Last night, September 30, 2020, Governor Newsom took final action on the remaining legislative proposals on his desk. The bills signed into law will take effect on January 1, 2021, unless the bill notes otherwise.

This article highlights key education proposals that CASBO has been actively working.

Education Bills that were Vetoed

AB 331 (Medina): Pupil instruction: high school graduation requirements: ethnic studies. This bill would require, commencing with the graduating class of 2029-30, pupils enrolled in grades 9 to 12 to complete a semester-long course in ethnic studies in order to graduate from high school. The bill would also require local educational agencies and charter schools to offer a one-semester course in ethnic studies by the 2025-26 school year; and permits the ethnic studies course requirement to be met through several course options, including locally developed courses and courses aligned to the ethnic studies model curriculum required to be developed under current law. The bill would become operative only upon an appropriation of funds by the Legislature in the annual budget act.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Veto Message

AB 1835 (Weber): Local Control Funding Formula – Supplemental & Concentration Grants. This bill would require local educational agencies (LEAs) to identify unspent Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) supplemental and concentration grant funds and annually report to the California Department of Education its estimated and actual spending of those funds, and include this added information in its Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The bill would have specified that unspent supplemental and concentration grant funds shall continue to be required to be expended to increase and improve services for unduplicated students.

CASBO Position: Oppose 
Veto Message

Education Bills Signed into Law

SB 115 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): Budget Act of 2019: Budget Act of 2020. This is the budget bill junior associated with the Budget Act of 2020 and makes the following technical amendments to K-12 education and early education:

  • Appropriates $4.6 million federal funds for Preschool Development Block Grant activities and provides $388,000 in reimbursement authority to the Department of Education to support the program activities.
  • Appropriates $1.9 million in one-time General Fund for attorneys’ fees related to the Ella T. v. State of California lawsuit settlement.
  • Appropriates $2.5 million in one-time General Fund and $8.6 million in one-time federal Child Care and Development Block Grant funds to cover an extension of family fee waivers through August 31, 2020. 4.
  • Amends appropriations for a variety of federal education programs to reflect available one-time carryover and changes to federal grant awards.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 9, 2020 (Chapter 40, Statutes of 2020)

SB 820 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): Education Finance. This bill makes clarifying changes to education programs adopted as part of the Budget Act of 2020, as described in the CASBO Newsbreak: New Education Budget Changes are Released in SB 820.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 18, 2020 (Chapter 110, Statutes of 2020) 

SB 1159 (Hill): Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers. This bill defines “injury” for an employee to include illness or death resulting from the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under specified circumstances, until January 1, 2023. The bill creates a disputable presumption, that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment and is compensable, for specified dates of injury. The bill limits the applicability of the presumption under certain circumstances. The bill requires an employee to exhaust their paid sick leave benefits and meet specified certification requirements before receiving any temporary disability benefits or, for police officers, firefighters, and other specified employees, a leave of absence. The bill also makes a claim relating to a COVID-19 illness presumptively compensable after 30 days or 45 days, rather than 90 days.

CASBO Position: Oppose
Signed: September 17, 2020 (Chapter 85, Statutes of 2020)

AB 1859 (Santiago): School district employees: merit system: appointments. This bill extends, from December 31, 2020, to January 1, 2027, the authority for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to fill a classified vacancy with an applicant who is not among the first three ranks of an eligibility list.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 11, 2020 (Chapter 67, Statutes of 2020)

AB 1350 (Gonzalez): Retroactive grant high school diplomas: COVID-19 crisis. This bill authorizes a high school district, unified school district, county office of education, or the governing body of a charter school, to retroactively grant a high school diploma to a person whom was in their senior year of high school during the 2019–20 school year; in good academic standing, and on track to graduate, as of March 1, 2020; and unable to complete the statewide graduation requirements as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 11, 2020 (Chapter 66, Statutes of 2020)

AB 908 (O’Donnell): Pupils: extracurricular activities: work permits. This bill authorizes a school district to extend a pupil’s probationary period to demonstrate satisfactory progress, for purposes of extracurricular and cocurricular activities, through the conclusion of the 2020-21 school year; authorizes documentation required for purposes of pupil work permits to be submitted electronically during an extended school closure due to a natural disaster, pandemic, or other emergency; and, prohibits a work permit from being denied based on a pupil’s grades, grade point average, or school attendance when the pupil’s school has been physically closed for an extended time due to natural disaster, pandemic, or other emergency.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 11, 2020 (Chapter 64, Statutes of 2020)

AB 2234 (Chau): Classified school and community college employees:  personnel commission:  legal counsel. This bill authorizes a merit-based school or community college district’s personnel commission to select its own attorney rather than having to use the district’s attorney if a majority of the commission declares that a conflict of interest exists between the commission and the district or the district’s governing board.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 9, 2020 (Chapter 48, Statutes of 2020)

AB 3308 (Gabriel): School districts: employee housing. This bill allows school districts to restrict occupancy of affordable housing on school district-owned land, funded with low income housing tax credits (LIHTC), to teachers and school district employees of the school district that owns the land, regardless of any laws that would prohibit a priority or preference for school district employees and teachers. The bill also allows public employees to also occupy the housing constructed under this provision.

CASBO Position: Tracking
Signed: September 28, 2020 (Chapter 199, Statutes of 2020)