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SB-320 Pupil fees: complaint of noncompliance: appeal procedures.(2015-2016)

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Enrolled  September 10, 2015
Passed  IN  Senate  September 10, 2015
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 08, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 04, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 30, 2015
Amended  IN  Senate  March 26, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 320


Introduced by Senator Lara

February 23, 2015


An act to amend Section 49013 of the Education Code, relating to pupil fees.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 320, Lara. Pupil fees: complaint of noncompliance: appeal procedures.
Existing law prohibits a pupil enrolled in a public school from being required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity. Existing law authorizes a complaint of noncompliance to be filed with the principal of a school for violation of that prohibition, as specified, and required public schools to establish local policies and procedures to implement the complaint provisions.
This bill would prohibit a public school from establishing a local policy or procedure that authorizes the public school to resolve a complaint by providing a remedy to the complainant without also providing a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians, as provided. The bill would authorize the Superintendent of Public Instruction to ensure that an appeal that the State Department of Education finds merit in is resolved in a timely manner, as specified. The bill would establish procedures for appeals, including, among others, requiring a public school to provide to the department, within 60 days of the department’s written decision, evidence documenting that the public school has complied with any corrective action specified in the written decision. By imposing additional duties on public schools and local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 49013 of the Education Code is amended to read:

49013.
 (a) A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this article may be filed with the principal of a school under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
(b) A complaint may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance with the requirements of this article.
(c) A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a public school may appeal the decision to the department and shall receive a written appeal decision within 60 days of the department’s receipt of the appeal.
(d) If a public school finds merit in a complaint, or the department finds merit in an appeal, the public school shall provide a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians that, where applicable, includes reasonable efforts by the public school to ensure full reimbursement to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians, subject to procedures established through regulations adopted by the state board.
(e) Information regarding the requirements of this article shall be included in the annual notification distributed to pupils, parents and guardians, employees, and other interested parties pursuant to Section 4622 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
(f) Public schools shall establish local policies and procedures to implement the provisions of this section on or before March 1, 2013. A public school shall not establish a local policy or procedure pursuant to this subdivision that authorizes the public school to resolve a complaint filed pursuant to this section, whether formally or informally, by providing a remedy to the complainant without also providing a remedy to all affected pupils, parents, and guardians, as required by subdivision (d).
(g) The Superintendent shall have all power and authority necessary to ensure that, when the department finds merit in an appeal filed pursuant to this section, the complaint is resolved pursuant to subdivision (d) in a timely manner.
(h) If the department finds merit in an appeal filed pursuant to this section, the department’s written decision shall identify with specificity the corrective action that the public school shall take to confirm that it has provided a remedy to all affected pupils, including, if applicable, specific direction regarding the reasonable efforts the public school shall take to ensure full reimbursement to all affected pupils.
(i) If the public school failed to address an issue raised in the complaint filed pursuant to this section in the public school’s decision about that complaint, the department shall require the public school to respond to the issue within 10 business days and, after providing this opportunity to respond, the department shall make findings on the merit of the appeal without remanding the complaint to the public school for further consideration, regardless of whether the public school provided the required response.
(j) If the complainant submits evidence in conjunction with the appeal that is related to an issue raised in the underlying complaint and that is presented for the first time on appeal, the department shall determine whether there is merit in the appeal regardless of the newly submitted evidence. If the department determines there is merit in the appeal, the department shall resolve the underlying complaint. If the department determines there is not merit in the appeal, the department shall send the underlying complaint and new evidence back to the public school for further consideration.
(k) If the complainant raises one or more issues on appeal that were not presented in the underlying complaint, the department shall remand any new issue to the public school to treat as a newly filed complaint as provided in this section, but shall resolve the remainder of the appeal as provided in this section.
(l) A public school shall provide to the department, within 60 days of the department’s written decision, evidence documenting that the public school has complied with any corrective action specified in the written decision and the requirements of subdivision (d).
(m) If the public school has not satisfied the requirement in subdivision (l), the superintendent of the school district or the county office of education or the principal of the charter school, as appropriate based on the public school involved in the underlying complaint, shall appear at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the governing board or body of the public school to explain the public school’s failure to satisfy that requirement.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.