5any pupil enrolled in a school in the school district to any course
6period without educational content for more than one week in any
7semester, unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:

8(1) For any pupil who has not fulfilled the prerequisites for
9admission to the California public institutions of postsecondary
10education or the minimum requirements for receiving a diploma
11of graduation for high school established in this article:

P3    1(A) The principal or primary guidance counselor of the school
2certifies in a document to be placed in the pupil’s cumulative record
3that the pupil will benefit from being assigned to the course period,
4and provides an individualized explanation in the written
5certification for that conclusion, which may include an
6individualized determination that the pupil will benefit from
7mentorship that will be provided by the certificated or certified
8employee supervising the pupil during the relevant period.

9(B) The principal or primary guidance counselor of the school
10certifies in a document to be placed in the pupil’s cumulative file
11that providing a course period with educational content is not likely
12to benefit the pupil to the same extent as providing the course
13period without educational content, and provides an explanation
14in the written certification for that conclusion.

15(C) The principal or primary guidance counselor of the school
16certifies in a document to be placed in the pupil’s cumulative record
17that the pupil is not being assigned to the course because there are
18no other courses with curricular content for the pupil to take during
19the relevant period in the designated schoolday.

20(D) A school official places in the pupil’s cumulative file, within
21one week of assigning the pupil to the course period without
22educational content, documentation that he or she met with the
23pupil and parent, legal guardian, or educational rights holder of
24the pupil and obtained a signed consent form for the pupil’s
25enrollment in the course period without educational content.

26(E) The pupil is assigned to no more than one course period
27without educational content during a single semester.

28(2) For any pupil who has fulfilled both the prerequisites for
29admission to the California public institutions of postsecondary
30education and the minimum requirements for receiving a diploma
31of graduation for high school established in this article:

32(A) The principal of the school certifies in writing that the pupil
33will obtain educational value from being assigned to the course
34period and provides an explanation in the written certification for
35that conclusion, which may include an individualized determination
36that the pupil will benefit from mentorship that will be provided
37by the certificated or certified employee supervising the pupil
38during the relevant period or identification of the educational or
39employment opportunity that assigning the course period will allow
P4    1the pupil to pursue and reason for concluding the pupil will, in
2fact, pursue that opportunity.

3(B) The principal or primary guidance counselor of the school
4certifies in a document to be placed in the pupil’s cumulative record
5that the pupil is not being assigned to the course because there are
6no other courses with curricular content for the pupil to take during
7the relevant period in the designated schoolday.

8(C) A school official places in the pupil’s cumulative file, within
9one week of assigning the pupil to the course period without
10educational content, documentation that he or she met with the
11pupil and parent, legal guardian, or educational rights holder of
12the pupil and obtained a signed consent form for the pupil’s
13enrollment in the course period without educational content.

14(b) Under no circumstances shall a school district assign any
15pupil enrolled in a school in the school district to a course period
16without educational content because there are not sufficient
17curricular course offerings for the pupil to take during the relevant
18period of the designated school day.

19(c) For purposes of this section, “course period without
20educational content” is defined as one course period during which
21the pupil is expected to engage in activities with no assigned or
22planned substantive curricular content. This definition includes,
23but is not limited to, a course period during which a pupil is
24assigned to a room in which no certificated staff is designated to
25provide instruction or assistance with assignments or curricular
26content from other assigned courses, is sent home or released from
27campus before the conclusion of the designated school day, or is
28not assigned to any course for the relevant course period.

29(d) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit or
30otherwise affect the authority of a school district to establish and
31maintain evening high school programs, as provided for in Article
323 (commencing with Section 51720) of Chapter 5, to offer
33 independent study, as provided for in Article 5.5 (commencing
34with Section 51745) of Chapter 5, to provide courses of work-based
35learning or work experience education, as provided for in Article
367 (commencing with Section 51760) of Chapter 5, or to offer any
37class or course of instruction authorized under Chapter 5
38(commencing with Section 51700), if the program otherwise meets
39all of the requirements of law governing that program.

P5    1(e) This section shall not apply to a pupil enrolled in any of the
2following:

3(1) An alternative school.

4(2) A community day school.

5(3) A continuation high school.

6(4) An opportunity school.

7

SEC. 2.  

Section 51228.2 is added to the Education Code, to
8read:

9

51228.2.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (d), a school
10district maintaining any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, shall not assign
11any pupil enrolled in a school in the school district to a course that
12the pupil has previously completed and received a grade determined
13by the school district to be sufficient to satisfy the requirements
14and prerequisites for admission to the California public institutions
15of postsecondary education and the minimum requirements for
16receiving a diploma of graduation for high school established in
17this article, unless all of the following conditions are satisfied:

18(1) The principal or primary guidance counselor of the school
19certifies in a document to be placed in the pupil’s cumulative record
20that the course is designed to be repeated because pupils are
21exposed to a new curriculum year-to-year and are therefore
22expected to derive educational value from taking the course again.

23(2) The principal or primary guidance counselor of the school
24certifies in a document to be placed in the pupil’s cumulative record
25that the pupil is not being assigned to the course because there are
26no other courses with curricular content for the pupil to take during
27the relevant period in the designated schoolday.

28(3) A school official places in the pupil’s cumulative file, within
29one week of assigning the pupil to the course period,
30documentation that he or she met with the pupil and obtained the
31pupil’s signed consent to enroll in the course.

32(b) Under no circumstances shall a school district assign any
33pupil enrolled in a school in the school district to a course that the
34pupil has previously completed and received a grade determined
35by the school district to be sufficient to satisfy the requirements
36and prerequisites for admission to the California public institutions
37of postsecondary education and the minimum requirements for
38receiving a diploma of graduation for high school established in
39this article because there are not sufficient curricular course
P6    1offerings for the pupil to take during the relevant period of the
2designated schoolday.

3(c) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit or
4otherwise affect the authority of a school district to establish and
5maintain evening high school programs, as provided for in Article
63 (commencing with Section 51720) of Chapter 5, to offer
7independent study, as provided for in Article 5.5 (commencing
8with Section 51745) of Chapter 5, to provide courses of work-based
9learning or work experience education, as provided for in Article
107 (commencing with Section 51760) of Chapter 5, or to offer any
11class or course of instruction authorized under Chapter 5
12(commencing with Section 51700), if the program otherwise meets
13all of the requirements of law governing that program.

14(d) This section shall not apply to a pupil enrolled in any of the
15following:

16(1) An alternative school.

17(2) A community day school.

18(3) A continuation high school.

19(4) An opportunity school.

20

SEC. 3.  

Section 51228.3 is added to the Education Code, to
21read:

22

51228.3.  

(a) If a school district determines that, at any point
23during the current or preceding academic year, one or more of its
24schools has not satisfied the requirements of Section 51228.1 or
2551228.2, it shall immediately notify the Superintendent and include
26all of the following in that notification:

27(1) A description of the circumstances that caused the school
28district not to satisfy the pertinent requirement.

29(2) The number of pupils affected.

30(3) The steps that the school district has taken, if any, to resolve
31the situation.

32(4) Any changes to the school district’s policies or procedures
33to ensure that all of its schools satisfy the requirements of Sections
3451228.1 and 51228.2 in the future.

35(b) Any member of the public may file a complaint directly with
36the department alleging that, at any point during the current or
37preceding academic year, a school district has not satisfied the
38requirements of Section 51228.1 or 51228.2. A complaint may be
39filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or
40information leading to evidence to support an allegation that the
P7    1school district has not satisfied the requirements of Section 51228.1
2or 51228.2.

3(c) Within 21 days of receiving a complaint pursuant to
4subdivision (b), the department shall complete an investigation
5into the circumstances giving rise to the report or complaint.

6(d) To the extent that the department concludes, in response to
7a complaint filed under subdivision (b), that the school district has
8not taken appropriate action to resolve the situation that gave rise
9to a report or complaint, the Superintendent shall immediately
10convene a local assistance committee to develop a written plan to
11ensure that the school district satisfies the requirements of Sections
1251228.1 and 51228.2. In developing the plan, the local assistance
13committee shall consult with pupils, parents, legal guardians or
14educational rights holders, and teachers at the affected schools.
15The local assistance committee shall complete the plan no later
16than 21 days after the department makes the determination required
17pursuant to this subdivision.

18(e) The Superintendent shall prepare an annual report detailing
19actions taken pursuant to this section. The Superintendent shall
20submit the report to the Legislature in advance of the department’s
21budget hearing each fiscal year. The report shall be submitted in
22compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

23(f) The Superintendent shall have all power and authority
24necessary to effectuate the requirements of this section.

25

SEC. 4.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
26this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
27local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
28pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
294 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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