The California State Legislature worked until the wee hours of the morning on Sept. 14 to complete a busy 2019 Legislative Session. Here’s an update on CTA’s sponsored legislation and other important news from the Capitol from CTA Communications Assistant Manager Claudia Briggs:
Well, we did it! Thanks to all of you for taking action and making your voices heard on behalf of the students you work for and with each and every day. Our collective hard work led to the passage of legislation that protects students, fixes 27-year-old broken charter laws, guarantees educators paid parental leave and much more. We also defeated bad bills that negatively impact our students. And after midnight, the Assembly passed Sen. Anthony Portantino’s school start time bill, SB 328, which CTA opposes. But we still have an opportunity to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto this bill. Send him an email today.
Bills We PASSED ✅
Together, we did it. We passed CTA co-sponsored AB 1505 (with a 60-16 vote) by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell and AB 1507 (with a 57-17 vote) by Assemblymember Christy Smith through the California Legislature and the bills are now on Gov. Newsom’s desk awaiting his signature. He has until Oct. 13 to act on these and other bills. Standing united with our co-sponsors, labor partners, parents and community groups, through political action that included lobbying in Sacramento, in-district visits with legislators, digital lobbying like texts, social media posts and shares, phone calls and emails, as well as the May 22nd Red for Ed Day of Action, we got this done… for kids, not profits! 👏👏 Give yourselves a round of applause! Read all about it.
SB 126 by Sen. Connie Leyva and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell. This bill ensures all corporate charter schools are held to the same transparency and accountability standards as neighborhood public schools.
CTA-supported AB 967 by Assemblymember Christy Smith provides development, adoption, and transparency requirements for LCAPs in charter schools; requires charter schools to convene parent advisory committee(s), consult with bargaining units if applicable, and publish their LCAP online; and requires charter schools to hold public meetings before and at LCAP adoption and receive LCAP approval from their authorizer.
School Facilities Bond
In a landslide vote of 76 to 1 at 3 a.m. just prior to adjournment, CTA-supported AB 48 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell and Senator Steve Glazer is on its way to the governor’s office for his signature. AB 48 establishes the Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020 which will appear on the ballot in the upcoming primary election March 3, 2020. The funding would be disbursed funding as follows:
✅ Pre-K to 12= $9 billion
✅ California Community Colleges= $2 billion
✅ California State University= $2 billion
✅ University of California= $2 billion
Check out the breakdown.
Student Support Services
The following CTA co-sponsored bills focus on identifying additional resources to increase the number of student support personnel at school sites:
AB 258 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer would use funds that will be generated by cannabis sales (Proposition 64) to increase much-needed in-school support services to students.
AB 1322 by Assembly member Marc Berman requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to establish a school-based health program to assist school districts in providing health-related services to students and advising school districts on issues related to the delivery of school-based Medi-Cal services in the state.
CTA-priority bill AB 493 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria encourages each school to use resources developed by the State Department of Education to provide training at least once every two years to teachers of students in grades 7 to 12, and to other certificated employees at that school, school site and community resources for the support of LGBTQ+ students, and strategies to increase support for LGBTQ students and thereby improve overall school climate, as specified.
CTA-priority bill AB 500 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez requires K-14 districts to provide certificated and classified employees paid leave for a length to be determined between the employee and their doctor for a minimum of six weeks for pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and recovery.
CTA co-sponsored SB 468 by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson requires the evaluation of certain California tax credits and exemptions for their effectiveness as well as economic, social or any other benefits to the state. This bill will bring transparency and accountability to California’s tax incentive process by creating a mechanism for review of some of California’s most costly tax expenditures. The bill applies to nine corporate and other tax incentives that cost more than $1 billion a year, and include no sunset or metrics for evaluation, with an annual cost to the General Fund of $7.3 billion in 2018-19, and a cost to schools of $2.92 billion.
CTA-supported AB 147 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke was signed into law this Spring. AB 147, also a priority bill, requires out-of-state and online retailers like eBay, Etsy or Amazon to collect sales taxes like local brick and mortar California businesses, eliminating the out-of-state and online unfair advantage.
AB 263, also by Assemblymember Burke, cleared the legislature and is headed to Gov. Newsom’s desk for his signature. AB 263 extends existing requirements detailing goals, purposes and objectives tax credits will achieve as well as performance indicators. It also protects taxpayer information. More info by following the bill link.
AB 5 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher closes loopholes that allow some big corporations to cheat workers like ride-share drivers out of basic protections like a minimum wage, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation that they deserve as employees.
Gov. Newsom has until Oct. 13 to act on the bills that cleared the legislature and are now on his desk.
Some bills we DEFEATED ❌
AB 249 (Choi): Prohibits an employer from discouraging a public employee from opting out of becoming a member of an employee organization.
AB 1078 (Weber): Extends the probationary period for certificated educators to 3 years.
SB 709 (Morrell): Requires a teacher applicant to provide information to a prospective employer on any prior allegations or investigations, even if unsubstantiated.
Also: Willful Defiance Suspensions Eliminated
Gov. Newsom signed into law SB 419 which is designed to keep kids in school by making permanent the pilot program that eliminates willful defiance suspensions in grades 4-5 and banning them in grades 6-8 for five years. The new law which takes effect July 1, 2020 applies to both neighborhood public schools and charter schools. In the pilot program, school districts failed to provide the resources and necessary training for educators to work use restorative justice and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. CTA will issue guidance to help locals prepare.
For a closer look at other bills, check the website. The legislature is now in recess until Jan. 6, 2020 when they will convene for the 2020 Legislative Session.