Legislative Update – School Start Time, Charter Moratorium, Parcel Taxes, Early Learning…

Posted By: Andrea Bennett CITE News,

A deluge of legislation moved forward last week, as Friday was the deadline for bills with significant costs to move out of policy committees in order to be eligible for further consideration in 2019. Most of these bills moved to the Appropriations Committees for debate over their fiscal impact on the state.

Below is full list of measures that passed last week, but a few notable proposals are highlighted here:


Middle and High School Start Time

SB 328 is a repeat attempt by Senator Anthony Portantino (D – La Canada Flintridge) to prohibit California middle and high schools from beginning before 8:30 AM. The issue may sound familiar because a nearly identical bill (with the same bill number) was vetoed by Governor Brown last year.

This year, Senator Portantino is leveraging his powerful position as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee to advance his top priority bill. When the bill was before the Senate Education Committee last week, he was able to pull a rare maneuver called “rolling the chair,” which means he was able to secure enough votes to move the bill out of committee over the objections of the chair (Senator Connie Leyva from Chino Hills). Interestingly, he did so with help from two Republicans on the committee, Senator Scott Wilk (R – Santa Clarita) and Senator Ling-Ling Chang (R – Diamond Bar). That’s remarkable because the main argument against the bill is that it usurps local control. The two Republicans joined with two Democrats to secure the four votes needed to pass the bill - Senators Mike McGuire (D – Santa Rosa) and Richard Pan (D – Sacramento), who is a coauthor of the bill. Senator Glazer abstained and Senator Durazo voted no.

We expect SB 328 to make it out of the Senate and face significant opposition in the Assembly. Assembly Member Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach), chair of the Assembly Education Committee, has made it clear he is not supportive of the bill and could work to stop the bill in a number of ways. Keep the popcorn fresh for this fight, it could get interesting.


Parcel Tax Vote Threshold

Senator Jerry Hill (D – San Mateo) is carrying SCA 5, a Constitutional amendment that would allow school and community college districts to impose, extend, or increase a parcel tax by 55% voter approval.

A version of this SCA has been introduced in the Legislature for decades (most recently championed by Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) and former Senators Mark Leno (D – San Francisco) and Joe Simitian (D – Palo Alto). As you can imagine, many taxpayer advocacy groups are opposed to the measure and argue the 2/3 local vote requirement is important to protect against over-taxation. The author and supporters argue that threshold enables a tyranny of the minority by allowing 1/3 of the voters to block this revenue raising option for local communities.

In a statement, Senator Hill said, “Despite significant increases in state funding for schools in recent years, districts are struggling to maintain quality educational services and programs amid escalating costs and declining enrollment. Teacher layoffs or furloughs and cut programs are among the results. Parcel taxes are one of the few means school districts have to supplement their funding. Yet the current requirement for a two-thirds supermajority vote to pass school parcel taxes has enabled a minority of voters to block efforts to provide vital local education funding. If communities want to invest in education and provide our students more resources, they should be able to do so. SCA 5 retains the requirement for supermajority approval of local school parcel taxes, but the legislation changes the supermajority threshold to a more realistic percentage.”


Charter Moratorium

A fourth bill added to the charter school package moving through the Legislature, SB 756 by Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D – Los Angeles) would prohibit the approval of new charter schools until June 30, 2024, unless various charter school reforms are enacted on or before January 1, 2020. The reforms required mirrored those proposed in the charter school reform package currently moving through the State Assembly (AB 1505, AB 1506, and AB 1507). The bill also requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to conduct a charter school report during the 2023-24 school year.

The bill is backed by a coalition of education labor groups and the Labor Federation. Advocates for charter schools and self-described “homeschool supporters” were out in force to oppose the bill. The bill passed with most committee Democrats supporting, Senator Glazer (D – Concord) voted no.


What’s Next?

The vast majority of bills that will be considered in the 2019 legislative session have now moved on to their respective fiscal committees for consideration. While policy committees still time to consider the handful of remaining bills with little or no cost impact on the state, the bulk of legislative debate will now be held in the Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees.

Much of this debate will take place behind the scenes, as members of both houses will express their priorities to the Chairs of the Appropriations Committees, and work with committee staff to figure out ways to reduce their bills’ fiscal impacts to the state.

In order to continue forward in the legislative process in 2019, fiscal bills must pass the Appropriations Committees by Friday, May 17.

If we can provide any additional information, please let us know.

Barrett Snider


Capitol Advisors Group

925 L Street, Suite 1200

Sacramento, CA 95814

916.557.9745 office




Assessment and Accountability

AB 908 (O'Donnell) - Pupil assessments: interim and formative assessments.

Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to provide, as a formative assessment tool, a bank of sample and retired test items from the summative assessment, identified by the content standard assessed, that teachers may embed in their instruction in order to aid in eliciting evidence about pupils’ progress.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

AB 1173 (O'Donnell) - California State University: Center to Close Achievement Gaps.

Establishes the Center to Close the Achievement Gaps (Center) at a campus of the California State University (CSU) system to be chosen by the Chancellor of the CSU, or at the office of the chancellor. 

Action: Passed 7-0-0

SB 158 (Allen) - Pupil assessment: academic achievement.

This bill repeals an obsolete code section that required the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt statewide academically rigorous content standards in the core curriculum areas of reading, writing, and mathematics by January 1, 1998, and in the core curriculum areas of history/social science and science by November 1, 1998, and to take other related actions.

Action: Passed 7-0-0


Charter Schools

SB 756 (Durazo) - Charter schools: moratorium.

This bill prohibits the approval of new charter schools until June 30, 2024, unless various prescribed charter school authorization reforms are enacted on or before January 1, 2020, and requires the Legislative Analyst’s Office to conduct a charter school report during the 2023-24 school year.

Action: Passed 4-3-0


Curriculum and Instruction

AB 1172 (Frazier) - Special education: nonpublic, nonsectarian schools or agencies.

Requires that local educational agencies (LEAs) that send students to non-public, non-sectarian schools (NPSs) conduct on-site monitoring visits; requires that NPSs notify the California Department of Education (CDE) of any student-involved incident in which law enforcement is contacted, requires the CDE, if an investigation conducted by the CDE results in a finding that pupil health or safety has been compromised, to immediately suspend or revoke the school’s certification; requires that an NPS serving students with significant behavioral needs to have an individual on site who is qualified to implement behavior interventions, and requires that administrators of NPSs hold or be working toward specified credentials or licenses.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

AB 1684 (Maienschein) - Pupil literacy: grant program.

Establishes an ongoing program for the purpose of building a love of reading in schools, families, and communities, and establishes the Literacy Academy for California Educators as a statewide professional learning infrastructure to support educators in teaching reading and literacy across grades and across the content areas.

Action: Passed with amendments 5-1-1

SB 716 (Mitchell) - Juveniles: postsecondary and career technical education.

This bill requires a county probation department and the Division of Juvenile Facilities, in collaboration with the California Community Colleges (CCCs), the California State University (CSU), and the University of California (UC), to ensure that detained juveniles with a high school diploma or the equivalent have access to a full array of postsecondary academic and career technical education programs of their choice.

Action: Passed 6-0-1


Early Childhood

AB 123 (McCarty) - Early childhood education: state preschool program: access: standards.

Establishes the Pre-K for All Act; expands the eligibility for California State Preschool Programs (CSPP); increases the reimbursement rate for the CSPP and requires a portion of the increase to be used to increase teacher pay; requires CSPP lead teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree by a specified date; and establishes a program to provide financial support to childcare workers pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Action: Passed with amendments 5-0-2

AB 124 (McCarty) - Childcare: local planning councils.

Requires local planning councils (LPCs) to provide information to cities and counties regarding the need for early childhood education facilities.

Action: Passed 7-0-0; Consent

AB 125 (McCarty) - Early childhood education: reimbursement rates.

Revises the state’s system and rates for reimbursing subsidized child care and development programs to create a more uniform reimbursement system reflecting regional costs of care, and establishes the “Quality Counts California Pilot Reimbursement Program” as a pilot program to provide higher reimbursement rates to alternative payment program providers (APP) for meeting certain quality standards.

Action: Passed 7-0-0; Consent

AB 167 (Rubio, Blanca) - Childcare and development services: infants and toddlers: state funding.

Creates the “California Partnership for Infants and Toddlers” to provide grants to specified providers serving infants and toddlers, subject to an appropriation, if they agree to meet specified standards, and to provide full-day, full-year care. Also states legislative intent to provide funding to provide childcare for an additional 20,000 infants and toddlers.

Action: Passed 7-0-0

AB 452 (Mullin) - Childcare: facilities: grants.

Establishes the California Childcare Facilities Grant Fund and requires the California Department of Education to provide grants, subject to available funding, for the construction of new childcare centers that serve children in subsidized childcare programs, as well as the renovation, repair and modernization of family childcare homes.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

AB 1001 (Ting) - Child care: strategic planning councils.

Updates the composition and duties of local planning councils (LPCs), renames them strategic planning councils, and defines requirements of these councils to collect local input and facilitate local decision-making regarding early childhood education (ECE) services and to guide local and statewide ECE investments, through the more effective collection and sharing of data between local and statewide agencies.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

SB 174 (Leyva) - Early childhood education: reimbursement rates.

This bill modifies the state’s system and rates for reimbursing subsidized child care and development programs by creating a more uniform reimbursement system reflecting regional costs of care, and establishes the “Quality Counts California Pilot Reimbursement Program” as a pilot program to provide higher reimbursement rates to alternative payment program (APP) providers for meeting certain quality standards.

Action: Passed 7-0-0

SB 321 (Mitchell) - CalWORKs: supportive services: childcare.

This bill increases access to childcare for welfare-to-work participants, by, among other things, requiring that CalWORKs first-stage childcare be full-time, requiring first-stage childcare to be authorized for one year, or until the participant is transferred to the second stage of childcare, and prohibiting the first stage or the second of childcare from being discontinued until the family has been enrolled or is ineligible for services in the subsequent stage of childcare. The bill also specifies additional activities for which childcare services are available and requires that welfare-to-work participants be informed of the availability of childcare services at various times and requires specified information sharing between the counties and childcare contractors.

Action: Passed 7-0-0; Consent



AB 1578 (Rivas, Luz) - School Pavement to Parks Grant Program.

Establishes the School Pavement to Parks Grant Program

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

SB 371 (Caballero) - Schoolbuses: stop requirements.

This bill authorizes school districts to install automated school bus video enforcement system for school bus passing violations.

Action: Passed 6-0-0



AB 711 (Chiu) - Pupil records: name and gender changes.

Requires a school district to update and reissue a former pupil’s records if it receives documentation that a former pupil’s legal name or gender has been changed.

Action: Passed with amendments 5-0-2

SB 328 (Portantino) - Pupil attendance: school start time.

This bill prohibits middle schools and high schools, including those operated as charter schools, from beginning their schoolday before 8:30 a.m.

Action: Passed 4-2-1

SB 634 (Glazer) - Education.

This bill eliminates the requirement under current law for the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to transmit any available data regarding school performance, including, but not limited to, attendance and graduation rates, to the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC).

Action: Passed 7-0-0; consent


Human Resources

AB 578 (Mullin) - Teachers: The California STEM Teaching Pathway Act of 2019.

Establishes the California STEM Teaching Pathway Act of 2019 for the purpose of recruiting, preparing, supporting, and retaining qualified STEM professionals as mathematics, science, and computer science teachers in California, and appropriates $27 million for this purpose.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0


School Finance

SCA 3 (Hill) - Property taxation: change in ownership: inheritance exclusion.

Provides that the parent-child and grandparent-grandchild exclusion only apply when only the transferee uses the residence as his or her principal residence.

Action: Adopted 5-2-0

SCA 5 (Hill) - Taxation: school districts: parcel tax.

Allows a school or community college district to impose, extend, or increase a parcel tax by 55% voter approval under specified circumstances.

Action: Adopted 4-3-0


School Safety

AB 1722 (Kiley) - Comprehensive school safety plans.

Requires the comprehensive school safety plan of a school district or county office of education (COE) to include a targeted violence prevention plan with specified elements, including threat assessment procedures, and makes other elements of the plan mandatory.

Action: Passed with amendments 4-1-2

SB 86 (Portantino) - School safety: lockdown drills.

This bill, commencing with the 2020-21 school year, requires a school district that maintains kindergarten or in any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to conduct a lockdown drill at least four times per school year.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

SB 390 (Umberg) - School districts and community college districts: school security officers and security guards.

This bill requires all security guards working on school and community college district campuses to complete the latest training developed by the Department of Consumer Affairs and specifies that local educational agencies (LEAs) must provide the training to all security guards during their regular work hours.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0


Student Services

AB 875 (Wicks) - Pupil health: in-school support services.

Updates the Healthy Start Support Services for Children Grant Program, previously administered by CDE, and identifies potential funding sources for the program.

Action: Passed 7-0-0

AB 958 (Aguiar-Curry) - The California Organic-to-School Pilot Program.

Establishes the California Organic-to-School Pilot Program (COSPP) to provide schools with grant funds to purchase California organic food for school meals.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

AB 1098 (O'Donnell) - Substance use disorders: youth programs.

Establishes procedures for oversight and accountability of programs funded by Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) through the Youth Education, Prevention, Early Intervention, and Treatment Account (YEPEIT), and aimed at providing substance abuse education and prevention programs and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, including the identification of targeted outcomes with unspecified metrics, the establishment of a technical advisory committee (TAC), requirements of information to be provided by applicants for program funding, and progress reports to the Legislature. Requires that an unspecified portion of the funds to be used test innovative practices through pilot programs.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0

AB 1196 (Gipson) - Community schools: California Community Schools Act.

Establishes a grant program to support the planning of, and operation of community schools, subject to an appropriation for this purpose.

Action: Passed with amendments 5-2-0

AB 1377 (Wicks) - CalFresh.

Requires the California Department of Education (CDE), the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and the State Department of Social Services (DSS) to work together with specified stakeholders to discuss the possibilities and challenges of simplifying enrollment into CalFresh for families who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in school.

Action: Passed 7-0-0; Consent

AB 1508 (Bonta) - Pupil nutrition: Breakfast After the Bell Program.

Establishes the Breakfast After the Bell Program (BABP) to be administered by the California Department of Education (CDE), contingent on an annual appropriation in the Budget Act.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0; Consent

AB 1663 (Rivas, Luz) - California State Library: Lunch at the Library Program.

This bill appropriates $1 million from the General Fund to the California State Library to support the Lunch at the Library Program.

Action: Passed with amendments 7-0-0; Consent

AB 1725 (Carrillo) - After School Education and Safety Program: funding and grant amounts.

Increases funding for After School and Education Safety Programs by $112.8 million, beginning in in the 2019-20 fiscal year, and specifies conditions for ongoing increases.

Action: Passed 5-0-2

AB 1767 (Ramos) - Pupil suicide prevention policies.

Requires the adoption of suicide prevention policies by local education agencies (LEAs) serving pupils in grades Kindergarten (K) through grade six.

Action: Passed 7-0-0; Consent