Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-418 Elementary and secondary education: Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 02/09/2017 09:00 PM
AB418:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 418


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Berman)

February 09, 2017


An act to add and repeal Chapter 13.5 (commencing with Section 52975) of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, relating to elementary and secondary education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 418, as introduced, Chau. Elementary and secondary education: Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program.
Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary schools in this state, and authorizes school districts and other local educational agencies to provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Existing law establishes a course of study for pupils in these grades.
This bill would establish the Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program under the administration of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Under the program, eligible local educational agencies, as defined, could apply to receive grants, not to exceed 2 years, to establish and maintain computer science courses in underserved areas and among pupils from groups historically underrepresented in the field of computer science, and to provide professional development for teachers to teach computer science, either as a stand-alone course or as integrated into other courses.
The bill would authorize any local educational agency in the state to apply for participation in the pilot program. The bill would specify minimum criteria to be applied by the Superintendent in evaluating applicant local educational agencies for possible participation in the pilot program, and authorize the Superintendent to consult with computer science experts to discuss and refine these criteria, as specified.
The bill would establish the Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account in the State Treasury. The bill would authorize the State Treasury to receive, and deposit into the account, any gifts, grants, or donations received for purposes of the bill from private persons or entities. The bill would require local educational agencies receiving grants under the bill to provide local matching resources, which may include in-kind donations, constituting an amount equaling the amount that would be allocated to the local educational agency from the Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account. The bill would express the intent of the Legislature that no moneys from the state General Fund be used to fund the grant pilot program established by the bill.
The bill would provide that the funds deposited in the account would be available, upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or in another statute, to the Superintendent for purposes of the bill, provided that the Superintendent certifies, in writing, to the Director of Finance that there are sufficient funds, as defined, in the account to implement the bill. The bill would limit expenditures from the account to cover administrative costs to the State Department of Education to no more than 5% of the allocations made from the account in any fiscal year. The bill would authorize the Superintendent to refund to the donor all or a portion of any gift, grant, or donation made to the account by that donor if the funds received from that donor have not been encumbered because there are surplus funds in the account or because this provision has not become operative.
The bill would require the Superintendent to submit an annual report, containing specified data about the grant program, to the Governor and the Legislature on or before January 10, 2020, and on or before January 10 in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
The provisions of the bill would become inoperative on July 1, 2023, and would be repealed as of January 1, 2024.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Computing is truly a 21st century skill; computer science exposure, when rooted in culturally relevant instruction and rigorous standards, has the potential to foster critical inquiry and develop problem-solving abilities that transcend the study of computer science and are highly relevant for all fields of study.
(1) Broad and coordinated efforts are needed to reverse disparities in computer science access, particularly for underrepresented pupils across the State of California.
(2) Reducing disparities in access to computer science coursework requires state-, district-, school-, and community-level funding and policy commitments.
(3) Computer science course availability is also low within the largest California school districts, most of which serve high populations of pupils of color and low-income pupils. According to a report issued in May 2015:
(A) Ten out of the largest 20 school districts in California do not offer Advanced Placement computer science.
(B) Five out of the largest 20 school districts in California do not offer any computer science courses.
(C) Of the 560,874 high school pupils in the largest 20 California school districts, less than 2 percent (8,136 pupils) are enrolled in any computer science course.
(b) The local control funding formula was enacted in July 2013 (Chapter 47 of the Statutes of 2013).
(1) Previously, more than 40 state categorical programs provided restricted state dollars that school districts could use for only certain activities.
(2) The local control funding formula removed spending restrictions and established grade span-specific base rates.
(3) School districts also receive supplemental and concentration funding for unduplicated counts of pupils who are classified as being English learners or low-income, based on eligibility for a free or reduced-price meal, or foster youths.
(c) For the reasons indicated above, this act keeps with the spirit of local control by developing state-level and district-level funding strategies to increase access to both introductory and advanced placement computer science coursework across all California local educational agencies. Further, it expands and strengthens the state’s computing teacher workforce by providing funds for professional development on this subject.
(d) This act tries to remedy these inequities by allowing, but not requiring, local educational agencies to use their local control funding formula allocations so they can receive matching grant funds to establish, maintain, and expand computer science courses, and to provide professional development for these purposes under the Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program. These matching grant funds will be supplied by private contributions and donations, specifically from technology industries.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 13.5 (commencing with Section 52975) is added to Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  13.5. Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program
Article  1. General Provisions

52975.
 (a) (1) The Superintendent shall establish a public-private computer science education grant pilot program, the Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program, through which a participating local educational agency may receive funding to establish and expand computer science courses, to maintain computer science courses previously established or expanded under this program, and to provide professional development for teachers to teach computer science, either as a stand-alone course or as integrated into other courses. Any local educational agency may apply for participation in this grant pilot program.
(2) For purposes of this chapter, “local educational agency” shall have the same meaning as in Section 421, as that section read on January 1, 2017.
(b) The Superintendent shall provide notice of this pilot program to all local educational agencies throughout the state, and encourage them to apply for participation in this grant pilot program.
(c) The Superintendent shall award grants, not to exceed two years in duration, to local educational agencies under this chapter to applicants he or she deems to be eligible. A local educational agency that receives a grant under this chapter may apply for a grant in a subsequent year, but grants under this chapter shall not be automatically renewed for an additional year or years. The Superintendent shall not award any grant under this chapter unless the Superintendent determines that there are sufficient moneys in the Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account established under Article 3 (commencing with Section 52978) to fund that grant. In order to be deemed eligible for the grant pilot program, a local educational agency, at a minimum, shall meet at least two of the following criteria:
(1) Demonstrate engaged and committed leadership in support of introducing pupils who would not otherwise have these opportunities to study computer science.
(2) Demonstrate a plan to engage these pupils with the subject matter of computer science.
(3) Demonstrate that certificated staff of the local educational agency are appropriately trained to carry out the plan.
(4) Demonstrate the capacity to maximize the use of grant resources by addressing the availability of appropriate physical space and technology, projected enrollment, and other specific requirements set forth by the Superintendent.
(5) Demonstrate a history of successful partnerships within the community and partner support for computer science. Partnership support may include, but is not necessarily limited to, supplying materials or technology, instruction support, internships, mentorships, and apprenticeships.
(6) Demonstrate the capacity to continue in the school years succeeding the initial grant year or years.
(d) The Superintendent may consult with computer science experts to discuss and refine the eligibility criteria listed in subdivision (c). For purposes of this subdivision, the Superintendent may use the same group of computer science experts selected pursuant to Section 60605.4.

Article  2. Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program Provisions

52976.
 (a) The Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program is a competitive grant program that is intended to support both of the following:
(1) Innovative ways to introduce pupils in underserved areas and pupils from groups historically underrepresented in the field of computer science who would not otherwise have those opportunities to study computer science and inspire them to enter computer science careers.
(2) Professional development for teachers to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to teach computer science, either as a stand-alone course or as integrated into other courses.
(b) In awarding grants under this section, the Superintendent shall give priority to applicant local educational agencies with higher percentages of unduplicated pupils, as defined in Section 42238.02, and, as much as feasible, shall award grants to local educational agencies that collectively represent the geographic and socioeconomic diversity of this state. An applicant for a grant under this section shall submit a specific plan, developed in consultation with teachers employed by the applicant local educational agency, for either, or both, of the following:
(1) A computer science course designed to be of maximum value in meeting the particular needs of the pupils of that local educational agency, including pupils from groups historically underrepresented in the field of computer science.
(2) Professional development for teachers employed by that local educational agency to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to teach computer science to that local educational agency’s pupils, either as a stand-alone course or as integrated into other courses.
(c) Grant funds awarded under this section may be used for purposes associated with the costs of establishing or expanding computer science courses, or maintaining computer science courses that were previously established or expanded under this program, including instructional materials, hardware, software, and firmware, and to fund professional development related to computer science education for participating teachers in accordance with the submitted plan.
(d) The grant application for this program shall be on a form developed by the Superintendent and shall include, at a minimum, an itemized budget for use of the grant funds, an identification of local matching resources constituting an amount equaling the amount that would be allocated to the local educational agency from the Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account established by Section 52978, and an agreement by the grant recipient to provide the Superintendent the data needed to complete the report required by Section 52979.

Article  3. Funding and Reporting

52978.
 (a) The Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account is established in the State Treasury. This account shall be used solely and exclusively for the pilot program created in this chapter. The purpose of the account is to provide funds for the Computer Science Education Grant Pilot Program established under Article 2 (commencing with Section 52976). Grants under this chapter, and related administrative costs, shall be funded by a combination of funds from the account and matching funds provided by a participating local educational agency. A local educational agency that receives a grant under this chapter shall provide local matching resources, which may include in-kind donations, constituting an amount equaling the amount that would be allocated to the local educational agency from the Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account. It is the intent of the Legislature that no moneys from the state General Fund be used to fund the grant pilot program established by this chapter.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the State Treasury is authorized to receive, and deposit into the account, any gifts, grants, or donations received for purposes of this chapter from private persons or entities. Expenditures from the account, with respect to a particular grant, shall not exceed the amount of corresponding matching funds.

52978.5.
 (a) The funds deposited in the Computer Science Education Grant Matching Account shall be available, upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act or in another statute, to the Superintendent for purposes of funding the grants established under this chapter, and covering related administrative costs to the department. Unencumbered funds shall be returned to their initial donors pursuant to subdivision (b). The administrative costs of the implementation of this chapter shall be kept to a minimum, and in no event shall expenditures from the account to cover administrative costs to the department exceed 5 percent of the allocations made from the account in any fiscal year.
(b) The Superintendent is authorized to refund to the donor all or a portion of any gift, grant, or donation made to the account by that donor if the funds received from the donor have not been encumbered because the Superintendent has determined that there are surplus funds in the account or because, pursuant to subdivision (c), this section has not become operative.
(c) This section shall not become operative unless and until the Superintendent certifies, in writing, to the Director of Finance that there are sufficient funds in the account to implement this chapter. For purposes of this section, “sufficient funds” is defined as an amount sufficient to support at least two grants and the associated administrative costs to the department in the program established by this chapter.

52979.
 The Superintendent shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature on the programs established under this chapter. This report shall be submitted on or before January 10, 2020, and on or before January 10 in 2021, 2022, and 2023, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code. The report shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, all of the following data:
(a) The number of applicants and grants awarded annually.
(b) The number of pupil participants annually, the number of unduplicated pupils, as defined in Section 42238.02, and pupils from groups historically underrepresented in the field of computer science, who have taken a computer science course, or have taken a computer science course with a teacher trained as a result of this program, and to the extent available, any increase in the number of pupils who enroll or intend to enroll in computer science programs at postsecondary educational institutions.
(c) The increase in the number of courses offered and teachers trained in computer science as a result of the grants made under this chapter.
(d) The amount of grant funds awarded each fiscal year, classified by local educational agency.

52979.5.
 This chapter shall become inoperative on July 1, 2023, and, as of January 1, 2024, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before January 1, 2024, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.