BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 645  


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  August 19, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          SB 645  
          (Hancock) - As Amended August 17, 2015


           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Policy       |Education                      |Vote:|7 - 0        |
          |Committee:   |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |-------------+-------------------------------+-----+-------------|
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |-------------+-------------------------------+-----+-------------|
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill authorizes an After School Education and Safety (ASES)  
          Program to suspend operation for up to five days in a fiscal  
          year beginning January 1, 2016.  Specifically, this bill: 









                                                                     SB 645  


                                                                    Page  2






          1)Makes Legislative findings and declarations that the cost of  
            operating a program is exceeding the grant amount provided for  
            the program.


          2)Authorizes an ASES Program to suspend operation for up to five  
            days in a fiscal year beginning January 1, 2016. Specifies a  
            grant shall not be adjusted as a result of the program  
            suspending its operation. Requires any cost savings associated  
            with the program suspension to be used solely by the entity  
            that is providing direct services to pupils. Sunsets the  
            authorization to suspend operation for up to five days as of  
            July 1, 2017. 


          3)Authorizes an ASES program to determine the specific grades to  
            be served at participating schools based on local needs.


          4)Modifies Legislative intent that pupils in middle school or  
            junior high school attend before and after school programs for  
            a specific minimum number of hours and days and instead  
            expresses the intent of the Legislature that each attending  
            pupil participate in the full day of the program for each day  
            in which the pupil attends the program.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          No initial state fiscal impact, however, the bill will result in  
          Proposition 98/GF cost pressure, potentially up to $14 million,  
          to supplement the loss of program savings once the bill sunsets  
          July 1, 2017.


          According to the California Department of Education, total grant  
          awards for the 2015-16 year equal $506 million.  This bill  








                                                                     SB 645  


                                                                    Page  3





          allows programs to implement up to five furlough days without a  
          reduction in grant awards.  Assuming all grantees applied the  
          maximum five furlough days (out of 180 total operating days),  
          this bill would free up approximately $14 million to be used for  
          program operations. Once the provisions of the bill sunset, the  
          state would likely face pressure to maintain this higher program  
          cost through a comparable rate increase. 


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  According to the California After School Coalition  
            and LA's Best, sponsors of this bill, allowing after school  
            programs to impose up to five furlough days will provide  
            modest financial relief to programs that are feeling squeezed  
            by increased minimum wage and sick leave requirements.  They  
            state that program funding has remained static since 2002 and  
            programs are at risk of becoming financially unviable or  
            closing down.  This bill, they state, will provide modest  
            relief to programs struggling to stay open.



          2)Background on furloughs. Furloughs are implemented as a cost  
            saving mechanism during tight fiscal times.  Requiring  
            employees to take unpaid leave can provide schools or programs  
            with corresponding savings while avoiding permanent reductions  
            in staff.  
            In response to the state budget crisis, the state cut billions  
            of dollars from local education agencies (LEAs) starting in  
            2009. In order to provide some fiscal relief, the state  
            authorized school districts, county offices of education, and  
            charter schools to reduce up to five days of instruction (or  
            the equivalent number of instructional minutes) without  
            incurring penalties. 


            Although providing less instructional time helped school  








                                                                     SB 645  


                                                                    Page  4





            districts balance their budgets, this also meant students were  
            provided less instruction and learning.  As the state fiscal  
            situation improved, the Legislature began to reinvest in  
            schools and the Legislature ended the authority for schools to  
            provide less instruction with the 2014-15 school year.


          3)Background on ASES. The ASES program was enacted in 2002 by  
            Proposition 49, and statute guarantees $550 million in  
            Proposition 98/GF for ASES grants and program administration  
            each year.  This funding has remained constant and was spared  
            budget reductions during the state budget crisis.  



            Although funding has remained constant for after school  
            programs for more than a decade, the Legislature acknowledged  
            the $550 million allocation may not be keeping pace with  
            program costs. This bill follows an attempt to secure  
            increased funding or after school programs in the 2015-16  
            budget.  The Assembly version of the budget provided an  
            additional $50 million.   The budget conference committee  
            reduced this amount to $25 million.  Ultimately, the Governor  
            signed the budget without an increase in after school funding.  
             





          4)Opposition. Children Now is concerned with the provisions of  
            this bill that allow programs to reduce the delivery of  
            services for up to five days.  According to Children Now, the  
            bill allows for a discretionary reduction of programming days  
            which will have a nominal impact on the fiscal challenges  
            facing programs and is in direct opposition to the purpose of  
            the ASES grant to provide kids with a safe and enriching space  
            after school.  Children Now recognizes the cost pressures  
            programs are facing and that the program has not received a  








                                                                     SB 645  


                                                                    Page  5





            cost of living adjustment in nine years; however, they state,  
            "Unfortunately, the proposed short term remedy of cutting up  
            to five days of programming will create a small amount of  
            savings ($3,000 to $4,000 a site), doing little to impact the  
            fiscal challenges faced by programs while simultaneously  
            having a direct negative impact on children."  Children Now  
            opposes the bill unless amended to remove the provision  
            authorizing furloughs.  Children Now supports the remaining  
            sections of the bill that provide program implementation  
            flexibility, including the ability to locally determine which  
            grade levels to offer and adjusting middle school attendance  
            targets. 



          Analysis Prepared by:Misty Feusahrens / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081