BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                    AB 1012


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          1012 (Jones-Sawyer)


          As Amended  September 3, 2015


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 79-0 | (June 3,      |SENATE: |39-0  | (September 8,   |
          |           |      |2015)          |        |      |2015)            |
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          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  ED.


          SUMMARY:  Defines "courses without educational content,"  
          prohibits a school district serving any grades 9-12 from  
          assigning students to a course without educational content for  
          more than one week in any semester, and prohibits the assignment  
          of any student to a course that the student has previously  
          completed and received a satisfactory grade, unless specified  
          conditions are met.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Defines a "course period without educational content" as a  
            course period during which any of the following occurs:


             a)   The student is sent home or released from campus before  
               the conclusion of the designated school day.


             b)   The student is assigned to a service, instructional work  








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               experience, or to an otherwise named course in which the  
               student is assigned to assist a certificated employee, but  
               not expected to complete curricular assignments, in a  
               course the certificated employee is teaching during that  
               period and where the ratio of certificated employees to  
               students assigned to the course for curricular purposes is  
               less than one to one.


             c)   The student is not assigned to any course for the  
               relevant course period.


          1)Prohibits, commencing with the 2016-17 school year, a school  
            district maintaining grades 9 to 12 from assigning any student  
            to any course period without educational content for more than  
            one week in any semester, unless all of the following  
            requirement are met:


             a)   A student is assigned to that course only if the student  
               or, for a student who has not reached the age of majority,  
               the student's parent, guardian, or educational rights  
               holder has consented in writing to the assignment.


             b)   A school official has determined that the student will  
               benefit from being assigned to the course period.


             c)   The principal or assistant principal of the school has  
               stated in a written document maintained at the school that,  
               for the relevant school year, no students are assigned to  
               those classes unless the school has met the conditions  
               specified in a) and b) above.


          1)Prohibits, commencing with the 2016-17 school year, a school  
            district maintaining grades 9 to 12 from assigning any student  
            to a course that the student has previously completed and  
            received a grade sufficient to satisfy the requirements and  
            prerequisites for admission to the California public  








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            institutions of postsecondary education and the minimum  
            requirements for receiving a diploma of graduation from high  
            school, unless:


             a)   The course has been designed to be taken more than once  
               because students are exposed to a new curriculum from  
               year-to-year and are therefore expected to derive  
               educational value from taking the course again.


             b)   For any course that has not been designed to be taken  
               more than once, all of the following conditions are  
               satisfied:


               i)     A student is assigned to the course only if the  
                 student or, for a student who has not reached the age of  
                 majority, the student's parent, guardian, or educational  
                 rights holder has consented in writing to the assignment  
                 for the purpose of improving a lower grade.


               ii)    A school official has determined that the student  
                 will benefit from being assigned to the course period.


               iii)   The principal or assistant principal of the school  
                 has stated in a written document to be maintained at the  
                 school that, for the relevant school year, no students  
                 are assigned to those classes unless the school has met  
                 the conditions specified in a) and b) above.


          1)Clarifies a school district is not prohibited from  
            establishing and offering evening high school classes,  
            independent study, courses of work-based learning or work  
            experience, or distance learning if the program otherwise  
            meets all of the requirements of law governing that program.


          2)Excludes students enrolled in an alternative school, a  








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            community day school, a continuation high school or an  
            opportunity school from provisions of this bill.


          3)Makes these requirements subject to the Uniform Complaint  
            Procedures (UCP), requires the California Department of  
            Education (CDE) to respond to appeals within 60 days, and  
            requires that if merit is found in an appeal the local  
            educational agency to provide a remedy to the affected  
            student.


          4)Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to  
            annually prepare an annual report detailing actions taken  
            regarding related complaints, and requires the SPI, by January  
            1 of each year, to submit the report to the appropriate fiscal  
            and policy committees of the Legislature.  


          5)Requires the SPI to develop regulations for adoption by the  
            State Board of Education (SBE) to establish procedures  
            governing these requirements.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)Change the applicability of the bill from school districts  
            offering grades 7-12 to those offering grades 9-12.


          2)Streamline the process by which exceptions may be made to the  
            prohibition on placement in courses without educational  
            content and placement in courses which have been  
            satisfactorily completed.


          3)Clarify the definition of "service," "instructional work  
            experience," or otherwise named course.


          4)Clarify that the provisions of the bill apply to course  








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            placement of students enrolled in grades 9-12.


          5)Clarify that the provisions of the bill do not limit or  
            otherwise affect the authority of a school district to  
            authorize dual enrollment in community college.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Specifies requirements for graduation from high school,  
            including:  three courses in English; two courses in  
            mathematics; two courses in science; three courses in social  
            studies; one course in visual or performing arts, foreign  
            language, or career technical education; and two courses in  
            physical education.  Authorizes school districts to adopt  
            additional requirements for graduation.


          2)Establishes course requirements for admission to the  
            University of California and the California State University,  
            known as the A-G requirements.


          3)Requires that only the attendance of students under the  
            immediate supervision and control of a certificated employee  
            is counted toward the computation of average daily attendance.


          4)Establishes the minimum day in middle school and high school  
            as 240 minutes.  


          5)Through regulation, requires LEAs to adopt uniform complaint  
            procedures through which the public can register complaints  
            regarding educational programs and rights.  (California Code  
            of Regulations, Title 5, Section 4600).  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, the California Department of Education (CDE)  








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          indicates the need of eight full-time positions, one part-time  
          position, and about $794,000 ongoing funding as no office  
          currently exists to monitor schools for course content.  Costs  
          also include addressing complaints of noncompliance and appeals  
          and providing technical assistance to the field.  


          COMMENTS:  


          Need for this bill.  The author's office states, "Thousands of  
          high school students across California are tracked into  
          so-called "classes," where they are given meaningless "credits"  
          for sitting at home, in the office, or taking a course they've  
          already passed.  


          School districts have given these courses different names  
          ("home," "service," "work-experience," "college," "adult"), but  
          they all have a common trait:  they rob students of learning  
          time and the opportunity for a real education.  And many of the  
          affected students need real, academic classes to fulfill  
          graduation or college access requirements.


          The schools where this occurs serve almost exclusively  
          low-income students of color.  Although this is not the norm  
          across California, it is all-too common in communities where  
          students can least afford to lose learning time.  It is time to  
          ensure that all of our schools have the support they need to  
          provide real classes to every student until they graduate." 


          Bill related to lawsuit filed by the sponsor.  This bill is  
          related to Cruz v. State of California, a class action lawsuit  
          filed May 29th, 2014 in Alameda County Superior Court against  
          the state on behalf of students in seven schools.


          The suit names as plaintiffs a class of current or future  
          students attending Castlemont High School in the Oakland Unified  
          School District, John C. Fremont High School in the Los Angeles  








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          Unified School District (LAUSD), Nystrom Elementary School in  
          the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Franklin S.  
          Whaley Middle School in the Compton Unified School District,  
          Fremont High School in the Oakland Unified School District,  
          Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School in the LAUSD, and  
          Compton High School in the Compton Unified School District.  The  
          suit names as defendants the State of California, the State  
          Department of Education, the State Board of Education (SBE), and  
          the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. 


          The plaintiffs allege that the state has violated the rights of  
          the plaintiffs provided by the Equal Protection clauses of the  
          state constitution "by failing to provide them with basic  
          educational opportunities equal to those that other students  
          elsewhere in the state receive" with regard to meaningful  
          learning time.  


          They allege that this lack of instructional time is due to  
          several factors, including:


          1)"Assignment of students to administrative tasks or free  
            periods instead of assignment to classroom periods of  
            instruction because of insufficient curricular offerings and a  
            lack of available qualified teachers; 
          2)Violence or security disruptions, which result in cessation of  
            instruction and traumatic after-effects, and insufficient  
            access to mental health professionals to assist students and  
            faculty in coping with these disruptions; 


          3)Late changes to the master course schedule requiring course  
            and teacher changes well into the semester; 


          4)Unstable, transient teaching faculties and administrative  
            teams (including principals, assistant principals, and  
            counselors), resulting from under-resourced and stressful  
            campuses not conducive to professional development and growth;  
            and 








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          5)Unaddressed student absenteeism, resulting in whole or part  
            from campus conditions"


          The complaint requests that the court address the state's  
          monitoring system and its intervention to prevent and remedy the  
          causes of lost learning time.


          On February 5th of this year the plaintiffs filed a motion for a  
          preliminary injunction.  On April 24th Alameda County Superior  
          Court Judge George C. HernŠndez, Jr. denied this motion, stating  
          that "If, at this stage, Plaintiffs cannot supply reliable  
          evidence regarding the actual practices of most California high  
          schools with regard to the use of contentless classes and the  
          timely implementation of appropriate master schedules, the court  
          lacks a fair standard against which to measure the performance  
          of Plaintiff's own high schools and cannot determine, even  
          preliminarily, whether Plaintiffs have some possibility of  
          prevailing on their claims."


          Districts respond to lawsuit by curtailing some practices.   
          According to a reply brief submitted in support of the motion  
          for preliminary injunction, Compton High School has ceased  
          scheduling students in "home" periods and has placed "sharp  
          limitations" on service periods since this suit was filed, and  
          LAUSD has indicated that it will take some measures to limit  
          "home" and "service" periods and produce timely, complete master  
          schedules.


          2014-15 scheduling problems in LAUSD caused by data system  
          failure.  In August, 2014 students at Jefferson High School in  
          the Los Angeles Unified School district (LAUSD) walked out of  
          class during their third week of school in protest over a new  
          scheduling system which failed to assign students to classes and  
          assigned some to classes they'd already taken.  Students  
          reported sitting in auditoriums all day for days while course  
          schedules were worked out, and being assigned to classes they  








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          had already completed.  Teachers found elementary school  
          students listed on high school attendance sheets.


          The problems which occurred in LAUSD were related to a new data  
          system, called MiSis, which was developed by the district and  
          introduced in the 2014-15 school year.  School district  
          officials acknowledged significant problems with the system, and  
          reported that nearly all scheduling problems were addressed by  
          the end of 2014.  According to media reports, the system worked  
          smoothly for the start of the 2015-16 school year.


          Student declarations point to management problems.  Student and  
          staff declarations provided by counsel for the plaintiffs paint  
          a picture of five high schools in the Oakland, Compton, and Los  
          Angeles school districts with numerous management problems.   
          These include:


          1)Scheduling problems (evidenced by students being placed into  
            courses late, being placed in courses already completed,  
            overcrowding of courses, and cancelled courses) 


          2)Staffing problems, including high teacher and administrator  
            turnover (evidenced by students being instructed by multiple  
            substitute teachers, report of high administrator turnover)


          3)Counseling services problems (evidenced by overwhelmed  
            counselors and poor counseling)


          4)Insufficient course offerings for A-G completion (evidenced by  
            students not able to enroll in A-G courses)


          Some statements also indicated that the limited elective course  
          offerings was associated with a decision on the part of the  
          school districts to focus their resources on remedial  
          instruction, which the plaintiffs acknowledge is necessary for  








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          many students in these schools.  They state, "Fremont has  
          invested its limited resources in providing intervention  
          classes, which are necessary for many students to graduate, but  
          this has come at the expense of offering sufficient classes and  
          electives to fill the course schedules of students who are on  
          track to graduate."


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Tanya Lieberman / ED. / (916) 319-2087  FN:  
          0002202