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AB-1330 Outdoor Environmental Education Program.(2003-2004)

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Assembly Bill No. 1330
CHAPTER 663

An act to amend Section 8702 of, and to add and repeal Article 6 (commencing with Section 8780) of Chapter 4 of Part 6 of, the Education Code, relating to instructional programs.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  October 03, 2003. Approved by Governor  October 02, 2003. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1330, Simitian. Outdoor Environmental Education Program.
Existing law contains legislative findings and declarations regarding the need for an educational program that is designed to build attitudes of stewardship toward the maintenance of the quality of our environment and to enable all citizens to use resources wisely.
This bill would establish the Outdoor Environmental Education Program, the purpose of which is to foster stewardship of the environment and an appreciation of the importance of the wise use of natural resources. The bill would require the State Department of Education to administer the program and, according to a priority system to be developed by the department, select applicants for participation in the program, pursuant to prescribed criteria. The bill would require the department to contract with an independent evaluator to conduct an evaluation of the program and submit a report to the Legislature no later than February 1, 2005. The bill would provide that the program and its evaluation be implemented only if the Department of Finance determines that private funds are made available for purposes of the costs of the program and its evaluation.
This bill would make these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2005, and repeal them on January 1, 2006.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8702 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8702.
 The Legislature further finds and declares that an educational program is needed that is designed to build necessary attitudes of stewardship toward the maintenance of the quality of our common environment and to enable all citizens to use wisely, and not destructively, the resources at their disposal. These attitudes are best developed at an early age through programs that encourage personal responsibility and participation in the local community.

SEC. 2.

 Article 6 (commencing with Section 8780) is added to Chapter 4 of Part 6 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  6. Outdoor Environmental Education Program

8780.
 There is hereby established the Outdoor Environmental Education Program for the purpose of fostering stewardship of the environment and an appreciation of the importance of the wise use of natural resources, and showcasing the diversity of programs that fulfill that purpose.

8781.
 (a) The State Department of Education shall administer the program and shall select diverse entities to implement the program according to a priority scoring system based on the eligibility requirements enumerated in subdivision (b), upon application.
(b) In order to be eligible, applicants shall do all of the following:
(1) Serve primarily at-risk youth and underserved demographic groups.
(2) Encourage collaboration with other entities in the provision of services.
(3) Serve a minimum adequate number of participants.
(4) Commit a minimum adequate amount of resources to the program.
(5) Promote outdoor educational activities.
(6) Provide a curriculum that fosters stewardship of the environment and an appreciation of the importance of the wise use of natural resources.
(7) Include service-learning and community outreach components for the purpose of building partnerships between participants and local communities.

8782.
 The State Department of Education shall contract with an independent evaluator to evaluate the program and submit a report to the Legislature on its findings and recommendations no later than February 1, 2005.

8783.
 This article shall be implemented only if the Department of Finance determines that private donations sufficient to fund the program and its evaluation have been deposited with the State Department of Education. The Department of Finance shall report its findings to the Chief Clerk of the Assembly.

8784.
 This article shall become inoperative on July 1, 2005, and, as of January 1, 2006, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2006, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.