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AB-716 Magnet schools.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/15/2017 02:00 PM


Assembly Bill No. 716

Introduced by Assembly Member O'Donnell

February 15, 2017

An act to add Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 58820) to Part 31 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, relating to magnet schools.


AB 716, as introduced, O'Donnell. Magnet schools.
Existing law provides for the establishment and operation of various types of schools and programs within the public school system, including charter schools, individual instruction programs, alternative schools, and specialized high schools, among others.
This bill would express legislative findings and declarations related to magnet schools. The bill would establish a magnet school grant program, to be administered by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, under which an applicant school district may apply to the Superintendent for a grant, not to exceed $575,000 per school district, for the one-time costs associated with the startup of a new magnet school, as defined, in accordance with specified conditions and requirements. The bill would specify that funding provided for purposes of the program in the annual Budget Act or other legislation shall be used to allocate grants.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Research has shown that magnet schools outperform regular schools on pupil outcome measures such as standardized assessments across subject areas and high school graduation rates.
(b) In general, magnet schools are more racially and ethnically diverse than regular schools and, according to the United States Department of Education, studies have shown that this diversity contributes to positive academic and life outcomes.
(c) The Century Foundation has determined that magnet schools constitute the most promising turnaround model for improving underperforming schools.
(d) A study by the Miami-Dade County Public Schools found that pupils attending magnet schools are more likely to exhibit positive academic attitudes and behaviors than their peers enrolled in traditional public schools.
(e) Increasing the number of magnet schools will expand the options that are available to parents and pupils for school choice.
(f) Providing funding to assist with planning and startup costs can help remove financial barriers to school districts establishing magnet schools.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 58820) is added to Part 31 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  7. Magnet School Grant Program

 (a) With funding provided for this purpose in the annual Budget Act or other legislation, the Superintendent shall allocate magnet school startup grants in an amount not to exceed five hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ($575,000) per school district.
(b) Priority for grants shall be given for the establishment of magnet schools in communities with high populations of pupils eligible for free or reduced-price meals as defined in Section 42238.01. The Superintendent shall use prior year free or reduced-price meals data reported to the department if current year data are unavailable at the time priority for grants is determined.
(c) School districts may apply for a grant pursuant to a process determined by the Superintendent.
(d) A grant may be awarded for one-time costs associated with the startup of a new magnet school, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Supplies, furnishings, equipment, and instructional materials.
(2) Professional development, coaching, and support services for teachers and magnet school staff.
(3) Curriculum and policy development and acquisition.
(4) Facility and schoolsite preparation or modifications necessary to implement the program in compliance with applicable laws.
(e) The grant funds shall supplement, not supplant, existing services, and shall not be used to supplant federal, state, local, or nonfederal funds or to pay for existing levels of service funded from any other source. The grant funds shall not be used for fundraising, civil defense, legal claims against the state or federal government, or contingencies.
(f) The Superintendent shall apportion funding to applicants that meet both of the following conditions:
(1) The magnet school and grant application have been approved by the governing board of the school district.
(2) The school district submits a proposed budget of how it intends to expand grant funding pursuant to the requirements of this section.
(g) Grant funds shall be disbursed to an applicant within 60 days of approval based on evidence of anticipated or incurred costs provided by the applicant.
(h) Funding apportioned pursuant to this section is subject to the annual audits required by Section 41020.
(i) For purposes of this section, “magnet school” means a school that is operated by a school district and that has a special curricular focus or employs an alternative mode of instruction, or both.