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AB-185 School attendance: pupil transfer options: school districts of choice.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/07/2017 04:00 AM
AB185:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 07, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 185


Introduced by Assembly Members O'Donnell and Irwin
(Coauthor: Senator Morrell)

January 19, 2017


An act to amend Sections 48301, 48302, 48306, 48307, 48308, 48310, 48312, 48313, 48314, 48315, and 48316 of, to amend, repeal, and add Section 48311 of, and to add Sections 48309.5 and 48317 to, the Education Code, relating to school attendance, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 185, as amended, O'Donnell. School attendance: pupil transfer options: school districts of choice.
(1) Existing law authorizes the governing board of a school district to accept pupils from other school districts by adopting a resolution to become a school district of choice, as defined, in accordance with specified procedural requirements and limitations.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions. The bill would, among other things, expand the list of pupil characteristics that a school district of choice is prohibited from considering in selecting pupils for admission, admission and would revise the requirements for admitting or rejecting and the manner of selecting pupils who apply to transfer to a school district of choice. The bill would revise the limit that a school district of residence may impose on the number of pupils transferring to school districts of choice. The bill would revise the procedural requirements for becoming a school district of choice, including requiring a school district to register as a school district of choice with both the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the county board of education, and would set forth a procedure for hearing complaints or appeals by a school district of choice, a school district of residence, or a pupil who is denied a transfer, as specified. The bill would delete provisions requiring apportionments of state funds to be reduced for school districts of choice that are basic aid school districts. The bill would require a school district of choice to design and implement a transportation program for eligible pupils who enroll in a school district of choice program and would require the school district of choice to provide a pupil who is eligible for free and reduced-price meals free transportation assistance, subject to specified requirements. To the extent the bill would impose additional duties on school districts and other local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would revise data, information, and reporting requirements relating to the school district of choice program, including requiring the Superintendent to maintain a list of the school districts of choice in the state and to collect specified other information relating to school districts of choice, and by requiring the Superintendent rather than the Legislative Analyst to make specified information available to the Legislature and the Governor each year. The bill would require the Legislative Analyst to complete and submit an evaluation and recommendations regarding the program to the appropriate education policy committees of the Legislature and the Governor by January 31, 2021. The bill would require the Superintendent to conduct a review of at least 100 randomly selected school districts that enroll pupils through interdistrict transfer and to withhold a specified amount of the school district’s apportionment if the school district is accepting pupils through a school district of choice program without being registered or if the Superintendent finds that a school district of choice is not reporting required data.
(2) Existing law makes the school district of choice program inoperative on July 1, 2017, and repeals the program on January 1, 2018.
This bill would extend the inoperative date to July 1, 2023, and the repeal date to January 1, 2024.
(3) 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.
(4) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 48301 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48301.
 (a) (1) The governing board of any school district may elect to operate the school district as a school district of choice and may accept transfers from school districts of residence pursuant to this article. If the governing board of a school district elects to accept transfers as authorized under this article, it shall, by resolution, determine and adopt the number of transfers it is willing to accept under this article and shall accept all pupils who apply to transfer until the school district is at maximum capacity. The school district of choice shall ensure that pupils admitted under this article are selected through an unbiased process that prohibits an inquiry into or evaluation or consideration of whether or not a pupil should be enrolled based upon his or her academic or athletic performance, physical condition, proficiency in English, family income, or any of the individual characteristics set forth in Section 200.
(2) If the number of transfer applications exceeds the number of transfers the governing board of a school district of choice elects to accept under this article, approval for transfer pursuant to this article shall be determined by a random drawing held in public at a regularly scheduled meeting of the governing board of the school district of choice.
(b) Communications to parents by school districts of choice shall be factually accurate and not target individual parents, residential neighborhoods, or any other specific ascertainable cohort on the basis of a pupil or pupils’ actual or perceived academic or athletic skill or other personal characteristic.
(c) A school district of choice, with respect to compliance with subdivisions (a) and (b), shall be subject to the audit conducted pursuant to Section 41020.
(d) A school district of choice shall post application information on its Internet Web site. This information shall include, at a minimum, any applicable form, information about the transportation program, and the timeline for a transfer pursuant to this article. It also shall include an explanation of the selection process the school district of choice implements pursuant to subdivision (a).
(e) A pupil attending a school in a school district of choice shall be deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of Section 48204.
(f) All communication from the school district of choice regarding the transfer opportunities under the program and regarding the transportation program shall be available in all languages for which translations are required in the school district of residence pursuant to Section 48985.
(g) On or before July 1, 2018, a school district of choice shall register as a school district of choice with both the Superintendent through the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System or another system specified by the Superintendent and with the county board of education where the school district of choice is located.
(h) A school district of choice shall not enroll pupils under this article until the school district has registered pursuant to subdivision (g).

SEC. 2.

 Section 48302 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48302.
 School districts are encouraged to hold informational meetings and make public announcements on the current educational programs the school district is offering so that parents may provide input to the school district on methods to improve the current programs and so that parents may make informed decisions regarding their children’s education.

SEC. 3.

 Section 48306 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48306.
 (a) A school district of choice shall give first priority for attendance to siblings of children already in attendance in that district.
(b) A school district of choice shall give second priority for attendance to pupils eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
(c) A school district of choice may give priority for attendance to children of military personnel.

SEC. 4.

 Section 48307 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48307.
 (a) A school district of residence with an average daily attendance greater than 50,000 may limit the number of pupils transferring out each year to 1 percent of its current year estimated average daily attendance.
(b) (1) Before the 2018–19 school year, a school district of residence with an average daily attendance of 50,000 or less may limit the number of pupils transferring out to 3 percent of its current year estimated average daily attendance and may limit the maximum number of pupils transferring out for the duration of the program authorized by this article to 10 percent of the average daily attendance for that period.

(b)(1) A

(2) Beginning with the 2018–19 school year, a school district of residence with an average daily attendance of 50,000 or less may limit the number of pupils transferring out to 3 percent of its estimated average daily attendance in any single school year and may limit the number of pupils enrolled in all school districts of choice at any given time to 6 percent of the average daily attendance of the school district of residence at that point in time. A school district of residence with an average daily attendance of 50,000 or less shall authorize additional pupils to participate in the program authorized by this article as program participants leave or graduate, provided that the total number of pupils does not exceed the school district’s 6-percent limit.

(2)

(3) A pupil who enrolls in a school district of choice before the 2018–19 school year may continue enrollment in the school district of choice without regard to whether the school district of residence has achieved the 6-percent limit for the current fiscal year. If a school district of residence calculates the percentage of pupils enrolled in all school districts of choice to be greater than 6 percent, no additional transfers shall begin until that percentage is below 6 percent.
(4) A school district of residence that, before January 1, 2018, implemented the 10-percent limit and stopped transferring pupils for the duration of the program pursuant to this subdivision, as it read on January 1, 2017, shall authorize 1 percent of the school district average daily attendance to transfer beginning with the 2017–18 school year and, each school year thereafter, shall authorize an additional 1 percent of the school district average daily attendance to transfer until the 6-percent limit specified in paragraph (2) is reached.
(c) A school district of residence that has a negative status on the most recent budget certification completed by the county superintendent of schools in any fiscal year may limit the number of pupils who transfer out of the district in that fiscal year, and once the school district of residence has received notification from a school district of choice or school districts of choice that the number of pupils that the school district of residence calculates to be equal to that limit have been accepted into that school district of choice or those school districts of choice, the school district of residence may, by resolution in a public meeting of the governing board of the school district of residence, restrict any further pupils from transferring under this article for the upcoming school year.
(d) Notwithstanding any prior or existing certification of a school district of residence pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 42130) of Chapter 6 of Part 24, if a county superintendent of schools determines that a school district of residence would not meet the standards and criteria for fiscal stability specified in Section 42131 for the subsequent fiscal year, the school district of residence may limit the number of pupils who transfer pursuant to this article in the upcoming school year.
(e) A school district of residence, upon receiving notification of a pupil’s acceptance into the school district of choice, may prohibit the transfer of a pupil under this article or limit the number of pupils so transferred if the governing board of the school district of residence determines that the transfer would negatively impact any of the following:
(1) The court-ordered desegregation plan of the school district of residence.
(2) The voluntary desegregation plan of the school district of residence, consistent with the provisions of Proposition 209, an initiative measure adopted by the voters at the November 5, 1996, General Election.
(3) The racial and ethnic balance of the school district of residence, consistent with the provisions of Proposition 209, an initiative measure adopted by the voters at the November 5, 1996, General Election.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a school district of residence shall not prohibit the transfer of a pupil who is a child of an active military duty parent.
(g) A school district of residence shall not adopt policies that in any way block or discourage pupils from applying for transfer to a school district of choice.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, a pupil attending a school district of choice or a pupil who received a notice of acceptance into a school district of choice before the resolution by the school district of residence to restrict further transfers shall be permitted to attend the school district of choice.

SEC. 5.

 Section 48308 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48308.
 (a) (1) An application requesting a transfer pursuant to this article shall be submitted by the parent of a pupil to the school district of choice before January 1 of the school year preceding the school year for which the pupil is requesting to be transferred. This application deadline may be waived upon agreement of the school district of residence of the pupil and the school district of choice.
(2) The application deadline specified in paragraph (1) does not apply to an application requesting a transfer if the parent of the pupil, with whom the pupil resides, is enlisted in the military and was relocated by the military less than 90 days before submitting the application.
(b) The application may be submitted on a form provided for this purpose by the department and may request enrollment of the pupil in a specific school or program of the school district of choice.
(c) (1) No later than February 15 of the school year preceding the school year for which the pupil is requesting to be transferred, the governing board of the school district of choice shall notify the parent in writing whether the application has been provisionally accepted or rejected or of the placement of the pupil on a waiting list. Final acceptance or rejection shall be made by May 15 The governing board of the school district of choice may fill vacancies from the waiting list until May 1 preceding the school year for which the pupil is requesting to be transferred. No pupils shall be accepted at a school district of choice after May 1 preceding the school year for which the pupil is requesting to be transferred.
(2) If the application is rejected, the governing board of the school district of choice shall include in the written notification to the parent that the number of pupils applying to transfer exceeded the capacity of the school district of choice and that the pupil was not selected during the random drawing. The determination shall be accurately recorded in the minutes of the board meeting in which the determination was made.
(3) If a pupil is accepted or provisionally accepted into a school district of choice, the school district of choice shall notify the school district of residence of the pupil no later than March 1 February 15 of the school year preceding the school year for which the pupil is requesting to be transferred. On or before February 15, the school district of choice shall provide the school district of residence the number of pupils accepted, by school and grade level, by the school district of choice. On or before May 2, the school district of choice shall provide the school district of residence with the final number of pupils enrolled, by school, in the school district of choice, the grade levels of the pupils, and the names of the pupils.
(4) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the governing board of a school district of choice shall, not later than 90 days after receipt of an application submitted according to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), make a final acceptance or rejection of that application. A pupil may enroll in a school in the school district of choice immediately upon his or her acceptance.
(B) If an application submitted according to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) is submitted less than 90 days before the beginning of the school year for which the pupil seeks to be transferred, the governing board of the school district of choice shall accept or deny the application before the commencement of the school year. A pupil may enroll in a school in the school district of choice immediately upon his or her acceptance.
(d) Final acceptance of the transfer is applicable for one school year and will be renewed automatically each year unless the school district of choice through the adoption of a resolution elects to no longer accept any transfer pupils pursuant to this article. However, if a school district of choice elects to no longer accept pupils under this article, high school pupils admitted under this article may continue to attend the same school in the school district of choice until they graduate from high school.

SEC. 6.

 Section 48309.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48309.5.
 (a) The parent of a pupil who is denied a transfer pursuant to this article may appeal that decision to the county board of education of the county in which the school district issuing the denial is located.
(b) A school district of choice may bring a complaint alleging a violation of this article by a school district of residence to the county board of education of the county in which the school district of residence is located.
(c) A school district of residence may bring a complaint alleging a violation of this article by a school district of choice to the county board of education of the county in which the school district of choice is located.
(d) In considering an appeal or a complaint brought pursuant to this section, a county board of education shall consider only the provisions of this article and determine only whether the provisions were applied accurately.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to limit or restrict any entity from seeking a judicial remedy for a violation of this article.

SEC. 7.

 Section 48310 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48310.
 (a) The average daily attendance for pupils admitted by a school district of choice pursuant to this article shall be credited to that school district pursuant to Section 46607. The attendance report for the school district of choice may include an identification of the school district of residence.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, state aid for categorical education programs for pupils admitted under this article shall be apportioned to the school district of choice.
(c) The average daily attendance of pupils admitted by a school district of choice pursuant to this article shall be credited to that school district for purposes of any determination under Article 2 (commencing with Section 17010) of Chapter 12 of Part 10 of Division 1 of Title 1 that uses an average daily attendance calculation.

SEC. 8.

 Section 48311 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48311.
 (a) Upon request of the pupil’s parents, each school district of choice that admits a pupil under this section to any school or program of the school district may provide to the pupil free transportation assistance.
(b) This section shall become inoperative on July 1, 2020, and, as of January 1, 2021, is repealed.

SEC. 9.

 Section 48311 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48311.
 (a) Upon request of the pupil’s parent, a school district of choice shall provide free transportation assistance to the school or program to a pupil who is eligible for free or reduced-price meals and has transferred to a school district of choice.
(b) A school district of choice shall provide transportation assistance to pupils pursuant to subdivision (a) who live up to 10 miles from the school district boundary.
(c) A school district of choice may provide transportation assistance to any pupil admitted under this article.
(d) A school district of choice shall not charge any fees for transportation.
(e) The school district of choice shall design and implement a transportation program to provide reasonable access to all eligible pupils pursuant to subdivision (a) enrolled in the school district of choice who reside within 10 miles of the school district boundary.
(f) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2020.

SEC. 10.

 Section 48312 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48312.
 (a) Each school district may make information regarding its schools, programs, policies, and procedures available to any interested person upon request.
(b) A school district of choice shall make public announcements regarding its schools, programs, including the transportation program, policies, and procedures during the enrollment period.

SEC. 11.

 Section 48313 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48313.
 (a) (1) Pursuant to this article, each school district of choice shall keep an accounting of all requests made for transfers pursuant to this article and records of all disposition of those requests that shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(A) The number of requests granted, denied, or withdrawn. In the case of denied requests, the records shall indicate the reasons for the denials.
(B) The number of pupils transferred out of the school district of choice pursuant to this article.
(C) The number of pupils transferred into the school district of choice pursuant to this article.
(D) The race, ethnicity, gender, self-reported socioeconomic status, eligibility for free or reduced-price meals, and the school district of residence of each of the pupils described in subparagraphs (B) and (C).
(E) The number of pupils described in subparagraphs (B) and (C) who are classified as English learners or identified as individuals with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026.
(F) The number of pupils eligible for free or reduced-price meals transported pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 48311 and the total number of pupils transported under this article.
(2) Each school district of choice shall keep records of the transportation plan and map of bus stops, if applicable, for transportation pursuant to Section 48311.
(b) The information maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be reported to the governing board of the school district of choice at a regularly scheduled meeting of the governing board of the school district of choice. No later than May October 15 of each year, the school district of choice shall report the information maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) for the current school year in addition to information regarding the district’s status as a school district of choice for the upcoming school year to each school district that is geographically adjacent to the school district of choice, the county office of education in which the school district of choice is located, and the Superintendent in a manner consistent with subdivision (e).
(c) A school district of choice shall not enroll a pupil under this article if the school district does not report all the data required pursuant to subdivision (b).
(d) The Superintendent shall do all of the following:
(1) Maintain a list of the school districts of choice in the state.
(2) Collect the information specified in subdivision (a) from each school district of choice. The Superintendent shall ensure school districts of choice provide this information in a complete format. The Superintendent may provide a template for school districts of choice to use and may issue guidance regarding the procedures for collecting and reporting data.
(3) Post the information collected under paragraphs (1) and (2) on the Internet Web site of the department. The information shall be accompanied by explanation of the transfers authorized by this article. The Superintendent shall make this information available by request to any school district.
(4) Post a single list of all school choice programs, including, but not limited to, school districts of choice, on the Internet Web site of the department.
(e) (1) The Superintendent may require information specified in subdivision (a) to be provided through the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System, another data collection system administered by the department, or another manner authorized by the Superintendent. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Superintendent collect data in the manner that minimizes the administrative burden for school districts and the state.
(2) No later than July 1, 2018, the Superintendent shall report to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, the Governor, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office with a description of the plan for collecting the data specified in subdivision (a).
(f) The Superintendent annually shall make all of the following information available to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, the Governor, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office:
(1) The number and characteristics of pupils who use the school district of choice option pursuant to this article.
(2)  Assessment scores of school districts of choice and school districts of residence pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 60640.
(3) The graduation rates of school districts of residence and school districts of choice.
(4) The enrollment of school districts of residence and school districts of choice for the previous five years.
(5) The fiscal health of school districts of residence and school districts of choice, including, but not limited to, both of the following:
(A) Increasing or declining enrollment.
(B) Whether a school district received a negative or qualified rating pursuant to Section 42131.
(6) Whether a school district of residence has exceeded the transfer limits specified in Section 48307.
(7) On and after July 1, 2020, the number of pupils eligible for free or reduced-price meals transported and the total number of pupils transported under this article pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 48311.
(8) Other information the Superintendent deems appropriate.

SEC. 12.

 Section 48314 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48314.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that every parent in this state be informed of his or her opportunity for currently existing school district of choice options under this article regardless of ethnicity, primary language, literacy, or special needs.

SEC. 13.

 Section 48315 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48315.
 This article shall become inoperative on July 1, 2023, and, as of January 1, 2024, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, which becomes effective on or before January 1, 2024, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

SEC. 14.

 Section 48316 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48316.
 The Legislative Analyst shall conduct, after consulting with appropriate legislative staff, a comprehensive evaluation of the interdistrict transfer program established pursuant to this article and prepare recommendations regarding the extension of the program. The evaluation shall incorporate the data described in Section 48313 and shall be completed and submitted, along with the recommendations regarding extension and recommendations for improvements for the transportation requirement to ensure equal access to the program for low-income pupils, to the appropriate education policy committees of the Legislature and to the Governor by January 31, 2021.

SEC. 15.

 Section 48317 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48317.
 Commencing with the 2017–18 school year, and each year thereafter, the Superintendent shall conduct a review of not fewer than 100 randomly selected school districts that enroll pupils through interdistrict transfer to determine whether the school district is operating as a school district of choice. If the Superintendent finds that a school district is accepting pupils through a school district of choice program and the school district is not registered pursuant to Section 48301 or finds that a school district of choice is not reporting the required data to the designated agencies pursuant to Section 48313, the Superintendent shall withhold from the school district’s apportionment pursuant to Section 42238.02 an amount attributable to the average daily attendance of pupils enrolled through the school district of choice in the previous year. The Superintendent shall withhold this amount of the school district’s apportionment until the school district registers pursuant to Section 48301 or provides the required data pursuant to Section 48313.

SEC. 16.

 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.

SEC. 17.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to keep the school district of choice program running without disruption to pupils and school districts, it is necessary that this act take immediate effect.