CSBA pursues sponsored bill package

The 2024 legislative session is in full swing as policy committees in both the Senate and the Assembly work their way through the thousands of new bills introduced since January.

Among the measures under consideration is a package of CSBA-sponsored legislative measures that together would reduce administrative workloads associated with the substantial number of reports required of local educational agencies, ensure that the state provides much-needed support to small school districts in the acquisition of state bond funds, and help improve and clarify the school district and county office of education charter authorizing processes.

SB 1315 — Reducing administrative burdens on school districts

Senate Bill 1315 (Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera) is an important measure that would require the California Department of Education (CDE) to produce a report on the number of state and federal reports required of LEAs. There is an assumption that each report helps inform the state about the status and progress of its public education system; however, this is unclear. Some reports may be obsolete or duplicative, while some may even go unreviewed. By assessing the number, type and scope of reports, the CDE can help identify where information could be condensed and where some reports could be eliminated — helping LEAs free up more time and resources to provide for the needs of California’s students. This will also help state lawmakers be informed about what reports are most helpful to policy development while dispensing with others that may have no real benefit.

AB 2831 — Supporting small school districts in anticipation of a state school bond

Assembly Bill 2831 by Assemblymember Joshua Hoover (R-Folsom), a former school board member for the Folsom-Cordova Unified School District, proposes to establish an Office of Small School District Facilities and Construction within the CDE. As the state considers placing a statewide school facilities bond on the November 2024 ballot, this measure would help provide small school districts with the critical support and technical assistance they need to help provide for a safe and productive learning environment through the acquisition of important school facilities funding. This will help small districts better meet the needs of their students, teachers, staff and the greater school community.

SB 1380 — Improving the role of boards in the charter approval process

SB 1380 (Dodd, D-Napa) would provide helpful clarifications and changes to existing charter school authorizing statutes. This measure would close a legal loophole that allows the district and countywide benefit charter authorizing processes to be used interchangeably, protects the integrity of the countywide charter-authorization process, and better aligns the countywide authorization process with the review of the fiscal and community impacts that already exist in the district authorization process. It would also allow the consideration of the fiscal impacts of a petition to establish a new district charter school to be considered to protect the long-term fiscal stability a district requires to provide students with a quality education.

What’s next?

CSBA Governmental Relations staff are working with stakeholders in both houses of the Legislature to advance this package of sponsored bills, supported by CSBA members’ advocacy — from participating in Legislative Action Week to testifying in policy committees and reaching out to influential legislators, local governance leaders are playing a pivotal role in advancing CSBA’s agenda in the Capitol.