Key ed bills facing deadline this week

Key ed bills facing deadline this week

(Calif.) Legislation that would fund school nurses and career technical programs as well as prevent school districts from sharing personal student data are among dozens of education-related bills facing a critical deadline later this week.

Lawmakers in both the Senate and the Assembly are holding marathon floor sessions this week, with Friday being the final opportunity of this two-year session to move bills out of their houses of origin.

Other proposals that have garnered interest but are in danger of not moving forward include Sen. Bob Huff’s SB 1266, which would require all schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors and train onsite staff to administer them in emergency situations.

The latter requirement – one of the issues that impeded AB 1266’s progress – wouldn’t be necessary at all if the plan by Sen. Lois Wolk to restore school nursing positions survives. But SB 1239, which seeks to allow schools to bill a student’s private health plan or Medi-Cal, faces hurdles, not the least of which is creating a new reimbursement system and overcoming opposition by health plan networks.

Two Assembly bills – AB 1950 by Nora Campos and AB 2216 by Al Muratsuchi – that would maintain funding for career technical education and protect existing Regional Occupational Centers and Programs are stalled in committee at the moment. However, Muratsuchi is also pushing for CTE/ROCP funding as part of the Assembly budget negotiating process so the issue is far from decided.

AB 1442, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, would establish regulations for how a school district may handle private student posts and information gleaned from the internet. Gatto was motivated by the fallout from national media attention on a school district in his home region using a so-called ‘data mining’ company to monitor student social media – as a way, the district said, to take a proactive approach to identifying students at risk of harming either themselves or others.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, lawmakers moved several bills of interest:

  • SB 1174 by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, won passage off the Senate floor on a vote along party lines. It would put an initiative before voters in November, 2016 that would enable California’s public schools to teach foreign language immersion classes.
  • AB 2033, by Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Modesto, provides funding for the Agricultural Career Technical Education Incentive Grant program, one of the state’s longstanding youth farming programs. As proposed the bill would set aside an appropriation outside the Local Control Funding Formula to ensure state support.
  • SB 1396 by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, requires that California Department of Education provide one-time funding of between $1 million and $2 million to county offices of education to establish professional development activities to support the development and expansion of multi-tiered intervention and support programs – needed to address strategies to create and maintain a positive school climate, promote school safety, and increase pupil achievement, and prioritize mental health and intervention services, restorative and transformative justice programs, and positive behavior interventions and support.

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