Legislative update: Education bills on the Governor’s desk as session ends

After an unusually quiet final night of the first year of the 2021—22 legislative session —made possible by COVID-era limits on the number of bills and an ambitious budget that absorbed some of this year’s biggest policy proposals — the Legislature recessed for the rest of the year. This period is referred to as the interim study session and the Legislature will return for the second year of the session on Jan. 3, 2022.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has 30 days from Sept. 10 to act upon all measures that reach his desk, placing this year’s signing deadline on Oct. 10. Any bill not acted upon within that time period, i.e., not signed into law nor vetoed, will automatically become law.

The following are the top education bills passed by the Legislature and awaiting action by Gov. Newsom:

  • Assembly Bill 101 (Medina, D-Riverside): Would require local educational agencies serving grades nine-12 to offer at least a one-semester course in ethnic studies commencing with the 2024–25 school year and add a semester-long ethnic studies course to the statewide graduation requirement, commencing with the 2029–30 school year. CSBA Position: Support
  • AB 339 (Lee, D-San Jose): Would require certain city council or county board of supervisors meetings to allow the public to attend and comment via telephone or internet until Dec. 31, 2023. CSBA Position: Oppose
  • AB 361 (Robert Rivas, D-Salinas): An urgency measure that would continue the authority granted during the COVID-19 crisis and allow local agencies, including school boards, to meet remotely during a declared state of emergency. CSBA Position: Support
  • AB 438 (Reyes, D-San Bernardino): Would eliminate the existing 60-day layoff notice requirements for classified staff and instead require school districts to issue classified staff layoff notices by March 15, which is the same layoff notice date afforded to certificated employees. It would also provide that any future layoff notice or hearing rights afforded to certificated staff in future years would automatically extend to classified staff. CSBA Position: Oppose
  • AB 815 (Luz Rivas, D-San Fernando Valley): Would authorize the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to approve a clear credential program offered by an LEA for school nursing; and requires the CTC to apply the standards for approval of a program of professional preparation offered by a postsecondary educational institution to a program of professional preparation offered by an LEA. CSBA Position: Support
  • AB 824 (Bennett, D-Santa Barbara): Establishes a process for county boards of education and charter schools to appoint one or more high school pupils as student members of their governing bodies in response to a student petition. CSBA Position: Support
  • Senate Bill 4 (Gonzalez, D-Long Beach)/AB 14 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters): Would continue the ongoing collection of funds deposited into the California Advanced Services Fund to provide communities with grants to expand broadband access. CSBA Position: Support
  • SB 14 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge): Would require mental or behavioral health-related absences to count as an excused absence for school attendance reporting and require the California Department of Education to recommend best practices and identify evidence-based and evidence-informed training programs for schools to address youth behavioral health, including staff and student training by Jan. 1, 2023. CSBA Position: Support if amended
  • SB 488 (Rubio, D-Baldwin Park): Would effectively replace the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment by July 1, 2025, by requiring the CTC to integrate updated reading assessment tools into the existing Teaching Performance Assessment. CSBA Position: Support